Friday Futures: light speed is close, creating virtual universes

light speed
Image credit | Quardia

Welcome to Friday Futures, our weekly guide to the latest visions of The Future from around the web. This week: close to light speed; virtual universes; printing rockets; awesome bioreactors; the end of urban life and giant squid eggs.

NASA Engineer says new thruster could reach 99% of light speed

New Scientist is reporting that NASA engineer David Burns is making some bold claims about a conceptual new spaceship thruster he calls the “helical engine” — a concept the magazine admits “may violate the laws of physics.” Read more…

AI robots are printing entire rockets

For a factory where robots toil around the clock to build a rocket with almost no human labor, the sound of grunts echoing across the parking lot make for a jarring contrast. Read more…

Geoengineering explained (thank you)

The Physics Nobel prize winner(s) won because…

This year’s Nobel Prize in Physics is being awarded “for contributions to our understanding of the evolution of the universe and Earth’s place in the cosmos,” with one half to James Peebles “for theoretical discoveries in physical cosmology” and the other half jointly to Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz “for the discovery of an exoplanet orbiting a solar-type star.” Read more…

New bioreactor can suck CO2 out of the atmosphere – big time

A new algae bioreactor can suck as much carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere as roughly an acre of forest — potentially giving dense cities a new weapon in the fight against catastrophic climate change. Read more…

The end of urban life? The city is moving out

Scientists create millions of virtual universes

Scientists used a supercomputer to simulate the creation and evolution of 8 million virtual universes, each containing 12 million galaxies — and in the process, they discovered something new about the universe we actually live in. Read more…

Turn your face into a Renaissance portrait

Hot on the heels of FaceApp, which makes you look old, is the next sensation: AIPortraits.com, a website set up by a team of MIT and IBM researchers that turns your boring old selfies into works of Renaissance-period art — as if they were imagined by the likes of Michelangelo or Botticelli. Read more…

And here is a giant squid egg!

(Compiled by Alex Leslie and edited by Tony Poulos)

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