Picture the scene. You’re a struggling actor in your twenties, auditioning for the role of a lifetime in a major Hollywood movie. You nailed the first audition, and the casting director has since summoned you back twice to audition again. At the last callback, Steven Spielberg — the movie’s director — was even in the room. Your agent tells you it’s come down to you and one other actor. Then you get the call. The news isn’t good. The other person got it. “Who did they give the role to?” you ask, trying to conceal your abject disappointment. “Let me check,” your agent says, putting you on hold. Her voice comes back on the line. “They gave it to 1955-era James Dean,” she tells you. Impossible, right? Only, it’s very much not. Anyone who has been keeping their eyes open at the movies for the past few years (and, frankly, why waste the price of a ticket by shutting them?) will have seen the resurgence of certain … [Read more...] about Meet the startup resurrecting dead celebrities and digitally cloning living ones
Get the Mach newsletter. SUBSCRIBE Humans have always looked for tangible ways to remember departed loved ones. We save letters and emails they wrote us. We look fondly at photos of them. We watch and rewatch old videos just to see their faces and hear them talk. But the rise of digital technologies may soon give us even more compelling ways to remember lost friends and family. These include apps that let us text with digital representations of the dead — we’d type a message and then get some sort of comforting reply — and maybe even systems that let us speak with and possibly touch realistic avatars of the ones we miss most. Maybe that sounds creepy, but some experts believe we’ll find comfort in continuing our interactions with people whose biological existences have come to an end. “Many people visit the headstone of a loved one to help come to terms with their passing, and have a one-sided conversation where they think about the memory of … [Read more...] about Will ‘digital resurrections’ let us bring back the dead?
Updated 2:55 pm, Tuesday, April 10, 2018 Photo: Erik Schelzig, AP Image 1of/1 CaptionClose Image 1 of 1 FILE - In a March 24, 2017 file photo, visitors look at the burial place of President James K. Polk and his wife, Sarah Polk, on the grounds of the state Capitol in Nashville, Tenn. The body of former president James K. Polk has been moved three times since he died of cholera in 1849, and now an effort to move it again has taken on a life of its own in the Tennessee Legislature. A much-debated resolution urging that his remains be moved to a fourth resting place appeared dead in March 2018, but was resurrected before winning final approval Monday night, April 9, 2018, in the House. less FILE - In a March 24, 2017 file photo, visitors look at the burial place of President James K. Polk and his wife, Sarah Polk, on the grounds of the state Capitol in Nashville, Tenn. The body of former president ... … [Read more...] about Effort to move former president Polk’s body is resurrected
Depending on the age of the observer, Easter either celebrates the miracle of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, or the miracle of a bipedal rabbit hatching and hiding a litter of chocolate eggs in the nooks and crannies of your home. Where did the Easter Bunny come from, and how did the floppy-eared animal get his fuzzy tail wrapped up in one of Christianity's holiest days? Egg-bearing rabbits, as you can imagine, appear nowhere in the New Testament. But they do — weirdly enough — appear in scientific literature. You can see the first recorded mention of the Easter Bunny in a collection of medical essays published in Germany in 1682. According to The Royal Society, one of the odder essays in this collection is a 16-page dissertation on Easter eggs, written by a young German doctor and theology buff named Johannes Richier. [Easter Science: 5 Odd Facts About Eggs] In his dissertation, Richier described a regional character from western Germany called the "Osterhase" … [Read more...] about Where Did the Easter Bunny Come From? Ask This Dead German Scientist
Four things are true: One, a startup called Nectome plans to embalm the living brains of dying people, with the promise that the preserved tissues might someday be brought back to life. Two, the grim plan has gotten a ton of press coverage in the past few days, ever since MIT Technology Review covered it on Tuesday (March 13). Three, most of that press coverage doesn't cite any outside neuroscience experts. And four, all of the experts that Live Science contacted to discuss the story have expressed, one way or another, that they found the plan ridiculous. Nectome plans to insert itself into the process of physician-assisted suicide. The company wants to flood the arteries of living people who have terminal illnesses with embalming fluid to preserve their brain tissue. The idea is that the dead organ would then be converted into a map of all the connections among neurons — constituting a complete, physical "connectome," from which a person's consciousness might one day be … [Read more...] about You Should Be Very Skeptical of Nectome’s Deadly ‘Mind-Uploading Service’