There have been many wonderful inventions over the years with the wheel being a prime example of how one technological advancement can change lives for ever. Wheels and castors can be found everywhere from hospital beds to household furniture and new inventions are constantly cropping up left, right and centre. In fact, 2015 was a wonderful year for techy improvements so let’s take a look at what hit the headlines.
Buy a new car these days and it’ll probably come equipped with all the latest gadgets including inbuilt satnav systems, Bluetooth connectivity with hands free calling and electric windows, but many vehicles will soon boast another feature in the near future – car-to-car communication. This type of technology was tested throughout 2015 and warns drivers of an impending collision helping detect the size, speed, direction, brake status and steering wheel direction of other vehicles.
Everyone’s scared of the big C. The word ‘cancer’ is enough to send shivers down your spine, but scientist including Dennis Lo – a Chinese doctor who was the first to show that a foetus sheds bits of its DNA into the bloodstream of its mother which in turn has led to safer, simpler screening for Downs Syndrome – are on the case. Lo, along with many other medical professionals, are trying to develop a cancer screening test based on a simple blood draw which is thought to be possible as dying cancer cells also shed DNA into a person’s blood.
Growing human brain cells
Growing brains in a jar might sound a little bizarre, but by taking a brain organoid and turning it into an induced pluripotent stem cell and then into a neuron, scientists can now see how networks of living human brain cells develop and function and how they respond to certain medicines and treatments. This is exciting news as it could, essentially, unlock the mystery behind many neurological disorders including dementia and schizophrenia, which are still poorly understood.
Speeding up plant growth
Hunger and starvation-related deaths affect people on a massive scale across the world, but there is light on the horizon. Scientists recently revealed that they’ve made significant advances in engineering rice plants which will essentially give crops a boost and feed billions more people. The science behind it all is as complicated as you’d expect, but basically it involves a form of supercharged photosynthesis which works by capturing carbon dioxide and concentrating it into particular leaf cells.
Mobile payment technologies
Gone are the days where you had to go to the bank and withdraw cash to make a payment or use a credit card or cheque. Today, you can go into almost any store and pay with a tap of your mobile phone. Google Wallet is notoriously popular but the 2015 launch of Apple Pay complete with compatible technologies that retailers can use to make payments has resulted in more and more people using their phone as a one-stop shop for all their daily activities.
Technological advancements will never stop. They will, quite literally, keep on coming, so keep a look out for new inventions to hit the market.