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🔮 Roundups #42
🔋 Net energy fusion, 🦟 malaria suppression, 🛰️ navigable broadband satellites, 🧫 AI-powered antibody discovery, and 👨🏽🚀 evidence of a habitable Mars.
Every Friday I round up 5 technological advancements that give us a Glimpse into the future 🔮 After all, the future is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed.
This week on The Glimpse
I didn’t release an article this past Tuesday because I wasn’t happy with it. I only want to release articles that are thought-provoking, inspirational, and educational. If I can’t accomplish those three things, I don’t want to clog up your inbox.
That being said, be on the lookout for an article dropping this Tuesday on the rapidly-advancing future of humanoid robots (aka C-3PO 👀).
Without further ado, here are five Glimpses of the future 🔮
🔮 Glimpse #1 — LLNL achieved Nuclear Fusion Ignition… again! And with higher yield.
Researchers have produced fusion reactions before, but it has taken more energy to cause the reaction than they could get back. The key thing about these last two experiments is that they get more energy back than they put in to create the reaction. That efficiency has been the elusive holy grail of fusion research.
—Washington Post article
🔮 Glimpse #2 — A bacterium can suppress the spread of malaria in mosquitoes
Scientists found a natural bacterium (Delftia tsuruhatensis TC1) in mosquitoes that can't carry the parasite causing malaria. This bacterium produces a substance called harmane that stops the malaria parasite from growing. Using this bacterium could be a new way to help control malaria by targeting the mosquitoes that spread it.
Link to the Science.org article
🔮 Glimpse #3 — A maneuverable, back-up satellite can be tasked to bring broadband connectivity to underserved areas
The real utility comes from the satellite’s dual-propulsion chemical system and electric ion thruster. “That allows us to have this incredibly powerful asset we can bring to bear in almost any kind of situation you can think of where someone needs broadband connectivity in a remote or very underserved location,” Gedmark said.
One such situation could be during a natural disaster, when reliable communication is paramount; another might be national security, to add resiliency to space-based and ground communication architectures.
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🔮 Glimpse #4 — AI and robotics are being used to automate the rapid discovery and testing of antibodies that humans would have never tried
“The only input you give the system as a human is, here’s an example of a healthy cell, here’s an example of a diseased cell,” says Field. The model selects more than 700 initial options from across a search space of 100,000 potential antibodies, and then automatically designs, builds, and tests them, with the aim of finding potentially fruitful areas to investigate in more depth.
🔮 Glimpse #5 — Evidence of wet and dry seasons on Mars could point to habitability
In the 1990s, NASA satellites orbiting Mars first began to capture gullies, dried-out river deltas, and layered sedimentary deposits, all of which require liquid water to form. These geological features suggest the ancient martian climate was much warmer and wetter than it is today, says Ashwin Vasavada, project scientist for the Curiosity rover at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Hope that gave you a little inspiration and wonder as you head into the weekend :)
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