Lately I’ve been hearing and reading a number of stories about how scientists are now looking into what role various collections of microbes play in maintaining our health. For some people suffering from Clostridium difficile infections, the required antibiotics can throw these microbes out of whack. There is hope now for these people, however, in the form of fecal transplants. That’s right, you can be saved by someone else’s poop. And this is no laughing matter, 14,000 people die from this infection every year.
Seriously though, if you have to put someone else’s poop into my bowels via a tube in my nose, I’d seriously consider dying instead.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, commonly known as DARPA is attempting to create a computer that will mimic the neocortex, or the part of the brain responsible for higher brain functions. I’m uncertain what the actual purpose of this computer would be other than just being really powerful new computer, but I’m sure DARPA has something in mind.
It’s either the birth of Skynet or the backup plan to several failed “brain in jar” experiments.
My desire for coffee made by robots will soon become reality, all thanks to the Briggo Coffee Haus. Leaps and bounds above the old school coffee vending machines that usually serve out coffee I wouldn’t give to my worst enemy, this new industrial robot will make a custom cup of coffee just the way you like it by means of a touch screen or an iPhone app. The company plans to market their robots to places that don’t have coffee houses such as airports, hotels, and office buildings.
I love the fact that they aren’t trying to compete with actual coffee houses, but I’m also hopeful that this thing can make coffee quickly so I don’t have to wait ten minutes for a cup.
There is a ranch out in Texas that is a bit unusual. Instead of raising cattle or sheep, they raise the dead, in a manner of speaking. This ranch is used by the Forensic Anthropology Center at Texas State University in San Marcos to study how bodies decompose. All the bodies come from people who agreed to this before they died, which answers my long standing question of what happens to bodies donated to science. Every day students photograph the state of decay and note any insect activity present.
This is admittedly a bit weird, but it also provides necessary scientific data to help in the investigation of how someone died. I’m also pretty sure I’ve seen something like this on an episode of Bones.