Which Sci-fi technology do you wish we had?

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The replicator. It would render ownership obsolete, as anybody could have anything whenever they desire. As a direct consequence, people could not subjugate other people with debt or other property based mechanisms. Wealth would become redundant and the only competition between people would be on a personal level. It would pave the way to a radically new social model, in which individuals would cultivate more natural values that are directly related to health, knowledge and character.

The Eagle 5 from Spaceballs, I could live with free rent while finishing school and once I get done I can space travel at speeds that can only be surpassed by ludicrous speed (which is so fast that you turn into plaid), something the enterprise or the millenium flacon has never been capable of.

Haha, awesome guys. I wish we had the transporter. It would make travelling a lot easier, make it less of a waste of time, and even be environmentally friendly!

I'd love bionic body parts.  I've worked really hard physically most of my life and even though I'm still quite robust I have damaged myself here and there.  Its very common for people who do sports a lot, especially weight training, I've been told (taking it easy now)

As a card-carrying astrobiologist, I really want a tricorder!! Would be so cool to have a general purpose device that could detect life where ever we might find it. 

I wonder if water is confirmed as a cosmically universally ubiquitous life giving solvent, if you can build a detector that can pick up any of the different permutations in  the chemical reactions it can have.  Quite a lot of of them are bound to be biological.

That would be amazing. But there is a big technical challenge in trying to track all those reactions! I don't think we nearly have the technology to do it. But, the bigger problem might be discerning which reactions are "biological" as opposed to merely "chemical", where do you draw the line? One more reason to think about how we define life! :)

Yeah I hardly know anything about this and have often wondered if it has anything to do with the Ph neutrality of water and its disposition to have both negative and positive ions(if I remember my chemistry correctly, its been some years now).  Somewhere in between the latter and before ribosomes.    I've got the talk you gave at SETI (I saw in live on Google+, very well given) recorded onto a CD which I've been wanting to see again having seen it twice.  You mentioned something about the replicator molecule or similar words to that effect.  I'm mentally stuck between RNA precursors of ribosomes and viruses, in that if RNA viruses are predatory on ribosomes then RNA precursors of self replication and synthesis in living chemistry came first.  Perhaps RNA  evolved to be predatory on other types of RNA as  an exaptation of genetic information transfer?    See http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121120132906.htm  I'm just speculating and have not formally studied this topic

Really interesting idea! I'll have to think about it some more (and glad to hear you liked the SETI talk!)


Wow! Coming from you, I'm flattered that you think that's an interesting idea.

Your SETI talk was very thorough in its content and easily mentally absorbed because you were clear cut in how you well you vigorously presented it. You mentioned S.A.G.A.N. and I joined, especially as it was easy to, using my facebook account. I did not use it much until the lecture on The Habitability of Mars in LA which I greatly enjoyed having luckily spotted an email from S.A.G.A.N. advertising the event a few hours before it started. Since then, bit by bit I've become more involved in S.A.G.A.N . Its very user friendly.

Back to my idea, I'd never put it into words, though I've had it in my mind for years, until prompted by your question. I did some other referencing on the Internet and also found (see below) that predatory RNA viruses have the highest fidelity error rates in nature. If different stages of RNA could exchange information early on after the initial outset of life coming into being on Earth, perhaps that was an inbuilt advantage in survival fitness by the variability it produced. Enhanced variability is better for survival prospects in response to environments and any changes that might happen in them. I got the idea originally years back comparing RNA to some bacteria, which although they reproduce asexually, will also exchange genetic information.

Back your tricorder. If we find that life will only evolve out of water in a narrowed down range of permutations, that is, only certain types of chemical reactions will lead to life, then we can ''draw the line'' there. If water is a solvent that can induce life it can only be in a certain set of chemical reactions. That's what makes it a different solvent to others.

Again, just speculating. I've only successfully formally studied to eighteen year old level (43 now) and in dribs and drabs. I reference a lot from the Internet though. A government representative has told me recently that it will pay for any future University studies I wish to undertake and I am considering it. All i need is a Uni to accept me if i apply. I want to do in a degree in what I like most which is Human Ecology from a planetary perspective which would include space travel with astrobiology and more localised habitat management on a large scale.

http://www.virology.ws/2009/05/15/increased-fidelity-reduces-viral-...

Looking at another article (below) not directly related, it just occurred to me, because of the similarities in composition and what I've written prior, are viruses comparably a type of free living autonomous ribosome, on certain occasions sometimes interspecific and also jumping species?  It would explain their composition and behavior.

http://www.anl.gov/articles/antibody-evolution-could-guide-hiv-vacc...

Are ribosomes viruses that have undergone endosymbiosis?

I found someone else who asked the same question on 

http://www.topix.com/forum/science/biology/TPEOHLHA6SMBTE1RG

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