The Chronicles of Extreme Future Part 1: On Demand Medicine

May 05 2008 / by Fictionthis / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Technology   Year: 2015   Rating: 9 Hot

Steve has had a long day. He is tired despite having taken the anti-fatigue pill “Alert” to get through the last web conference on the company’s newest video unit.

Steve has had a long day. He is tired despite having taken the anti-fatigue pill “Alert” to get through the last web conference on the company’s newest video unit. A happy hour beer-fest at an Alfa lounge sounds tempting, but just after leaving the building; a sharp chest pain stops him mid step. The pain finally subsides, and he quickly speaks to his cell phone, activating his personal health record by uttering the word, “Emergency”.

Immediately, Steve is routed via the internet to his health plan’s Clinical emergency centre for diagnosis. This Involves answering a series of yes or no questions about the symptoms and vital signs asked by a Med-Tech on duty computer. Steve places a finger on the screen of his cell phone where his bio-signature converts his bio-scan signals and sends them instantly to the Emerg-Med Team via virtual Net Centre many time zones away.

The GE Cyberdoc decides that Steve’s condition maybe acute cardiac ischemia and dispatches a clinic mobile to his exact location. En route to the nearest emergency-care unit, a battery of tests, including another bio-scan, are performed and transmitted immediately through a wireless devise in real time to a lab for interpretation. (cont.)

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Chronicles of Extreme Future Part 5: Utopia

May 02 2008 / by Fictionthis / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Transportation   Year: Beyond   Rating: 8 Hot

Underwater cities have been a dream of futurists. Starting from Atlantis to the evasive Captain Nemo.

The first underwater built city in Dubai was a scientific breakthrough. Located just off the coast of the man made “World” islands, it was the first under water facility capable of sustaining prolonged life under water. It was built in the shallow waters, merely ten meters from the surface allowing plenty of natural light to seep through.

At first air was pumped from the outside until a new air harvesting technology called “air farming” was adopted in 2020. Air farming is literally a network of fields of sea plants, saturated with pumps and filtering systems, extracting and transporting air to the underwater city. The switch from external to internal air came in 2022 which introduced a new era of development under water. It was later discovered that air produced and extracted straight from the ocean was so beneficial to human health that the underwater cities quickly became the preferred choice for the rich and famous. Nicknamed “Utopia”, it became the centre of the scientific advancement. (cont.)

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Top Energy Science Breakthroughs in 2008: Batteries, Fuel Cells and Capacitors

December 24 2008 / by Garry Golden / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Energy   Year: Beyond   Rating: 7 Hot

A123 Battery

 

Let's think beyond simply trying to find new ways to produce more energy, and focus on ways of storing energy.  Why?  Because this expands ways for us to produce more energy!  Confused? 

Solar and wind alone are a hard sell to utility providers because of intermittent production when the sun isn't shining or wind doesn't blow.  Add utility scale storage to solar and wind farms, and you have a more valuable proposition.

Battery powered cars sound great, but not if we have to plug in our vehicles every 50 or 100 miles. Or what about a new iPhone with a battery that cannot last the entire day. 

We have written dozens of posts on energy storage and believe it deserves much more attention from the media and policy leaders.   2009 could be a turning point for awareness around the importance of enabling next generation batteries, fuel cells and capacitors.

List of 20+ Energy Breakthroughs in Batteries, Fuel cells, and Capacitors

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The Chronicles of Extreme Future Part 2: The Strength Suit

May 06 2008 / by Fictionthis / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Technology   Year: Beyond   Rating: 6 Hot

It was the summer of 2022 and I was invited to go rock-climbing with some friends. I had never attempted this exercise before, so naturally, I was concerned.

My friends simply dismissed my unease, saying “rock-climbing is not what it used to be”.

They were right.

Body line pressurized suits have been in use since 2012; first in NASA spacewalks and then were quickly introduced to the public. At first they were simply pressurized and used as a space suit based wrap. It increased mobility and decreased its size. Since then electronic fibers were introduced to manipulate the structure of the “smart” fabric thus magnifying the strength of movement while wearing the suit. Making the user of it, astoundingly stronger. I knew that hours in the gym would not be needed for what would be a grueling rock-climbing trip, because my hire suit enhanced my strength five fold. The trip turned out to be great, getting to the top was definitely worth the now-easy trip. Next month we will go kite surfing, I think I might need hire the suit again.

