Abundance Insider: September 30, 2016 Edition

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In this week's Abundance Insider: Self-driving car kits, Microsoft’s anti-cancer mission, and large-scale tidal power farms.

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Peter, Marissa, Cody, Kelley, Greg, Sydney and AJ

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The Age of Bionics: Paralyzed Pregnant Woman Completes the Great North Run

paralyzed pregnant woman bionics half marathon

What it is: Claire Lomas recently completed the U.K.'s biggest half-marathon at the age of 36 -- despite being paralyzed and 16 weeks pregnant -- thanks to a robotic suit she wore during the race. The powered exoskeleton by ReWalk Robotics was designed with motion sensors located in the feet, hips and upper body, enabling the user to control their movements: for example, the ability for paralyzed patients to lift their own leg.

Why it's important: The ReWalk is only one example of the implications robotics will have in the treatment and rehabilitation of paralysis patients. As Peter has previously said, "Dozens of wearable and implantable biometric sensors will make us all the 'CEOs of our own health' within the next decade." Join the Discussion

Spotted by Aryadeep S. Acharya

Making Babies Without Eggs May Be Possible, Say Scientists

babies without eggs

What it is: Scientists out of the University of Bath say early experiments suggest it may one day be possible to make babies without using eggs. They have succeeded in creating healthy baby mice by tricking sperm into believing they were fertilizing normal eggs. The findings, published in Nature Communications, could, in the distant future, mean that the baby-making process no longer requires women.

Why it's important: Removing the need for an egg in the reproductive process could have a huge impact on society. One possibility, in the distant future, is that it might be possible for scientists to combine sperm with ordinary cells in the body to form an embryo. In other words, two men could have a child, with one donating an ordinary cell and the other donating sperm. Or one man could have his own child using his own cells and sperm, with that child being more like a non-identical twin than a clone. While these future scenarios may seem like science fiction, these experiments anchor them in possibility. Join the Discussion

Spotted by Peter Diamandis

NBC Will Stream the Debates and Other Election Coverage in VR

nbc election coverage vr

What it is: While social media networks were livestreaming the recent U.S. presidential debate, NBC took it one step further and streamed the debate in VR, thanks to a partnership with Altspace. People could attend by using the AltspaceVR app on the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive or Samsung Gear; the stream was also offered in 2D via Mac and PC.

Why it's important: Peter's recent blog on VR mentioned the implications of VR on conferences, education and travel. NBC's VR election cycle coverage indicates we're one step closer to dematerializing the immersive experience of major live cultural events and large group gatherings. Join the Discussion

Spotted by Peter Diamandis

Microsoft Will 'Solve' Cancer Within 10 Years by 'Reprogramming' Diseased Cells

solve cancer microsoft

What it is: Microsoft has vowed to "solve the problem of cancer" within a decade by using groundbreaking computer science to crack the code of diseased cells so they can be reprogrammed back to a healthy state. Microsoft has assembled a "small army" of the world's best biologists, programmers and engineers to tackle this problem, opening its first wet laboratory this summer focusing on cancer as a computational problem.

Why it's important: We're increasingly seeing technology giants like Microsoft and Google tackle problems traditionally addressed in medical research labs and universities. "I think it's a very natural thing for Microsoft to be looking at cancer because we have tremendous expertise in computer science, and what is going on in cancer is a computational problem," Chris Bishop, laboratory director at Microsoft Research, told the Telegraph. How will the world change if these tech giants are successful and, in a decade or less, cancer no longer exists? Join the Discussion

Spotted by Gaëtan Soltesz

Comma.ai Says It'll Make Your Car Semi-Autonomous for $24 a Month

comma ai

What it is: Comma.ai, the self-driving car startup helmed by iPhone hacker George Hotz, has unveiled new details about its first commercial product, the newly named Comma One. TechCrunch reports that the $999 aftermarket kit will allow buyers to give their cars semi-autonomous abilities on par with Tesla's Autopilot.

