WIRED April 2018

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The Wired mission is to tell the world something they've never heard before in a way they've never seen before. It's about turning new ideas into everyday reality. It's about seeding our community of influencers with the ideas that will shape and transform our collective future. Wired readers want to know how technology is changing the world, and they're interested in big, relevant ideas, even if those ideas challenge their assumptions—or blow their minds.

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1 мин.
welcome to the life issue

We’re all going to die! ¶ Before we get too far into an entire issue about the many ways that science and technology are extending, altering, optimizing, and disrupting every stage of human life, we may as well get the bad news out of the way: Despite the efforts of humanity’s greatest minds, we’ve yet to find a way of perpetuating physical vitality or individual consciousness indefinitely. As of press time, it appears that each of us, sooner or later, will die. ¶ It’s the sooner or later, though the stuff between conception and death that is a moving target. From the day we’re born until our final winding down, we’re adapting to technology as technology is adapting to us. Geneticists and biotechnologists are reengineering our bodies. Revolutions in consumer…

2 мин.
capturing the flower of life

To illustrate the stages of human life, from birth to death, Montreal-based photographer Nik Mirus turned to flowers. Working with set designer Camille Boyer, his images seen on the cover and at the opening of each section in the issue-offer a minimalist, graphic approach to this month’s theme. “The set represented the body—evolving, changing, growing, falling apart,” Mirus says. His biggest challenge was finding a diverse array of flowers in frigid Quebec, right aftfter Valentine’s Day. PETER RUBIN WIRED platforms editor Peter Rubin has been reporting on virtual reality since 2013. Now that more people have headsets, VR experiences are bringing them together in some remarkable ways including marriage. On page 58, Rubin chronicles the virtual wedding of two real people who met in a VR game. “Because you’re truly embodying your…

1 мин.
alpha version age 00-12

SYSTEM ERRORS HEALTH ISSUES HIT US IN DIFFERENT WAYS AT DIFFERENT AGES. HERE ARE SOME BIG ONES SCIENCE AND TECH ARE HELPING TO SOLVE. ALLERGIES Roughly 8 percent of kids in the US suffer from food allergies—often from peanuts. Epicutaneous immunotherapy could help. It’s a skin patch with a layer of peanut protein that activates immune cells that travel to the lymph nodes (which help control allergic response) without entering the bloodstream. The patch is still in trials, but the hope is that it will promote tolerance without triggering a nutty reaction. AUTISM Studies show that interventions before age 4 result in significant gains in cognition, language, and adaptive behavior, but autism is difficult to predict early enough. Scientists have used artificial intelligence to create a method for analyzing brain connectivity in babies’ fMRIs; it…

9 мин.
the end of infertility

ABOUT 40 YEARS AGO, LOUISE BROWN, the first human created using in vitro fertilization, was conceived in a petri dish. Not long after her birth, Leon Kass, a prominent biologist and ethicist at the University of Chicago, wrung his hands about the then-revolutionary technology of joining sperm and egg outside the body. The mere existence of the baby girl, he wrote in an article, called into question “the idea of the humanness of our human life and the meaning of our embodiment, our sexual being, and our relation to ancestors and descendants.” The editors of Nova magazine suggested in vitro fertilization was “the biggest threat since the atom bomb.” The American Medical Association wanted to halt research altogether. Yet a funny thing happened, or didn’t, in the decades that followed: Millions…

1 мин.
tools for the most delicate operations

Many breakthroughs in prenatal surgery have only been possible because of ever more sophisticated instruments. Since 2011, Michael Belfort, the chief obstetrician at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, has been enhancing the tools he uses to operate on a developing fetus. His modified instruments have led to fewer preterm deliveries and C-sections for mothers, and his surgeries have helped improve survival rates for infants. He can insert optical fibers that let surgeons see inside the uterus using tools 1 through 6. He can also tug delicate fetal skin and guide suture needles using a grasper (No. 7). And he can work wonders that only a few decades ago would have defied belief.…

18 мин.
saving baby boy green

JESSICA GREEN WAS GETTING IMPATIENT. She was 19 weeks pregnant and waiting for her ultrasound images at Whitehorse General Hospital, but it was taking forever. She’d never had to wait this long before. Her fiancé, Kris Schneider, had already headed back to work for the day, and Green wanted to do the same. She told the receptionist that she would pick up the images later and headed out. It was late October in Whitehorse, the capital city of Canada’s northern Yukon Territory, and winter was beginning to set in. The ultrasound technician caught up to her in the parking lot. Green couldn’t leave, the tech said. She needed to be admitted, right away. Green remembers responding with some sort of instinctive, mulish refusal: “I can’t.” But she knew her pregnancy was considered…