The World is Changing

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The last 100 years or so have been pretty impressive if you’re a human.  So much has changed.  The whole world is mobile now as long as you have the money to pay for it.  And many, many more people  have the money now.

I saw this article about how researchers have come up with a way to help your teeth repair themselves. They put a small amount of Alzheimer’s drug, Tideglusib,, on a special biodegradable sponge and within six weeks your tooth has fixed the cavity.  So, in theory, pretty soon, no one will have cavities.  That would make a huge difference in less fortunate countries.  Even here in the US.

On the drive up here I was listening to Fresh Air on the way up to Cable and the show was on Crispr,  a gene editing mechanism.  The technique permits scientists to quickly and precisely alter, delete and rearrange the DNA of nearly any living organism. I’d read a bunch about it and know it is going to be revolutionary in many regards.  But I started thinking about it and realize that so many of the “problems” that humanity has currently are going to disappear because of this.  Many illnesses, diseases and problems that we have no ability to fix are going to be gone within the next decade I’d guess.  Man, this is a big step.

I also read about revolutionary battery improvement the guys at MIT came up with. They have a solid type battery that can be recharged forever.  Much stabler and safer, plus it never wears out  It is a lithium-oxygen battery with has a ton of advantage over a lithium-ion battery.   Lots of advantages.  They are going to have this technology on the market within the next year or so. Pretty big advancement in battery technology.

So, lots of our health problems are being addressed quickly.  And some of the energy problems that maybe not us, but really the rest of the world has.  Our lives are going to change dramatically the next decade from these technologies.

Pretty exciting stuff.  Great for the humans on the planet.  That is if we don’t screw it up and do something stupid to cause the world to implode.  Seems like some of the stuff going on recently is putting us on that path.  Hopefully we don’t let that happen.


We’re not doing such a good job in this respect. I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t like it if someone was bombing us.

16 thoughts on “The World is Changing

  1. Bill Hall

    You are correct. So much cool stuff going on, the future could truly be even better. Yet with so many knuckle heads in charge in the world it can dim hope.
    Don’t mean to be Mr. Downer but the Doomsday clock still remains at 3 minutes till midnight.
    I hope the great stuff overtakes the bad.

  2. TreyH

    I’m a HS biology teacher. I’m struggling to convey the importance of CRISPR-Cas9 with many of my students, but then again, they’re 16 years old. In the biology community, it’s already here, and it’s spectacular. It’s not going away. I’m feeling more and more certain that CRISPR will end up being one of the most profound tech developments ever devised. We haven’t even thought of all of the applications, but they seem almost limitless at this point. What is most concerning for me is: 1. the complete ignorance of the public regarding one of the biggest discoveries in the history of biology, and 2. the nearly complete lack of regulations/guidelines re: the application of CRISPR. That limitless potential is a two way street, I reckon. Even seemingly positive applications, such as a “gene drive” to eradicate diseases (malaria for example) will undoubtedly result in many “oopsie” scenarios. Damn, these are interesting times.

  3. James

    The optimist today Steve?

    100 years and two world wars and endless ‘small’ wars on going. Millions dead.

    Climate change? How will that impact our nature to wage war upon one another?

    I listened to same FA episode. Dave Davies wasn’t so sold on science’s ability to control gene editing. Why should he, science isn’t a perfect tragectory upward.

    And we can end with the threat of nuclear annhialation & a president elect who wonders why if we have them they can’t be used.

    But at least my cavities will self heal & I can order a designer baby on line.

  4. James

    Bingo! Thanks for the link.

    Listen to the Fresh Air link. Science: “lets hope something good happens first (paraphrasing)”! My god, that is no greater self admission that the shit is going to go bad, they just need a “good” breakthrough first.

    The author uses the age old tactic, vieled well, of ‘what’s wrong with you, see we are smarter than you…?’ Not so much. DD was being nice, he could have easily obliterated his thesis.

  5. James

    Well no there is & that’s also the PR campaign behind it. We will give you a cure for this. But what happens 1-2-3 steps or more later? Hey we are way smarter than you, so…well…we don’t…huh…do…hey see we are smarter than you.

    The human attempt to subjugate nature will be our demise.

  6. James

    S, were you home in Sept 1980? Well if the device (always have a name for it, except what it actually is) would have went off with a SE wind you’d have died also.

    Command and Control! Hey, no command & no control. Just blind luck.

    Every machine man creates will eventually fail. Not if, when.

  7. Bill K

    I’m waiting for a 220 gram tubular that rolls like the old CX and wears like a Conti Comp.
    Now THAT is important.

  8. KrakatoaEastofJava

    Yeah, just recently we were relieved of the burden of shifting our own gears on the bike. I don’t know how I ever did it back in the eighties! 😉

  9. Dude Ron

    “Ground control to Major Tom take your protein pills and put your helmet on!” And we were going to be living on Mars by 2001?! Hey my girlfriend is a dentist this means I’ll have to support her!!

  10. Goner

    It’s kind of hard to get too terribly excited about this sort of thing. Much like many of the other super-exciting advances, I’m guessing this one will be prohibitively expensive for 99.9% of the population. Only the children of billionaires will be able to afford having their genes cleansed of disease markers. The rest of us will still get Parkinsons and whatever else.

  11. Steve Tilford Post author

    Goner – I think you might be wrong. This CrispR deal isn’t expensive. On the Fresh Air segment, the write said you can order a DNA strand with an Alzheimer’s gene for something like .59. Less than a dollar. I think it is going to be amazingly cheap compared to the reward of the “repair”. At least I’m hoping.


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