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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.

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Filtered by tag: BioTech
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ROSES ARE RED, BATTERIES ARE GREEN
Published on: 9 March 2017  
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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
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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  
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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  
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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  
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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
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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  
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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
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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  
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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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TAKE A PILL TO LEARN CHINESE
Published on: 3 December 2015  
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Attend a workshop, swallow some tablets and go home with all the knowledge
Dateline: 17 November 2030
One of Ray Kurzweil's 'craziest' predictions from fifteen years ago just came true! Just like predictions of driverless cars and wireless brain interfaces were considered crazy in 2005, the idea that you could learn something other than by reading and listening was thought impossible. But the nanobots that we use to augment our natural intelligence have also become more user friendly. Now we can ingest them, and they will find their way into our brains and upload the information. The first ...
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TOO OLD TO ROCK 'N ROLL, BUT TOO YOUNG TO DIE
Published on: 26 November 2015   5 Comments
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The agony of being in your 120s
Dateline: 20 December 2027
It's tough being 122. If you thought puberty or being a twenty-something was challenging, just wait until you get to 120-something! You've got the body of a 90-year-old; so what? It's still an effort to get out of bed, and those neuroprosthetic implants keep your mind sharp, but the constant software updates are literally giving you headaches. Slowing and reversing physical aging has become more than a science - now it's an industry, and once you're on that bandwagon, you're hooked for (the rest of ...
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WILL WE MOVE FROM SUPER-PETS TO SUPER-HUMANS?
Published on: 12 November 2015   1 Comment
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Row as scientists suggest using animal DNA editing for humans
Dateline: 27 March 2018
A furious ethical row has reignited after Chinese and North Korean scientists proposed applying gene-editing techniques used to create 'super-pets' to humans. Opinions are loudly divided over whether the new technology will help eradicate dread diseases - or create a feared 'super-race'. This follows the announcement in 2015 that scientists at the Key Laboratory of Regenerative Biology at the Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health were creating extra-muscular beagle dogs, ostensibly for ...
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MUTANT GENE SAVES RHINO
Published on: 15 October 2015   3 Comments
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Endangered species saved from extinction by genetic modification
Dateline: 8 October 2024
A decade ago, the African rhino was threatened with extinction as poaching escalated every year. Demand for rhino horn reached an all-time high in 2016, and poachers, desperate for instant riches, risked their lives to kill the remaining animals in South Africa's national parks. Powdered rhino horn is highly prized in east Asia for its mythical medicinal and aphrodisiac qualities - all false; but now it's an important status symbol in newly affluent Chinese and Vietnamese communities. Private rhino ...
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214 SUCCESSFUL TRANSFUSIONS DESPITE HUMAN BLOOD SHORTAGE
Published on: 30 July 2015  
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Artificial blood saves earthquake victims
Dateline: 17 April 2021
"We're out of blood," was the chilling statement released by Sichuan University School of Medicine in Chengdu. 4,700 people were left homeless following the earthquake which struck Chengdu yesterday. Rescuers and volunteers are still working through the rubble of the Tianfu Times Tower, but Chengdu's hospitals are overwhelmed. "We called for blood donors," says Doctor Wang Changjiang, "but we can't process the blood fast enough to meet our needs." Despite this critical shortage, no-one has ...
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ROLLING BACK THE MARCH OF TIME
Published on: 18 June 2015  
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When does a ripe old age become too much of a good thing?
Dateline: 31 May 2024
It has become easier and easier to disguise your real age. You can take away your wrinkles by visiting a plastic surgeon or appoint a personal trainer to keep your body in shape. You can play Sudoku all day long to keep the neurons engaged, and follow a healthy eating plan. But you couldn't roll back the clock. Until now. Scientists are currently in the final stages of testing a drug called Glycorapamycin during human trials. In mice and dogs, the drug proved its power by slowing - and even ...
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NEW CHILL PILL TO FIX SOCIETY
Published on: 4 June 2015  
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Dopamine hailed as the new weapon in the fight against crime and anti-social behaviour
Dateline: 1 June 2021
In 2019, Lyla Roberts was assaulted at a bus stop in London. A bystander recorded the incident and posted it online, instead of intervening. The title of the post: "5 star entertainment! Who needs the movies!?" Roberts spent four months in a coma before being declared brain dead. It shocked the world, but has also inspired a pharmaceutical breakthrough. The newly released drug is called Lyla and is grounded in years of research which also produced an oxytocin-inducing nasal spray. Lyla works by ...
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AI IS AUGMENTED INTELLIGENCE
Published on: 28 May 2015   11 Comments
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That wunderkind has got a chip in her head
Dateline: 12 June 2029
We used to think of AI as artificial intelligence, but that's an old concept. Now we use it to mean augmented intelligence; natural human intelligence augmented with bioelectronics wizardry. The average human brain has a working memory of seven items, plus or minus two. That means we can, on average, remember seven things at once; the more gifted can handle about nine. Thinking about an upgrade? Now you can install the latest neuroprosthetic from CognitionUP and get a working memory of 20. That ...
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IT'S THE THOUGHT THAT COUNTS
Published on: 5 March 2015  
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Neuro-implants to control our devices become the gift of the year
Dateline: 26 March 2018
It's my birthday soon, and I know just what I am going to buy myself this year. The brand-new iThink, Apple's brain sensor that enables me to control all my electronic devices by thought alone! Sure, there's a little bit of surgery involved. The tiny transmitter sits just below the skin at the base of my skull, connected to electrodes implanted into my brain. But it's safe technology now; pioneered in hundreds of thousands of experiments and procedures, first aimed at helping disabled people to ...
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HAPPY NEWS YEAR
Published on: 1 January 2015  
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Come on and let's get happy, we're going to chase those blues away
Dateline: 1 January 2019
Scientists have discovered the secret to happiness, and it's all in the genes. Buried in the sequence of 'junk' DNA that all humans possess in their genome, is a latent genetic trigger for joy. It just needs to be switched on. We've known for ages that people get turned on to happiness in different ways. Sometimes it's just great weather and sunshine; or laughter and good company. Your happiness gene can be triggered by endorphins from a workout, or stimulated by good food, fine wine, or something ...
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WONDER WINE AND MAGIC SALADS
Published on: 14 August 2014   3 Comments
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Modified crops produce food and drink with that feel-good factor
Dateline: 26 July 2017
It's unusual for innovation in California to develop outside of Silicon Valley, but this time it's Napa Valley that's making the headlines. Vineyards and farms in the area are causing a storm among foodies with their products that give you a 'natural' high. Since marijuana was legalized across half the United States, it's easy enough to add some weed to your muffins and brownies. But Napa vintners have taken it a step further, grafting vines to both traditional rootstock and cannabis plants. The ...
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Filtered by tag: BioTech
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