7 min read

revolutionizing drug discovery and delivery

By Peter H. Diamandis on Jul 19, 2020

If you had to guess how long it takes for a drug to go from an idea to your pharmacy, what would you guess? 3 years? 5 years? How about the cost? $30 million? $100 million?

Topics: Entrepreneurship Exponentials gene therapy gene Technology Artificial Intellegence preventive medicine personalized medicine Genetics CRISPR genetic engineering genome sequencing
6 min read

revolutionizing drug discovery and delivery

By Peter H. Diamandis on Dec 15, 2019

If you had to guess how long it takes for a drug to go from an idea to your pharmacy, what would you guess? 3 years? 5 years? How about the cost? $30 million? $100 million?

Topics: Entrepreneurship Exponentials gene therapy gene Technology Artificial Intellegence preventive medicine personalized medicine Genetics CRISPR genetic engineering genome sequencing
6 min read

The CRISPR Revolution & Hyper-Personalized Medicine

By Peter H. Diamandis on Dec 12, 2019

Two revolutionary tools are overhauling healthcare as we know it today: genome sequencing and CRISPR engineering.

Topics: Entrepreneurship Exponentials gene therapy gene Technology Artificial Intellegence preventive medicine personalized medicine Genetics CRISPR genetic engineering genome sequencing
8 min read

Abundance Insider: October 28th, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Oct 28, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: Google's quantum computing breakthrough, a new gene-editing technique, and NASA's collaboration with Caterpillar on Moon mining machines.

P.S. Send any tips to our team by clicking here, and send your friends and family to this link to subscribe to Abundance Insider.

P.P.S. Want to learn more about exponential technologies and home in on your MTP/ Moonshot? Abundance Digital, a Singularity University Program, includes 100+ hours of coursework and video archives for entrepreneurs like you. Keep up to date on exponential news and get feedback on your boldest ideas from an experienced, supportive community. Click here to learn more and sign up.

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New gene editing technology could correct 89% of genetic defects.

What it is: Researchers at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard have now developed a new gene-editing technique called “prime editing.” Built upon the foundations of CRISPR technology, prime editing has the expected potential to correct up to 89 percent of genetic defects, including those responsible for diseases like sickle cell anemia. By combining the traditional CRISPR-Cas9 approach with a protein that can generate new DNA, prime editing can thereby both snip DNA strands and transfer edited sequences to target DNA, allowing scientists to delete and replace whole sections of DNA strands.

Why it’s important: Single point gene mutations constitute roughly two-thirds of known human genetic variants associated with disease. As a result, effective gene editing techniques—once perfected—could correct mutations and wipe out a number of debilitating conditions. As explained by one of the authors of the study, Andrew Anzalone, “The versatility of prime editing quickly became apparent as we developed this technology [...] The fact that we could directly copy new genetic information into a target site was a revelation.” Now refining the new prime editing technique, Broad Institute’s scientists hope future iterations of CRISPR could target everything from obesity to Alzheimer’s to some of today’s most vexing genetic maladies. |Share on Facebook.

NASA's collaborating with Caterpillar on Moon mining machines.

What it is: NASA has recently teamed up with autonomous construction vehicle manufacturer Caterpillar to develop machines for excavating and mining the Moon. The two have long collaborated on robotics projects, but it is the autonomous capabilities of Caterpillar’s vehicles that make the company uniquely positioned to develop technology for NASA's lunar exploration programs. According to NASA spokesperson Clare Skelly, “there are many synergies between what NASA needs to meet exploration goals and Caterpillar technologies used here on Earth.”

Why it’s important: On the heels of revived interest in lunar exploration and the goal of establishing a lunar base, NASA has been heavily pursuing methods to make tasks easier for astronauts. Given multiple hazards associated with navigating the lunar surface, semi-autonomous vehicles could minimize dangerous construction work done conducted directly by astronauts. Once validated and fully autonomous, Moon-mining machines might one day provide a continuous supply of raw materials, from dust to water, for NASA’s proposed lunar outpost. | Share on Facebook.

