A Peek at Amazing Discoveries of the Past Decade

I’ve posed many questions regarding the ethics of research being done. Today, I want to talk about the good science has done. Let’s take a tiny peak at the amazing discoveries of the past decade.  The Human Genome The year 2000 saw a rough draft of the human genome released. The final draft published in 2003 received updates in 2007.  They believed this research would help alleviate diseases and advance medical break throughs. Sadly, that is slow in coming. The National Human Genome Research Institute estimates that it takes about seventeen years to advance from new research information to something useful for patients. But much is being done. Check out their website for detailed information about research on cystic fibrosis, infectious disease outbreaks, pharmacogenomics, and much more. Archeology The 2010s brought extraordinary discoveries in the field of Archeology. British researchers found the body of King Richard III Airborne lasers led scientists to discover more than 60,000 ancient Maya buildings in Guatemala. The discovery of Homo Naledi, a new species with a mix of human and primate features, suggests they may have been a hybrid. Radar detection and lasers and photographs from space have aided archeologists in their search. The number of discoveries […]

Head Transplant: Science or Science Fiction?

Do you think a head transplant is science fiction or science fact? Italian neurosurgeon Sergio Canavero thinks it will be science fact. Canavero has a reputation for being a sensationalist in the global medical community. But is he?  The Animal Successes Canavero and Chinese surgeon, Xiaoping Ren, published a study that showed monkeys and dogs could walk after their spinal cords were completely severed during surgery and then put back together again. According to USA Today, the study published in the magazine Surgical Neurology International included video evidence.  They applied a polyethylene glycol substance (PEG) to the nerve endings. They want to use PEG to transplant human heads. Patients with incurable and fatal diseases would have a new body in which to live. Think of people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease), people like physicist Stephen Hawking.  Canavero states that neurosurgeons have been “stuck to the view that a severed spinal cord cannot be mended in any way.” He completely rejects that view.  Is a Head Transplant Possible There have been experiments involving animal head transplants since the early 1900s. None, not even the ones Cavanero and Xaioping did, have survived more than days.  Whole head transplantation must overcome […]

Science Fiction Authors About Science

Science fiction intimidates some. Perhaps, these quotes by science fiction authors about science might help dispel some of that.  Magic or Science? “Science is no more than an investigation of a miracle we can never explain, and art is an interpretation of that miracle.” Ray Bradbury-The Martian Chronicles  Science, my lad, is made up of mistakes, but they are mistakes which it is useful to make, because they lead little by little to the truth.” Jules Vern-A Journey to the Center of the Earth “If science fiction is the mythology of modern technology, then its myth is tragic.” Ursula K. Le Guin Science is magic that works.” Kurt Vonnegut-Cat’s Cradle Why Science “Deep in the human unconscious is a pervasive need for a logical universe that makes sense. But the real universe is always one step beyond logic.” Frank Herbert-Dune I think science fiction helps us think about possibilities, to speculate – it helps us look at our society from a different perspective. It lets us look at our mores, using science as the backdrop, as the game changer. Mae Jemison I, for one, bet on science as helping us. I have yet to see how it fundamentally endangers us, […]