Each year has its own advances and setbacks. 2017 was no different; we saw a lot of exciting new breakthroughs if available, could be life altering for many. Give these exciting 10 breakthroughs a read and be prepared to be blown away!
- Brain implants to aid paralysis reversal
Spinal cord injuries have been notorious for leaving victims paralyzed for life. This breakthrough is a ray of hope – paralysis reversal. Grégoire Courtine, a French neuroscientist has had success with a macaque monkey. He performed an experiment in which he sliced the animal’s spinal cord to paralyze its lower limb. Upon installing the brain implant, which acted as a “bypass”, the monkey started moving its paralyzed limb again.
- Facial recognition for monetary transactions
Facial recognition has existed for quite some time – it is only now that it is being used for financial transactions. In china, Alipay, an electronic payment system uses “smile to pay” function to let users make transactions. This technology is convenient, safe, and could be bringing upon us the dawn of a new era.
- Self driving trucks
As a sequel to inventions in self driving cars, self driving trucks may be well on their way. Many companies are testing these new grounds; this advancement might be available to us in the next decade or so. However, there are many technical and social issues alike to overcome before these become available.
- Solar cells with a twist
With dwindling natural resources of coal and oil, researchers are constantly on the hunt for an efficient and environmental friendly energy supply system. Solar panels are great, but they are expensive and inefficient. Hot solar cells may change this for us. A team of MIT scientists have built a unique solar device that is more efficient than the traditional solar panels.
Fingers crossed, we have only one earth!
- Gene therapy reformed
Gene therapy is not a new concept – scientist have been toying with it for years but some fundamental problems such as a faulty delivery mechanism has been holding them back. Now, crucial pieces originally missing have been put in place. Who knows, in the near future we might have a cure for those devastating and rare genetic diseases.
- Selfie on steroids: spherical images
These 360 degree cameras have the potential to change the face of photography. Until recently, multiple cameras with overlapping fields had to be put into place to capture the same effect. This led up to huge costs; with this technology, spherical photos and videos can be captured with up to half the cost.
- Further advancements in Artificial intelligence
AI has been extremely promising. This new breakthrough is only piling more points in its favor. Employed originally in humans, reinforcement learning seems to be bearing fruit in AI too. Instead of feeding clear, resounding instructions, computers are learning through experimentation. This progress could mean improvements in many areas such as self driving