MindBullets is a part of the global FutureWorld Network, constantly sensitive to changes in the technological, economic, social, political and business landscape. The MindBullets Contributors scan this rapidly changing environment for clues about possible future trends. The results of this synthesis are combined by our contributors into an on-going series of MindBullets: News from the Future - with a summary emailed to you every Thursday and the complete MindBullets data base available online to explore each scenario in more detail. Exciting scenarios of alternative futures based on breakthrough thinking today. A powerful tool to help you learn from the future - a new MindBullet every week!

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Filtered by tag: BioTech

SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERY: HAND IT TO THE MACHINES

Published on: 7 December 2017

When AI and chips are the best researchers, let them get on with it

Dateline: 8 February 2021

There's only so much a scientist can do. Which is why we all use smart agents to do most of our research for us. Smart software can read and parse papers many thousands of times faster than any human. A typical example is fingerprint identification or facial recognition. Computers are just way more efficient at matching patterns. But what happens when you are looking for new data in real time? How do you program that? Nano Global has released their first version of Nanobit, a system-on-a-chip that ...

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PHYSICAL NEEDS, DIGITAL SOLUTIONS

Published on: 2 November 2017

Food, shelter and clothing - they're all IT

Dateline: 3 November 2022

We're all familiar with Maslow's hierarchy, and we know that basic needs like food, shelter and personal comfort come first. But it seems information technology, that enabling force for modern civilization, was focused far up the scale, at education, entertainment and research, and of course, finance. Now the world of smart robotics and nanotech production has turned basic businesses into digital technologies. Energy is solid state solar and batteries, and traded like information on the internet. ...

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INTERNET OF ORGANIC THINGS

Published on: 12 October 2017

Plants that tweet and pets that ping

Dateline: 13 October 2023

Does your prize rose bush send you an email when it needs specific nutrients, or tweet incessantly when it's thirsty? Does your Labrador retriever ping you on your smartphone, when he's restless and wants a walk? Only if you've got smart soil sensors, for the rose, and a smart dog-collar for the Lab. But all these things we've connected to the 'net, they all need power - battery power, and even enhanced with tiny solar cells, like all electronics, they eventually wear out and have to be replaced, or ...

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IT'S AN INSIDE JOB

Published on: 7 September 2017

Black-market organ transplants performed by microbot

Dateline: 6 September 2027

The WHO (World Health Organization) predicts an increase in illegal surgeries and black-market organ transplants because of the increasing capability of medical microbots. They are designed for patients to swallow, as if it were a pill made out of digestible enzymes. Fitted with tiny microblades or needles, they quickly move to clean blocked arteries, detect disease and treat cancer. Microbots are also useful for delivering medication to specific parts of the body and addressing hormone or metabolic ...

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THE BLIND CAN SEE AND THE DEAF CAN HEAR

Published on: 31 August 2017 1 Comment

New technologies open up the world for previously disabled

Dateline: 30 July 2020

Millions of people around the globe suffer from deafness and blindness - but that will soon end; and when it comes to helping the deaf, we have to thank Siri, Apple's digital assistant! Early experiments showed that transplanting stem cells into the eyes of rats with damaged retinas cured blindness. Now scientists are using the same technology to repair diseases which commonly cause deteriorating sight in humans, namely glaucoma, retinal detachment and macular degeneration. In fact, thanks to ...

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WAIT A SEC, I'VE ONLY GOT THREE HANDS

Published on: 24 August 2017 2 Comments

Third arms are a blessing and a curse

Dateline: 1 September 2023

Since scientists and doctors collaborated almost a decade ago to fit amputees with robotic arms controlled by their brains, bionic limbs have come a long way. Now it's possible to strap on a wearable robotic appendage, even if both your arms are fully functional. Connected wirelessly to your brain by a 'thinking cap', you can move your third arm and manipulate your extra limb, just by thought alone. With practice, you become quite dexterous. What's really interesting is that you can operate all ...

