If an adversary didn't target our power plants but they did target the core routers, the backbones that tie our internet connections together, entire parts of the United States could be cut off. That would have a tremendous impact on us as a society and it would have a policy backlash.
Unsurprisingly, an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) - once a luxury for room-sized computer installations - is now a standard item both in home offices and all the networked tiers above, protecting servers and online service providers, Internet backbones, phone companies, and even cable TV networks.
If you look at Gothic detailing right down to the bottom of a column or the capital of a column, it's a small version of the whole building; that's why, like dating the backbones of a dinosaur, a good historian can look at a detail of a Gothic building and tell you exactly what the rest of the building was, and infer the whole from the parts.
Any fool can destroy trees. They cannot run away; and if they could, they would still be destroyed,-chased and hunted down as long as fun or a dollar could be got out of their bark hides, branching horns, or magnificent bole backbones. Few that fell trees plant them; nor would planting avail much towards getting back anything like the noble primeval forests. During a man's life only saplings can be grown, in the place of the old trees-tens of centuries old-that have been destroyed.
My laboratory is interested in the related challenges of understanding the origin of life on the early earth, and constructing synthetic cellular life in the laboratory. Focusing on artificial life frees us to explore novel chemical systems, but what we learn from these systems helps us to understand possible pathways leading to the origin of life. Our basic design for a synthetic cell involves the encapsulation of a spontaneously replicating nucleic acid, which acts as the genetic material, within a spontaneously replicating membrane vesicle, which provides spatial localization. We are using chemical synthesis to make nucleic acids with modified nucleobases and sugar-phosphate backbones.
Jack W. Szostak