Friday Futures: laughter, biased algorithms, burning bubbles

Image credit: WAYHOME studio /

Welcome to Friday Futures, our weekly guide to the latest visions of The Future from around the web. This week: laughter is actually the best medicine; tiny battlefield drones; fighting bias in algorithms; plastic fuel; 3D printing revolution and lighting bubbles.

It turns out that laughter really is the best medicine

Neuroscientists have discovered a focal pathway in the brain that when electrically stimulated causes immediate laughter, followed by a sense of calm and happiness, even during awake brain surgery. Read more…

Tiny drones for soldiers in battle

The U.S. Army has placed a $39 million order for tiny reconnaissance drones, small enough to fit in a soldier’s pocket or palm. Read more…

MIT graduate fights bias in algorithms

Plastics could be turned into food and fuel

A new chemical conversion process could transform the world’s polyolefin waste, a form of plastic, into useful products, such as clean fuels and other items. Read more…

Here’s a great step forward in 3D printing

New stars are forming in this region of space

This dazzling region of newly forming stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) was captured by the Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer instrument (MUSE) on ESO’s Very Large Telescope. Read more…

And here is what happens when you blow a bubble and light it

(Compiled by Alex Leslie and edited by John C. Tanner)

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