5. Enhanced Primates
The concept of apes becoming highly intelligent and taking over the entire planet, which I believe was covered in a movie or two at some point, is at first hilarious yes- but then terrifying, very terrifying. Last September we took a step closer to crafting our own chimpy doom however as we developed a way to improve the cognitive ability and decision making skills of primates- by way of implanting an ‘electrode array’ into their ‘cerebral cortex’- whatever that means.
4. Robot Limbs for the Paralyzed
Building upon the previous successes of the ‘Braingate’ project, researchers last year made their biggest advancement to date when they managed to assist Cathy Hutchison, a woman who has paralyzed for 15 years, to control robotic limbs using just the power of her mind. The neural implant technology has been tested on other quadriplegic patients who have suffered severe brain injuries to the extent of paralysis and is thus far showing positive capability.
3. Communication With Coma Victims
Whilst on the subject of neuroscience, let’s talk about that group of specialists in Canada who managed to effectively communicate with a man in a coma. Through the use of fMRI scanning technology, the researchers were able to build upon a 2010 breakthrough which sparked hope of one day holding a dialogue with the thoughts of someone locked in a vegetative state. Once again, there’s a lot of jargon involved and I’m not totally sure on the science behind it- but my guess is it something to do with the monitoring and analysis of brain waves and the like.
For the past few decades, this whole ‘global warming’ theory that I’m sure we’ve all heard so much about has been used in many a manner to predict various catastrophic effects due to occur across our planet. One of these predictions was made in 1999 by American scholars Art Bell and Whitley Strieber in their book ‘The Coming Global Superstorm’- and, unsurprisingly, made the claim that global warming and its effects would lead to a series of hugely destructive ‘superstorms’. Low and behold, last year the Atlantic was treated to Hurricane Sandy- which sizing in at almost 2 million square miles was the first storm of its kind on record. Uh-oh.
1. Warp Drive
Yet another prediction a sci-fi movie director could lay claim to with ease, 2012 marked the announcement of the development of faster-than-light warp drive by Harold White and his team at NASA. Entirely possible with regards to Einstein’s law of relatively, Warp Drive could mark a huge advancement in our abilities to explore outer-space should it come into fruition. When finished, Whites proposed design could see the development of an engine capable of transporting a craft and its crew to nearby stars in just weeks.