Our minds certainly boggle when we think about the marvelous achievements in STEM-related fields in recent times. And, as we hurtle headlong into the future, these advancements continue to change our trajectory as a human race. Without a doubt, many twists and turns await us yet.
Here at MakePi, we are very much interested in the latest developments in STEM-related fields. Here are our top five breakthroughs of 2017 that will undoubtedly change our future and affect the lives of global citizens in years to come.
Scientists engineered an artificial womb that was able to keep premature lambs alive and developing normally. The technology holds out hope for the treatment of premature human babies. This is a major development, especially given that extreme prematurity is the leading cause of neonatal mortality in the developed world. An artificial womb may one day be used to sustain premature babies outside the womb, offering a much higher chance of survival.
Neuralink is the brainchild of world-renowned entrepreneur, inventor and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, Elon Musk. Neuralink involves putting brain-computer interfaces, or BCIs, into our heads, with the goal of merging human brains and artificial intelligence. Neuralink will revolutionize the way we interact with the digital world, potentially allowing for more direct interfacing of our brains with computing devices in the future.
Researchers at MIT and Berkeley have created a metal-organic framework, or MOF, made from zirconium and fumarate, that is able to extract water from the air. The device can do so in places with humidity as low as 20 percent. The unit is solar powered, and components are inexpensive, offering an affordable solution for acquiring clean drinking water. Given that one in ten people don’t have access to clean drinking water, the technology is sure to have an impact on the lives of many.
Scientists from Harvard University have created metallic hydrogen by applying an immense amount of pressure to liquid hydrogen; a triumph that has alluded scientists for many years. It is the first time that the element has existed in its metallic form here on Earth. Scientists are investigating metallic hydrogen’s superconductive properties. They believe that metallic hydrogen, as a superconductor, has unlimited potential in everything from energy storage to rocketry.
Incredibly accurate and reliable facial recognition technology has been developed by the Chinese company Face++. The technology is used in a whole range of financial transactions, including those through popular apps such Alipay. Facial recognition technology, which is also incredibly secure and convenient, will change the way we pay for things and do our banking in the future.
Agree with Our Top Five?
With all the amazing things happening in STEM this year, to narrow it down to five was a tough assignment! Have any suggestions for our list? Leave a comment below or let us know on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.