Friday Futures: the sea as fuel, DNA as a computer

Image credit: Willyam Bradberry /

Welcome to Friday Futures, our weekly guide to the latest visions of The Future from around the web. This week: the sea could be the best source of fuel; levitation by light; AI and science; DNA as a computer; DNA regenerates limbs.

The oceans could be the real source of renewable fuel

A team of scientists at Stanford have figured out a way to make hydrogen fuel out of saltwater. The discovery could open up the world’s oceans as a potential source of energy. Read more…

Can we levitate objects using light alone?

Researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) say they’ve found a way to levitate and propel objects using only light — though, for the time being, the work remains theoretical. Read more…

What is the relationship between 5G and space?

AI is becoming really good at science

The Square Kilometer Array, a radio telescope slated to switch on in the mid-2020s, will generate about as much data traffic each year as the entire internet. Read more…

DNA molecules can be programmed as computers

Computer scientists at Caltech have designed DNA molecules that can carry out reprogrammable computations, for the first time creating so-called algorithmic self-assembly in which the same “hardware” can be configured to run different “software.” Read more…

And can regenerate limbs, maybe

Harvard researchers say they’ve identified a “DNA switch” enabling animals to regrow entire portions of their bodies — a finding that, with a few important caveats, could pave the way to helping human lost limb regeneration. Read more…

An explanation of CRISPR that makes sense!

And of course, the dating app based on the contents of your fridge

The first time John Stonehill was invited back to his girlfriend’s house, he headed straight for the refrigerator. It was stainless steel with a water and ice dispenser. Read more…

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

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