Tracking the Future
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Tracking the Future
Explore the most important technology and science trends! News, Analysis, Interviews, Presentations, Documentaries. All in one place at Tracking the future magazine
Curated by Szabolcs Kósa
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Cell circuits remember their history: Engineers design new synthetic biology circuits that combine memory and logic

Cell circuits remember their history: Engineers design new synthetic biology circuits that combine memory and logic | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

MIT engineers have created genetic circuits in bacterial cells that not only perform logic functions, but also remember the results, which are encoded in the cell's DNA and passed on for dozens of generations.

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The Asteroid Nearing Earth Could Be Worth $195 Billion — Here's The Plan To Mine The Next One

The Asteroid Nearing Earth Could Be Worth $195 Billion — Here's The Plan To Mine The Next One | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

More than 900 new near-Earth asteroids are discovered each year.
At least two companies, Planetary Resources and more recently, Deep Space Industries, have announced plans to take advantage of these massive rock clumps, which are in seemingly endless supply and believed to be the source of great mineral wealth.
The asteroid making a record-close approach to Earth this week could be worth up to $195 billion in fuel and metal, according to Deep Space Industries.
Unfortunately, asteroid 2012 DA14 is not a good target because its orbit is tilted relative to Earth, requiring too much energy to chase down.
That doesn't bother Deep Space. There are thousands of other asteroids floating out in space just waiting to be harvested.
Here's Deep Space's master plan to find, capture, and process asteroid materials for use in space and on Earth.

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Watson Is Now Commercially Available, Set To Help Doctors Treat Cancer

Watson Is Now Commercially Available, Set To Help Doctors Treat Cancer | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

IBM’s most promising medical student just graduated and is ready to join the workforce and help people – in the fight against cancer, to be specific. IBM has just released a commercially available Watson whose cognitive computing could help doctors make better diagnoses and smarter treatment choices.

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First Self-Assembling Quantum-Dot-in-Nanowire System: A “Game-Changer” for Solar PV?

First Self-Assembling Quantum-Dot-in-Nanowire System: A “Game-Changer” for Solar PV? | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Working at the frontiers of photonics and nano-scale semiconductor fabrication, an international team of researchers from universities and laboratories in Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, and the US have “demonstrated a process whereby quantum dots can self-assemble at optimal locations in nanowires, a breakthrough that could improve solar cells, quantum computing, and lighting devices”

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The bionic man, and what he tells us about the future of being human

Rex, as he's called, has been put together by an expert team for a forthcoming Channel 4 documentary 'How to Build a Bionic Man' - in an effort to show just how far prosthetic science has advanced. Tom Clarke reports.

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ITGabs's curator insight, February 11, 2013 11:09 PM

This remember me Ghost in the Shell...

Gabby A Silver's comment, February 12, 2013 12:18 AM
Man in motion: prosthetic science absoluteley amazing and a credit to human kind, but, if in the wrong hands, an Army could take over and control the world.
Mechanical Walking Space Man's curator insight, February 22, 2013 4:40 AM

 

Looking forward to seeing Rex in action...

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Magnetoelectrics could advance computer memory, ending reliance on 1s and 0s

Magnetoelectrics could advance computer memory, ending reliance on 1s and 0s | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Generally, hardware upgrades incrementally — processors slowly gain more cores, graphics cards slowly become more powerful, and storage devices slowly gain more capacity. Hardware rarely upgrades with a significant leap, jumping from one form to another that is so significantly upgraded that it barely resembles what came before it. These leaps do happen though — in just a matter of a few years dumbphones evolved into smartphones and a great deal of laptops become super slim tablets. Now, utilizing a new type of magnetoelectric material, computer memory may take that significant leap.

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Nganguem Victor's comment, February 11, 2013 4:22 AM
j'aime ça
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How to build a bionic man

How to build a bionic man | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Rex the bionic man shows how close technology is to catching up with – and exceeding – the abilities of the human body

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Adjusting Dials on Circuits in the Human Brain: Andres Lozano at TEDxCaltech

Andres Lozano, M.D., Ph.D., is professor and chairman of neurosurgery at the University of Toronto and holds both the R.R. Tasker Chair in Functional Neurosurgery at the Krembil Neuroscience Centre and a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Neuroscience. He is best known for his work in Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS). His team has mapped out cortical and subcortical structures in the human brain and has pioneered applications of DBS for various disorders including Parkinson's disease, depression, dystonia, anorexia, Huntington's and Alzheimer's disease.

