Reuters looks at innovative technology that will shape the world of the future.
We often imagine what the world of the future might entail: will we ever have flying cars? Will we ever explore beyond our solar system in Enterprise-like starships? Will we ever finally stamp out diseases like cancer, Alzheimers and HIV? We can only offer educated guesses based on what we know of technology today. However, the Thomas Reuters IP & Science unit researched the latest in science and technology and picked 10 specific innovations that might change the world we live in by 2025.
1. Cure for dementia
As it stands, we barely understand what causes dementia and its related illnesses, like Alzheimers. The human brain is a mystery and we’re still figuring out exactly how it works. However, by 2025, Reuters believes we will finally tackle dementia, thanks to a new understanding of the human genome. New studies are beginning to discover chromosomes that cause different forms of dementia, and new research in genetic mutation could effectively battle it. By 2025, aging baby boomers may no longer suffer from this debilitating illness that claims so many of our elderly today.
2. Solar energy
Reuters predicts that by 2025, solar energy will be the largest source of energy on the planet, thanks to new methods in harvesting the sun’s energy, as well as storing and using it more efficiently. New super-thin materials that capture more sunlight and utilize more of its energy are currently in development, making it a viable option and unlimited natural resource.
3. Type 1 Diabetes Prevention
As of 2014, Type 1 diabetes affects nearly 3 million Americans. There is no cure for it, and we don’t know how to prevent it… yet. However, in 2025, Reuters thinks we’ll be able to take our new understanding of the human genome and DNA alteration to prevent diabetes altogether. We’re now learning about the process that makes RNA/DNA information pass from parents to child: that understanding could lead not to just a prevention of diabetes, but to other genetically-inherited diseases. We’ll learn how to repair DNA and prevent these diseases.
4. The end of food shortages
We live in a world with a food supply that often grows short. This results in higher prices for those foods, as well as famine in third world countries. However, Reuters believes that science will end that problem forever. Whatever you may think of genetically-modified food, it could be the very thing to save us. Combine that with new lighting technologies and imaging techniques, and food shortages might be gone by 2025. Food will be grown indoors, safely, but quickly, to satisfy a growing population.
5. Electric air transportation
We’ve seen advances in electric cars and other transportation methods, but up until now, we haven’t seen any improvements in the gas hogs of the skies: airplanes. However, by 2025, Reuters believes that planes will finally go electric, thanks to newer lightweight materials to build them with and better battery technologies that can store at least 10 times more power than anything we’ll see in 2014. These planes will also be more maneuverable and able to land in tighter spaces, which might open up air travel to an even wider margin of people. Let’s hope this also leads to flying cars.
6. Everything is digital
Although there are hold-outs on people who prefer “real” books and newspapers over digital ones, they’re just going to have to get used to the fact that the times are a-changin’. According to Reuters, by 2025, everything will be digital: from your newspaper to your books to your invoices and receipts. But that’s not all, even your home appliances will be able to communicate with you (and vice versa) and smart homes will be the norm (think SARAH from the TV series Eureka). Cars will drive themselves and if we’re really lucky, dinner will cook itself and dishes will wash themselves. Maybe that’s reaching a little, but you get the drift: the internet of things will be a reality.
7. Goodbye, petroleum
Most people don’t realize it, but petroleum isn’t just used for gasoline. It’s also used in plastic for packaging. However, it’s a limited resource, and by 2025, we’ll need to replace it. Thanks to research on bio-nanocomposites (derived from cellulose), Reuters thinks we’ll have 100% fully biodegradable packaging in the future. As a result, the world will become a greener, more cleaner, place.
8. Safer cancer treatments
Cancer sucks, and our current treatment for it comes with a wide variety of harmful side effects. Although Reuters doesn’t see a cure for cancer by 2025 (boo), they do envision better treatment options without the crazy side effects. By then, drugs will be targeted to specific cells. thanks to nanotechnology, so that exposing the entire body to harmful radiation and drugs will be a thing of the past. These new drugs can bind to specific cells and take out a tumor where it lives. We’re also gaining a better knowledge of cancer and the gene mutations that cause it, so perhaps a cure isn’t completely out of the question, too.
9. Reducing disease by DNA mapping
What if you could map a baby’s DNA shortly after birth and find genetic mutations that may cause disease later in life and then wipe those mutations out? That’s exactly what Reuters imagines for 2025, thanks to improvements we’re seeing in single-cell analysis and nanotechnology. Forget the blood tests, nanoparticles will be inserted into the body and find any problems quickly. DNA will be mapped at birth and checked yearly for any deviations.
10. Beam me up, Scotty
That’s right: by 2025, Reuters thinks we’ll be testing quantum teleportation. Because of what we’ve learned about Higgs Boson particles, we have a better understanding of how teleporting may actually work. We probably won’t be teleporting to our next vacation spot by then, but teleportation itself will be less science fiction and more reality.
Source: Science Watch