Tesla’s new Solar Roof costs less than a new roof plus solar panels, aims for install rate of 1K per week.

What it is: Tesla has just launched its third-generation Solar Roof for residential home use. Planning to start installations in the coming month, the company is now aiming for a production rate of up to 1,000 new roofs per week. Long a work in progress, Tesla’s Solar Roof is designed to double as both an aesthetically appealing roof tile and set of home power-generating solar panels with high surface area coverage. While the installation process remains “very non-trivial,” according to Elon Musk, Tesla hopes to gamify consumer installation learning through ‘installathons’ and is investing in R&D to lower this critical barrier.

Why it’s important: Although individual tiles’ power-gathering cells are still less energy-efficient than traditional solar cells, version three of the Solar Roof well exceeds the energy-generating capacity of similarly sized roofs retrofitted with traditional tiles, on balance. Furthermore, V3 marks a tremendous improvement over previous iterations of the Solar Roof, and Musk forecasts a total addressable market of up to 100 million households globally. As installation procedures plummet in complexity and cost, and solar continues to demonetize, self-sustaining and energy-efficient residences could fast become the norm worldwide.

Google Confirms Achieving Quantum Supremacy.

What it is: Google’s quantum computer, Sycamore, has just claimed “quantum supremacy” after completing a computation that would normally take 10,000 years on the most powerful supercomputers, in just 200 seconds. Led by experimental physicist John Martinis at UC Santa Barbara, the Google team published its feat in Nature magazine this week. Instead of traditional semiconductor computers, which store data in 1s or 0s, quantum bits (qubits) can exist in a third superposition state of both 0 and 1 simultaneously. With more degrees of bit variability, quantum computers can thereby perform exponentially more calculations per second than traditional computers. Quantum entanglement, described by Einstein as “spooky action at a distance,” then allows computers to measure entangled qbits at the same time. As Google’s Sycamore contains 54 qbits capable of storing over 10 quadrillion combinations of values, the tech giant now boasts the potential to tackle computational problems inconceivable in the past.

Why it’s important: While real-world applications of quantum computing may lie further on the horizon, Sycamore’s scientific achievement is a tremendous milestone for the many companies investing in this space already. In just the last two years, about US$400 million has been channeled towards private quantum-related firms—doubling investment figures of the past five years. Intel and IBM have demonstrated processors similar in scale to that of Sycamore, yet error-checking remains an issue for all three. Moving forward, Google aims to implement full error-checking once it can create processors with at least a million qubits. Currently, however, a second Google team is exploring how Sycamore-like computers can develop machine learning algorithms that generate realistic images. Meanwhile, competitor IBM offers quantum cloud access to partners such as drugmaker Merck. Even Airbus Ventures has invested in quantum startup IonQ, which may eventually aid in aircraft physics simulations. Spanning countless applications, the long-term vision of early investors in quantum computing will pay off sooner than you might think. |Share on Facebook.

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Conversation with Tony Robbins: Join me on Wednesday, October 30th at 12pm PT for an incredible conversation with Tony Robbins. We'll be discussing moonshots and mindsets, how to transform industries and cultures, and how to leverage technologies to dramatically improve your personal life and business success. Save your spot here.

Abundance 360 is a curated global community of 360 entrepreneurs, executives, and investors committed to understanding and leveraging exponential technologies to transform their businesses. A 3-day mastermind at the start of each year gives members information, insights and implementation tools to learn what technologies are going from deceptive to disruptive and are converging to create new business opportunities. To learn more and apply, visit A360.com

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Topics: Abundance Insider Robotics google solar solar energy autonomous vehicles Genetics CRISPR quantum computing nasa solar cells solar power solar roof extraplanetary colonies genetic engineering Caterpillar
12 min read

Abundance Insider: August 3rd, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Aug 3, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: SpaceX Starhopper's successful test hop, emotion-reading AIs, and SoftBank's second Vision Fund.

