The South China Morning Post tells us that the first organ transplant surgery from pig to human could be as little as two years away. Chinese scientists have had huge success with the experimental procedures recently, showing that other animals can live for long periods of time after receiving transplants from pigs.
The focus is on growing new livers, hearts, and other organs to be used in humans.
Pig organs are considered the best animal candidate for transplants to humans because they are most similar in terms of size and metabolism. In recent years, researchers from around the world have achieved a series of breakthroughs using pig organs in xenotransplantation.
Anyone else wondering what it would be like to have a pig-liver? Or to be pig-hearted?
For all those Game of Thrones (we’re talking the novels, not the TV series) junkies out there, there’s hope for knowing what happens after the book series ends. A software engineer has built an AI recurrent neural network that “learned” from George R.R. Martin’s series and wrote five final chapters to the last book.
The weird thing? Though much of the language is barely coherent, some of it actually makes sense. And it predicts plot lines that many fans have predicted as well.
We’re not going to spoil it for you, but if you’re interested, read about the predictions here.
Waaay back in 1997, NASA launched a probe called Cassini to explore SaturnAm and its moons. Fast-forward SEVEN (yes, SEVEN) years later, and the probe arrives at Saturn and lands on one of its moons. Since then, it’s been collecting a ton of data about Saturn and its moons.
Now, Cassini is also almost out of the propellent that helps her move through space. While she was hanging out around Saturn, one thing she discovered is that the moon called Enceladus has the potential to have alien life. Worrying that Cassini could lose control and crash when she runs out of propellent, and thus introduce bacteria that could make things difficult for the potential life forms, the scientists have decided to blow up the probe. They started a death spiral on April 22. The fiery conclusion will be on Sept. 15.
There are a lot more details and interesting facts about the explosion. It’s worth reading the whole piece!
Amazon seems to be personally invested in the engineering program at Arizona State University. This year, the school opened a new dorm for first-year engineering students. For the dorm, Amazon donated 1,600 Echo Dots to encourage engineering students to practice voice user interface.
Amazon also provided the school with developer kits to add to ASU’s curriculum. This year, Amazon started paying developers who have created Alexa skills with the highest engagements in the US, UK, and Germany.
So Amazon obviously has an ulterior motive for this generosity. Will it pay off? We don’t know — ask Alexa.
Changes are coming for the iPhone 8, set to be launched in September.
There are a lot of changes, but the biggest rumor people are talking about? No more home button. The home button really hasn’t changed since the first it first debuted in 2007. The rumor is that the button will go by the wayside, replaced with new gesture controls for certain tasks.
Two other phones are expected to be released in September, too. They will include the same screens as the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus, but with faster processors.