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BEAM ME UP A VIRUS, SCOTTY

Published on: 3 August 2017

Sending life to Mars in minutes

Dateline: 5 August 2024

I know we were promised the first humans on Mars by now, but it turns out, making the seven-month journey is pretty rough on people, and we're not ready to risk it yet. Our robots and rovers have been busy on Mars, building landing zones and habitats, and preparing the soil for the first plants. Now we're ready to send a small organism to be cultivated on Mars, to see if it will survive. Sending a mothership all that way, just for a microbe, would be a costly waste, if the experiment fails. But ...

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NERDS TRIUMPH OVER COWS

Published on: 29 June 2017

Clean meat comes to market

Dateline: 28 June 2019

It's common cause that the meat industry is not very kind to animals, and intensive cattle farming is not very good for the environment in general. What's more, more than enough food is grown globally to adequately feed the world's growing population, but a large part of crop production goes to feeding cows, so that affluent people can enjoy nice juicy steaks. All this while the poor go hungry and survive on foreign aid in times of drought. In the interests of social justice and animal humanity, ...

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THE NEXT BIG THING IS A MASHUP

Published on: 25 May 2017 1 Comment

Combinatorial tech evolves to constant mashups

Dateline: 21 May 2020

A few years ago, all the tech gurus talked about amazing new technologies that would disrupt businesses in all industries. One common theme was that these technologies all relied on digital processing power, and the advances being made in computing and communications were behind the explosion of innovation on all fronts. Looking at internet-of-things, massive data analysis, deep learning and artificial intelligence, all the way through to 3D printing and self-driving cars; even blockchain and the ...

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STEP INTO THE MATRIX

Published on: 11 May 2017 1 Comment

Now you can upload new skills to your brain

Dateline: 10 April 2029

Need a new skill or ability? There's an app for that! Neuroscience and neuroprosthetics have advanced to the point where, if you need to learn Arabic in a hurry, or how to make sense of DNA analysis, you can just upload it to your brain. On demand, just like an app for your phone. The first breakthrough was the 'hardware'; memory chips wired into the brains of stroke and accident victims have been replaced by nanoparticle 'liquid electronics', implantable with minimally invasive techniques. They ...

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THE NEW GOLD OF THE 21st CENTURY

Published on: 21 April 2017 1 Comment

Data drives massive profits for the new corporate titans

Dateline: 23 October 2026

It's certainly not oil, it's not even water. The new 'gold' of the 21st century is data. And a range of corporate giants are using it to drive massive profits. Yuval Noah Harari, author of the 2016 book 'Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow', was right on the mark when he wrote: "One of the most important questions in the world is who owns the data of humankind. Maybe the most important asset of the 21st Century is not land, and it's not money, it's really data." At the turn of the century, ...

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ROSES ARE RED, BATTERIES ARE GREEN

Published on: 9 March 2017

A field of daffodils can power a town

Dateline: 8 March 2023

Once we thought that batteries were made of corrosive chemicals and heavy metals. But what happens when you can grow e-plants that store solar energy like super-capacitors? Back in 2017, scientists discovered they could grow nanowires inside a red rose, using the plant's own capillary system to create an internal network, and absorb electrolyte. It's a little like that old school lab experiment, where you run an LED off a potato - natural, organic electricity. Except that, in the case of e-plants, ...

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ANOTHER EXTRA, NEW YEAR

Published on: 29 December 2016 1 Comment

Every year your life increases by another year

Dateline: 1 January 2033

If you're young enough, you may never die. Seriously. Think about it: If average lifespan keeps increasing, every year, then as long as you are younger than that, you have an excellent chance of living another year. And next year, the same, and so on. Eventually there will be diminishing returns to medical science and optimal nutrition, but if you live in a highly developed economy, you may live indefinitely. Unless you get killed in an aircar crash or earthquake, of course. But for most of us, ...

