Eight Scientific Breakthroughs That Will Change the Future of Business & Risk
Technology is changing the world at a mind-boggling pace. While there are many innovations happening in almost every business sector, it is more difficult to predict which technologies specifically will be integrated into the world of future commerce.
Here are 8 cutting-edge breakthroughs that will most-certainly have an impact on the future and lead to new and exciting advancements across many sectors, including health care, food technology, disaster clean up, construction, space exploration, medicine, genetics, clean energy and more. And, as technology changes the world of business, the landscape of business risk will be changing just as fast.
- Artificial Energy
- Physicists at the National Ignition Facility are building a mini-star in the hopes that it will produce clean energy via nuclear fusion. Almost unlimited energy is expected to be created when 192 powerful lasers are fired onto a ball of frozen hydrogen about the size of the grain of sand. If the blast is controlled, and they hit their small target perfectly, this will start a chain reaction and the hydrogen ball should ignite into a small, energy-spewing star. The experiment has cost $3.5B so far, but in 2013, for the first time, the hydrogen fuel gave off more energy than it took in.
- Gene Editing
- In 2015, Chinese scientists genetically modified human embryos for the first time in history. Researchers used 86 embryos, successfully editing out a gene that causes a fatal blood disorder in 28 of them. However, they also caused unintended mutations. Altering embryos is illegal in most places, and is highly controversial, but gene editing could help to prevent more than 10,000 diseases caused by flaws in DNA, potentially saving millions of lives. This technology could be used on adults as well. For example, gene editing could make people immune to HIV by modifying their blood cells to give them natural protection.
- Super Photosynthesis
- More than 40 percent of the world relies on rice and wheat for food, but by the time the human population reaches 10 billion in the year 2050, the earth will be 394 million tons short of rice to feed everyone. However, the C-4 photosynthesis process captures CO2 and concentrates it into special cells inside plant’s leaves. Early tests have shown this can increase the yields of these crucial crops by 50 percent. According to MIT, this genetic advancement should be available in the next 10-15 years, in time to save millions of lives.
- Artificial Life Forms
- After 15 years and $40M of research and experimentation, geneticists have created the world’s first synthetic cell. Using chemicals to assemble 1.1M letters of genetic code, the team built a bacterial genome from scratch. The inventors have speculated that bacteria could be created that would absorb carbon dioxide, produce bio-fuel and even vaccines. In 2014, a bio-tech company went one step further by expanding the genetic code of life. Instead of the four chemical-bases of DNA that make up all living organisms, the company added two more. The company has reportedly already created a new form of e.coli never seen before, and hopes their synthetic life forms will improve medicine.
- 3D Printing
- 3D printers have the potential to revolutionize medicine, construction, housing and even space exploration. Replacement jaws, hips and backbones have already been printed and used in surgeries. One woman even had a replacement skull implanted into her head. Within a decade it will be theoretically possible to print a whole heart using a patient’s own cells for use in transplants. 3D printers can also offer an exceptionally fast method of building houses. In 2014, one company printed 10 homes in a single day. This could not only provide affordable housing, but also relief in disaster zones, such as areas hit by hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, forest fires and more. It could be a market disruptor for the construction industry.
- Synthetic Foods
- Costing over $3,000, the world’s first lab-grown burger was produced in 2013 and tasted close to meat, but not that juicy. Created from stem cells, the burger consisted of 20,000 strands of thin muscle tissue. While the prototype was quite expensive at $3,000, the patty could be reproduced for as little as $9.10 per patty if mass produced. One piece of muscle could be used to produce 22,000 lbs. of meat. Expect this type of synthetically-produced meat to be commercially viable in the next decade. Lab-grown beef will be less environmentally damaging to produce, free up food supplies normally fed to cows and reduce the slaughter of animals.
- Suspended Animation
- In 2014, researchers in a Pennsylvania hospital devised a way to effectively put a person into suspended animation. Tested on patients with life-threatening injuries, their bodies had all the blood drained and replaced with a cold saline solution. The body temperature is reduced to 50° F and almost all cellular activity stops. There’s no blood, no breathing and no brain activity. The person is effectively dead, giving doctors more time to treat injuries. Once surgery is completed, blood is returned back into the body, warmed, and the heart restarted. Despite the infancy of the procedure, patients can already be kept in suspended animation for several hours.
- As business technology evolves, MMA Mid-Atlantic will be there to help your business unlock its potential while mitigating the risks that will inherently come with these exciting new inventions. Contact us today to help your business prepare for the future.
- Exo-suits were originally designed to help soldiers in combat by allowing them to carry loads at almost 200 lbs at 10 miles per hour. The hydraulic-powered Hulk Exo-skeleton has been around since the year 2000, and it has enough power to last for 4-day missions. Exo-suits are being adapted to help paraplegics walk again while the power loader can lift over 220 lbs. with giant pincers and has been used to clean up disasters zones such as Fukushima.