P.S. Send any tips to our team by clicking here, and send your friends and family to this link to subscribe to Abundance Insider.

P.P.S. Want to learn more about exponential technologies and home in on your MTP/ Moonshot? Abundance Digital, a Singularity University Program, includes 100+ hours of coursework and video archives for entrepreneurs like you. Keep up to date on exponential news and get feedback on your boldest ideas from an experienced, supportive community. Click here to learn more and sign up.

P.P.P.S. This week, in partnership with Sergey Young, my team at XPRIZE released a powerful Impact Roadmap outlining The Future of Longevity. I highly recommend taking a look. Click here to dive in.

SoftBank’s Second Vision Fund Is Set To Invest Over $108 Billion In AI Startups

What it is: SoftBank Group has just announced the launch of its $108 billion (to date) Vision Fund 2, dedicated to AI-based technology. Attracting a notable list of investors, the fund has achieved participation from limited partners Apple, Foxconn and Microsoft, among others. SoftBank itself will invest $38 billion in the fund (or approximately 35 percent of current funds). While already surpassed by its successor, SoftBank’s first Vision Fund offers a strong precedent, having yielded a 62 percent internal rate of return (IRR).

Why it’s important: Beyond an oncoming surge in capital flows to AI ventures and R&D, the Vision Fund 2 could solidify SoftBank’s position as the most influential international investor. The new fund is also slated to alter dynamics between startups, investors and corporate players like Microsoft, while decreasing SoftBank’s reliance on Saudi Arabian funds. Having invested in 24 out of 377 global unicorns, SoftBank now aims to retain its historically strong betting game and help birth a new generation of AI-driven disruptors. | Share on Facebook.
 

SpaceX Starship Prototype Takes 1st Free-Flying Test Hop

What it is: Dubbed Starhopper, SpaceX’s Starship prototype successfully completed its first untethered test flight last Thursday in Boca Chica, Texas. Resembling a large water tower with three legs wrapped in stainless steel, Starhopper ignited its single Raptor engine, conducting a straight hop to 65 feet (20 meters), then lowering itself back down in a controlled manner.

Why it’s important: Starhopper is a significant test bed for novel technologies underpinning SpaceX’s Starship and Super Heavy, which together constitute the company’s heavy-lift, fully reusable, high-capacity launch system and spacecraft. Designed to carry up to 100 people at a time, Starship could one day conduct multi-purpose trips to the Moon, Mars, and beyond, according to Musk. At the micro level, Starhopper thereby demonstrates the crucial role of rapid prototyping and iterative design in expediting (literal) moonshots. Yet at the macro level, SpaceX’s successful test — not to mention its rapid manufacturing of two full-scale ‘Mark 1’ Starships — are a testament to the booming revival of private space exploration | Share on Facebook.

In A 1st, Doctors In U.S. Use CRISPR Tool To Treat Patient With Genetic Disorder

What it is: Vertex Pharmaceuticals and CRISPR Therapeutics are now conducting the first-ever publicly recorded human study using CRISPR to treat a genetic disease. Striving to develop an effective therapy for patients with sickle cell disease, doctors first extract cells from patients’ bone marrow. These cells are then genetically modified with CRISPR to produce fetal hemoglobin, intended to counteract the defective proteins that result in sickle-shaped blood cells and thereby hinder oxygen transport. Patients next undergo the same chemotherapy administered as part of a standard bone marrow transplant. Yet once this process wipes out defect-carrying cells, patients receive billions of their own CRISPR-edited cells (as opposed to those contributed by a donor).

