For the fifth year UBC Reports, the monthly news publication for the University of British Columbia, has asked experts to identify advances that may transform your world.
From shapeshifting architecture to municipal service robots, their responses illustrate the creative thinking that drives human progress.
Of note this year, three of the nine advances – personal genome analysis, imaging genetics, and magic biomarkers – highlight new developments in technology that will allow specialists to predict with greater certainty your susceptibility to devastating diseases and organ failure. Experts point to the benefits but also ask whether we are prepared for it.
This edition also revisits our original projections. UBC psychology professor Stanley Coren updates his 2006 prediction that dogs would soon be prescribed by doctors for their therapeutic value. He notes that the U.S. government is now giving service dogs to war veterans with post-traumatic stress. UBC astronomy professor Jaymie Matthews affirms his 2006 prediction that we are well on our way to discovering another planet capable of life within five years.
All nine advances, plus the two updates, are available at: http://www.publicaffairs.ubc.ca/2010/12/29/vol-57-no-1/. They include:
- Intelligent space: UBC researchers are leading the investigation of architecture that adapts in real time to occupants
- Municipal service robots: Professors are working on a robot that will crawl through water mains and sewers to find defects
- Personal genome analysis: Experts may soon know the gene variations that influence many aspects of our health and traits
- Restorative buildings: Researchers foresee a building that actually restores and improves the environment
- The medical tricorder: With advances in DNA sequencing, we are on the verge of having a Star Trek-like medical tricorder
- Imaging genetics: Advances in brain scanning and genetics have created a new neurotechnology that can foresee brain disease
- Rare-earth dental magnets: Created for the auto industry, new magnets hold hope for denture sufferers
- Magic biomarkers: panels of novel biomarkers will help predict risk, illness and therapies for vital organ failure
- Collaborative journalism: a professor predicts we’ll soon see a raft of new tools to make sense of social media
The edition includes updates for two 2006 predictions:
- Prescription pets
- Discovering Terra Nova in 10 years
To interview these experts, some of whom have availability this week, contact Randy Schmidt at firstname.lastname@example.org or 604.828.0787, or leave a request on the UBC Public Affairs News Line at 604.822.6397.