With all of the buzz surrounding how 2015 was dreamed up by Back to the Future II, many people have gotten hung up on what we don't have, like hoverboards.
The truth is, however, that while society has fallen short on some of the things people had hoped to have by now, scientists have progressed far beyond what anyone could have predicted would actually be true.
Alltime10s has teamed up with the National Geographic Channel to present 10 of the most astounding scientific breakthroughs that have come forth in recent years.
Eat your heart out, Marty McFly.
The human body is great, but sometimes it needs a bit of help. Exoskeleton suits are able to do just that, allowing the body to perform better than it can on its own. The ability to lift large amounts of weight more easily is beneficial not only for military personnel, but for search and rescue workers as well. Additionally, exoskeletons can give those with physical disabilities the ability to stand and move on their own.
9. Suspended Animation
Currently used to buy medical professionals more time when treating life-threatening injuries, suspended animation involves cooling a body down to the point where metabolic processes are slowed to a halt, and rewarming it later to get the body back up and running.
8. Synthetic Food
Humans are eating more meat than ever, which is disastrous news for those concerned about the environment or animal welfare. To help meet the demand, scientists have begun developing synthetic meat from stem cells. The current production costs are astronomical and exceed $300,000 per burger, but if the operation could be scaled up to mass produce the meat, it could become economically feasible, which is good news for everyone.
7. 3-D Printing
6. Synthetic Cells
Building functional cells from the basic chemical building blocks is a scientific triumph and could have widespread functions. By altering the cell's genome and dictating its function, these cells could help clean up the environment or even make more effective vaccines.
5. Super Photosynthesis
As the global human population continues to rise, it will become increasingly difficult to grow enough food to keep everyone fed. By manipulating key food crops such as rice and wheat, the plants can take in more carbon dioxide, grow larger and drastically increase yield.
4. Gene Editing
As scientists continue to crack the human genome, it becomes more obvious how many diseases and disorders that affect one's quality of life have a genetic basis. By editing genes, scientists could reduce or eliminate these diseases rather than treating or curing them after they've arrived. Additionally, altering the genome of plants and animals can benefit food production, which is becoming increasingly important.
3. Artificial Energy
Fossil fuels have allowed humans to make amazing technological advances, but it has come at the undeniable expense of the environment. To move toward independence from these toxic sources of energy, scientists have come up with numerous ways of meeting modern electrical needs in a way that is much safer. One of these experiments is to basically make an artificial star from hydrogen, extracting the energy that will come from the nuclear fusion going on at its core.
2. Cybernetic Immortality
The idea of uploading a person's consciousness and having them exist as a hologram after their death sounds like science fiction, but there are scientists working toward this goal. Though their organic body would be dead, their memories and personality would live on inside a computer, which is fairly close to how most people exist today anyway.
1. The Hive Mind
Scientists have demonstrated the ability to connect the brain waves between people separated by a continent. The potential use for this is huge, as information could be shared directly with a mere thought. Theoretically, humans could one day have a collective "hive" mind, providing limitless resources for knowledge.
Curious to learn more about each of these amazing breakthroughs? Check out the video from Alltime10s here: