Friday Futures: Xbox attack subs, DNA, bot-stoppers and Putin on Mars

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Welcome to Friday Futures, our weekly guide to the latest visions of The Future from around the web. This week: Xbox controller and an attack sub; DNA and cancer; nuclear fusion in nanowires; stopping bots from ruining social media; and Putin takes to Mars.

The Navy is using Xbox controllers to drive an attack sub

You know that $30 Xbox controller you have in your living room? The same thing now directs the Navy’s new $2.7-billion attack submarine. Read more…

DNA is being programmed to switch off cancer

DNA has an important job – it tells your cells which proteins to make. Now, a research team at the University of Delaware has developed technology to program strands of DNA into switches that turn proteins on and off. Read more…

Researchers have produced nuclear fusion – on a tiny scale

Using a compact but powerful laser to heat arrays of ordered nanowires, Colorado State University (CSU) scientists and collaborators have demonstrated micro-scale nuclear fusion in the lab. They have achieved record-setting efficiency for the generation of neutrons – chargeless sub-atomic particles resulting from the fusion process. Read more…

How can we stop bots controlling elections?

During the 2016 US election, an estimated one in every five tweets about the election were from bots. They were also promoting far-right candidates in France and Germany in 2017, and now, are spreading false information in Ireland ahead of a contentious referendum on abortion. This keeps happening. Why? Read more…

How not to get sick on a plane

If you want to avoid getting sick on a plane, the worst place to sit, according to Charles Gerba, is along the aisle. The issue is exposure—not just to other passengers, but anything they touch. Read more…

Putin plans to put a man on Mars next year

Putin has announced that he plans to send manned and unmanned missions to Mars as early as 2019. He also plans to send missions to the Moon and deeper into space. If the manned Mars mission is successful, Putin’s faction will get there years before competing missions from SpaceX (which anticipates sending humans to the Red Planet in 2024) and NASA (in the 2030s). Read more…

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

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