GM Food, Human Enhancement, Materials Science, Solar Panels, and Human Genome Sequencing
Some thoughts on genetically modified foods in the future, courtesy of Sentient Developments. In the present, however, there seem to be plenty of problems with GM foods as developed by Monsanto,potentially resulting in suicides in India and a recent link to mammalian organ failure.
Ronald Bailey makes the Case For Enhancing People, an excellent article that I might have to post some more commentary on once the holidays have passed and I have a day or two to really think about everything he’s saying.
MIT has a nice summary of materials science advances in the past year, including much more efficient color-emitting technology, vastly more efficient batteries, and invisibility cloaks.
Care2 has a short piece on cheap solar panels; not very powerful, but enough to make a significant difference in the poorest of countries.
Finally, doctors are going to begin routinely screening human genomes in some hospitals to help cross reference (presumably anonymous) patient data in an effort to find commonalities between people with diseases. The information mined from this ought to help create more effective drug treatments, or even allow for the beginnings of customized medicine.
Happy New Year to everyone!