Rushville Republican

Community News Network

December 20, 2012

By 2062, your nurse will be a robot and your shirt will clean itself

WASHINGTON — To celebrate its 110th anniversary, the magazine Popular Mechanics has published a fascinating list of 110 predictions for the next 110 years, divided up by the decades in which they will occur.

For instance, within the next 10 years, PM believes that translation technology will become so sophisticated and cheap that smart phones will turn into universal translators so "people will be fluent in every language."

The whole list is worth a read (see Slate link at end), but here are some of our favorites that could have a real impact on women's lives:

Nanoparticles will make chemotherapy far more effective. By delivering tiny doses of cisplatin and docetaxel right to cancerous cells, the mini messengers will significantly reduce the pain and side effects of today's treatments.

In recent years, guidelines on breast cancer treatment have changed so that fewer women have courses of chemotherapy after surgery, in part because the side effects are so traumatic, and because of findings that suggest chemotherapy is helpful to only 15 percent of patients who receive it as a follow-up. But if chemotherapy could be more targeted and less toxic, it could help make breast cancer treatment a less intimidating prospect. PM predicts this could be reality by 2022.

Your genome will be sequenced before you are born. Researchers led by Jay Shendure of the University of Washington recently reconstructed the genome of a fetus using saliva from the father and a blood sample from the mother (which yielded free-floating DNA from the child). Blood from the umbilical cord later confirmed that the sequencing was 98 percent accurate. Once the price declines, this procedure will allow us to do noninvasive prenatal testing.

Right now, adults can send in saliva samples and have their own DNA sequenced by genetic testing services like 23 And Me. But the new tests will allow parents to know the actual DNA profile of the fetus they just created. This is not without its downsides: As Harriet A. Washington wrote in Slate earlier this fall, the availability of such testing could also move up unnerving conversations about whether to terminate a pregnancy, or how to care for a potentially disabled child, even as they don't provide absolute certainty about the outcome of a pregnancy. PM forecasts that these tests will be normal procedure in the next 10 years.

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  • Smartphone kill switches are coming

    Smartphones need kill switches. It's a relatively easy solution to the pricey (and irritating) problem of smartphone theft. But who would have thought that the big carriers would team up with Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung and lots of other manufacturers to voluntarily begin adding the technology by July 2015? The cooperative spirit! It makes so much sense!

    April 18, 2014

  • Why do wolves howl?

    Of all the myths that dog the wolf, none is more widely accepted than the idea that wolves howl at the moon. Images of wolves with their heads upturned, singing at the night sky, are as unquestioned as a goldfish's three-second memory or a dog's color-blindness (both also myths).

    April 18, 2014

  • Biggest student loan profits come from grad students

    This week, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the federal government would earn roughly $127 billion from student lending during the next 10 years.

    April 18, 2014

  • quake.jpg Pennsylvania won’t take action following Ohio ruling on quakes, fracking

    Pennsylvania officials plan no action despite new Ohio rules on drilling that affect a seismically active area near the state line.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • VIDEO: Boston bomb scare defendant appears in court

    The man accused of carrying a backpack containing a rice cooker near the Boston Marathon finish line on the anniversary of the bombings was arraigned Wednesday. He's being held on $100,000 bail.

    April 17, 2014

  • Consumer spending on health care jumps as Affordable Care Act takes hold

    Nancy Beigel has known since September that she would need hernia surgery. She couldn't afford it on her $11,000 yearly income until she became eligible for Medicaid in January through President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

    April 17, 2014

  • The case for separate beds

    The other night I slept on a twin bed in the guest room of the house I share with my husband and our two kids.
    It was the best night's sleep I've had in years.

    April 17, 2014

  • Raw oysters spike U.S. rise in bacterial infections, CDC reports

    Raw oysters, so good with hot sauce, increasingly can carry something even more unsettling to the stomach: A bacteria linked to vomiting, diarrhea and pain.

    April 17, 2014

  • To sleep well, you may need to adjust what you eat and when

    Sleep.  Oh, to sleep.  A good night's sleep is often a struggle for more than half of American adults.  And for occasional insomnia, there are good reasons to avoid using medications, whether over-the-counter or prescription.

    April 16, 2014

  • Doctors to rate cost effectiveness of expensive cancer drugs

    The world's largest organization of cancer doctors plans to rate the cost effectiveness of expensive oncology drugs, and will urge physicians to use the ratings to discuss the costs with their patients.

    April 16, 2014

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