Why it’s important: This study marks significant progress on two fronts: not only is it an initial, formalized step in validating CRISPR’s use in human therapeutics, but it could pose tremendous implications for long-term treatment of sickle cell disease. As explained by Dr. Haydar Frangoul, “The hope is that [CRISPR] will provide a treatment option for all patients, including those who can’t find a matched donor.” By leveraging a patient’s own cells, this and similar CRISPR treatments could expand the field of personalized medicine and render quantifiable extensions of the human healthspan. | Share on Facebook.

Tesla’s Megapack Battery Is Big Enough To Help Grids Handle Peak Demand

What it is: Tesla’s new Megapack battery can store up to 3 megawatt hours (MWh) of energy at a time, while using only 60 percent of the space and one tenth of the components required by comparable energy storage units. If strung together, however, a sufficient number of Megapacks could theoretically provide over 1 GWh of energy storage. According to Tesla, this would be “enough to power every home in San Francisco for six hours.” Already, Tesla reports it will deliver fully-assembled Megapacks to utility firms like Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), which initially plans to deploy the batteries in Monterrey Bay, California.

Why it’s important: Today, “peaker” power plants are often responsible for providing energy when peak demand exceeds local electrical grid capacity. Yet Tesla’s highly efficient Megapacks could soon offer a more stable alternative. Particularly as Tesla’s new battery can be assembled ten times more quickly than alternative solutions, Megapacks are well-positioned for deployment at scale vis-a-vis established utility companies. Even though Tesla’s solar panel installation rate reached an all-time low in Q2 2019, the company’s focus on energy storage ventures continues to surge: both Powerwall home batteries and industrial Powerpacks reached record high deployment rates this year. As Megapacks begin populating the market, our societal shift toward renewable energy sources may soon pick up speed.| Share on Facebook.

AI Is Getting More In Touch With Your Emotions

What it is: EmoNet, a deep neural network model developed by researchers at Duke University and the University of Colorado, can now classify images into distinct emotional categories. Using parameters like color, spatial power spectra (think: one’s facial ‘layout’), and the presence of objects or stimuli, the AI can then classify an image featuring almost any facial expression into one of eleven distinct emotional categories. Developed using a database of 2,185 videos spanning 27 emotion categories, EmoNet is even capable of distinguishing expressions indicative of “craving” and “horror.”

Why it’s important: While AI may not (yet) be capable of appropriating human emotions, innovations like EmoNet indicate the technology’s increasing ability to discern and act upon human expression data. Perhaps most notably, emotion-reading AIs could play a tremendous role in clinical trial data analysis, scientific survey design, and even mental health diagnoses. Researchers who previously relied on self-reports of emotional state now have an objective and qualitatively accurate tool at their disposal. As elaborated by lead researcher Phillip Kragel, “Moving away from subjective labels such as 'anxiety' and 'depression' towards brain processes could lead to new targets for therapeutics, treatments, and interventions.”  | Share on Facebook.

Scientists Cook Up New Recipes For Taking Salt Out Of Seawater

What it is: Researchers from the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have developed a new form of “thermally responsive” ionic liquids capable of desalinating salt water. Yet instead of using electricity, these ionic liquids use thermal energy, rendering a far more cost-effective solution than traditional desalination techniques. Partnering with the Berkeley Lab’s Molecular Foundry, the team discovered that the proximity of an ionic liquid’s organic components to its positively charged ions has a direct impact on the number of water molecules it can extract from seawater. Once tweaked accordingly, the team’s ionic liquid samples were able to separate freshwater from salt with far greater efficiency.

Why it’s important: Today, over 2 billion people rely on drinking water sources contaminated with human waste, and projections indicate that nearly half the world’s population will live in water-stressed areas by 2025. 72 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered in water, yet contemporary desalination systems remain highly energy-intensive. Now, however, innovations such as the Berkeley Lab’s modified ionic liquids could give rise to low-cost, scalable desalination — converting one of our most abundant commodities (seawater) into one of our most vital resources. | Share on Facebook.

What is Abundance Insider?

This email is a briefing of the week's most compelling, abundance-enabling tech developments, curated by my team of entrepreneurs and technology scouts, including contributions from standout technology experts and innovators.

