The 1st Question - 1 May 2011 - Questions

1) You need organs and complex biological structures, but your local store is out of Chinese dissident organs, and no one on Death Row matches your blood type... Will we ever see the day of a hydroponic type of organ farm? Possibly, as researchers have discovered that complex structures like the optic cup can arise spontaneously. At this countries Center for Developmental Biology, new work with stem cells is truly amazing. From a homogeneous mass of embryonic stem cells, a sophisticated three-dimensional tissue spontaneously emerged. This type of self-organization means scientists could potentially grow many kinds of organs in the laboratory. In which country was a complex optic cup, spontaneously grown?

2) After you can man make all the parts, you still need an artificial brain to make your robot really work. French scientists in 2010 created the first computer transistor to work like a brain's synaptic connection. Now, a carbon nanotube synapse circuit has been created by researchers in Southern California which actually behaves like a human neuron in tests. These nanotubes can be used in electronic circuits, acting as metallic conductors or semiconductors. Might an artificial brain be far behind which has 100 billion neurons and 10,000 synapses per neuron? Isaac Asimov answered this question in his short story called "Reason". He wrote of a certain kind of brain that would be the center of the robots OS, being recognizable to humans in its interaction, what kind of brain did he write of?

3) You are a struggling superpower that just retired your space shuttle, NASA will be totally dependent on the Russian Soyuz to ferry astronauts to and from the International Space Station (ISS) at a cost of $63 million per seat. Yet the United States has a critical need for American commercial human spaceflight, soooo with NASA’s support, SpaceX will be ready to fly its first manned mission in 2014. The upcoming SpaceX Dragon will be able to land on any planet in the solar system, any planet with a solid surface, that is. The Dragon’s designed to carry seven astronauts at a time to the Space Station at a cost of how much per seat?

4) ConnctedTV is bound to be making a huge splash within the next decade. Three months ago a man launched an app that allows people to share what they are watching on television, are we so bored that there is a lot of interest in this space? Adam Cahan recently sold his nascent company to Yahoo for between $20- $30 million, and it works in a similar way to the music identifying service Shazam, only with television. It scans the audio waves from your TV set and identifies which show you are watching, so users can then tell their friends on Twitter and Facebook. Adam is now a VP at Yahoo – what was his “what are you watching” business called?

5) For those who follow the show, you know we love bacon, its well-known. And we also love vending machines. It was a very positive experience with chicklets at a subway station years ago that has led me to this lifelong appreciation. Now there is something to roll on about. With the rise of medical marijuana, it should come as no surprise that a vending machine for smoking accessories is also making an appearance. No, it won’t dispense marihuana, we might have to wait a few years for that, but it is a one stop shopping for accessories. David Levine is the man behind what newest vending machine on the market?

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