Friday Futures: DNA storage, dark chocolate and the digital afterlife

DNA
Image credit: CI Photos / Shutterstock.com

Welcome to Friday Futures, our weekly guide to the latest visions of The Future from around the web. This week: DNA can store music albums (and actually lots of other stuff); a new type of DNA; caveat emptor on DNA tests; you need to eat more dark chocolate; and your digital afterlife.

Researchers just stored a classic music album in DNA

A, T, G, and C are the 0s and 1s of living things. Unlike the code stored in silicon, data stored in DNA won’t degrade for thousands of years. And it can just hold a lot more data — one gram of DNA can store one billion terabytes of data (approximately a kajillion iPods). Read more…

And they also found a new form of DNA

In a world first, researchers have identified a new DNA structure – called the i-motif – inside cells. A twisted ‘knot’, the i-motif has never before been directly seen inside living cells. Read more…

Speaking of which, your ‘at home DNA test’ may be wrong

A new study calls to question the accuracy of at-home DNA testing kits marketed by a number of popular genetics brands. Companies such as 23AndMe and DNA Direct make it seemingly easy to determine bloodlines and diagnose certain vulnerabilities in a person’s genetic makeup, but data pulled from such testing methods carries risk. Read more…

The new tech trend – cutting out Wall Street

If you’re a successful technology company, the normal rules of Wall Street don’t apply to you. Indeed, Wall Street should count itself lucky if and when you deign to even acknowledge its existence. Read more…

Here’s how to cure that addiction to bath salts

Why don’t we create a vaccine for drug addiction? It’s a devilishly elegant solution for something as stigmatized as drug abuse and, even worse, relapse. Train the immune system to attack molecules of the drug if it ends up in the body, and the person won’t get high. Bam. Simple. Read more…

Stressed from too much digital disruption? Munch on some dark chocolate

Findings from two new studies show dark chocolate consumption reduces stress and inflammation, while improving memory, immunity and mood. A presentation shows that consuming dark chocolate that has a high concentration of cacao (minimally 70% cacao, 30% organic cane sugar) has positive effects on stress levels, inflammation, mood, memory and immunity. Read more…

 

Do we need to regulate the digital afterlife?

A number of companies have popped up to cash in on confused grief help us modernize the way we mourn. But so far (and perhaps unsurprisingly), the digital afterlife industry, which can include online memorial services or even re-creation algorithms that attempt to write messages and posts in the dead person’s voice, has been more or less unregulated. Read more…

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