NASA Mulling Over A Warp Drive, For Real

In a wonderful chicken-or-the-egg moment, I find out that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (good old NASA) has Top Men looking into a real-life warp drive, potentially capable of powering spacecraft at faster than light (FTL) speeds. The article on Gizmodo goes to great pains to point out that while we can't travel faster than light according to our current understanding, by warping spacetime and sort of cheating, we can get the same effect (by taking a "shortcut" we arrive at our destination much, much more quickly). 

Apart from the jaw-dropping potential of this, I am confused as to whether the Star Trek writers just pulled the Warp Drive concept out of their butts 40-odd years ago, or if this has been a whispered-about notion for decades and we are only now beginning to see that it might be something we could actually bring about. Life imitating art, or scientists being inspired by a beloved SciFi franchise?