Each year, certain technologies make a breakthrough that changes the realities of our lives forever. We have chosen the most significant and promising ideas that this year will contribute to solving pressing problems.
The development of bioengineering technologies allows modern medicine to deal with extremely rare deadly diseases, the study of which no one had seriously studied before because they were truly isolated cases. The situation began to change due to the emergence of new classes of drugs adapted to the genes of an individual person.
If some rare disease is caused by a DNA mutation, now there is an opportunity to fix it by replacing, editing or blocking certain genes. Despite the fact that such drugs today still cannot always provide a complete recovery, they at least effectively stabilize the patient’s condition and relieve symptoms, providing a decent life.
Moreover, such treatment can be programmed digitally, sequentially correcting or compensating for hereditary diseases, gene by gene.
Today, there are only a handful of people who have received such treatment, but the mechanism is up and running in the future their number will grow rapidly. The main problem of this method is the cost, because pharmaceutical companies are not interested in the expensive development and production of drugs that will help only one or several people.
A team of Dutch scientists from Delft University of Technology is laying a new generation computer network between four cities, whose work is based on the laws of quantum physics. The main advantage of such an Internet is its absolute resistance to hacks.
Over the past few years, researchers have learned to transfer pairs of photons through fiber optic cables so that the safety of the data stream cannot be compromised without changing the basic laws of nature. This technology is based on the quantum behavior of entangled particles, which cannot be considered without violating the contents of the information stream.
The main problem today is the complexity of creating and sending such data packets over long distances because of their sensitivity and fragility. Therefore, to ensure a continuous connection, quantum repeaters are required, which are already being developed by several teams of scientists. Researchers predict that by the end of the decade, humanity will actively use the quantum Internet.
As cash use has diminished and blockchain technology has evolved over the past few years, discussion of the concept of digital money has moved from the cipher bank community to the research units of central banks and the technical departments of international corporations. However, this topic became global after Facebook announced the development of its own cryptocurrency, provided with a basket of currencies of several countries and tied to their exchange rate.
Many governments have begun to worry about the prospect of a universal cross-border currency owned by a private company and accessible to any Internet user. Against this background, they accelerated their own development or, at least, began to study this area.
Farthest in this direction, China has advanced with its new national payment system based on the digital renminbi, the Swedish Riksbank, which has begun testing the digital krone, as well as several island states that have launched their own pilot projects.
Some of the largest central banks have even come together to conduct joint research, and their managers speak of the threat of a possible paradigm shift and the dollar losing its reserve currency status.
Cardiovascular disease, cancer, and brain impairment can potentially be treated by slowing the body’s aging process. The first generation of a new class of anti-aging drugs (senolytics) has already begun to be tested in humans. Although they do not prolong the life time, they slow down and change the aging process.
The principle of their action is based on the removal of “aging” cells from the body, which accumulate with age, can stimulate inflammatory processes and suppress the mechanisms of normal tissue repair.
In addition to senolytics, other approaches are also being developed to combat aging, such as introducing older people blood components of young people that stop the cognitive and functional decline.
Large-scale trials of a number of drugs should begin in the second half of 2020.
“Compact” artificial intelligence systems
The main problem of artificial intelligence is about the process of creating algorithms, which would be more powerful. Developers use more and more data and computational power, relying on cloud storage services. It makes it to where resource consumption not only increases, but also puts the rate and confidentiality of applications to limits.
However, technical giants have already begun to move in a different direction and are actively collaborating with researchers to offer the market new algorithms that reduce deep learning models without losing opportunities. Parallel to this, chip manufacturers introduced a chip generation designed specifically for working with AI systems.
These technologies are just beginning to appear in the consumer market.
In addition to increasing the efficiency and speed of existing applications, such systems will create new services for phones and unmanned vehicles. However, the development of these algorithms will require improved security systems.
About the author
Melisa Marzett is an author of paper editing service website being a paper editor for more than 5 years now. She has been fond of reading since her school years. She likes French authors in particular and eager to learn French language, which would be the fifth language she is speaking. Melisa is a morning person, she does not skip a morning run no matter what weather is outside the window and always keeps her word.