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

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

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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TAKE A PILL TO LEARN CHINESE

Published on: 3 December 2015

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

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

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

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 1 Comment

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

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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Filtered by tag: BioTech