Here Comes the Future: 10 Game-Changers That Will Transform the World in 2016
#9: Passive Radiative Cooling:
Something that cools down rather than heats up when hit by sunlight might sound counterintuitive but researchers at Stanford University have created a new material that can simultaneously reflect light and radiate heat. The implication of this rather esoteric advance is that in the coming year scores of buildings can begin installing the material on their rooftops, thereby allowing the buildings to cool themselves without air conditioning. In a world concerned with energy usage and carbon emissions, the technology is, pardon the pun, a pretty cool trick that will have an outsized impact on the building, construction and real estate industries.
#10: Antibiotic Dirt:
In 2014, in response to research indicating bacteria’s ability to develop resistance to every known antibiotic, Dr. Keiji Fukuda, the Assistant Director for Health Security at the World Health Organization issued a dire warning about a “post-antibiotic” world. The first step toward alleviating this serious and very real danger has been found in dirt. Earlier this year, researchers at Northeastern University used a new microfluidic device to discover a startlingly powerful new antibiotic called teixobactin while soil prospecting in their own backyards. Given that only 1 percent of soil bacteria (which is where a number of past antibiotics have been discovered) has ever been cultured, this suggests that the ability to gain a new foothold in our battle against bacterial resistance in 2016 may be as close as the dirt in your front yard.
As Heraclitus, the Greek philosopher, wrote 2500 years ago: Change is the Only Constant. From this perspective, 2016 is going to more of the same–much, much more.
Jack Uldrich a leading global futurist and best-selling author. His new book, Win the Future: The Big AHA! will be published in 2016. His website is www.jackuldrich.com.
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