Will Scientific Modelling Soon Be Obsolete?

June 25 2008 / by juldrich / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Biotechnology   Year: General   Rating: 6 Hot

By Jack Uldrich

Cross-posted from www.jumpthecurve.net

Chris Anderson, the editor of Wired, has written an excellent article entitled “The End of Theory: The Data Deluge Makes Scientific Method Obsolete” in which he convincingly argues that massive amounts of data, in combination with sophisticated algorithms and super powerful computers, offers mankind a whole new way of understanding the world.

Anderson believes that our technological tools have now progressed to the point where the “old way” of doing science – hypothesize, model and test – is becoming obsolete. In its place, a new paradigm is now emerging whereby scientists, researchers and entrepreneurs simply allow statistical algorithms to find patterns where science cannot.

If Anderson is correct – and I believe he very well could be – this will take science in a whole new direction. In short, instead of modeling and waiting to find out if hypotheses are valid the scientific community can instead rely on intelligent algorithms to do the heavy lifting.

Before this vision can be achieved, however, it will require a great many brilliant scientists to unlearn the idea that their “model-based” method of trying to make sense of today’s increasingly complex world is the only way to search for new meaning. (cont.)

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7 Sci-Fi Stories in which Biomass Saves Humanity's Ass

October 14 2008 / by John Heylin
Category: Biotechnology   Year: 2008   Rating: 5 Hot

There’s an interesting post over at the Energy Roadmap titled Investors betting on biological future for biofuels – We can ‘grow’ energy!.

It got me thinking — is our salvation really in the hands of these small microbials? Do science fiction writers have it right?

War of the Worlds
An invasion of Martians threaten to obliterate humanity. Humans are forced to run, unable to combat the technologically advanced tripods the Martians are manning. All seems lost until tripods start falling down for unknown reasons. Eventually, all the Martians have died due to a lack of immunities against Earth’s bacteria.

Red Planet
Earth, due to overpopulation and pollution, has seeded Mars with oxygen-producing algae in the hope of being able to eventually move to the planet. Astronauts are sent to the planet to find out why oxygen production has stalled and discover a native bug which feeds on the algae and produces oxygen. Running out of air, the astronauts remove their helmets expecting to die but find oxygen.

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Beta’s Eyes

November 23 2008 / by Adam Cutsinger
Category: Technology   Year: Beyond   Rating: 5 Hot

At some point in the not-so-distant future, somewhere on planet Earth…

Beta Bogdanovsky’s Italian Cācio-model translator spoke with a decidedly male monotone, and had the vocabulary, albeit in 13 languages, of a 3rd grader. Her dog’s translator was nearly as well spoken. Then again, Tóse was a smart dog, an Illyrian sheepdog whose eyes expressed more care than those of most people, and he almost certainly had the capacity to communicate on levels beyond the short sentences programmed into his collar.

“Iz vee NEH tuh,” she said in Bulgarian to a rotund bearded man blocking access to the window seat next to him. A roundish silver and gold box hung from a beaded chain around her neck, and a small bas-relief profile of the Roman god Mercury spoke the Greek, “Syghnomi.”

Excuse me.

The man’s posture shifted to make way even before he looked up, and when he did lift his head he was eye to eye with Tóse. Expressionlessly he made a symbolic attempt to scoot his plastic bags out of the aisle, and Beta sided into the seat, setting her gear on the floor between her feet. Tóse sat on his haunches in front of them both. Beta wondered why it was that people could not seem to rein it in in crowded public places and on trains.

As the ARMA Speed Tram pulled away from the passenger bay, the lights in the tramcar faded slightly as they always did between stations, and Beta closed her eyes and relaxed her neck, as she always did when she was commuting. Bitoli was five stops from the sea, as the tram tunneled through the Korab and Pindus Mountains, and then there were six more on the other side of the water before reaching Monopoli. This trip would be an opportunity to shut her eyes for approximately 2 hours, which was a very good thing, because Beta’s eyes were very tired.

