One Mined Asteroid Would Eclipse Britain's Whole Economy

The value locked away inside asteroids is enough to raise the world economic ceiling to unbelievable heights.

The value locked away inside asteroids is enough to raise the world economic ceiling to unbelievable heights. A bill recently passed by Congress — the Asteroid Act — borrows from Adam Smith's famous dictum on how ownership is acquired: The apple becomes mine when I invest my labor in picking it.


Similarly, any company to successfully mine an asteroid can claim its resources as private property, and that has the potential to make a small number of individuals extremely wealthy. A mid-sized asteroid's worth of platinum, for example, would eclipse the entire GDP of the UK by nearly a third.

Such a scenario is not unimaginable as there are more than 10,000 near-Earth asteroids that private space companies like Planetary Resources and Deep Space Industries are working to assess — for both their resources and their ability to be successfully mined. 

X Prize founder and Big Think expert Peter Diamandis believes space excavation will create the first trillionaire (which my spellcheck doesn't currently recognize as a word). But it's not just the search for wealth that propels us toward asteroids:

Read more at Science.Mic.

'Upstreamism': Your zip code affects your health as much as genetics

Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."

Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
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  • Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
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Meet the Bajau sea nomads — they can reportedly hold their breath for 13 minutes

The Bajau people's nomadic lifestyle has given them remarkable adaptions, enabling them to stay underwater for unbelievable periods of time. Their lifestyle, however, is quickly disappearing.

Wikimedia Commons
Culture & Religion
  • The Bajau people travel in small flotillas throughout the Phillipines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, hunting fish underwater for food.
  • Over the years, practicing this lifestyle has given the Bajau unique adaptations to swimming underwater. Many find it straightforward to dive up to 13 minutes 200 feet below the surface of the ocean.
  • Unfortunately, many disparate factors are erasing the traditional Bajau way of life.
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Golden blood: The rarest blood in the world

We explore the history of blood types and how they are classified to find out what makes the Rh-null type important to science and dangerous for those who live with it.

Abid Katib/Getty Images
Surprising Science
  • Fewer than 50 people worldwide have 'golden blood' — or Rh-null.
  • Blood is considered Rh-null if it lacks all of the 61 possible antigens in the Rh system.
  • It's also very dangerous to live with this blood type, as so few people have it.
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Scientists create a "lifelike" material that has metabolism and can self-reproduce

An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.

Shogo Hamada/Cornell University
Surprising Science
  • Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
  • The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
  • The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
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