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Please see our weekly newsletter collection below. Our own staff and members contribute bits and bytes of interesting news and articles. They say that futurists make funny historians but we do our best to bridge that divide by illustrating our past themes and speakers as they develop and evolve. We hope that you enjoy reading these communications as much as we enjoy creating them for you. And if you have any news to share, please contact any member of our staff.

2017 March 31

We're pretty sure cancer will never be eradicated like polio, but a great next step in coping with it would be a blood test to detect and diagnose it. UCLA scientists think they're only a year away from that, using, in part, crowdsourced DNA data (Pietro Michelucci, Austin, Feb 2016; Melissa Lechner, San Diego, Feb 2015).
Google Glass is dead, but some of its technology lives on in the 12.3 megapixel camera in the company's first Google-branded cellphone, the Pixel (Marc Levoy, San Francisco, Dec 2014).
Tissue engineering has a last-mile problem: The 'branching network of thin veins that delivers water and nutrients to its cells' Solution: Remove plant cells from a spinach leaf; human tissue can then be grown on the cellulose scaffolding that remains (Dusko Ilic, London, Jul 2014; Nynke van den Akker, Vienna, Jul 2013; Lawrence Bonassar, San Jose, Feb 2012; Jennifer Lewis, Miami, Dec 2011).
The science behind the 2015 movie The Martian was ridiculous (slash enjoyable), but it turns out Matt Damon's character could have grown potatoes on Mars, according to a simulator experiment conducted at the International Potato Center in Peru (Gene Giacomelli, St. Louis, Sep 2008). Of course, we first have to get the spud buds there (Erika DeBenedictis, Vienna, July 2013).
Is end-to-end encryption of the sort found in the iPhone 'completely unacceptable'? (David Chaum, San Francisco, Dec 2016; Raluca Ada Popa, Washington, D.C., Sep 2016; Jon Callas, London, Jul 2014). British Home Secretary Amber Rudd thinks so.
We would never want to call a government official clueless, but Rudd's comment calls to mind U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin's statement last week that 'displacement of jobs by artificial intelligence and automation is 'not even on my radar screen' because the technology is '50-100 more years' away' (Ian Stewart, Brooklyn, Jul 2016).
Smaller, faster, chea--well, maybe not cheaper. A Forrester report predicts that IT groups are becoming faster as much as 40% smaller.
"Toilet paper is a public resource" so how can the authorities prevent waste and theft? Facial recognition software, of course (Nagui Halim, Philadelphia, Jul 2015; Michael Miller, Atlanta, Feb 2008; Alex Vasilescu, Phoenix, Dec 2003).
The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor "ITER" is the decades-long fusion project anticipated to succeed in part because of its immense physical size; it comes with a correspondingly huge budget. Dennis Whyte (San Francisco, Dec 2015) thinks smaller scale endeavors will be more fruitful. Ask him about it during the field trip to MIT's Plasma Science and Fusion Lab. There's still time to register.

Please be sure to check out the recently posted Reinforcement Papers from Data Big and Small which are now available in the member archive. If you need assistance accessing the archive, contact Claudia Miklas,

"Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced." —James Baldwin

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