Today I wanted to continue talking about the second development that I'm looking forward to seeing in 2012.
Major advancements in Modern Medicine.
Many theories exist today that support the idea of the exponential growth of technology. Moore's Law was introduced in the 1970's and showed that in the realm of long-term technological development, it was found that the number of transistors that could be placed on an integrated circuit doubles every year. Accelerated Change is a perceived increase of technological advancement through history and is seemingly supported by Moore's Law. Even the great genius, Ray Kurzweil, has supported this idea with his statements on The Laws of Accelerating Returns:
"An analysis of the history of technology shows that technological change is exponential, contrary to the common-sense “intuitive linear” view. So we won’t experience 100 years of progress in the 21st century — it will be more like 20,000 years of progress (at today’s rate). The “returns,” such as chip speed and cost-effectiveness, also increase exponentially."These theories are evident in the technology we use today. You simply have to look around. Take the telephone, for example.
The first phone was invented in 1847 by Alexander Graham Bell. The rotary dial telephone was first introduced on the market in 1904 and marked the first time a switchboard operator was not required to help place a call. Phones had gone to the next stage where the telephone could connect you by dialing through to a "number" using electrical pulses to dictate the specific number to the switchboard. Things started to pick up from there and by the 1940's we had the first vehicles with "portable phones". Cell phones took off in the 90s and within just twenty short years we have some of the highest pieces of tech imaginable, literally in the palm of your hand. Technology that was nearly unimaginable within the last 100 years. Unfathomable for all but a few ancient philosophers a thousand years before that.
My favorite example of current tech in imagination is in some of the more recent Star Trek series. The Next Generation and Enterprise both showcased high tech items that were mere useless props at the making of the series. Star Trek: Enterprise first aired just a short eleven years ago and features many technologies, from touchscreen tablets to netbooks, that have recently come to be mainstay pieces of technology in the household.
While the iPhone and the iPad may meet our growing need for global inter-connectivity, the medical side of tech has been left to the wayside of the mainstream consumer's focus. But that doesn't mean it's been sitting around doing nothing for the last ten years. Medical tech has been quietly building steam in the area of rapid technological advancement.
From something as simple as mouthwash designed to literally end tooth decay to the very serious study of a once shunned party drug "Special K" being used as a successful anti-depressant, 2012 looks like a year of excellence.
Here's a list of a view things to look out for in this coming year:
$10 million dollar contest to build a working Star Trek "tricorder".
A lens that can produce microscopic 3D images in real time.
Ketamine being considered as anti-depressant.
Scientists able to control Human brain cells.
Cancer vaccine in phase one clinical trials with HUMANS in Buffalo, New York.
HIV vaccine in phase one clinical trials with HUMANS in Canada.
Let me repeat that again. HIV vaccine!
These sorts of "cures" have always haunted the medical news for the last twenty to thirty years, but nothing has ever been as close or real as this research right now. Human trials with something as miraculous as Cancer and HIV vaccines is not something to just be ignored. It is a drastic step forward into the advancement of medical technology and into the overall health of mankind. To have trials with humans, you need to obtain FDA approval. And with FDA approval comes legitimacy and standards that dictate the medicine is believed to be safe on humans for testing.
All of this news has really come forth in the first couple of months of 2012. And more and more medical advancements are being announced every day. Considering the steam of things already into the new year, we seem to be on track for a year of potentially massive medical advancements. I read somewhere once that those under the age of 65 may have the chance to live to be not just 100, but 1000 years old. It may seem like a bit of a stretch today, but ten or twenty years from now, we may very well have the technology to keep even the oldest farts alive.
In not so medical, but extremely huge tech news: New form of magnetic data storage.