Want more conversations like this?

At Abundance 360, a Singularity University program, we teach the metatrends, implications and unfair advantages for entrepreneurs enabled by breakthroughs like those featured above. We're looking for CEOs and entrepreneurs who want to change the world. The program is highly selective. If you'd like to be considered, apply here

Abundance Digital, a Singularity University program, is an online educational portal and community of abundance-minded entrepreneurs. You’ll find weekly video updates from Peter, a curated newsfeed of exponential news, and a place to share your bold ideas. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Know someone who would benefit from getting Abundance Insider? Send them to this link to sign up.

Topics: Abundance Insider Space Energy AI Artificial Intellegence capital SpaceX biotech Genetics CRISPR rockets energy storage energy abundance water softbank
14 min read

Abundance Insider: November 24th, 2018

By Peter H. Diamandis on Nov 24, 2018

In this week's Abundance Insider: Autonomous house-building bots, Dubai Police hoverbikes, and how DIY'ers are using AI.

Cheers,
Peter, Marissa, Kelley, Greg, Bri, Jarom, Joseph, Derek, Jason, Claire and Max

P.S. Send any tips to our team by clicking here, and send your friends and family to this link to subscribe to Abundance Insider.

P.P.S. Want to learn more about exponential technologies and hone in on your MTP/ Moonshot? Abundance Digital includes 100+ hours of course work and video archives for entrepreneurs, like you. Keep up to date on exponential news and get feedback on your boldest ideas from an experienced, supportive community. Click here to learn more and sign up.

P.P.P.S. This week we feature the work of two of Peter's Strike Force Fellows. The Strike Force Fellowship Program aims to connect & empower young entrepreneurs to find their MTP, take moonshots and leverage exponential technologies as they start their careers. To learn more about the program, and to meet the Fellows, visit this page.

Topics: Abundance Insider Space 3D Printing Transportation Artificial Intellegence Drones SpaceX biotech CRISPR construction
14 min read

Abundance Insider: September 29th

By Peter H. Diamandis on Sep 29, 2018

In this week's Abundance Insider: CRISPR addiction resistance, universal robotic skins, and swarm AI diagnosing pneumonia.

Cheers,
Peter, Marissa, Kelley, Greg, Bri, Jarom, Joseph, Derek, Jason, Claire and Max

P.S. Send any tips to our team by clicking here, and send your friends and family to this link to subscribe to Abundance Insider.

P.P.S. Last week, Abundance Digital streamed an exclusive webinar with Ray Kurzweil. If you missed it, or wish to watch again, you can view the recording here.

 

AI-Human “Hive Mind” Diagnoses Pneumonia

What it is: Unanimous AI — the company behind the Swarm AI system that correctly predicted the Kentucky Derby superfecta and the final score at the Super Bowl — has moved into healthcare. Partnering with Stanford University School of Medicine, the team worked with eight radiologists in different locations to read X-rays of possible pneumonia. The doctors read the X-rays and rendered an opinions in real time, while the AI system determined tallied the results based not only on the collective decision but their confidence levels as well. The resulting assessments were 33 percent more accurate than individual practitioners, and 22 percent more accurate than CheXNet, a machine learning algorithm from Stanford that previously beat out radiologists last year on a similar task.

Why it's important: We often think about AI systems as replacing human intelligence rather than facilitating collaboration to improve decisionmaking. What other problems can we solve through increased connection and biologically inspired innovation?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

CRISPR Gene Editing Creates Cocaine-Proof Mice, Aims To Crack Addiction Puzzle

What it is: Researchers from the University of Chicago recently used CRISPR to genetically engineer cocaine resistance into mice. After receiving the gene editing treatment, the subjected mice were less likely to seek out cocaine. The mice became immune to overdosing on amounts of cocaine that would kill mice without the treatment. To accomplish this feat, the researchers used the enzyme butyrylcholinesterase (BCHE), which naturally breaks down cocaine. Because this enzyme cannot be administered orally and is short-lived in the bloodstream, there’s no way to maintain the enzyme in high enough concentrations for it to effectively combat cocaine. To approach this, the researchers used CRISPR to modify skin cells (which were grafted onto the mice) to more readily secrete BCHE, thereby replenishing the rapidly broken down BCHE in the bloodstream.