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The Edison of our Age: Stan Ovshinsky and the Future of Energy [Video Interview Part 1]

October 14 2008 / by joelg / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Energy   Year: 2008   Rating: 4 Hot

By Joel Greenberg

If you had an opportunity to sit down and interview Thomas Edison, what would you ask him? That’s a similar position I found myself in at the recent NanoTX’08 conference in Dallas, TX. I asked Stanford Ovshinsky, founder of Energy Conversion Devices and Ovshinsky Innovations to sit down with me after he gave a keynote where we discussed, among other things, his plans for a 1 Gigawatt solar power plant that would produce electricity more cheaply than a coal fired plant.

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Where McCain and Obama stand on Science and Technology

August 01 2008 / by justinelee / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Government   Year: General   Rating: 2

Over the past few months Americans have been trying to grasp what each presidential nominee will bring to the table once inaugurated as our Commander-in-Chief this coming January.

With looming issues that include the economy, the war in Iraq, and gas prices, there has been little emphasis placed on how either John McCain or Barack Obama feel about the government’s role in science and technology despite a growing group of citizens who want the issue debated.. These individuals believe that the future of America’s science and technology sectors are crucial to the success of our economy, world image, and ultimately our well-being.

I found this table presented by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), useful but not definitive.

The table compares the decisions made by McCain and Obama regarding policies on science and technology spanning energy, health care and innovation.

It is clear through this table that Obama has given each issue some more thought: his calls for change include concrete numbers and percentages, while McCain’s do not.

With some more research, I found that much of the same was reflected in McCain and Obama’s campaign websites and other articles written about their stances.

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Top Energy Stories of 2008: #2 The Year of Scientific Breakthroughs

December 16 2008 / by joelg / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Environment   Year: 2008   Rating: 2

By Joel Greenberg

In the blur of announcements from solar companies, oil company TV commercials, and news pundits, science sometimes get lost in the conversation.  But it's science that will bring us to a workable energy future and this year has seen some significant breakthroughs.  MIT's Daniel Nocera announced the development of a low cost catalyst that helps in the electrolysis of water into oxygen & hydrogen.  The development of Metal Organic Frameworks (MOFs) for solid hydrogen storage continued to evolve; Nanotechnology continues to bring promising experimental results across many energy related fields including, catalysts for fuel cells; conversion of waste heat into electricity; a new theory explaining molecular movement in polymers; and more.

Which of these scientific breakthroughs might change the commercial viability of cleaner hydrocarbons, bioenergy, renewables and advanced energy storage systems?

Scientific breakthroughs

 

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The Centralization AND Decentralization of Science

January 14 2009 / by Alvis Brigis / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Science   Year: General   Rating: 2

In his first ever post on the NYTimes' The Wild Side blog, biologist Aaron Hirsch describes what he sees as the increasing centralization and decentralization of scienctific processes.  These new approaches, he argues, are driving larger and more complex efforts to generate more useful useful data in different ways.

Centralization: Across many different fields, new data are generated by a smaller and smaller number of bigger and bigger projects. And with this process of centralization come changes in what scientists measure — and even in what scientists are.Centralization of Information

Hirsch attributes this to the high cost of powerful machines and technologies that can quickly generate results that otherwise would take far longer to discover.  This new dependence on massive facilities or operations, he argues, is changing the nature of the scientist.

It’s not only scientific instruments, but also the scientists themselves who are transformed by centralization. If the 19th century was an age of far-flung investigators alone in the wilderness or the book-lined study, the 21st century is, so far, an age of scientists as administrators.

Decentralization: Simultaneously, we are are experiencing a huge decentralization of much of our scientific process through projects such as SETI that tap the distributed power of personal laptops.  Hirsch labels this "Citizen Science".

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[Video] What is the Future of Nanotechnology?

February 01 2009 / by Garry Golden / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Technology   Year: Beyond   Rating: 2

This mashup video project created by students in a Brown University Global Media course (2007) integrates various video clips that ask: What is nanotechnology?

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