Science has always helped us improve the quality of life. With new discoveries everyday, we are overcoming obstacles that was previously thought to be impossible. Many talented men and women have dedicated their lives in the name of science and because of them, we are able to use most of the existing technology. For example, in the past, people traveled through the rough seas to get from one place to another. It was not only expensive but also took a considerable amount of time from their lives. Today, we have airplanes that can fly us fast and safe in a matter of hours. Here, we are listing some of the most famous breakthroughs in recent years that will change our lives for the better.
1. Scientists have discovered a vest that alerts the wearer about impending heart attacks.
Approximately 1.5 million heart attacks and strokes occur every year in the United States. Before a heart attack occurs there are several major warning signs and symptoms that your body shows to let you know in advance. Symptoms include, chest pain or discomfort, upper body pain or discomfort in the arms, back, neck, jaw, or upper stomach, shortness of breath, nausea, lightheadedness, or cold sweats.
A company known as Electromed, came up with a brilliant solution; a vest that detects the signs on the patient and alerts them. SmartVest is a simple yet powerful device that allows its users to track their ECG, registering blood pressure and heartbeat. Users can conveniently monitor the results on their phones. According to its inventor, the application can give a diagnosis and even predict serious heart issues since it can detect abnormal activity of the heart; two days prior to the attack. The vest has been successfully tested in volunteers and is expected to reach the public in the next few years.
2. Chinese Railway Police use Smart Glasses to catch fugitives.
In 2017, Google released the Google Glass Enterprise Edition; which did not receive the popularity as they expected. A new company called LLVision came out with the Google Glass-like smart glasses called GLXSS back in 2015; which achieved a whooping 4254% success rate. Today, the GLXSS smart glasses are utilized by the Chinese Railway Police, who are using the technology to detect fugitives on the run.
While the facial recognition system scans for possible suspects, they can also take photos, record video in HD quality, and show information on the lens, thanks to AR-technology. Until now, the device has helped authorities catch 7 fugitives & 26 fake ID holders at the Zhengzhou high-speed railway station.
3. “Self-parking” slippers from Nissan.
In Japanese culture, it is important to neatly align slippers at their designated spot. Earlier this year, Nissan collaborated with a few hotels in Japan to create self-parking slippers, tables and floor cushions.
The slippers, tables and cushions are rigged with a special version of Nissan’s ProPILOT Park autonomous parking technology. When guests are not using any of the items, they automatically return to their designated spots at the push of a button. The same technology is utilized in the all-new Nissan LEAF, where ProPILOT Park detects surrounding objects and lets drivers automatically park the vehicle in a selected parking space by pressing a button.
4. Flying taxi was successfully tested in China and Dubai.
Ehang, a Chinese drone manufacturing company has successfully tested a flying taxi. The 184 Autonomous Aerial Vehicle (AAV), is capable of carrying a single passenger upto 9.3 miles (15 km) on a fully charged battery. What distinguishes the 184 AAV from the rest of the drones is the fact that it is completely automated. From picking up passenger to safely landing at the destination, the 184 AAV can also travel at an amazing 80 mph (130 kmh).
Ehang managed to secure a partnership with the government of Dubai to test out their unmanned flying taxis and managed to successfully make over 1000 flight tests. Now, the company is aiming to include manual controls within the vehicle for an upgraded passenger experience.
5. Artificial intelligence detecting suicidal messages and rescuing people.
Although this is not a scientific discovery, this story is a reminder of how advanced artificial technology is today and how they can come to the aid of humans. Earlier this year on January, an Argentinian woman wrote a Facebook post saying goodbye to her loved ones. She also attached an image with the post that appeared to show some potent substance. Her friends and family members ignored the post, thinking that she was not serious and that she was only seeking attention. A Facebook bot however, did not ignore her post. The algorithms used by Facebook picked up the post and determined that it was a case of suicide; to which it alerted authorities in the US.
Authorities from the US relayed the information to the emergency services of Buenos Aires and provided them with the exact location. When emergency services arrived on the scene, they discovered an unconscious woman and rushed her to the hospital. Thanks to AI, her life was saved and now she is thankful for the second chance.
6. ‘Oumuamua, the first object we’ve ever seen pass through our own solar system that has interstellar origins.