Why it's important: Extraordinary progress is being made every day in the biotech and genomics world. Earlier this month in Abundance Insider, we saw CRISPR gene editing to eradicate malaria-carrying mosquitoes. Prior to that, we saw CRISPR used to cure muscular dystrophy in dogs. Mitigating the effects of cocaine in mice may one day have profound applications for combating cocaine addiction in humans, saving countless human lives and helping many others overcome their addictions. What other diseases, disorders and addictions can researchers address in the CRISPR revolution?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Max Goldberg 

Machine-Learning System Tackles Speech And Object Recognition, All At Once

What it is: In a new win for machine learning, MIT computer scientists have just developed an AI system that can identify objects within an image based only on a spoken description of the image’s features. With an input image and accompanying audio caption, the model can highlight described regions of the picture in real time, associating pixels with their corresponding descriptions, such as “girl,” “brown eyes,” “red roof,” and any other verbal descriptor. Unlike most current speech-recognition technologies, however, the model needs neither manual transcriptions nor annotations of those examples on which the system is trained, instead learning words directly from recorded speech and objects within raw images.

Why it's important: While currently capable of recognizing only several hundred different words and object types, this combined speech-object recognition technique is quickly advancing and could one day save a tremendous amount of time in manual labor. As explained by CSAIL researcher David Harwath, “We got the idea of training a model in a manner similar to walking a child through the world and narrating what you’re seeing.” And with this much more organic and data-light model, a variety of applications abound. One use case, for instance, might involve language translation, whereby the model would use two different-language speakers describing the same image, parsing the language signals from each description and matching words on the basis of their correspondence to objects in the same image.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

Building A Better Brain-In-A-Dish, Faster And Cheaper

What it is: What: Researchers at the University of San Diego School of Medicine have developed a proof-of-principle procedure for rapidly and cost-effectively creating cortical organoids from primary somatic cells -- think of these as mini sections of a brain on a dish. Organoids have been useful in studying the developing brain, sidestepping a number of difficulties inherent to studying the developing brain, but have been expensive and time-consuming to produce. In a process published in “Stem Cells and Development” last month, the UCSD team was able to compress and optimize a number of steps in the traditional process, generating a large number of cortical organoids with only minor manipulation required.

Why it's important: The potential use cases for this are vast, from creating repositories for testing to studying the potential genetic causes of disorders to more generally understanding human variability in cognition. With a large roadblock to experimentation and discovery removed, look for insight into neurological disorders to accelerate, not to mention a potential adjacent benefit in brain-computer interfaces.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Dave Carder / Written by Jason Goodwin 

This “Robotic Skin” Can Turn Pretty Much Anything Into A Robot

What it is: Yale researchers have developed hardware that turns any inanimate object into a robot. The researchers originally developed this hardware for NASA, so that actuation and sensor technology could be repurposed and recycled while in space. Applications demonstrated by the researchers include enabling locomotion of a toy horse and a variety of foam objects. Beyond bringing everyday objects to life and multiplexing space hardware, these soft robotics can augment humans as wearables. A video from the research group shows a wearable application of the robotic skin applied to a person’s back. The sensors in the robotic skin detect posture, and the actuators in the robotic skin can activate to help the person be aware that they should straighten their back if they slip into a bad posture.

