2015- An year in science and technology!

Thu, Dec 31, 2015

In Focus

“Science is a beautiful gift to humanity; we should not distort it”   – A.P.J Kalam

Scientific breakthroughs of any timeline often amaze us and show us the possibilities not seen or heard before. Scientific endeavor, though basically motivated by curiosity to know nature, also often paves way for new technologies which ease our daily lives. Emerging technologies such as new ways of surgery, new fuel compositions, better TVs, better production methods etc are creating a place of ‘comfort’ and ‘high satisfaction’ for humans. Thus, science and technology is an important  part  of  our  development  and is also linked to our businesses. A technological innovation can change the course of an industry.

So, it is worthwhile to know the current trends in “Science and technology”. As 2015 has come to an end; some of year’s exciting “inventions and discoveries” can be relooked.

#1 It may have been invented earlier, but in 2015, ‘Hoverboard scooter’ became a viral product in US market. Many celebrities bought it and it is now reaching out to common public. The product has an amazing self balancing feature enabled by sensors and the motion is controlled by leg. Hoverboard can perhaps become the vehicle of choice for kids and youth. However, hoverboard is facing many obstacles such as safety compliance, traffic rule compliance etc. Yet, hoverboard can grow to a large customer base.

#2 Diamonds could now be made at room temperature. Researchers at University of North Carolina have discovered a phase of carbon called “Q-carbon”. Q-Carbon can create diamond at room temperature with ambient atmospheric pressure. Surprising!!

#3 Moving to next discovery; in Chernobyl, scientists have found that many animals have been thriving since 30 years (nuclear power plant accident). It is interesting how animals adapted to the radiations.

#4 Next one; a great feat in medicine has been achieved. A team of Australian researchers used ultrasonic waves to break down the molecules responsible for alzheimers syndrome in mice. This was a breakthrough since the method was non-invasive and it showed curative effect. However, human testing is yet to be done.

#5 “Bionic ears” by Doppler labs is an earphone with a revolutionary feature. User can mute or decrease the outside volume. User can also do selective frequency listening. Amazing! So, no more noise pollution?

#6 KIC8462852, a distant star, was found with amazing harbor structures on its surface. Astronomers think there might be an intelligent life behind this architecture. Further observations are to be made. But, the discovery of structures itself has been a crucial one.

#7 3-D printers are no more a theoretical study. A cancer patient was given 3-D printed sternum and ribs, this year.

#8 Artificial implants of pancreas have been created. These could sense insulin levels in the body and produce insulin whenever required.

#9 Coming to an audacious project by Google, “Google AI”. It is in learning stage; but it was surprising that AI can learn new language or model a language; can carry out complex conversations and can talk on morality and philosophy.

#10 Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have created a self-aware robot. In an experiment, 3 robots were given a puzzle which required them to know the ‘self’ to find a solution. A robot was successfully programmed to identify itself.

#11 Lastly, a headset which creates virtual reality! People could play virtually real games; scientists can train astronauts on virtual mars or a student could train on a virtual dead body.

Amazing has been 2015 in the field of science and technology! Technology is great and can create beautiful solutions to everyday problems. However, technology has a dark face. It lies on humanity how good technology is used.





By- K Prakash Raju

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