Five inventions that will change the world

The world is changing like never before. Every change brings its own set of benefits and challenges. Here is the #TSIFUNLEARN list of inventions that will change the world for the better.

Artificial Sun

This is an attempt to recreate the nuclear fusion reactions that occur in the Sun and generate limitless clean energy in the process.

EAST, or Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak experiment is underway in China and is backed by 35 countries including India, USA, Japan and Russia.

Once fully operational, it is slated to reduce the dependence on fossil fuel and put an end to the energy crisis. Nuclear fusion using Deuterium found abundantly in the sea will be used to generate energy.

Deuterium, (D, or 2H), is also called heavy hydrogen. It is an isotope of hydrogen with a nucleus consisting of one proton and one neutron, which is double the mass of the nucleus of ordinary hydrogen (one proton). Immense amount of heat and pressure applied to Deuterium atoms initiates a fusion reaction. This results in emission of a vast amount of energy that can be harnessed.

Bio degradable plastics

Bio degradable plastics are plastics that are broken down or degraded by microbes and prevent plastic pollution. They are produced from renewable sources such as vegetable oils, corn starch, straw, woodchips, sawdust and even recycled food waste.

Around 8 million tons of plastic waste escapes into the oceans every year. Plastic production increased from 2.3 million tons in 1950 to 448 million tons by 2015 and the last two decades have seen a steep rise. The environmental impact includes production of greenhouse gases, impacting wildlife and marine ecosystem. More importantly, microplastics find their way into the human food and are a health hazard. Many studies are underway to evaluate their role in endocrine, neurological and cardiovascular disorders, cancer and even autoimmune diseases.

Biodegradable plastics, once fully scaled up will greatly help reduce plastic pollution and will be counted as one of the most impactful developments to save the environment.

Examples in use include polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs), Polylactic acids (PLAs), Starch blends and Cellulose based plastics.

The top benefits include environmental safety and lowered cost of treating waste.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

AI is already a much in use technology and it is only going to be bettered over time. It has revolutionised nearly all industries, offering easy solutions for everything from predictive planning to process improvement to deriving avenues for profitability and most of all, an incredible customer experience.

Over time, we have started getting used to AI based personalized suggestions for what to read, what to buy, what to eat, what to watch, even whom to friend or follow on social media.This technology will revolutionize even expertise-based fields such as judiciary, healthcare, education, fashion, creative writing etc.

Hyperloop Public Transportation

This is a futuristic technology at various stages of testing and is most likely the closest to being available for public use. Many players are working on developing feasible models of this technology.

The technology is based on the principle of using a system of tubes maintained at low air pressure that reduces friction or air resistance increasing speed of the transport pods. With speeds at par with air travel will help make this a highly energy efficient and one of the fastest means of public transport.

Many other routes around the world are planned in India, USA and Europe.

Malaria Vaccine

Nearly 50% of the world’s population lives in areas at risk of malaria. In 2019, malaria caused an estimated 229 million cases and 409,000 deaths.

We are in the midst of a Covid 19 pandemic and the current priority is to get over it. However, malaria has continued to cause significant morbidity and mortality for thousands of years and we are yet to find a suitable and sustainable preventive measure. The earliest fossil evidence of the parasite is 30 million years old. However, significant human infestation is known to have occured about 10,000 years ago coinciding with the start of agriculture.

The only approved vaccine as of now is Mosquirix (RTS,S). It needs four shots and is of relatively low efficacy. A new trial with a vaccine called R21, underway with 450 children aged 5–17 months. This vaccine has shown up to 77% efficacy at preventing malaria over the course of one year in preliminary trials — Higher than the 75% effectiveness target set by the World Health Organization. Both the vaccines include a protein secreted by the malaria parasite at the sporozoite stage when it enters the human body along with an adjuvant to stimulate a sufficient antibody response.

We are nowhere near eradicating Malaria yet but a multipronged approach targeting the parasite and mosquitoes will get us there in the near future.

Read more about eradication of Malaria in our previous edition –