Nuclear Power: Game Over
Every second humans globally consume 15,000 gigawatts (GW) of power, in oil, coal, gas, nuclear, and renewables all added together. That is an enormous number, equivalent to switching on 5 billion electric kettles. Yet even so, this figure is 5000 times less than the average solar power hitting the earth’s surface. So given the inherent risks, limited resources, legacy issues and declining popularity, why are we still talking about nuclear energy? It’s Game Over for nuclear, and here’s why…
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Rejuvenating the Brain: Ageing with Cognitive Sparkle
Statistically, 1 in 3 girls born in 2011 can expect to live to 100. As this happens, our attention will focus more and more on how we will be able to maintain a good quality of life in the latter 25-30 years of this elongated lifespan. Since the incidence of dementia rises to 1 in 3 people by age 85, the fear of progressive loss of a functioning and creative brain is a stark statistical reality. Yet can advances in our understanding of the brain actually prevent – and even reverse – decline in brain function? The answer seems to be yes.
A Brave New World: Understanding the Ethics of Human Enhancement
Drug therapies, genetic interventions, mechanical augmentation – for decades debate has raged about the ethics of using science to enhance human physical and mental capacities above the upper limits for our species. As technology enables increasingly drastic options for the human race, this issue is set to become the most important debate to ever face our species. Are enhancements unethical, even if they are likely to benefit humanity as a whole? Is there some ethical line we should not cross, and if so, where is it?
Cell Therapies – Australia Playing Catch-up?
Australia, like the rest of the Western world, is facing the challenges of an ageing population, rapidly rising health costs, near-stagnant economic development and a decline in traditional manufacturing industries. Regenerative Medicine, which includes cellular and gene therapies, not only offers a new paradigm in the treatment of previously incurable diseases, it promises to be an exciting new advanced manufacturing and export opportunity. Australia has the skills and the capacity to be a world-leader, but are slow policy change and a lack of government initiative leaving Australia in the dust?