“Everything that could be invented has already been invented,” said Charles Duel, an employee of the US Patent Office, in 1899, and was mistaken. The greatest minds of the nineteenth century could not imagine how much the life of civilization would change in the twentieth century. But we live in the era of informatization, and, using the available data, we can fantasize what inventions will appear in the future.
Medicines against cancer and AIDS
In the Middle Ages, the pandemic of the plague destroyed one third of the population of Europe. The then medicine was completely powerless against the terrible disease, but today the inhabitants of civilized countries of the world often do not even have an idea about this disease. Perhaps in the future, such diseases as AIDS or cancer, will also forever go to oblivion.
It is interesting that scientists from the University of Jerusalem Ronnie Novarsky and Moshe Kotler proposed to treat cancer with the help of … HIV. The fact is that even after radiation therapy cancer cells can restore their damaged DNA. But the immunodeficiency virus contains the protein Vif, which does not allow them to do this trick.
HIV molecule 3D model / © Depositphotos
Of course, this technology is just one of many medical developments presented recently, and there is no guarantee of its success. In addition, often the main obstacle to recovery is not the lack of drugs, but their high cost. Therefore, in the future, drugs should not only be more effective, but also cheap.
Billions of dollars are spent on the search for a cure for AIDS, but progress in the fight against this disease is limited only by prolonging the life of patients: by the present time only two out of millions of patients have managed to get rid of therapeutically. In 2008, the leading American virologist and Nobel Prize winner David Baltimore generally questioned a possible victory over the “scourge of the XX” century. One of the reasons for this is the high level of adaptability of the virus to new drugs.
Cancer Cell / © Depositphotos
Despite Dolly’s lamb and several other inspirational examples, human cloning is still a matter of the future. The obstacles for carrying out such a complex experiment are very many – from technological ones to moral and ethical ones (we wrote about the problem of cloning in the June issue of the magazine from 2013, in the article “Attack on Clones” – NS). A contribution to this issue is made by religion, which opposes such experiments. Nevertheless, in the future we still have chances to see real clones. But do not believe in film stamps – just to repeat the appearance and structure of thinking of a particular person will not succeed, because each of us gets his own unique way of becoming, development and life experience.
Russian physician Viktor Yarovoy in 2008 described a mental disorder allegedly spreading in modern society – “bionalism.” According to the doctor, it consists in fear of cloned people who may be more perfect than mere mortals.
Now the most promising method for cloning large mammals is the method of transferring the nucleus of somatic cells. It consists in removing nuclear genetic material from the egg cell and replacing it with another DNA. In the future, there may be other, more advanced methods of human cloning.
Implantation of memory
According to some scientists, in the future there will be implants that will allow a person to restore the damaged memory. They will be indispensable in severe diseases or brain traumas.
One of the possible ways to expand memory capabilities was opened by Canadian researcher Andres Lozano: electrical stimulation of the hypothalamus allowed the patient to recall the long-forgotten events that took place about 30 years ago. It is interesting that Andres Lozano worked on a completely different task: by stimulating the hypothalamus, he wanted to influence the obese patient, suppressing his irrepressible appetite. And eventually came across a method that in the future, perhaps, will provide invaluable help in Alzheimer’s disease.
But such an approach can only become the first link in a long chain of scientific discoveries. Already, scientists from the United States are working to create a mathematical model of memory programmed on a microchip. Researchers believe that in the future such a chip with pre-recorded memories can be implanted in the brain of a person suffering from memory disorders.
The idea of using memory implants is played out in the famous melodrama “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”. The film tells about a company that can erase from a person’s memory unwanted memories of his past. However, on the big screen, such ideas appeared earlier – it is enough to recall the cultic epic with Arnold Schwarzenegger “Remember All”, based on the novel by Philip K. Dick.
Perhaps in the distant future there will be technologies that allow implanting any “memory” in the human brain. Fiction loves to write about this, and they, as is known, are often right. The introduction of other people’s memories can be considered one of the key technologies for manipulating people. Fortunately, this does not threaten us in the foreseeable future.
Always have a device at your fingertips capable of analyzing any substance, object or living organism in a second – the prospect is tempting. Portable tricoders have become an integral part of novels about the future and fantastic films. Such a device viewers could see in the famous science fiction series “Star Trek”. In the film, the tricorder could reveal the structure of a particular substance, determine the degree of physical damage, or even recognize a new organism – it was enough to bring the device to the object under investigation.
Inspired by the romance of the “Star Trek”, scientist Peter Jansen in 2007 took up the creation of the first tricorder. The device designed by him should determine the ambient temperature, humidity, range, electromagnetic spectrum and composition of matter. The tricorder has a touch screen and communicates with the computer via Bluetooth.