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Researchers Create 3D Microchip Using Nanotechnology

Researchers Create 3D Microchip Using Nanotechnology | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Scientists from the University of Cambridge have created, for the first time, a new type of microchip which allows information to travel in three dimensions. Currently, microchips can only pass digital information in a very limited way - from either left to right or front to back.
Researchers believe that in the future a 3D microchip would enable additional storage capacity on chips by allowing information to be spread across several layers instead of being compacted into one layer, as is currently the case.

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Sworoba OyetKep's curator insight, March 18, 2013 1:47 AM

Written for a scholarly audience, the article provides groundbreaking news on the sucess of the scientists from the University of Cambridge. They were able to create a microchip that is capable of transmitting information in 3 dimensions. This has never been done before which is a first of its kind. 

The major limitation of the article is that it only discusses the process in which the mircochip was created, although this is useful information the author should've given a futher indepth information on the microchip's next phase and future applications. In saying that they article should've gathered a greater amount of references to support its findings.

Jessica Wilds's curator insight, March 22, 2013 1:36 AM

This article talks about how the University of Campridge was able to make a microchip that can transmit information in three directions using nanotechnology.

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Nanotechnology medicine — from gene delivery to tissue targeting

Nanotechnology medicine — from gene delivery to tissue targeting | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

There is no question that nanotechnology will become increasingly more important in the future of medicine. Hamde Nazar describes some exciting developments

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Stimulating the Brain with Microscopic Magnets

Stimulating the Brain with Microscopic Magnets | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Imagine if your biggest health problem could be solved with the flip of a switch. Deep-brain stimulation (DBS) offers such a dramatic recovery for a range of neurological illnesses, including Parkinson's disease,epilepsy and major depression. Yet the metal electrodes implanted in the brain are too bulky to tap into intricate neural circuitry with precision and corrode in contact with tissue, so their performance degrades over time. Now neurophysiologists have developed a method of DBS that avoids these problems by using microscopic magnets to stimulate neurons.

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IBM Watson for Healthcare

Dr. Martin Kohn, Chief Medical Scientist, Care Delivery Systems, IBM Research

Abstract: We have solid ideas about the flawed state of healthcare, the critical need for change and the future we want. Improving health outcomes while controlling costs and personalizing healthcare are among the objectives. It is clear that enabling the transformation of healthcare will require making better decisions. At the same time we are dealing with huge and expanding volumes of data. We will need tools to help us gather and analyze data to bring relevant information to decision makers so that it easier to obtain evidence-supported choices. Unstructured, text-like content is a large fraction of the data we rely on for decisions. Up until recently we have had limited ability to use unstructured material effectively. IBM's Watson, with its ability to understand the nature of a question being addressed and to read and understand huge volumes of literature, makes such material more approachable. However, making medicine more precise mandates the use of other forms of data, and population observational techniques. Predictive analytics, to identify people that need specific attention, and comparative analytics to elicit evidence from populations that can be applied to individuals, are part of the process. IBM has developed robust resources that provide such information.

Speakers Biography: Dr. Kohn is Chief Medical Scientist for Care Delivery Systems in IBM Research. He is a leader in IBM's support for the transformation of healthcare, including development of personalized care, outcomes-based models and payment reform. His research work includes healthcare population analytics and the role of expert systems in the clinical decision process, including the use of the Watson supercomputer in healthcare. He speaks frequently on the issues on healthcare transformation, the role of information technology, the Patient Centered Medical Home and clinical decision support. Dr. Kohn is a co-author of IBM's white paper "Patient-Centered Medical Home -- What, Why and How." He is on the editorial board of the Journal of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Kohn was previously in IBM Healthcare Strategy and Change which helped healthcare systems and clinicians optimize process and make best use of health information technology. He has published multiple articles and book chapters on clinical, technical and management subjects. Dr. Kohn is an emergency physician with over 30 years of hospital-based practice and management experience. He is an alumnus of MIT, Harvard Medical School and NYU, and is a Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians and the American College of Physician Executives.