On October of 2017, a mysterious object zipped through our solar system at 196,000 mph. Scientists named it ‘Oumuamua, which means “a messenger from afar arriving first”, in Hawaiian. The object was in fact the first object we’ve ever seen that entered from outside our solar system. According to Elisa Quintana, an astrophysicist at Goddard:
“This object was likely ejected from a distant star system. What’s interesting is that just this one object flying by so quickly can help us constrain some of our planet formation models.”
NASA scientists determined that ‘Oumuamua sped past the Sun at about 196,000 mph (315,400 kmh), fast enough to escape the Sun’s gravitational pull and break free of the solar system, never to return.
“Usually, an object traveling at a similar speed would be a comet falling sunward from the outer solar system. Comets are icy objects that range between house-sized to many miles across. But they usually shed gas and dust as they approach the Sun and warm up. ‘Oumuamua didn’t. Some scientists interpreted this to mean that ‘Oumuamua was a dry asteroid.”
7. Chinese scientists break barrier and successfully clone monkeys.
More than 20 years ago, Dolly the sheep became the first animal to be cloned. This year, Chinese scientists managed to overcome obstacles in molecular biology and successfully clone two identical long-tailed macaques. The macaques Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua, were born eight and six weeks ago, making them the first primates — the order of mammals that includes monkeys, apes and humans — to be cloned from a non-embryonic cell.
A process called somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) was used to achieve this feat. According to the researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Neuroscience in Shanghai, this could be a breakthrough that could boost medical research into human diseases such as cancer.
8. Scientists successfully managed to edit DNA and treat patients.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the US. The second cause of death is cancer with more than 591,699 deaths every year. In 2017, bioengineers at Oregon University made their first attempt to genetically modify an embryo. The bioengineers removed a gene responsible for the development of an infectious heart disease on a patient and were able to successfully cure him.
A similar study was also conducted by a company to change genomes in pigs with the help of CRISPR technology. In this scientific study, scientists modified the genes on 37 pigs, who all gave birth to healthy piglets; that were born without any harmful viruses in their bodies. Similar studies with gene alteration is being conducted worldwide in hopes to eradicate some of the most deadly diseases.
9. Robotic hand controlled by the brain allows amputees to live a normal life.
The engineers at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) had come up with a portable hand exoskeleton, that could one day help the physically impaired live a normal life. EPFL scientist Luca Randazzo is developing the exoskeleton that can assist amputees at walking, holding, writing and in the future, driving. The exoskeleton is lightweight, portable and adaptable, which can be quickly strapped to the joints with Velcro.
The arms and legs are controlled by a helmet which is equipped with electrodes that detect brain waves. During the first few phases of development, the electrodes had to be implanted underneath the patient’s skin. Scientists have successfully managed to test the device on patients with spinal cord injuries or stroke.
10. Scientists have developed a technology that allows disabled people to walk again.
When the spinal cord is injured, the sensorimotor networks are functionally disconnected from the brain; causing one to become paralyzed. Earlier this year, thanks to years of hard work and research, scientists have managed to successfully restore robust, coordinated motor activity in humans with paralysis. With the help of Epidural Electrical Stimulation (EES), scientists were able to help a disabled man take his first steps again.
A man who was paralyzed from the waist down after a snowmobile accident was subjected to an international experiment. Scientists from Russia and the US coordinated to achieve the almost impossible: give a paralyzed man the ability to walk again. The rehabilitation took around 43 weeks but it helped him stand up as well as walk on a treadmill.
11. Revolutionary new technology allows X-Ray’s to be viewed in color and 3D.
Father and son scientists, Professors Phil and Anthony Butler came up with the revolutionary invention, the MARS spectral x-ray scanner. The duo adapted the technology used by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in the hunt for the ‘God particle’ and embedded it onto their model of a medical scanner. The result was MARS CT scanner that produces images with significantly improved diagnostic information.
Utilizing the x-ray spectrum, the scanner can produce color images instead of black-and-white ones. It can also show different components of body parts such as fat, water, calcium, and disease markers; allowing doctors to diagnose in a precise manner.
What do you think of these inventions? Which one was your favorite? Let us know your thoughts through the comments section.