Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo

 

Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »

David Rotman, who wrote this issue’s cover story (“Can Technology Save the Economy?”), interviewed some of the world’s leading experts on innovation and economic growth to learn how technology investments in this year’s stimulus bill might affect the economy. “Economists generally agree that innovation is in fact the leading factor in creating a wealthy nation,” says Rotman. “But I found a huge amount of disagreement on whether the stimulus spending on technology is a great way to help the economy and lay the foundation for future growth or a wrong-headed conflation of fiscal and technology policies. I don’t know which position is correct, but I was left with a couple of conclusions. The increase in federal funding for technology and R&D was long overdue. And it is now up to the nation’s engineers, scientists, entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists to make sure the money is well spent.” Rotman is the editor of Technology Review.

David Deamer has written an essay that is part detective story–recounting his efforts to figure out how life on Earth began–and part thriller: a look at what might be possible if the origins of life were better understood (“First Life and Next Life”). “My research interest is about how cellular life arose on Earth nearly four billion years ago,” says Deamer. “I particularly focus on the self-assembly processes that produce protocells, which have some of the properties of life. As a reality check on my laboratory findings, I’ve traveled to volcanic sites in Russia, Hawaii, Iceland, and northern California, where I test whether the self-­assembly processes that are studied in the laboratory can also work under conditions similar to the prebiotic environment on a hot, early Earth.” Deamer, who spent his childhood exploring caves in Kentucky, is a research professor in the Department of Biomolecular Engineering and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Michael Rosenwald reviews a new procedure that enables remarkably nimble use of a prosthetic by rewiring arm nerves into chest muscles (“A Lifelike Prosthetic Arm”). “Growing up, I always obsessed about my left arm–my throwing arm,” says ­Rosenwald. “I dreamed that that arm would lead to a career as a major-league baseball player. I iced my arm. Used Bengay. Heating pads. I wore a jacket to keep it warm even in the summer. But I never became a major-leaguer and pretty much stopped thinking about my arm until I learned about Todd Kuiken’s research. When I saw video of amputees using their prostheses to cook dinner or just put on a belt, I was tremendously moved, and I felt lucky to have two working arms, even if they couldn’t get me a pro-baseball career. It was also an example of the kind of technology I find most fascinating to write about: leaps of ingenuity or discoveries that change lives dramatically.” Rosenwald, who is based in Washington, DC, has written about the world’s most famous bird-flu hunter, a psychiatrist who believes that cats cause schizophrenia, and a doctor trying to regrow body parts with pig bladders. His work has appeared in Esquire, the New Yorker, Popular Science, and Smithsonian. He is a staff writer at the Washington Post.

Gérard DuBois illustrated a feature by Emily Singer, TR’s senior editor for biomedicine, on how a pill could dim the emotional distress of our worst memories (“Manipulating Memory”). DuBois, who lives in Montreal, is working on two books of illustration, preparing for an exhibition in Paris, and illustrating a regular column in Time magazine. He has received numerous awards for his work, including two gold medals from the Society of Illustrators.

0 comments about this story. Start the discussion »

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives

Close

Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me
×

A Place of Inspiration

Understand the technologies that are changing business and driving the new global economy.

September 23-25, 2014
Register »