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How are humans going to become extinct?

How are humans going to become extinct?
24 April 2013Last updated at 05:42 ET By Sean Coughlan BBC News education correspondent Prepare to meet your maker: Will humans become extinct at our own hand? What are the greatest global threats to humanity? Are we on the verge of our own unexpected extinction? An international team of scientists, mathematicians and philosophers at Oxford University's Future of Humanity Institute is investigating the biggest dangers. And they argue in a research paper, Existential Risk as a Global Priority, that international policymakers must pay serious attention to the reality of species-obliterating risks. Last year there were more academic papers published on snowboarding than human extinction. The Swedish-born director of the institute, Nick Bostrom, says the stakes couldn't be higher. Been there, survived it So what are the greatest dangers? First the good news. The femur of a dodo: An estimated 99% of all species that have existed have become extinct Lack of control Unintended consequences “Start Quote

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3D-imaging brain tissue at 1 micron resolution Image of the cerebral vascular system in the motor cortex of a mouse obtained by 3D two-photon microscopy with addition of Lem-PHEA dye (credit: B. van der Sanden and F. Appaix/Institut des Neurosciences de Grenoble) A fluorescent dye that enables high-resolution (about 1 micron) 3D images of the cerebral vascular system has been synthesized by researchers at the Laboratoire de Chimie ( CNRS ) in France in collaboration with the Institut des Neurosciences (Université Joseph Fourier). The “Lem-PHEA chromophore” dye fluoresces in the red-near infrared region biological transparency window using two-photon absorption and can pass through the skin. It features solubility in biological media, low cost, non-toxicity, and full elimination by the kidneys, suggesting that it may be suitable for in vivo imaging, the researchers say.

Possible Ways Humans Could Go Extinct In The Near Future. One day, there will come a time where humans will no longer walk the planet. A morbid thought, I know, but a realistic one. We face extinction at some point and every day that we live we are just racing faster toward that inevitable end. Scientists have theorized about how it will happen and when it will happen and here is a compendium of some of the more likely theories. Humans are making computers stronger, faster, and more powerful every day. Mechanical energy harvester replaces small batteries BOLT micro-power module (credit: MicroGen) MicroGen has developed a “piezo-MEMS” (piezoelectric microelectromechanical systems) device that gathers ambient vibrations and converts them into electrical energy. Vibration causes a tiny flap in the device to swing back and forth, generateing electrical current that charges an ultra-capacitor (a thin-film battery). The “BOLT micro-power module” (MPM) begins commercial-scale production in summer 2013. It was researched and developed by the company at the Cornell NanoScale Science and Technology Facility.

Humanity Is Getting Verrrrrrry Close to Extinction Too late, Stop sign. via Flickr. If you were to take a comparative look back at our planet during the 1950s from some sort of cosmic time-traveling orbiter cube, you would probably first notice that millions of pieces of space trash had disappeared from orbit. The moon would appear six and a half feet closer to Earth, and the continents of Europe and North America would be four feet closer together. Zooming in, you would be able to spot some of the results of the Golden Age of Capitalism in the West and the Great Leap Forward in the East.

The Rise of Big Data Everyone knows that the Internet has changed how businesses operate, governments function, and people live. But a new, less visible technological trend is just as transformative: “big data.” Big data starts with the fact that there is a lot more information floating around these days than ever before, and it is being put to extraordinary new uses. Big data is distinct from the Internet, although the Web makes it much easier to collect and share data.

We're Underestimating the Risk of Human Extinction Unthinkable as it may be, humanity, every last person, could someday be wiped from the face of the Earth. We have learned to worry about asteroids and supervolcanoes, but the more-likely scenario, according to Nick Bostrom, a professor of philosophy at Oxford, is that we humans will destroy ourselves. Bostrom, who directs Oxford's Future of Humanity Institute, has argued over the course of several papers that human extinction risks are poorly understood and, worse still, severely underestimated by society. Some of these existential risks are fairly well known, especially the natural ones. But others are obscure or even exotic. Most worrying to Bostrom is the subset of existential risks that arise from human technology, a subset that he expects to grow in number and potency over the next century.

8 Exponential Trends That Will Shape Humanity Our global society has entered a period of accelerated change, and these changes are reshaping entire industries, economic models and institutions. Our blind spot comes from the fact that we have traditionally inhabited a linear world. But today’s changes are exponential. From computing power to the growth of cities to the volume of content produced, changes and innovations are piling up faster than ever before. Thomas Friedman's quote from The World is Flat illustrates this point well:

#5: Stephen Hawking's Warning: Abandon Earth—Or Face Extinction by Big Think Editors Let's face it: The planet is heating up, Earth's population is expanding at an exponential rate, and the the natural resources vital to our survival are running out faster than we can replace them with sustainable alternatives. Even if the human race manages not to push itself to the brink of nuclear extinction, it is still a foregone conclusion that our aging sun will expand and swallow the Earth in roughly 7.6 billion years. So, according to famed theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, it's time to free ourselves from Mother Earth. "I believe that the long-term future of the human race must be in space," Hawking tells Big Think. "It will be difficult enough to avoid disaster on planet Earth in the next hundred years, let alone the next thousand, or million.

Sullivan: These are the 50 Most Innovative Technologies in 2013 LONDON - 8 May, 2013 - Up to 85 per cent of technologies developed globally never make it to the commercial world. Business and investors need to closely assess the potential of a given technology platform to understand the true market prospects it holds and to evaluate the risk-reward elements. Fifty of the most innovative technologies in the world identified by Frost & Sullivan will be unveiled at GIL 2013: Europe – The Global Community of Growth, Innovation and Leadership Annual Congress ( During the upcoming GIL 2013: Europe on Tuesday, 14 May, 2013, Frost & Sullivan's Practice Director for Technical Insights (Europe), Mr Ankit A. Shukla, will present the results of the unique research platform "TechVision 2020: A Systematic Innovation Serendipity Engine" in London.

Holocene extinction The dodo, a flightless bird of Mauritius, became extinct during the mid-late seventeenth century after humans destroyed the forests where the birds made their homes and introduced mammals that ate their eggs. The Holocene extinction includes the disappearance of large mammals known as megafauna, starting between 9,000 and 13,000 years ago, the end of the last Ice Age. This may have been due to the extinction of the mammoth that had maintained grasslands that became birch forests without the mammoths.[3] The new forest and the resulting forest fires may have induced climate change.[3] Such disappearances might be the result of the proliferation of modern humans which led to climate change. These extinctions, occurring near the Pleistocene–Holocene boundary, are sometimes referred to as the Quaternary extinction event. The Holocene extinction continues into the 21st century.

Technology - 3D printing powered by thought Imagine if you could print objects just by thinking about them. Camila Ruz visits one company to see whether this is far-fetched dream or a real possibility. It’s definitely not a bird. Nor is it a plane. The garish orange piece of plastic, small enough to hold in the palm of a hand, could pass for a missing limb of a toy tyrannosaurus.