Thanksgiving: The Experience is on hiatus this week. Have a happy Thanksgiving! We return next week with a great new show. In the meantime, big news: Whitley and Anne’s new book the Afterlife Revolution is available for preorder for Kindle and will be available shortly for all ebook readers, in paperback and as an audiobook read by Whitley!
Medical researchers have saved the life of a seven-year-old boy by growing genetically-modified replacement skin for him. The young German boy suffered from a deadly congenital condition called epidermolysis bullosa, a condition that cases the sufferer’s skin to tear and blister, as if it had been burned. The procedure not only saved his life, but he’s now able to participate in sports with his classmates.
By 2015 the patient had been admitted to the burns unit at Bochum Children’s Hospital in Germany: at that point, two-thirds of his skin was either was either badly damaged or outright missing, and traditional treatments failed to yield results, including skin grafts from a donor.
Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking and others have been warning about the dangers of weaponizing artificial intelligence. Meanwhile, the Pentagon and the Russian and Chinese militaries are already in an AI weapons arms race. The Pentagon has promised that it won’t release such weapons from human control, but whether or not they will learn to release themselves–or be programmed to under various circumstances–remains an unknown. Research projects in all three countries are deeply classified, but if one deploys autonomous intelligent weapons, then the others must do the same. The simple reason is that human control would then be too slow.
A star that goes nova is only supposed to explode once… right?
That long-held assumption was upended when astronomers spotted a Type II-P supernova in progress in a star 509 million light-years away on September 8, 2014. The exploding star in question, iPTF14hls, was predicted to fade within 100 days, but its luminosity not only persisted for the next 600 days, it also flared to an even greater brightness at least five more times, implying that this single star had experienced a supernova at least six times.