James Temple

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Drool

Ivan Pavlov’s real quest.<p>As a college student, B. F. Skinner gave little thought to psychology. He had hoped to become a novelist, and majored in English. Then, in 1927, when he was twenty-three, he read an essay by H. G. Wells about the Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov. The piece, which appeared …

The Immortality Financiers: The Billionaires Who Want to Live Forever

We all want to live forever, but some of us have the means to actually do something about it. Adam Gollner, author of The Book of Immortality, …

New Clock May End Time As We Know It

"My own personal opinion is that time is a human construct," says Tom O'Brian. O'Brian has thought a lot about this over the years. He is America's official timekeeper at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, Colorado.<p>To him, days, hours, minutes and seconds are a way for …

“We’re Hoping to Build the Tricorder”

Google X’s Andrew Conrad is developing an early disease detection system that could reinvent health care<p>Sometimes moon shots come in small …

The Rise and Fall and Rise of Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality

A Life of Its Own

Where will synthetic biology lead us?<p>The first time Jay Keasling remembers hearing the word “artemisinin,” about a decade ago, he had no idea what it meant. “Not a clue,” Keasling, a professor of biochemical engineering at the University of California at Berkeley, recalled. Although artemisinin has …

The Big Future: Can we bring animals back from extinction?

What if extinction isn't the end? What if we could take animals from the past — mammoths, goats, anything that's gone extinct — and bring them back to life in the present day? There's a new movement afoot among scientists that thinks we could do it, thanks to new breakthroughs in DNA sequencing. Of …

Seeds of Doubt

An activist’s controversial crusade against genetically modified crops.<p>Early this spring, the Indian environmentalist Vandana Shiva led an unusual pilgrimage across southern Europe. Beginning in Greece, with the international Pan-Hellenic Exchange of Local Seed Varieties Festival, which celebrated …

FT interview with Google co-founder and CEO Larry Page

Wouldn’t the world be a happier place if 90 per cent of the people with jobs put their feet up instead and left the robots to do the work? Why didn’t …

Silicon Valley