Just like generations before us witnessed extraordinary technological advances (for our grandparents it was breakthroughs like the automobile & the telephone; for our parents, the computer and penicillin), Boomers can now tell our grandchildren about sci-fi-like breakthroughs in our lifetime.
Here's the top 8:
By using internet-linked electroencephalogram (EEG) and robot-assisted image-guided transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) technologies, an international team of researchers were able to get two subjects — one in India and one in France — to mentally transmit the words "hola" and "ciao." Can you hear me saying "cool!" in my mind?!
In what looks a whole lot like the precursor to a Star Trek-like replicator, astronauts aboard the International Space Station used their 3D printer to manufacture a socket wrench. Remarkably, the 20-part wrench was designed on Earth and emailed to astronaut Barry Wilmore who ran it through the printer. It's a prime example of how 3D printing can change space travel, allowing astronauts to produce equipment on demand.
Surgeons use suspended animation
Surgeons at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital are using suspended animation, or what's presently called emergency preservation and resuscitation, that dramatically cools down trauma victims to keep them alive during critical operations.
The technique, which involves internal rather than external cooling, entail the patient's blood being replaced with a cold saline solution, which slows down the body's metabolic functions and need for oxygen.
Another Star Trek moment. The device, called a High Energy Laser (HEL) weapon, was fitted to the USS Ponce, which is currently in the Persian Gulf. Still at the prototype stage, it's capabilities in a real-world environment - it has already shown its effectiveness in destroying two boats and a drone.
Company appoints an Artificial Intelligence to the board
That would be Hong Kong-based Deep Knowledge Ventures which appointed a machine learning program, called VITAL, to its board of directors.
It's said to be an "equal member" that will uncover trends "not immediately obvious to humans" in order to make investment recommendations. The system will pour over massive data sets, apply machine learning, and then predict which life sciences companies are
Les Baugh became the first human to ever receive two shoulder-level thought-controlled prosthetic arms. It's not permanent, but the researchers at Johns Hopkins are hoping that the arms will eventually become a permanent add-on.
Researchers also created an artificial hand that feels, and the first mind-controlled prosthetic hand with 10 degrees of freedom (ability to turn, grip, etc.).
We now have a cloaking device
Yep...more Star Trek... Researchers at the University of Rochester developed a cheap and surprisingly effective cloaking device meaning it hides objects from the visible spectrum, that's being heralded as the first to perform 3D, continuously multidirectional cloaking in the visible spectrum of light. To do it, they combined four standard optical lenses that keeps an object hidden — even as the viewer moves side to side. The system could eventually be used to eliminate blind spots in vehicles or let surgeons see through their hands during surgery.
Researchers from New York University Langone Medical Center reconstructed a synthetic and fully functional yeast chromosome. They were also able to insert their own special additions to the chromosome, including a chemical switch that allows scientists to "scramble" it into thousands of different variations to make subsequent gene editing even easier. It's an important concept that could lead to artificial chromosomes in humans designed to battle diseases and chronic conditions (like my RA).
Consider yourself officially in the Twilight Zone...and alerted.