Worldwide Web Watch

WWWapril15February 10, 2016

When we hear the words “new age” we might think of music, spirituality and religious beliefs or even, perhaps, wine.  However, none of these apply to how the term is employed in Center Faculty Fellow Brad Allenby‘s article about the Anthropocene, recently published in Slate.  There, the  term “new age” reflects a proposed geological place and time: the Anthropocene.  The Anthropocene is said to have been born at that moment when man-made activity began to  leave its mark.  This unique place and time is being heralded by some as an epoch, which Allenby claims is problematic because it implies stability.  The suggested Anthropocene, follows the Holocene, a geological epoch that began 11,700 years ago.  Allenby points out that even if we are generous and set the beginning of this distinct Anthropocenic era two-hundred years ago, with the speed of human-induced global change and its impact, we should hesitate to call it a geological epoch.  To do so, is simply arrogant.  At most, humans are an “event,” states Allenby and events are not the heart and soul of an epoch, unlike stability.

Technology Triple Trivia

TTT153 Questions. 3 Hints. 3 Answers.

February 9, 2016

  1. There’s nothing basic about this…can you guess what it is?


Answer: Universal Basic Income (UBI) is an unsettled concept, at least in terms of how it would work and if it could work. It has been the subject of recent focus resulting from the fear of technological unemployment, although the idea has been circulating for decades.  Many lay people do not have a good grasp of the ABCs of UBI and those folks that do, do not agree on whether it is feasible.  What would UBI provide and what would it take away? Would it be a motivator or would it make people lazy?  There is also a concern that UBI may result in a big drop in the labor supply (though if we are all unemployed, this may not be an issue).  One of the best lines from this article, in connection with the feared drop in labor supply, is that it would likely result in a greater drop in France than Japan because, “[t]he French don’t seem to like to work that much.”  Other questions related to UBI are who and what should be taxed to support a program where citizens are given a monthly stipend — and whether all citizens should receive monthly support, or only adults?   How much should be given and how much can be given without breaking the government?  These are all questions that are keeping the experts busy, 5 of who were interviewed in the above-linked article.

2. What do avocados, clogged freeways and water shortages have in common?


Answer: California is leading the way with potential research in human embryonic gene editing.  While the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine is just talking about it, federally, the conversation is a non-starter.  It remains to be seen whether the Golden State will follow in the footsteps of the UK which recently approved gene editing of human embryos.  Read more here.

3.  Not a morning person?  Who can you blame?


Answer: it looks like it’s all about the genes.  According to genetics company 23andMe, “morning people” tend to be older, female, less prone to depression and insomnia — and are also believed to be nicer people (OK, that last characteristic was made up by a self-proclaimed  morning person).  To arrive at its conclusions, 23andMe considered about eight million gene variants.  That’s a lot of gene styles.  Read the details here.


LSI Study Group Goes Big

Big Data HealthBig Data in health.  That was the hot topic at the most recent Center-based 2016 Study Group presentation.  Center GET program Director Gary Marchant led the participants through a fascinating journey of the advancements and implications of big data in the healthcare setting.  Click here  to view Marchant’s presentation.

Marchant - Big DataIMG_2371_20160128


Milligan-39513-214x300“I did have a return on investment, absolutely.”

The words of Bob Milligan, Center Executive Council member regarding the LLM in Biotechnology & Genomics he received from ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.  Read more about Milligan’s experience here.

In addition to the LLM in Biotechnology & Genomics, ASU Law provides customizable LLM and MLS programs with focus areas including health law, sustainability law, patent practice, and more that can be tailored to each student’s interests and goals.

The Center itself offers JD students the opportunity to pursue a Law, Science & Technology Certificate with the option to specialize in one of five cutting-edge fields. This certificate gives our students a competitive edge with employers and clients.