News of the Ultranet


    With this issue, Ubiquity Magazine is celebrating its first birthday. It seems fitting in this anniversary edition of Ubiquity to follow up on last year's "News of the Ultranet". Here are some reviews of the year's developments.



    Biology and the Life Sciences
    Biotechnology: Among the year's developments are
(1)  the Second Coming Project's plan to clone Jesus;
(2)  the gestation of an endangered species (a gaur) using a cow as a surrogate mother;
(3)  a program to employ a network of home computers to help calculate protein folding outcomes; and
(4)  an organized plan to overthrow evolution with church-based creationism.
    Four subsections are as follows:

   Breakthrough in Prolongevity?
    A stunning breakthrough may have occurred this year in longevity research.
    Alzheimer's studies are closing in on the causes and hopefully, on cures for Alzheimer's Disease, and are also stimulating the development of "smart drugs", such as galantamine, that could have revolutionary consequences for the boosting of human intelligence. The boosting of human intelligence could, perhaps, be an "enabling technology" that puts progress in "fast forward".
    Neurosciences are making rapid progress toward understanding the brain. Among key developments are the discovery that new stem cells stimulated by natural growth factor can mature into neurons, that stem cells have restored movement in paralyzed mice, and that a protein that stimulates nerve cells may target mental retardation and nerve regeneration.

    Diseases revealing their secrets include Parkinson's Disease, diabetes, lupus, and pancreatic cancer (for which a vaccine is under development). Drugs are reported that act against rhuematoid arthritis and Lou Gehrig's disease, as well as a vaccine the might prevent certain types of childhood leukemia.

  Computer Technology Forecasts
    The big computer technology news is that Intel has announced its capability to maintain the present rate of computer technology improvements through at least 2010, and possibly, through 2020.  News releases throughout the year at "Computers and the Internet" describe immersive 3-D for the Internet, wraparound displays, the "bold new world of telecommuting", the approaching era of tele-immersion, 3-D movies on your PC, buckyball transistors, IBM's 9- megapixel, 200-dpi, "printed page" displays, free computer help, clothes that think, and the printing of 3-D structures and of low-cost semiconductors on plastic substrates.

   Energy reviews development in alternative energy sources, including thermonuclear progress, automotive fuel cells, biomass, and solar energy. One pundit suggests that we'll be generating our own power from natural gas within ten years.

  Climate and Global Warming
     "Myself, when young did eagerly frequent
            Doctor and saint and heard great argument
      About it and about, and evermore,
            Came out by the same door where in I went."
                                                 ---the Rubaiyet
     Climate and global warming are discussed on the hyperlinked page.

    Gadgets and Software
    Among the gadgets described in the June issue of "Ubiquity" are a $600 folding electric scooter, a $237 full-featured dgital camera (the Kodak 215), cheap digital cameras for less than $100.
   
History, Anthropology, and Archeology reports on a meteorite that may be older than the earth, upon the revivification of 250,000,000-year-old bacteria (which supports Svante Arrhenius'  panspermia hypothesis of the origin of terrestial life), the first European male, and a find that pushes the human fossil record back another 1.600.000 years

  Internet: Present and Projected
    This section reviews and updates free Internet service providers, while forecasting some Internet technology developments.
   
Miscellaneous reviews the major events of 2000, and the anticipated developments in 2001. It discusses a cast taken of Bigfoot's backside, tests how far you can push the U. S. postal service, and observes that even the Queen no longer speaks the Queen's English. It deals with mental decline and the "high flying obsessives". It reviews the best science books of the year 2000, explains that rather than "dumbing down", we're "clevering up", and notes that Australian humpback whales are suddenly singing a different song. It introduces you to an electric scooter, a digital camera, and an Internet video camera.

    Physics and Astronomy describes giant telescopes in the works, the search for the Higgs boson, entangled photons, splitting the electron, faster-than-light transmissions, dark matter, carbon nanotubes (that might some day permit an elevator to orbit), water flows on Mars, the weighing of the universe, and "dark energy".

  Robotics: The Gathering Wave
   This section provides links to some key sources of robotics developments. Mobile household robotics devices are coming steadily closer, including a few that are already available.

    Space reports the discovery of extra-solar planets as small as Saturn, and mentions the Fermi Paradox, new evidence of extraterrestial life in meteorites, the discovery of liquid water on three moons, mounting evidence of recent liquid water on Mars, and other fascinating links.

    Technology revisits aircars, describes a supersonic business jet that may eliminate sonic booms, and includes discussions of 3-D printing, the next 10 years in intelligent automotive transportation systems, thermoacoustic refrigerators and engines, a new approach to magnetically levitated vehicles, self-powered glowing plastic, nanotechnology, and Arthur C. Clarke.