Szabolcs Kósa's insight:

fascinating technology!

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Synthetic Biology - Inventing the Future

The hottest new field in biotech is synthetic biology: Scientists can now re-program life at the cellular level, just like a computer program. Syn-bio experts (also known as bio-hackers) are re-programming the DNA in viruses and creating novel life forms that can replicate and grow just like natural single cell organisms. 

Joining Robert Tercek in the discussion are Andrew Hessel, Distinguished Research Scientist with the Bio/Nano Programmable Matter Group at Autodesk, and Dr. William Hurlbut, Physician and Consulting Professor at Stanford University. 

Inventing the Future is a live news program featuring coming trends that will shape society. In today's world, success means knowing "What's Next After What's Next?" Lead by Robert Tercek, Inventing the Future offers insight into the future of the world after tomorrow.

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Roger Ellman's curator insight, January 30, 2013 5:14 AM

Yes - interesting  --  inventing the future...they should invite ME!!

Anastasia Reynolds's curator insight, December 29, 2015 8:46 PM

yeah, amazing uha?

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Solve for X: Charles Chase on energy for everyone

Problem: Energy access & climate change
Solution: A 100MW compact fusion reactor that runs on plentiful and cheap deuterium and tritium (isotopes of hydrogen). 
Breakthrough technology: Charles Chase and his team at Lockheed have developed a high beta configuration, which allows a compact reactor design and speedier development timeline (5 years instead of 30).

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Joel Barker's curator insight, February 14, 2013 12:28 PM

Lockheed Skunk Works has a fusion energy team working on small scale fusion reactors. They believe they can have a prototype operating within the decade. Fusion has been and still is the holy grail of energy. This is an incomplete but useful video about their efforts. I will be looking for online materials to read about this.

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A new era of cognitive computing

A new era of cognitive computing | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

IBM’s SVP and director of research, Dr John Kelly, says the intention is not to replace humans, but to rather provide new tools for living in a world of “enormous data”
“The next-generation Watson is a big deal. A really big deal,” says Kelly. “The first-generation Watson in Jeopardy took a single question and presented a single answer. But that is not the way most complex problems present themselves, they certainly don’t present themselves in healthcare that way. In healthcare, as in many situations, you are presented with many different pieces of information. Some of it contradictory and some of it incomplete, what you want to do is get those different pieces of information down to a set of possible causes and some statistical weighting of those. This new technology does that.”

Szabolcs Kósa's insight:

"In healthcare, Kelly says Watson will never replace a doctor:  You will always want a doctor as a final decision-maker." -- I have serious doubts about this.

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James B. Glattfelder: Who controls the world?

James Glattfelder studies complexity: how an interconnected system -- say, a swarm of birds -- is more than the sum of its parts. And complexity theory, it turns out, can reveal a lot about how the economy works. Glattfelder shares a groundbreaking study of how control flows through the global economy, and how concentration of power in the hands of a shockingly small number leaves us all vulnerable. (Filmed at TEDxZurich.)

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Researchers say AI prescribes better treatment than doctors

Researchers say AI prescribes better treatment than doctors | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

A pair of Indiana University researchers has found that a pair of predictive modeling techniques can make significantly better decisions about patients’ treatments than can doctors acting alone. How much better? They claim a better than 50 percent reduction in costs and more than 40 percent better patient outcomes.

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Pedro Barbosa's curator insight, February 12, 2013 12:13 PM

As we published back in 2011, auto and own medicine is gaining power as a trend. But still, we believe this will not substitute doctors, but complement them, and maybe substitute a diminute part of their activity. This is for the next 3 years.

 

Pedro Barbosa | www.harvardtrends.com | www.pbarbosa.com

Joe Stafura's curator insight, February 13, 2013 11:19 AM

The advantages of combining medical data bases across the globe improve these resutls, the challenge is to make the access cheap and ubitious.

