Athens Review, Athens, Texas

Community News Network

December 20, 2012

By 2062, your nurse will be a robot and your shirt will clean itself

WASHINGTON — To celebrate its 110th anniversary, the magazine Popular Mechanics has published a fascinating list of 110 predictions for the next 110 years, divided up by the decades in which they will occur.

For instance, within the next 10 years, PM believes that translation technology will become so sophisticated and cheap that smart phones will turn into universal translators so "people will be fluent in every language."

The whole list is worth a read (see Slate link at end), but here are some of our favorites that could have a real impact on women's lives:

Nanoparticles will make chemotherapy far more effective. By delivering tiny doses of cisplatin and docetaxel right to cancerous cells, the mini messengers will significantly reduce the pain and side effects of today's treatments.

In recent years, guidelines on breast cancer treatment have changed so that fewer women have courses of chemotherapy after surgery, in part because the side effects are so traumatic, and because of findings that suggest chemotherapy is helpful to only 15 percent of patients who receive it as a follow-up. But if chemotherapy could be more targeted and less toxic, it could help make breast cancer treatment a less intimidating prospect. PM predicts this could be reality by 2022.

Your genome will be sequenced before you are born. Researchers led by Jay Shendure of the University of Washington recently reconstructed the genome of a fetus using saliva from the father and a blood sample from the mother (which yielded free-floating DNA from the child). Blood from the umbilical cord later confirmed that the sequencing was 98 percent accurate. Once the price declines, this procedure will allow us to do noninvasive prenatal testing.

Right now, adults can send in saliva samples and have their own DNA sequenced by genetic testing services like 23 And Me. But the new tests will allow parents to know the actual DNA profile of the fetus they just created. This is not without its downsides: As Harriet A. Washington wrote in Slate earlier this fall, the availability of such testing could also move up unnerving conversations about whether to terminate a pregnancy, or how to care for a potentially disabled child, even as they don't provide absolute certainty about the outcome of a pregnancy. PM forecasts that these tests will be normal procedure in the next 10 years.

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  • To sleep well, you may need to adjust what you eat and when

    Sleep.  Oh, to sleep.  A good night's sleep is often a struggle for more than half of American adults.  And for occasional insomnia, there are good reasons to avoid using medications, whether over-the-counter or prescription.

    April 16, 2014

  • Doctors to rate cost effectiveness of expensive cancer drugs

    The world's largest organization of cancer doctors plans to rate the cost effectiveness of expensive oncology drugs, and will urge physicians to use the ratings to discuss the costs with their patients.

    April 16, 2014

  • Low blood-sugar levels make for grousing spouses

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    April 16, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-16 at 12.51.22 PM.png VIDEO: Toddler climbs into vending machine

    A child is safe after climbing into and getting stuck inside a claw crane machine at a Lincoln, Neb., bowling alley Monday.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • portraitoflotte.jpg VIDEO: From infant to teen in four minutes

    Dutch filmmaker Frans Hofmeester’s time lapse video of his daughter, Lotte — created by filming her every week from her birth until she turned 14 — has become a viral sensation.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Victimized by the 'marriage penalty'

    In a few short months, I'll pass the milestone that every little girl dreams of: the day she swears - before family and God, in sickness and in health, all in the name of love - that she's willing to pay a much higher tax rate.

    April 15, 2014

  • Allergies are the real midlife crisis

    One of the biggest mysteries is why the disease comes and goes, and then comes and goes again. People tend to experience intense allergies between the ages of 5 and 16, then get a couple of decades off before the symptoms return in the 30s, only to diminish around retirement age.

    April 15, 2014

  • treadmill-very-fast.jpg Tax deduction for a gym membership?

    April marks another tax season when millions of Americans will deduct expenses related to home ownership, children and education from their annual tax bill. These deductions exist because of their perceived value to society; they encourage behaviors that keep the wheels of the economy turning. So why shouldn't the tax code be revised to reward preventive health?

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Google acquires drone maker Titan Aerospace to spread Internet

    Google is adding drones to its fleets of robots and driverless cars.
    The Internet search company said it acquired Titan Aerospace, the maker of high-altitude, solar-powered satellites that provides customer access to data services around the world. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

    April 14, 2014

  • E-Cigarettes target youth with festivals, lawmakers say

    The findings, in a survey released Monday by members of Congress, should prod U.S. regulators to curb the industry, the lawmakers said. While e-cigarettes currently are unregulated, the Food and Drug Administration is working on a plan that would extend its tobacco oversight to the products.

    April 14, 2014

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