Friday Futures: Life on Mars, engineered monkeys and AI skincare

mars
Image credit: SergeyDV / Shutterstock.com

Welcome to Friday Futures, our weekly guide to the latest visions of The Future from around the web. This week: there really is life on Mars, maybe; China is genetically engineering monkeys; AI and skincare; drones can cut crime, a lot; virtual real estate is taking off; bees are dying so build some bee robots and AI makes a movie.

We are now pretty sure there was life on Mars

NASA has released the results of two major studies about the inner-workings of the Red Planet. In the first, researchers discover why Mars has seasonal variations of the gas methane; in the second, they determine that rock on the Martian surface contains organic molecules that may be evidence of ancient life. Read more…

Genetically engineering monkeys with brain disorders

Chinese researchers are doing just that. In this article, The Atlantic visits to a facility in Guangdong province, where researchers are tinkering with monkey brains in order to understand the most severe forms of autism. Read more …

DNA + AI = truly personalized skin care

A new wave of skincare-focused tech startups is taking a multi-pronged approach to individualization. This means combining advanced DNA analysis with 3D imaging and artificial intelligence to create, in the words of Sindhya Valloppillil, some of the most “hyper-customized, made-to-order, bespoke” products yet. Read more…

A blind person who can see movement has excited scientists

Since the visual processing centres of her brain went dark after a stroke, a Scottish woman has been unable to see objects. However, she has developed the remarkable ability to see objects in motion, neuroscientists at Western University in Canada have discovered. Read more…

Drones are cutting crime rates in Mexico – like, a lot

In Ensenada, A Mexican city about two hours south of Tijuana, a new crime fighter has taken to the skies. It’s not a bird, or a plane, or Superman. It’s a drone. 1 Quadcopter led to more than 500 arrests. Read more…

Virtual real estate is getting into a ‘bubble’ of rising prices

Genesis City is a plot of virtual land, roughly the size of Washington, D.C., that investors can buy slices of for obscene amounts of money. Even a simple 1,100 square foot plot can go for as much as $200,000, according to Bloomberg. Read more…

If the bees are dying, what do we do? Ah, make robots

You see, in the 21st century, bee populations were dying off because everyone was using too many toxic pesticides. Farmers were starting to notice that the fuzzy little workers were starting to vanish because their crops weren’t getting pollinated. Read more…

AI just made a movie, and it’s well, encouraging…

In his new film, Zone OutSilicon Valley star Thomas Middleditch makes you want to do just that. It’s not simply that he talks about having sex with a jar of salsa, it’s also that he looks absolutely ghastly. Read more…

Friday Futures is compiled by Alex Leslie and edited by John C. Tanner

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