Box of Amazing: Balding is now optional  
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Box of Amazing is a weekly digest curated by Rahim covering emerging technology, trends and extraordinary articles, hand picked to broaden your mind and challenge your thinking.

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Editor's Note
Hope the Summer is treating you well. For those of you at the beach, here are some high brow articles to keep your brain in check/

1. How to Do Strategic Planning Like a Futurist
2. What Happens When the World’s Population Stops Growing?
3. How Established Companies Can Foster A Culture Of Innovation
4. Amazon as an experiment
5. Instagram's annual beach party, where everyone's an inflencer
6. How the West got China's Social Credit System Wrong
7. The problem of mindfulness
8. Meet the classified artificial brain being developed by US intelligence programs

The above are perfect to share with your teams. Also, consider sharing with inquisitive kids 11+. Many of my readers are younger making sure that they are schooled up on the world that they will likely frequent more so than older folks like me. 

Enjoy.

Have a great week!

Onward! - Rahim
 
What's Amazing
 
1. Human-Monkey Hybrids
"Scientists may have taken a big—and controversial—leap by mixing human cells into monkey embryos.  Spanish-born biologist Juan Carlos Izpisúa Belmonte, who operates a lab at the Salk Institute in California, has been working working with monkey researchers in China to perform the disturbing research. Their objective is to create “human-animal chimeras,” in this case monkey embryos to which human cells are added. The idea behind the research is to fashion animals that possess organs, like a kidney or liver, made up entirely of human cells. Such animals could be used as sources of organs for transplantation." In related news, Japanese scientists are growing human organs in animal embryos.  Link
2. The Beginning of the End of the Beef Industry
"Both Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods recently released new, improved versions of their meat. For the past week, I’ve subsisted on little else. It feels great. Both have the same amount of protein as ground beef (about 20 grams per quarter-pound serving) and less fat. Being plant-based, they also provide a healthy shot of fiber. Both get their unctuousness from coconut oil. But the core of each formula is very different. Beyond uses pea protein, while Impossible uses soy. Beyond gets its bloody color from beet juice; Impossible uses heme—the same molecule that makes our blood red—to achieve its meaty color and flavor. This is its killer app. Beef gets its beefiness from heme. When you cook heme, it produces the distinctive savory, metallic flavor of meat. Since heme is normally found in blood, no veggie concoction has ever used it. Soy plants do make microscopic amounts of it, but not enough to ever use. Impossible Foods’ breakthrough was to genetically engineer yeast to produce soy heme in a tank, like beer. This GMO process is a deal breaker for some people, but it makes all the difference. The Impossible Burger is incredible, the Beyond Burger merely passable."  Link
3. Anti-depression Helmet
After three years of development, Swedish startup Flow Neuroscience launched its anti-depression helmet in the markets in Sweden and the UK in June. They have created a kind of helmet with two electrodes that sends impulses to the brain to counteract depression. People affected by depression often have a lower activity in the left lobe of the brain. The company's helmet then sends an electrical signal to stimulate the area. Together with a therapy program that the patient accesses via an app, the treatment can be done at home on the sofa. "It's a whole new type of treatment with significantly lower side effects than, for example, antidepressants," says Daniel Månsson. Link
4. AI Perfume
"Historically, perfume creation has toed the line between art and science. Perfumers like Hermès’ Christine Nagel have been unconstrained by budgets in both raw materials and timelines of launches. And the industry is inherently based on chemistry. The use of AI in product development could modernize how perfumers work, make the development process more efficient and push the bounds of creativity. “The ultimate goal [of AI perfumery] will be the same; at the end of the day, people still want to have a positive link to the way they smell or their product’s scent. This will not change, but the way [perfumers] work will,” said Odile Pelissier, Firmenich’s vp of creation development and innovation in perfumery." Link
5. CRISPR Firsts
Two stories:
1. First CRISPR study inside the body to start in US: Patients are about to be enrolled in the first study to test a gene-editing technique known as CRISPR inside the body to try to cure an inherited form of blindness. People with the disease have normal eyes but lack a gene that converts light into signals to the brain that enable sight.The experimental treatment aims to supply kids and adults with a healthy version of the gene they lack, using a tool that cuts or “edits” DNA in a specific spot. It’s intended as a onetime treatment that permanently alters the person’s native DNA.Link
