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Ten global challenges that today solve technology
Material posted : Administrator Publication date: 27-07-2019

Decoding the brain, energy storage and other issues, which can not do without a new inventions.

1. Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere

To eliminate the greenhouse effect, mankind is not enough to reduce emissions. You also need some way to get rid of the gas that is already in the atmosphere. For example, through carbon sequestration — the process of turning carbon dioxide into organic matter.

It's incredibly resource intensive task. However, scientists are already trying different ways of processing carbon into useful products. So, with the help of catalysts, is made from Nickel and phosphorus, the researchers turn carbon dioxide into different polymer materials. Several institutions are working on a recycled CO2 into synthetic fuels. Using special algae, the carbon is converted in carbon fiber. Also is there a way to do the harmful emissions from concrete: this is limestone.

2. Energy storage

Хранение энергии

People learn to get more energy from renewable sources. Wind turbines and solar panels are becoming cheaper, but they have a serious drawback: when the sun sets or the wind stops blowing, they don't work.

This is one of the reasons why humanity is not yet able to give the more stable sources of coal and natural gas. Need to find a way to store energy on a large scale. Enough all night to feed the metropolis, for example. Modern batteries for this are not good at least because of its high cost.

Fortunately, it is a question of working scientists and companies around the world. Among promising developments is, for example, solid-state lithium batteries, which is a liquid or gel electrolyte, and the battery on the basis of aluminium. The advantages of these inventions is that they allow you to store more energy, but not burning, unlike the lithium-ion battery and fast charging.

3. Flu

Pandemic flu is rare, but it is very dangerous. In 1918 50 million people died because of a virus H1N1, then about one million in 1957 and 1968, and about 500 thousand in 2009.

The virus is constantly changing, and the old vaccine no longer work. Therefore, one important task of scientists and inventors to create a universal vaccine that will protect from less dangerous versions of the virus, and of disastrous epidemics. Work on this is already underway: scientists are testing several vaccines at once. One is based on ferritin — a protein that can assemble into nanoparticles. The other includes four types of hemagglutinin (one of the components of the flu virus), which are designed to stimulate the body's immune response.

4. Dementia

About one-third of people over 85 years suffer from dementia. Over time, the life expectancy becomes greater, increasing the number susceptible to the disease. However, no one really effective way of dealing with this disease is not yet invented.

The development of neuroscience, neurology and genetics helps us to better understand what is occurring Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. Perhaps with the advent of more advanced devices and technologies for studying the brain, scientists will be able to find a way to slow or prevent the progression of the disease.

Technology helps make life easier for people with impaired memory now. For example, the application How Do I? using short clips to remind you how vypolnyali daily tasks, for example, to put the kettle or wash the dishes. While in the UK scientists are working on systems of smart devices which can automatically monitor the condition of patients with dementia and to inform relatives if the person is in danger.

5. Ocean pollution

Глобальные проблемы: загрязнение океана

The oceans filled with billions of pieces of plastic — the microplastics. They appear when the objects made from this substance, get in the water and disintegrate over time. Microplastic very dangerous to marine life, birds and people, they poison the water and food that we extracted from it. So, in 2018 in Indonesia found a dead whale in the stomach of which was 6 pounds of plastic. Also studies show that 90% of seabirds consume some amount of plastic throughout its life.

To continue to live on Earth, humanity will have to clear the ocean of debris. With the current technology it may take hundreds of years, but in the future certainly will be opportunities for processing harmful substances on a gigantic scale. Already tested "The Ocean Cleanup"-system in the form of a huge Autonomous networks, which allow to collect plastic at relatively low cost.

6. The shortage of fresh water

Fresh water on the Earth is much rarer than salt. Moreover, it is unevenly distributed across places of residence of people: for example, in Africa it is very small. The population of the planet continues to grow, and soon we will need energy efficient and cheaper ways to desalinate water.

It could be new types of filters or electrochemical technology. For example, researchers at Columbia University have invented a special solvent that floats over a layer of salt water. Water rises to the solvent that separates from her salt, and fresh fluid because of changes in density sinks to the bottom.

7. Unsafe unmanned vehicles

Глобальные проблемы: небезопасные беспилотники

Dozens of companies are developing unmanned vehicles: Ford, Waymo, Audi, Google, "Yandex". Cars drive on the streets, are trained and tested, but they are not sufficiently developed yet to be released. Artificial intelligence struggling to cope with difficult situations on the roads, congestion and poor visibility.

However, over time, drones will certainly be safe and will transform the modern city. Appears Autonomous taxi, through which people will be less likely to use private cars. The number of Parking lots and road accidents will be reduced and traffic jams will occur less frequently.

Engineers of different brands working to improve the behavior of Autonomous vehicles. One of the ways to achieve this is the development of V2X Protocol, through which the vehicles can inform each other of their whereabouts and to communicate with traffic lights, barriers, gates, and even buildings.

8. The materialization of artificial intelligence

Today, the development of artificial intelligence and advanced robotics exist almost separately from each other. Robots know how much, even flips, but Autonomous to think and to educate themselves, they yet failed to do. But it is perfectly able of the neural network and the programs that run on stationary machines.

However, sooner or later, artificial intelligence and artificial body connect. Will be robots that can freely interact with objects of the real world to predict the actions and their consequences. This will change the industrial world: robots can work where people will not survive, they do not need to sleep and eat.

9. The unpredictability of earthquakes

Глобальные проблемы: непредсказуемость землетрясений

Mankind has learned to predict hurricanes and other weather disasters over several days or even months before they happen. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about earthquakes. Every year thousands of people die, get hurt or lose property because of the tremors and ensuing tsunami.

The development of devices that scan the earth's crust, and programs for processing the data will help to inform about these disasters in advance. Programmers and researchers have been working on a neural networking, which in theory will be able to predict the occurrence of earthquakes. For example, Indonesian scientists have created a neural network that can predict the occurrence of aftershocks following an earthquake. Yet best of all it can predict aftershocks of magnitude six points.

10. Decoding the brain

Despite hundreds of years of development of medicine, biology, and anatomy, we still know very little about how the human brain operates. All our thinking, motor activity, and memory skills recorded in neurons using a specific code. The answer to this code will not only explain exactly how we think, but will allow you to more effectively treat mental disorders and neurological diseases.

In this area there are already promising developments. For example, researchers have learned to recognize the speech signals of the brain. And the company Ilona Mask Neuralink works on a system of wireless chips which will be implanted in the brain and allow you to control appliances by thought.


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