The consequences of cheap oil

In Americas, Europe News, World News on February 26, 2016 at 10:31 am

By Tom Harford

After years in which $100 oil was the norm, the price of Brent crude is now around a third of that. Assume for a moment that Russia and Saudi Arabia fail in their efforts to get the price back up. Will $30 oil change the world? The answer is yes, of course. Everything is connected to everything else in economics, and that is particularly true when it comes to oil. For all the talk of the weightless economy, we’re not quite so post-industrial as to be able to ignore the cost of energy. Because oil is versatile and easy to transport, it remains the lubricant for the world’s energy system.

The rule of thumb has always been that while low oil prices are bad for the planet, they’re good for the economy. Last year a report from PwC estimated that…

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The AI Revolution: The Road to Superintelligence *

In Tech on February 26, 2016 at 10:30 am

By Tim Urban

We are on the edge of change comparable to the rise of human life on Earth. — Vernor Vinge

The Far Future—Coming Soon

Imagine taking a time machine back to 1750—a time when the world was in a permanent power outage, long-distance communication meant either yelling loudly or firing a cannon in the air, and all transportation ran on hay. When you get there, you retrieve a dude, bring him to 2015, and then walk him around and watch him react to everything. It’s impossible for us to understand what it would be like for him to see shiny capsules racing by on a highway, talk to people who had been on the other side of the ocean earlier in the day, watch sports that were being played 1,000 miles away, hear a musical performance that happened 50 years ago, and play with my magical wizard rectangle that he could use to capture a real-life image or record…

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Scientists claim they can create babies without men by injecting eggs with artificial sperm

In Europe News, Tech on February 26, 2016 at 10:29 am

By John Von Radowitz

The Chinese team says the new discovery could pave the way for exciting new treatments to boost male fertility

Scientists have claimed they have found a way for women to have babies without men by creating artificial sperm.

The team from China claim they have created healthy mouse babies by injecting laboratory-made sperm into eggs to produce mouse offspring.

The scientists claim their stem cell technique could pave the way for new treatments for male fertility.

But British experts have called for the results to be independently verified and pointed out that any practical application is likely to be a long way off.

The mouse cells produced were technically “spermatids” – undeveloped sperm that lack tails and cannot swim.

Yet when they were injected into…

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