Why it's important: Today’s robots typically excel at narrow tasks in highly curated environments. They often lack the ability to adapt to the natural world around them. Imagine future iterations with more degrees of freedom, different types of actuation, and more powerful sensors. Embedding artificial intelligence within the soft robotics will one day enable a user to merely apply a robotic skin to an object, specify an action, and watch as the robotic skin teaches itself to locomote the object as instructed.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Max Goldberg 

The 'Game-Changing’ Technique To Create Babies From Skin Cells Just Stepped Forward

What it is: Scientists in Japan have recently found a way to generate precursors to human egg cells in a dish with the sole ingredient of a woman’s blood cells. Researchers have already been successful in creating egg cells from mouse tail cells (viable for fertilization), and now, researchers like Mitinori Saitou at Japan’s Kyoto University are trying to replicate these methods for human gametes. After creating stem cells from human blood cells, Saitou and his team guided them to develop into “primordial” reproductive cells. And while at a very early stage of egg development, the nascent cells were kept alive for an unprecedented four months, developing into oogonia -- precursors of mature egg cells, which appear in the first trimester of pregnancy.

Why it's important: While not yet at the milestone of a mature human egg capable of being fertilized to create an embryo, the study is a tremendous leap towards one day achieving human “in vitro gametogenesis” and revolutionizing modern-day reproduction. “This is farther than anyone has ever gotten with human eggs before,” said Stanford’s Henry Greely. And while in vitro gamete production poses tremendous implications to reproduction and accelerated genetic screening in the long-term, many in the field already foresee current applications for the technology. With large numbers of developing reproductive cells, researchers could systematically test and probe how medicines or environmental conditions affect human eggs as well as the impact of chemotherapy, toxic chemicals or radiation.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

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.

Want more conversations like this?

At Abundance 360, Peter's 360-person executive mastermind, we teach the metatrends, implications and unfair advantages for entrepreneurs enabled by breakthroughs like those featured above. We're looking for CEOs and entrepreneurs who want to change the world. The program is highly selective. If you'd like to be considered, apply here

Abundance Digital is Peter’s online educational portal and community of abundance-minded entrepreneurs. You’ll find weekly video updates from Peter, a curated newsfeed of exponential news, and a place to share your bold ideas. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Know someone who would benefit from getting Abundance Insider? Send them to this link to sign up.

Topics: Abundance Insider Artificial Intellegence soft robotics biotech CRISPR
11 min read

Abundance Insider: September 7th

By Peter H. Diamandis on Sep 7, 2018

In this week's Abundance Insider: Graphene retinas, dancing deepfakes, and CRISPR curbs muscular dystrophy in dogs.

Cheers,
Peter, Marissa, Kelley, Greg, Bri, Jarom, Joseph, Derek, Jason, Claire and Max

P.S. Send any tips to our team by clicking here, and send your friends and family to this link to subscribe to Abundance Insider.

P.P.S. Next week, Abundance Digital will be streaming an exclusive webinar with Ray Kurzweil. Join us on September 14th, 12 pm PST to hear Ray and Peter discuss the dangerous ideas that will transform humanity in the 21st century. Register for free here. If you can’t join live, we will send a recording to the email address you provide.

Easy-to-Make Videos Can Show You Dancing Like the Stars

What it is: A team of researchers at UC Berkeley has developed an AI motion transfer technique to superimpose the moves of professional dancers onto any amateur ('target') in seamless video. By first mapping the target's movements onto a stick figure, Caroline Chan and her team create a database of frames, each frame associated with a stick-figure pose. They then use this database to train a machine-vision system called a generative adversarial network (GAN), which generates an image of the target person based on a given stick-figure pose. Map a series of poses from the source video to the target, frame-by-frame, and soon anyone could be a Michael Jackson, a Ginger Rogers or a world-class ballerina — take your pick.