Joe Stafura's comment, June 6, 2013 8:32 PM
There are a couple obvious advantages, most importantly the nature of diagnosis lends itself to high success at prediction by computing methods, secondly the cost of diagnosis be tied to a Moore's Law trajectory in many cases. The other advantage is the opportunity for Doctors to move more quickly into what they do best, fix people. And a good part of that is moving to robotics in the operating rooms for safer, more successful procedures. Doctors will always be here doing something to cure us, but like every other work force they are and will be changed by technology, and ibises on measured outcomes, usually for the better.
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The World in 2033: Big Thinkers And Futurists Share Their Thoughts

The World in 2033: Big Thinkers And Futurists Share Their Thoughts | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Put yourself back in 1993.  Could you have predicted the success of the web, tablets and smartphones, privatized space travel, the rise of terrorism, or the myriad of small changes that impact how you live today? To do that going forward and to predict our world in 2033, you need the voices of the smartest minds on the planet to spot trends in their areas of discipline and give us insight into where we are heading. 

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Stephane Bilodeau's curator insight, February 10, 2013 4:07 PM
Interviewed, and quoted directly for this piece are just such a group of visionaries, leaders, and big thinkers like:Ray Kurzweil on TechnologyRobert Kaplan on Global ConflictKhan Academy on EducationVirgin Galactic on Space TravelOliver Bussmann on The Global WorkforceJohn Allen on ReligionDr. Gene Robinson on Global Climate
Joe Stafura's curator insight, February 13, 2013 11:17 AM

These are interesting primarly because we often wind up doing what we set out to do, but the methods change along the way in a way that is hard to predict. Widespread communication systems, mobile computing and wireless systems were all accomplished, but not as expected.

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Health and Medicine at the Inflection Point--Today's Perspective from Ray Kurzweil

Health and Medicine at the Inflection Point--Today's Perspective from Ray Kurzweil | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it
There are few voices in the scientific community that have looked so deep and so far into our humanity. Ray Kurzweil is certainly one of these visionaries. He recently took the time to provide his perspective on digital health and the evolution of medicine. From nanobots to life eternal, Kurzweil keeps us thinking and imagining a future that is poised to change with amazing speed and relevance to our everyday lives.
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How 3D Printers Could Build Futuristic Moon Colony

How 3D Printers Could Build Futuristic Moon Colony | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

The technology behind 3D printing has allowed users to craft musical instruments and prosthetic limbs, and now European scientists are taking a serious look at printing their own moon base.

The European Space Agency (ESA) study is investigating how practical constructing a manned base on the moon only using 3D printing technology could be, given that it would rely primarily on lunar dirt for building materials.

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Discovery Of Sirtuin Interactions May Open Up Molecular Fountain Of Youth

Discovery Of Sirtuin Interactions May Open Up Molecular Fountain Of Youth | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

A new study led by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, represents a major advance in the understanding of the molecular mechanisms behind aging while providing new hope for the development of targeted treatments for age-related degenerative diseases.

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Nanoparticles that look, act like cells

Nanoparticles that look, act like cells | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

By cloaking nanoparticles in the membranes of white blood cells, scientists at The Methodist Hospital Research Institute may have found a way to prevent the body from recognizing and destroying them before they deliver their drug payloads. 

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In-brain monitoring shows memory network

In-brain monitoring shows memory network | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Working with patients with electrodes implanted in their brains, researchers at the University of California, Davis, and The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) have shown for the first time that areas of the brain work together at the same time to recall memories. The unique approach promises new insights into how we remember details of time and place.

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Automaker Trio Hopes to Bring Hydrogen Back From the Brink

Automaker Trio Hopes to Bring Hydrogen Back From the Brink | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Three titans of the automotive industry have formed a partnership to begin the joint development of hydrogen fuel-cell technology with the hopes to have hydrogen-electric cars in people's driveways in the next five years.

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Writing the Future

Writing the Future | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

What does the future hold for the global economy? Will living standards rise worldwide, as today’s poor countries leapfrog technologies to catch up with richer countries? Or will prosperity slip through our fingers as greed and corruption lead us to deplete vital resources and degrade the natural environment on which human well-being depends? Humanity faces no greater challenge than to ensure a world of prosperity rather than a world that lies in ruins.

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