Why it's important: Peter's blog on the rise of self-driving cars mentions the implications of autonomous vehicles on our society. When this technology comes online at scale, it has the potential to save millions of lives -- each year, we lose 1.2 million people to traffic accidents in the U.S. alone -- and inject some 2.7 billion hours of productive time into the economy. Join the Discussion

Spotted by Peter Diamandis

SanDisk's 1TB SD Card Has More Storage Than Your Laptop

sandisk 1tb sd card

What it is: Sandisk has just released images of its SDXC prototype card, which boosts 1 terabyte of memory. That makes it the current biggest SD card on the planet, with 16,384 times more storage than the 64GB SD card Sandisk parent company Western Digital released just 16 years ago. While The Verge rightly points out that this 1 TB SD card will likely be expensive, relatively slow to write/read information, and still susceptible to data corruption or loss, we know that it's only a matter of time before its price-performance ratio improves.

Why it's important: This SD card has more storage capacity than many modern laptops. As sensor technologies continue to get better and cheaper, we'll increasingly need data storage solutions that can keep up with 4K, 8K, 360-degree and virtual reality footage on smartphones and other mobile devices. Join the Discussion

Spotted by Cody Rapp

Hacker Group Creates $30 DIY EpiPen to Expose Corporate Greed and Save Lives

diy epipen

What it is: Four Thieves Vinegar, a medical hacking collective, has created an open-source, DIY version of the EpiPen emergency allergy medicine and auto-injector that costs just $30 in off-the-shelf materials. They designed the device in response to parent company Mylan's controversial EpiPen pricing strategy. "The pharmaceutical company Mylan, which is the only manufacturer of the device, was recently shown to have raised the prices of a single device from $57 to $318 -- that's a 461 percent increase -- since acquiring rights to it in 2007," reports MIT Technology Review.

Why it's important: Open-source communities have always sparked innovation and helped us solve big problems (DIY Drones, Wikipedia, Linux and the rise of hackerspaces are just a few examples). As even more people around the world gain access to powerful medical technologies, these collectives will proliferate. How might an open-source community demonetize a core product or service in your business or area of interest? Join the Discussion

Spotted by Dan Swift

Electric Bus Covers 600 Miles on Single Charge

proterra catalyst e2

What it is: The latest electric bus from Proterra, the Catalyst E2, has just logged some impressive statistics at the Michelin Laurens Proving Grounds in South Carolina: 600 miles traveled on a single charge, and a reported nominal range between 194 and 350 miles on a single charge when simulating realistic driving conditions. This means that, for the first time, an all-electric bus is capable of serving "the full daily mileage needs of nearly every U.S. transit route," as a Proterra press release describes, making it "the first direct replacement for fossil-fueled transit vehicles."

Why it's important: In the Proterra press release, CEO Ryan Poppel describes the implications of the Catalyst E2's achievements succinctly: "The question is no longer who will be an early adopter of this technology, but rather who will be the last to commit to a future of clean, efficient, and sustainable mobility. With the Catalyst E2 offering a no-compromise replacement for all fossil fuel buses, battery-electric vehicles have now broken down the final barrier to widespread market adoption." Join the Discussion

Spotted by Aryadeep S. Acharya

Say "Hello" to the World's First Large-Scale Tidal Power Farm

large scale tidal power farm

What it is: Scotland has unveiled its first of four turbines for Phase I of the MeyGen tidal stream project – the world's first large-scale tidal energy farm – designed to generate electricity from Scotland's northern tides. The 1.5-megawatt turbines, developed by Atlantis Resources, each weigh 220 tons and stand 49 feet tall. Project organizers ultimately plan to install 269 turbines with a total capacity of 398 MW, which would be enough energy to power 175,000 homes.

Why it's important: Peter has previously written about the new developments, occurring seemingly every day, that indicate a near future with abundant energy. This project's success would be a global milestone for the entire tidal power industry, and a significant step closer to that future. Join the Discussion

Spotted by Aryadeep S. Acharya

What is Abundance Insider?

This email is a briefing of the week's most compelling, abundance-enabling tech developments, curated by Marissa Brassfield in preparation for Abundance 360. Read more about A360 below.

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