Why it's important: Somewhat reminiscent of AI-generated "deepfakes," this development of full-body motion transfer marks significant progress, largely given the minimal nature of its data inputs. While former AI-driven frame-by-frame image transfers would usually require multiple sensors and cameras to build a 3D picture of someone's pose, Chan and her team are able to use 2D video taken from a single camera, even a smartphone. But aside from this technical advantage, the use of generative adversarial networks in film could tremendously disrupt entertainment, bringing legendary performers back to the screen and granting anyone virtual stardom.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

Graphene Artificial Retinas Could Help Millions See Again

What it is: Presenting at an American Chemical Society meeting, an international team of researchers shared their pioneering work in leveraging the high flexibility and optical versatility of graphene to create artificial retinas. They combined graphene with materials like molybdenum disulfide, gold, alumina, and silicon nitrate to form transparent, flexible structures that can be used to register incoming light signals. While these aren't yet functional, biomedical retina replacements, their ability to register light signals is a foundational first step.

Why it's important: Millions of people currently suffer from retina diseases, and today's artificial implants are rigid and flat -- not the ideal replacement for our flexible, curved natural retinas. More broadly, a transition to carbon-based electronics would leverage the sheer abundance of carbon here on Earth and elsewhere in the universe. Imagine a future in which you can sequester carbon dioxide from the air (CO2 composes over 95 percent of Martian air), separate out the carbon, and print a wide range of electronic (or biomedical) devices at scale.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Max Goldberg / Written by Max Goldberg and Marissa Brassfield 

Nestle is Using DNA to Create Personalized Diets

What it is: In a massive push to acquire cleaner labels and sell healthier products, Nestlé is now piloting a personalized nutrition program in Japan, boasting 100,000 program participants to date. Using AI, DNA testing and meal analysis to collect consumer data on diet and health, the Nestlé "Wellness Ambassador" aims to fine-tune personalized nutrition and extend the lifespan of an aging population. With an annual subscription of roughly $600, participants receive an in-home DNA collection kit, learn about personalized supplements, and can post photos of all their meals in exchange for AI-recommended dietary changes.

Why it's important: As the global population grows older — with over 12 percent aged 60 or older in 2015 — personalized nutrition and functional foods have long become lucrative markets. Today’s market for health-related products alone has been valued at an estimated $15 billion. And as stated by Kozo Takaoka, CEO of Nestlé Japan, "Nestlé must address [health problems associated with food and nutrition] on a global basis and make it our mission for the 21st century." But it is largely more health-conscious consumers that have spurred this trend, pushing food giants like Nestlé to spend billions on acquiring firms ranging from medical research to nutraceuticals. And as household brands start creating treasure troves of genetic and dietary data, personalized nutrition may soon enter the mainstream.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

CRISPR Halts Muscular Dystrophy in Dogs

What it is: Researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center used CRISPR to reverse the gene defect causing Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) in dogs. DMD is the most common fatal genetic disease in children, and a decade ago, a group of pups began displaying symptoms of the canine version of DMD. The research team added CRISPR editing instructions to a virus that likes to attack muscle cells and injected four DMD-inflicted dogs with millions of copies of the virus. The canine-patients experienced a 50 percent increase in leg muscle dystrophin levels (dystrophin is the protein absent in DMD), and more than a 90 percent increase in the heart. These results were astounding -- researchers estimate that only a 15 percent increase in dystrophin would bring curative results. While researchers are still studying the long-term effects of the treatment), for now, “they saw no adverse effects. Instead they saw puppies who could play again.”

Why it's important: This is the first time CRISPR has been used on a large mammal. The ability to alter genes in vivo is game-changing in our fight against disease. The funding mechanism for this DMD research is also fascinating: the University of Texas researchers partnered with a startup called Exonics, which licensed the DMD CRISPR treatment technology and are now working on human trials to bring the cure to market. Exonics is backed by "venture philanthropy," in which large nonprofits make venture capital investments to directly drive solutions via market forces and innovation. The nonprofit behind Exonics is the venture arm of CureDuchenne, which has leveraged a total of $1.3 billion in follow-on financing to accelerate DMD research.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Max Goldberg and Marissa Brassfield / Written by Max Goldberg 

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