As the year 2014 CE draws to a close, many of you may be seeing articles titled “Top (Insert Topic Here) of 2014.” Since we all use technology every day, whether it be for school on our iPads or for transit purposes via plane, train, or automobile, it seems meet to address some of the most significant current technological innovations. These devices and/or systems have enough significance to revolutionize the way we experience many aspects of life, from skating to medicine. Please note that this is only a minuscule sampling of the projects that the world’s inventors have so tirelessly strived to produce. Enjoy!
Scientists in Yunnan Province, China have successfully edited the genes of two macaques, named Mingming and Lingling. The macaques were conceived via in vitro fertilization, and three genes were modified in the process via a process called CRISPR. This process is described by Technology Review as “a precise and easy way to alter DNA at specific locations on chromosomes.” Scientists believe that developments in genetic modifications in complex animals, such as the macaque and humans, could lead to debates over the ethics of genetic engineering in sentient beings.
Hoverboards, while still in their technological infancy, are no longer objects of science fiction. A small start-up company started a Kickstarter to fund their Hendo Hoverboard: a board with much of the functionality of a longboard accompanied by one major twist: it never touches the ground during use. The device manages to do this via four engines which operate its enough speed to create a magnetic field that pushes against itself to stay in the air. The product is due to begin manufacturing early 2015, and many believe that it will retail at around 500 dollars.