We’re living in the age of fast technological advancements and incredible gadgets being created every day. In fact, there are so many discoveries in all spheres of life that it’s almost impossible to follow everything. Have you heard about an artificial womb? Not many people have, nevertheless, it’s one of the most exciting inventions of the year! There’s also gene-editing, new particles, and of course Elon Musk’s SpaceX company with its incredible reusable rockets. This is only the tip of the iceberg! Here we’ve gathered 10 geek news that prove we are currently living in the future.
We are not alone (probably)
Finding Earth 2.0 has been a dream of thousands of people for quite some time now. Everyone is worried about our planet meeting an unpleasant end, that’s why it’s important to find a planet similar to Earth just in case humanity needs a new place to stay. Thanks to NASA and the European Southern Observatory, scientists were able to find a whole system packed with exoplanets that are supposedly habitable (and maybe even hosting some life forms of their own!). Located 39.5 light-years from us, there’s a star system named TRAPPIST-1, which has not one, not two, but seven Earth-like planets in its so-called ‘goldilocks zone’. This discovery will definitely become a huge game-changer!
Most people still haven’t heard about this new technology, although it could easily change the future of humanity. Think developing an embryo outside a natural womb is impossible? Well, not anymore! Scientists at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia have come up with a synthetic womb that imitates that of an actual woman, and put it to test! They managed to grow a 23-week-old lamb and it turned out absolutely okay. This means that thousands of premature babies will be saved in the nearest future!
AI helps detect earthquakes
Not many people realize just how many earthquakes are happening everyday – some of them you can hardly register, but others can destroy whole cities. California alone experiences more than 10,000 earthquakes of different magnitude each year. CovNetQuake artificial intelligence system analyses seismograms and ground motion information to locate earthquakes and soon enough it’ll be able create forecasts for future ones! Right now the system is going through ‘training’ in Oklahoma and can already detect 17 times more earthquakes than has ever been possible with all other technologies.
Translating language in real time
There isn’t a sci-fi TV show that doesn’t have a gadget that can instantly translate any foreign (or otherworldly) language in the one you can understand. Remember Doctor Who’s Tardis doing this trick all the time? Star Trek also had a gadget that functioned like this. Well, now this device is a reality! Similar to the Babel Fish described in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Pilot earphones use two earpieces to make the conversation possible for two people. Each person just has to wear one and the device will do the rest. It currently costs $249, looks like an awesome sci-fi gadget, and can translate between five languages. You can also use the app for translation if the other person doesn’t have an earpiece.
Quantum physics has not only changed the way we perceive the world, but also made it possible to create some really outstanding devices. Chinese researchers made a huge breakthrough with quantum networks, making it possible to transfer data at incredible speeds. Mind-boggling quantum computers are already available for sale, while quantum cryptography can send messages in a way we never thought was possible before. Not to mention the revolutionary quantum Internet that’s waiting for us in the future!
SpaceX is changing space travel as we speak
Elon Musk’s reusable spaceflight tech is going to change everything. We’ve already seen proof that his Falcon 9 rockets are actually reusable, and recently he successfully launched Falcon Heavy with the infamous spaceman driving the Tesla car that’s aboard the rocket. Elon Musk, however, isn’t planning on stopping anytime soon! SpaceX is developing new tech right as we speak, not to mention the breathtaking plan for Mars that includes sending humans there by 2024.
We are learning more and more about the fabric of our reality with advancements in quantum physics. Scientists at the LHC (Large Hadron Collider) had a successful experiment that helped them discover five new particles – that’s five new states no one knew even existed! More than 10,000 CERN scientists are involved in exploring the earlier days of our Universe, as well as well some of greatest cosmic mysteries known to humans (like parallel dimensions and dark matter). We can’t even imagine what else they will find!
We’re about to see an actual black hole
We have so many images of black holes in sci-fi movies that it seems we should have seen at least one of them in real life. Alas! Black holes still remain a mystery, although astrophysicists working with the Event Horizons Telescope are sure they will get a full image of a black hole sometime in 2018. We’ve known about the existence of black holes for decades, but had no visual proof to support the theory. EHT is about to change that! Using ultra-magnification, this system of seven telescopes scattered all over Earth works together to create a complex image of one spot. Basically they create a virtual telescope the size of our planet!
The farthest ever camera shot
NASA has been busy with taking photos of our spectacular Universe for more than a few decades and they are getting better at this with each passing year (if not month). Some 3.79 billion light-years away from Earth, the New Horizons spacecraft is taking pictures like nothing we’ve ever seen before. It used LORRI (Long Range Reconnaissance Imager) to photograph the Kuiper belt, making it the farthest ever camera shot in the history of space photography! Right now the images are not of the best quality, but as the New Horizons wakes up in the summer of 2018 to beam back more photos of outer space, the quality will be better than anything produced by Hubble.
Editing human genes used to be no more than a sci-fi dream created by writers, but now it’s the reality we live in! Sangamo Therapeutics has developed a special CRISPR treatment that allows editing genes in a human body. That’s right, we are not talking about embryos, but also about treating illnesses in adults. Just like that, a 44-year-old patient was treated for Hunter syndrome that can cause damage to physical abilities, mental functions, and organ development. It was the first ever gene editing inside a living human being!