this week

McLaren takes 3D printing track side

The McLaren Formula 1 team will have 3D printers available at this month’s Bahrain Grand Prix. The 3D printers will allow the team to produce modified small plastic parts during practices, ahead of qualifying sessions and during the race itself.

Source: Race Tech Mag

New tech could boost existing storage technologies by 30 times

Researchers from RMIT University have developed a new type of electrode, inspired by an American fern, that is capable of boosting the capacity of existing storage technologies by up to 30 times. The new device could help store solar power more efficiently.

Source: The Telegraph

Get ready for the age of the machines

Lord Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal and Emeritus Professor of Cosmology and Astrophysics at the University of Cambridge, has said machines could take over from humans within a few centuries and go on to enjoy billions of years of supremacy.

Source: Independent

Future contact lenses might be able to detect cancer

Oregon State University engineers are working to embed transparent sensors into contact lenses, which could then monitor biomarkers to track drug use, blood glucose levels, or even detect early signs of cancer. In total, over 2,500 different biosensors could theoretically be embedded in the lenses.

Source: Digital Trends

Squid and octopus can edit and direct their own brain genes

Cephalopods – the family that includes octopuses, squid and cuttlefish – do not obey the commands of their DNA to the letter. Instead they sometimes interfere with the code as it is being carried by a molecular “messenger”. This has the effect of diversifying the proteins their cells can produce.

Source: New Scientist

Twitter sues US government to protect identity of anti-Trump account

Twitter is suing the US government in an attempt to block an order forcing it to reveal the identity of an account claiming to be run by anonymous employees of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. The @ALT_uscis account currently has over 125,000 followers.

Source: The Telegraph

Wishing you a futuristic Christmas and a fantastic New Year from team Factor

Factor is taking a break for the Christmas season, but we’ll be returning in January for more futuristic news and features.

Until then, check out our stunning new digital magazine, which is free to read on any device for your future fix.

From the issues of today, to the future of tomorrow and beyond, there’s something for everyone, from flying cars and Richard Stallman on privacy to life in the 22nd century and the space colonies of the future human race. There’s even a look at the Christmas dinners of the future.

And if you’re still looking for presents, check out of bumper futuristic gift guide for ideas to suit every budget.

Merry Christmas, and see you in 2018!

FCC votes to repeal net neutrality rules

On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal the so-called net neutrality regulations that prohibited broadband providers from blocking websites or charging for higher-quality service on certain content. The FCC’s net neutrality rules were originally passed in 2015.

Doctors say Haemophilia A trial results are "mind-blowing"

Doctors say the results of a gene therapy trial into haemophilia A, whose suffers don't produce a protein needed to stop bleeding, are "mind-blowing". Thirteen patients given the gene therapy at Barts Health NHS Trust are now off treatment with 11 producing near-normal levels of the protein.

Source: BBC

Scientists use stem cells to make paralysed rat walk again

Scientists have used stem cells from an adult human's mouth to induce spinal cord regeneration in a rat. This effectively created a pathway circumventing the injured area so that instructions from the brain could reach the rest of the body, curing the animal that was previously totally paralysed.

NASA uses AI to find new exoplanet

Researchers have announced the discovery of an eighth planet orbiting the star Kepler-90. The discovery of Kepler 90i was made when researchers on the Kepler planet-hunting telescope teamed up with artificial intelligence specialists at Google to analyse data collected by the space-based observatory.

AI engine AlphaZero's win will "scramble" chess world

Having beaten the world's the highest-rated chess engine Stockfish, world champion chess player Viswanathan Anand believes the AI programme AlphaZero will change the way humans play the game. "We've got a clean start and the implications are very interesting," said Anand.

Source: ESPN

Following criticism, animal shelter fires security robot

A San Francisco animal adoption agency will immediately stop using a controversial security robot. The move comes after the San Francisco SPCA had been criticised for its deployment of a Knightscope K9 to mitigate vandalism and the presence of homeless people at its Mission District office.

Source: Ars Technica