Future Tech: Plus… do-it-yourself genetic pet engineering & a colour-changing hair dye.
Plans in the works for a passenger-carrying drone
From Tech Crunch:
A growing number of companies are looking at the viability of airborne, autonomous taxis as a way to ease urban congestion and transportation woes, but the city of Dubai could leapfrog those with a plan to deploy a passenger-carrying drone as early as this summer.
Uber, Airbus and others are still talking about creating test vehicles that would begin transporting cargo first, but Dubai’s Roads & Transportation Agency lead announced (via Mashable) at the World Government Summit in the city that they’re going to begin operating passenger service along predetermined routes starting in July, using the Ehang 184 autonomous quad-opener electric drone to ferry people through the air.
Garage scientists can order custom DNA sequences online
David Ishee’s plan was simple, if not exactly free of complication. From the shed that functions as his laboratory in rural Mississippi, he hoped to use genetic engineering to rid dogs of the types of terrible disorders caused by decades of high-end breeding.
Now, on top of the obvious scientific hurdles, Ishee has a new challenge to contend with: the FDA.
Ishee is a biohacker, one among a growing number of do-it-yourself scientists that the federal government is having an increasingly difficult time figuring out what to do with. … Ishee joined the ranks of DIY biohackers after becoming frustrated with the limits of traditional dog breeding. He breeds mastiffs—huge, friendly dogs that are known to be riddled with genetic disorders. Over a few generations, Ishee has used traditional techniques to breed out many troublesome conditions, such as the sagging skin and oversized head that make many mastiffs look goofy. But some recessive conditions, like hip dysplasia, could not simply be bred away. …
But he hit a roadblock earlier this month, when the FDA proposed a new rule that would require any genetically engineered animal go through a strict regulatory procedure. In essence, the FDA wants to define any animal a scientist purposefully genetically modifies as a “drug.” That means that if a scientist say, created cows without horns that are safer to farm, those cows would have to go through a vetting process similar to new drugs.
This new hair dye changes colour with the temperature
Just because you want to color your hair doesn't mean you want the same color all the time. Wouldn't it be nice if it could change with the weather, or whether or not you're inside? You might get your wish. The Unseen has developed a color-changing hair dye, Fire, that reacts to shifts in temperature — it could be red outside and revert to a more natural color indoors.
The carbon-based molecules in the dye alter their light absorption when they're subjected to temperature changes, producing different colors that you can reverse just by heading somewhere new.
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