Future Trends: Smart Mosquitos, Microscopes, and Blood Cells

Posted By on February 19, 2016

Each week Nikolas Badminton, Futurist Speaker, summarizes the top-5 future looking developments and news items that I find to be inspiring, interesting, concerning, or downright strange. Each day he reads through dozens of blogs and news websites to find those things that we should be aware of.

In Future Trends: Smart Mosquitos, Microscopes, and Blood Cells we look at the trends that we should be aware of today, February 19th, 2016.

Could Genetically Engineered Insects Squash Mosquito-Borne Disease?

Via SciFri 

Foldscope: A Paper Microscope that Costs $1

Foldscope is an origami-based print-and-fold optical microscope that can be assembled from a flat sheet of paper. Although it costs less than a dollar in parts, it can provide over 2,000X magnification with sub-micron resolution (800nm), weighs less than two nickels (8.8 g), is small enough to fit in a pocket (70 × 20 × 2 mm3), requires no external power, and can survive being dropped from a 3-story building or stepped on by a person. Its minimalistic, scalable design is inherently application-specific instead of general-purpose gearing towards applications in global health, field based citizen science and K12-science education.

Via The New Yorker and Foldscope.com

Kurzweil predicts computers as small as blood cells

Ray Kurzweil took to the stage at the #BCTECH Summit and talked about Glasses that beam images directly onto the retina, by the end of this decade. More mind-boggling, he says most diseases will be gone by the 2030s – (based on the theory that nanobots will one day roam inside the body).

What’s coming next, according to Kurzweil?

Both biotechnology — which is reprogramming the processes underlying biology — and nanotechnology — these medical nanorobots — will be able to address every disease and aging process. So, as we get to 2030s, and certainly by the time the 2030s are over, we’ll have addressed all disease and aging processes.

Via CBC

Is urban farming only for rich hipsters?

Screen Shot 2016-02-18 at 6.36.20 AM

Photograph: Mandy Zammit/GrowUp Box

Spending on ethical food and drink products – including organic, Fairtrade, free range and freedom foods – hit £8.4bn in the UK in 2013, making up 8.5% of all household food sales.

By leveraging environmental credentials, such as local, sustainable and transparent production, a new wave of urban agriculture enterprises are justifying a premium price. But while a higher price point might better reflect the true cost of food production and help build a viable business, it can also exclude lower income groups, fuelling perception that local, sustainably produced food is the preserve of food elitists.

Via The Guardian

10 of Google’s smartest and wildest new projects

  1. Liftware Spoon
  2. Google Genomics (see my predictions for 2016)
  3. Longevity
  4. Google DeepMind
  5. Project Soli
  6. Project loon
  7. Google Fibre
  8. Nest
  9. Smart Contact Lenses
  10. Project Skybender

Via MarketWatch

See the last 4 week’s Future Trends articles here:

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Nikolas Badminton is a world-respected futurist speaker that researches, speaks, and writes about the future of work, how technology is affecting the workplace, how workers are adapting, the sharing economy, and how the world is evolving. He appears at conferences in Canada, USA, UK, and Europe. Email him to book him for your radio, TV show, or conference.


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