There are other attempts to create something similar, one such project is being implemented in NASA. However, all these systems exist in the form of concepts or prototypes, in their capabilities they are infinitely far from the devices that are familiar to us from the fantastic films and novels. But in the future the tricorder can become the same usual part of our life as a computer or a mobile phone.
In addition to these models, there is at least one prototype of a fantastic tricorder, and it can even be purchased. Scout Medical Scanner is Scanadu’s latest development. With the help of this small device it is possible to measure the pulse, heart activity, temperature and oxygen level in the blood. It is enough to bring the device to the temple.
The tricorder of Peter Jansen / © Pieter Jansen
Not so long ago, a project was presented with the uncomplicated name Holho. Calculated for smartphones and tablets, it is more correct to call the display pseudo-holographic, since the three-dimensional image is created due to optical deception. The device itself is a small translucent pyramid.
And what about more serious developments in this area? Very soon the world can change the project of the company Provision 3D Media. HoloVision technology will be able to reproduce a hologram the size of human growth and will be based on fundamentally new technical solutions. What are these decisions – the company has not yet reported. Now, Provision 3D Media is busy searching for investments for its project.
While flying cars divide into the skies only fictional worlds, but someday we will be able to see such a development in real life. How can such a development look like? The main difference between a flying car and conventional helicopters and aircraft should be its compactness and independence from complex infrastructure. This is what developers are trying to achieve today.
One of the last such projects is an aeromobile, presented by the Slovak designer Stefan Klein. He called it Aeromobil 2.5. The machine has wings and, being in the air, moves due to the pushing screw. On the ground, the vehicle can accelerate to 160 km / h, in the sky – up to 200. Stefan Klein worked in detail on the design of his invention, guided by the principle: “only beautiful vehicles fly well.”
Project Stefan Klein Aeromobil 2.5 / © Aeromobil
In total, about two dozen current models of flying cars have been created. Among the Russian projects, the experimental model “Lark-4”, developed by the efforts of the National Aeroclub of Russia, became known. In this flying machine can accommodate four passengers.
Another interesting development was the car TF-X. The Terrafugia project is a flying car with folding wings. In its aerodynamic scheme, the TF-X is somewhat reminiscent of a convertoplan and in flight can accelerate to 160 km / h. Approximate price of the car – 280 thousand dollars.
But such machines as TF-X probably will not make a revolution. A very large price and a lot of bureaucratic obstacles nullify the mass character of such novelties. Of course, attaching the car wings, you can amuse the audience, but this does not mean that everyone immediately rush to buy it. To change the world, developers will have to make a real technological leap.
Flying car with folding wings TF-X / © Terrafugia
Like many inventions of the future, teleportation came into our lives from the pages of science fiction novels. Perhaps, of all futuristic ideas, this one is most admired. The ability for a fraction of a second to move to anywhere in the world makes you feel awe. But is it possible in real life?
The word “teleportation” is also used in science, although here it means not quite “instantaneous movement in space”. For example, quantum teleportation implies the transfer of a quantum state from one particle to another, “linked” with it. If we talk about teleportation in the usual (science-fiction) sense, this idea is only a deep theory. And although the science fiction writers have outlined many issues related to teleportation, the movement in space remains infinitely far from real life.
The main problem is that to instantly transfer an object in space, this very object must first be … destroyed, previously “saving” its initial state. In this case, after the trip, the structure of the object will have to be put together. And even this is just a bold fantasy, far from science. However, who knows, maybe teleportation will still get a start in life.
The history knows many mysterious cases connected with teleportation both in space, and in time. Allegedly people in a matter of seconds were transferred to thousands of kilometers, while remaining unharmed. If you believe the testimony of eyewitnesses, they did not even understand what happened to them. However, the known laws of physics deny the possibility of such travel.
Another guest from the distant future is a “power shield”. According to the artistic plan, this unknown field will be able to provide complete security for all who are inside it, protection from any external impact, including nuclear weapons.
In real life, one of the main problems of this idea is the need for energy. It is difficult to imagine how much it needs to feed such a screen. But even if a suitable source of energy is found, scientists do not understand the mechanism of the “power shield”. It will take decades (and probably hundreds of years) before one can imagine what phenomenon or physical principle can be used for this.
“It is important to understand what kind of future we are talking about,” says the famous Russian futurologist Danila Medvedev. – But if you remove the time frame, then the main changes will be related to the improvement of artificial intelligence. Some scientists call the development of artificial intelligence “the last important invention of mankind.” Probably, in the 21st century, most of the processes that are now being performed by people will be automated. We can even expect the automation of intellectual activity. Of course, all this will radically change the way of life habitual for us. In addition to the development of artificial intelligence, the main changes in the future may be related to the prolongation of human life. Reorganization and cultivation of organs will become possible in the future. Of course, all this will affect the life expectancy.