Ray Kurzweil: The Nanotech Revolution will Bring Immortality

If life expansion becomes achievable, the question still remains whether it will be accessible for everyone, as opposed to just the super rich.

Ray Kurzweil: The Nanotech Revolution will Bring Immortality

If you stay healthy long enough to reap the benefits of the biotech revolution, Ray Kurzweil says, you can hope to live long enough to see the nanotechnology revolution. At that point, Kurzweil tells the Canadian magazine Macleans, you can augment your immune system with robots.


Kurzweil has written two books on health and technology, but in this interview he answered two common questions about his idea of humans achieving radical longevity.

Kurzweil says:

People say, “I don’t want to live like a typical 95-year-old for hundreds of years.” But the goal is not just to extend life. The idea is to stay healthy and vital, and not only to have life extension, but life expansion.

But if life expansion becomes achievable, the question still remains whether it will be accessible for everyone, as opposed to just the super rich. Kurzweil points to the example of the cell phone:

You had to be rich to have a mobile phone 20 years ago. And it was the size and weight of a brick, and it didn’t work very well. Today there are seven billion cellphones, there’s over one billion smartphones, and there will be six or seven billion smartphones in a few years. Today you can buy an Android phone or iPhone that’s twice as good as the one two years ago, for half the price. It is only the rich that can afford [these technologies] at an early point, when they don’t work. By the time they work a little bit, they’re affordable; by the time they work really well, they’re almost free. And that will be true of these health technologies.

Read the full interview here.

Kurzweil also discusses his regime of taking 150 supplements per day. In a previous interview with Big Think, the futurist described the supplements that he believes are most essential.

Watch the video here:

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.

What is the rarest blood type?

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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China's "artificial sun" sets new record for fusion power

China has reached a new record for nuclear fusion at 120 million degrees Celsius.

Credit: STR via Getty Images
Technology & Innovation

This article was originally published on our sister site, Freethink.

China wants to build a mini-star on Earth and house it in a reactor. Many teams across the globe have this same bold goal --- which would create unlimited clean energy via nuclear fusion.

But according to Chinese state media, New Atlas reports, the team at the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) has set a new world record: temperatures of 120 million degrees Celsius for 101 seconds.

Yeah, that's hot. So what? Nuclear fusion reactions require an insane amount of heat and pressure --- a temperature environment similar to the sun, which is approximately 150 million degrees C.

If scientists can essentially build a sun on Earth, they can create endless energy by mimicking how the sun does it.

If scientists can essentially build a sun on Earth, they can create endless energy by mimicking how the sun does it. In nuclear fusion, the extreme heat and pressure create a plasma. Then, within that plasma, two or more hydrogen nuclei crash together, merge into a heavier atom, and release a ton of energy in the process.

Nuclear fusion milestones: The team at EAST built a giant metal torus (similar in shape to a giant donut) with a series of magnetic coils. The coils hold hot plasma where the reactions occur. They've reached many milestones along the way.

According to New Atlas, in 2016, the scientists at EAST could heat hydrogen plasma to roughly 50 million degrees C for 102 seconds. Two years later, they reached 100 million degrees for 10 seconds.

The temperatures are impressive, but the short reaction times, and lack of pressure are another obstacle. Fusion is simple for the sun, because stars are massive and gravity provides even pressure all over the surface. The pressure squeezes hydrogen gas in the sun's core so immensely that several nuclei combine to form one atom, releasing energy.

But on Earth, we have to supply all of the pressure to keep the reaction going, and it has to be perfectly even. It's hard to do this for any length of time, and it uses a ton of energy. So the reactions usually fizzle out in minutes or seconds.

Still, the latest record of 120 million degrees and 101 seconds is one more step toward sustaining longer and hotter reactions.

Why does this matter? No one denies that humankind needs a clean, unlimited source of energy.

We all recognize that oil and gas are limited resources. But even wind and solar power --- renewable energies --- are fundamentally limited. They are dependent upon a breezy day or a cloudless sky, which we can't always count on.

Nuclear fusion is clean, safe, and environmentally sustainable --- its fuel is a nearly limitless resource since it is simply hydrogen (which can be easily made from water).

With each new milestone, we are creeping closer and closer to a breakthrough for unlimited, clean energy.

The science of sex, love, attraction, and obsession

The symbol for love is the heart, but the brain may be more accurate.

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  • One of the problems with early-stage attraction, according to anthropologist Helen Fisher, is that it activates parts of the brain that are linked to drive, craving, obsession, and motivation, while other regions that deal with decision-making shut down.
  • Dr. Fisher, professor Ted Fischer, and psychiatrist Gail Saltz explain the different types of love, explore the neuroscience of love and attraction, and share tips for sustaining relationships that are healthy and mutually beneficial.

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There never was a male fertility crisis

A new study suggests that reports of the impending infertility of the human male are greatly exaggerated.

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