Longitude #63

August, 2016

Editor's column

Cover story

The end of the end of medicine
by Gilberto Corbellini

Some have been predicting that doctors will be replaced by algorithms. Others suggest they will succumb to latter-day shamans. But medicine is currently flourishing thanks to a combination of holistic ideas and technological advances.

Intimations of immortality
by Isabella Saggio

As biological research evolves, we are nearing the point where certains cells can be said to be immortal. And though we are still far from producing an immortal body, we must already come to terms with increased longevity.

The future of treatments, the treatments of the future
by Luca Pani

Gene therapy, genetic editing, 3D-printed medications and the development of immunotherapy: the pharmaceutical industry is becoming a crossroads of scientific and technological innovation. 

Featured briefing

Europe’s ten conundrums
by Stefano Cingolani

Things are coming apart quickly on the Old Continent. There are many reasons, and often the sources of one problem stem from the solution to a previous problem. Despite all this, Europe is heading toward a make-or-break moment in which it will be forced to act decisively.

The illusory axis
by Michele Marchi

Things are coming apart quickly on the Old Continent. There are many reasons, and often the sources of one problem stem from the solution to a previous problem. Despite all this, Europe is heading toward a make-or-break moment in which it will be forced to act decisively.

by Stash Luczkiw

The fallout from Brexit has many pondering the fate of the EU. Absent any concrete European identity, the continent’s various peoples are falling back on national identities that appear to be assailed from all directions. 

Middle East

Saudi Arabia on the brink
by Angela Di Maria, Gennaro Fusco, Laura Painelli

The current approach to stabilizing Saudi Arabia’s power in the region is running up against many unexpected obstacles. As revenue from oil diminishes, the kingdom’s rulers need to assess the direction in which their country is heading. 

The Orientalist

In the eye of a storm
by Ugo Tramballi

Israel is surrounded by strife on all sides. And yet, its security situation has rarely been so good. Nevertheless, the relative calm has revealed some significant fissures within Israeli society.

Civil aviation

Flying the unfriendly skies
by Fabrizio Franciosi

The geopolitics of civil aviation is shifting rapidly. Countries are forced to sacrifice long-subsidized national carriers in the face of free-market forces that are obliging airlines to unite and create scales of economy that can compete with new low-cost players.

A crowded sky
map by Marie Joveneau

Technology

Sifting the tidbits
by Alessandro Du Bessé

Information in the digital age has changed us. The more we feed off our computer devices, the more our perceptions and modes of processing information change. We’ve become more opinionated, more viral, more indulgent of trash. 

Megaphone

How many likes does the Pope have?
by Gianluca Comin

In order to spread the good news more efficiently, the Vatican has launched a new multi-channel communication organ. Now Pope Francis will have even more conduits for dialogue with the faithful.

Warming bloopers

Organic dogmatists
by Carlo Clini

The crusade against GMOs has gotten out of hand. Despite volumes of scientific studies, Greenpeace insists on denouncing agricultural biotech innovations as unsafe. Unfortunately, the planet’s poorest will pay the highest price.