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The Tree of Eternal Life

Is a headstone just too archaic? For a more dynamic–and truly living–memorial, look no further than the back yard. Two students at the Royal College of Arts in London have received a grant from the UK’s National Endowment for Science,…

Is a headstone just too archaic? For a more dynamic–and truly living–memorial, look no further than the back yard. Two students at the Royal College of Arts in London have received a grant from the UK’s National Endowment for Science, Technology and Arts to set up a company to create apple trees that are genetically modified to carry a strand of human DNA. According to a report in The Guardian, the company, Biopresence, started as a student art project, but founders Georg Tremmel and Shiho Fukuhara hope orders will take off. Trees will cost about 20,000 pounds ($36,000)–“cheap for eternal life,” says Tremmel–and should take six months to grow large enough to plant in the ground.

The trees are the most recent example of the melding of art and biotechnology, a trend that has already seen a movement to help people copyright their own DNA, as well as the production of a rabbit genetically modified to produce a green fluorescent jellyfish protein.

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The Download: the Saudi sci-fi megacity, and sleeping babies’ brains

This is today’s edition of The Download, our weekday newsletter that provides a daily dose of what’s going on in the world of technology. These exclusive satellite images show Saudi Arabia’s sci-fi megacity is well underway In early 2021, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia announced The Line: a “civilizational revolution” that would house up…

10 Breakthrough Technologies 2023

Every year, we pick the 10 technologies that matter the most right now. We look for advances that will have a big impact on our lives and break down why they matter.

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