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CREEPY CRAWLIES CLEAN THE HOUSE AND POOL

Published on: 8 December 2016

Combining biotech with 3D printing and robotics creates quantum leap

Dateline: 7 December 2019

Another breakthrough has been revealed, this time in the arcane science of biobotics; not bionic appliances for humans, but organic robots. These are machines built with ceramics, metals and living tissue - usually cells cultured from lab rats. Biobots are not really living machines like radio controlled cockroaches or zombie moths. Rather they are a combination of biological material like muscle and synthetics like silicon, controlled by electronics, enzymes and light pulses. In 2016, scientists ...

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SAY HI TO DECEPTIVE VEGGIES

Published on: 13 October 2016

Synthetic Biologists say it’s not what it seems

Dateline: 4 February 2022

The sugar taxes did not work, the juice cleanses came and went, and now that obesity rates have broken through the roof, it's time for us to try something different. In 2016 Oxford scientists created oranges that tasted and smelled like grapefruit. They were driven by purely economic reasons back then, as it took about 400,000kg of grapefruits to produce 1kg of grapefruit flavouring for use in other food products such as sweets and drinks. From there the technology improved exponentially as ...

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LET YOUR SHIRT FIX ITSELF

Published on: 29 September 2016

Self-repairing clothing works like magic

Dateline: 26 November 2019

With Millennials lacking basic needlework skills and only thinking of Twitter when you say 'thread' - someone had to come up with a sewing solution that is so easy, even the laziest among us would have no excuse. Researchers at D-IT in Paris have created a detergent that can infiltrate torn or damaged clothing fibers and enable them to re-attach. Just use cold water, a spoonful of Mendy (provisional name) and 25 minutes later your sweater will really be as good as new! Mendy was developed from an ...

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ISLAND CROP DECIMATED BY GENE DRIVE FLIES

Published on: 30 June 2016 1 Comment

Scientists say no other theory seems to hold

Dateline: 15 October 2026

After watching Border Security Australia, passengers always got off the plane feeling an extra bit anxious and jittery. Thoughts like 'What if they say the dirt on my hiking boots smells funny? Or they confiscate my grandma's old dusty portrait?' often ran through peoples' heads. Quarantine officers checking for foreign organic matter and unwelcome species used to have an irritating, but doable job. That reality has changed dramatically. Ten years ago, the use of gene drive technology to eradicate ...

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MEET JOHN DOE 1.0

Published on: 26 May 2016

First fully-synthetic human genome completed

Dateline: 29 May 2026

It's taken a decade since the idea was first conceived, but a fully-specced, digitally defined genome of a human being without parents has been created. Not surprisingly, this human DNA blueprint has been christened John Doe 1.0 and lives in a supercomputer. It may be some time yet, before the genome is inserted into a cell and brought to life. You can however, see what John will look like, at various ages. The artificially intelligent system can render a perfectly clear 3D image of John, based on ...

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THE REAL JURASSIC PARK OPENS

Published on: 24 March 2016 1 Comment

Genetic modification and bio-printing recreate the dinosaurs

Dateline: 9 June 2030

Exactly 37 years to the day since the movie Jurassic Park was released, the world's first real dinosaur park, with living, breathing dinosaurs, has opened in South America. After it emerged that trying to extract and reactivate dinosaur DNA from fossils was a dead end, scientists turned to genetically modifying birds, which we now know descended from various dinosaur species. Plenty of Virtual Reality experiences to enable mankind to 'meet' dinosaurs emerged over the last decade, but this is the ...

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LOOK WHO'S TALKING NOW

Published on: 14 January 2016

When your dog talks back, you can understand him at last

Dateline: 15 January 2033

Since scientists first grew human vocal cord cells in dogs' throats, the science of communicating with man's best friend has advanced significantly. Now you can talk to your dog - he has always understood you - and when he responds, you can understand him! Implanting 3D-printed human vocal cords in dogs' throats was a great idea, but the voice-like sounds they produced were indecipherable except to trained animal behaviourists; kind of like how only a mother can understand the gurgles her baby ...

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Filtered by tag: BioTech