2.  In a first, Doctors In the U.S. Use CRISPR Tool To Treat Patient With Genetic Disorder: For the first time, doctors in the U.S. have used the powerful gene-editing technique CRISPR to try to treat a patient with a genetic disorder. "It is just amazing how far things have come," says Victoria Gray, 34, of Forest, Miss. "It is wonderful," she told NPR in an exclusive interview after undergoing the landmark treatment for sickle cell disease. Gray is the first patient ever to be publicly identified as being involved in a study testing the use of CRISPR for a genetic disease.  Link
6. Genetic Inequality
“Should rich people be allowed to buy the best genes they can afford?” That could lead to the dystopia described in Aldous Huxley’s 1932 novel Brave New World, in which the modification of embryos produces a caste system ranging from intelligence-enhanced leaders to stunted menial laborers. Our world is already suffering from widening gaps in wealth and opportunity, and a free market for genetic enhancements could produce a quantum leap in these inequalities and also, literally, encode them permanently. “In a world in which there are people who don’t get access to eyeglasses,” Feng Zhang says, “it’s hard to imagine how we will find a way to have equal access to gene enhancements. Think of what that will do to our species.” Link
7. Voice Powered Games
Alexa is powering new games where you control the action with your voice
Games played with voice commands are catching on, and now Amazon is betting on the nascent industry. Imagine you’re on a voyage in deep space when you’re suddenly awakened from a cryo-slumber to discover your ship is under siege from ... something. Still partly in stasis, you have only one chance to save yourself and your crew. You need to steer the ship to safety—with only your voice. That’s the concept behind Vortex, a game from voice-first Portuguese studio Doppio, released earlier this year. The company is set to release another game on Amazon this fall. Link
8. Using AI for Early Detection of Disease
It's no secret. Catch a life threatening disease early and you have the best chance of beating it. Deepmind are using AI to do this earlier than in traditional methods: "Over the last few years, our team at DeepMind has focused on finding an answer to the complex problem of avoidable patient harm, building digital tools that can spot serious conditions earlier and helping doctors and nurses deliver faster, better care to patients in need. This is our team’s biggest healthcare research breakthrough to date, demonstrating the ability to not only spot deterioration more effectively, but actually predict it before it happens."   Link
9. Self-Driving AI thinking Bicycle
"It is not the first-ever autonomous bicycle (Cornell University has a project underway) or, probably, the future of transportation, although it could find a niche in a future world swarming with package-delivery vehicles, drones and robots. (There are even weirder ideas out there.) Nonetheless, the Chinese researchers who built the bike believe it demonstrates the future of computer hardware. It navigates the world with help from what is called a neuromorphic chip, modeled after the human brain. The researchers described how such a chip could help machines respond to voice commands, recognize the surrounding world, avoid obstacles and maintain balance." Link
10. Balding is now optional
"The physiology of balding has long vexed even the most entrepreneurial of scientists. Despite a rare confluence of commercial forces and scientific interest, generating new hair remains outside the realm of the possible. This could be changing, though—and not owing to new packaging of the same old medicines. Recently a series of scientific publications has explored advances that involve both stem-cell research and 3-D printing, with the goal of cloning a person’s actual hair and then inserting it into his or her scalp—in tremendous, unlimited quantities." Link
This email contains the ten most important stories that I have read this week. 
You can get my long list of recommended reading by following Box of Amazing on Twitter.
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Box of Amazing is a project that I started to share my thoughts with like-minded individuals who are interested in the future world that we are fast approaching. This newsletter now has readers spanning the globe from San Francisco to Tokyo and across multiple industries including strategy consultancy houses (McKinsey to Bain), from all the FAAANG companies (Facebook to Alphabet), from startups to scaleups, from unicorns to brand new companies as well as people just interested in staying ahead of the game. If you enjoy it, please share it with your friends, family, co-workers, enemies, competitors, pets, potential love interests and others who are interested in learning about the emerging technology and trends that will affect us all in this lifetime. 

Thank you for reading

- Rahim

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Box of Amazing is curated by Rahim Hirji. If you were forwarded this email and want to subscribe, you can do so here. If you no longer wish to receive these emails you can unsubscribe from this list






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