CNN reported today that a woman successfully received a transplant of a section of trachea made from her own stem cells.
That’s right. Doctors grew her a windpipe grown in a lab.
For years, scientists have been saying stem cell research could lead to a revolution in medicine. For me, this is the first tangible result of that. The future that has been forecasted by experts has begun to become a reality. What organs or tissues will be grown next? How many lives will be saved?
As the last decade has gone by there has been so much technological and scientific growth. The Internet has gone from downloading pieces of images on Usenet to streaming HD films. Cars are now electric, or automatically react to accidents, or park themselves. Objects, and even buildings, are being made from green materials. Videogames near photorealism, films present us whole new worlds, and television has hundreds of high-definition shows.
I have followed futurist Ray Kurzweil for the last few years. While I am not sure our society is climaxing to a singularity, I agree with his observation that societal change and technological progress has rapidly increased. In ten years where will my examples above be replaced with?
We may be hearing about routine transplants from stem-cell-grown organs. The Internet may be a massive social network connected to everyday objects and completely customizable in every way. Electric, hydrogen, or solar cars may be the norm. Sustainability and green living will be every day life. Videogames will be photorealistic and feature very detailed simulations of the real world (or fantasy worlds). And the first 3D or holographic televisions will probably be hitting the market.
And maybe I will be able to get those bionic eyes I have always wanted.