Friday Futures: a flux capacitor, ‘fake’ wine, a printed cornea and SpaceX

flux capacitor
Image credit: Usa-Pyon /

Welcome to Friday Futures, our weekly guide to the latest visions of The Future from around the web. This week: we now have a flux capacitor (sort of); we learn how a brain is built; we can make ‘fake’ wine; we debate whether bots have rights; we can print you a cornea; and you can watch the recent SpaceX launch.

Scientists just invented a flux capacitor (of sorts)

A team of physicists just figured out how to make a flux capacitor (the time travel thingy in Back To The Future). No, it’s not like the one in the film and it won’t let you traipse through time, but it could do something almost as cool: help usher in the quantum computing era. Read more…

Ah, now we know how a brain is built

Researchers have discovered a fundamental process by which brains are built, which may have profound implications for understanding neurodevelopmental conditions like autism and epilepsy. Read more…

Now we can make wine, without grapes

Replica Wine makes cheaper copies of your favorite wine at a discount by analyzing its chemistry. Often, even professional critics can’t tell the difference. Is this heresy or just good business? Read more…

Do bots have rights, like free speech?

Do you have a right to know if you’re talking to a bot? How about the bot? Does it have the right to keep that information from you? Those questions have been stirring in the minds of many since well before Google demoed Duplex, a human-like AI that makes phone calls on a user’s behalf. Read more…

When you lose your Bitcoins, they stay lost – Wired lost a lot

Back in 2013, when you could still mine Bitcoins at home, Wired was sent a small, sleek mining device manufactured by the now-defunct Butterfly Labs. They turned on the machine and allowed it to do its job. A small fortune was soon amassed. Then, they lost the money. Forever. Read more…

Need a new cornea? Soon we’ll be able to print you one

Scientists from Newcastle University have developed a “bio-ink” that allowed them to successfully 3D print human corneas. They have published their proof-of-concept research in the journal Experimental Eye Research. Read more…

Video: SpaceX hauls multiple satellites into orbit

SpaceX flexed its ridesharing muscles as its flagship rocket—the Falcon 9—hauled two sets of spacecraft: a pair of Earth-observing satellites for NASA and a set of five Iridium Next communications satellites. Watch the whole take off…

(Compiled by Alex Leslie; Edited by John C. Tanner)

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