Saturday, 28 December 2013

The 18 Most Futuristic Predictions That Came True in 2013

A round up of breakthroughs and scientific discoveries from the last 12 month over on On the surface, this could be seen a just a relatively mundane list, nothing more than a collection of words and hyperlinks appearing on a webpage, really. But if you stop to consider the possible ramifications of some of these developments and the changes we're likely to be seeing as a result, I defy your mind not to be blown!

For me, these are some of the highlights:
3. Brain-to brain interfaces arrived: Researchers demonstrated that signals from the mind of one rat can help a second rat solve basic puzzles in real time — even when separated by thousands of miles. 
Just to reiterate that - Brain-to-brain interfaces!!!!!!!!!!
7. The world's first government-recognized cyborg: Neil Harbisson became the first person on the planet to have a passport photo showing his true cyborg nature. In his UK passport, Harbisson can be seen wearing a head-mounted device called an eyeborg. The color-blind artist says the device allows him to see color, and he wants to help other cyborgs like himself gain more rights.
9. The world's first carbon nanotube computer: It's only got 178 transistors, but it's an important proof-of-concept that's poised to keep Moore's Law right on track. The breakthrough, in which a basic computer was powered by microscopic chains of carbon atoms, means we may have finally found a viable alternative to silicon chips.
This one may not sound all that interesting or revolutionary, but is the type of technology that will eventually lead to personal computing measured in the petaFLOPS range (i.e. one thousand million million, or one quadrillion, calculations per second). By way of comparison, the Sony PlayStation 4 is listed as having a peak performance of 1.84 teraFLOPS (trillion calculations per second), while the fastest computer in the world (as of November 2013), China’s Tianhe-2 Supercomputer, has been clocked at 33.86 petaFLOPS.
12. Biologists created an 'elixir' that reverses a known cause of aging: After administering a new compound to 2-year old mice, their muscles reverted back to 6-month levels. That's like regenerating the muscles of a 60-year old human to those of a 20-year old. The new drug improved muscle wastage, restored mitochondrial function and communication, and improved inflammation and insulin resistance. And incredibly, human trials may start next year.
OK, so, really! Aging has actually been reversed. And note that last sentence - human trials in 2014!
13. The first net-positive nuclear fusion reaction is recorded: In order for fusion power plants to be feasible, they have to produce more energy than they consume. It's a challenge that's confounded scientists for years. But researchers at the National Ignition Facility made it happen. During an experiment in September, the amount of energy released through a fusion reaction exceeded the amount of energy being absorbed by the fuel. It's the first time this has been achieved at any fusion facility in the world.
14. Scientists created a cybernetic implant that repairs brain damage and a bioengineered patch that regrows damaged bones inside the body

Check out the full list @ The 18 Most Futuristic Predictions That Came True in 2013