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Monday, November 24, 2008

We're Living in the Future!

We've got ray guns! F'ing ray guns! TOP THAT YOU SAVAGE MOTHERFUCKERS!

The deployed ray gun (or “directed-energy weapon”, in the tedious jargon that military men seem compelled to use to describe technology) is known as Zeus. It is not designed to kill. Rather, its purpose is to allow you to remain at a safe distance when you detonate unexploded ordnance, such as the homemade roadside bombs that plague foreign troops in Iraq.

This task now calls for explosives. In practice, that often means using a rocket-propelled grenade, so as not to expose troops to snipers. But rockets are expensive, and sometimes miss their targets. Zeus is effective at a distance of 300 metres, and a laser beam, unlike a rocket, always goes exactly where you point it.

So we got ray guns and we're going to live for a thousand years. (And have extraordinarily fit mice.)

In labs across the country, researchers are developing several new drugs that target the cellular engines called mitochondria. The first, resveratrol, is already in clinical trials for diabetes. It could be on the market in four years and used off-label as an all-purpose longevity enhancer. Other drugs promise to be more potent and refined. They might even be cheap.

"It's going to revolutionize western medicine," said Doug Wallace, a pioneer of mitochondrial medicine at the University of California at Irvine. "All the things that are common for an aging society, and nobody worried about when they died of infectious disease," he said, could be treated.

The future is gonna be great.


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