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Population Decline

Contrary to the widespread perception of overpopulation that will in turn lead to the exhaustion of the earth’s already scarce resources, the recent statistics show otherwise. In recent years, there has been a shift in the number of babies people are having and the rate is only decreasing. With education and awareness and also the transition of more women now entering the workforce prolonging their career paths paired with the increase use of contraception and a drop in fertility rates, the natural population is witnessing a steady decline. By 2040, some major nations like Italy and Japan are expected to witness a decline in population by half.

A population decline might seem like good news as it will reduce the negative impact on the environment and improve the division of the scarce resources among the available population, but there are several aspects that are a downside to it as well. For instance, with fewer younger people and a large number of older, the economic policies will have to be rethought. With fewer working age people, it will likely cause a negative impact on the overall GDP. This could result in a major concern for many nations as they will have to come up with well devised policies to counter these rising issues and changes in the population. The major challenge will be the huge burden of the increased need for healthcare and social support systems for the aging population.

The decline is nearer than we think, so it is vital for nations to start preparing now, before the situation actually proves to be a major problem. With the increase in aged people, it will be essential for nations to focus on increasing and improving healthcare facilities and hospitals as well as social support. The demographic change that will occur requires a lot of consideration. Will people be expected to work past their retirement age? Who will take care of all the old people? Will people just keep on working until they die? All these questions and more will have to be answered to ensure that this shift in the population structure is countered intelligently.

However, it is still unclear how the world will adapt to this major change. Overpopulation and increasing growth has always been a major problem but a shrinking population will also have an extremely harsh impact on humanity and whether or not we will prosper.

Alien Civilizations

Since childhood, most of us have been watching movies and TV shows which tell of the possible existence of alien lifeforms, a concept that is very popular throughout the world, but until now we’ve never truly known whether alien civilizations actually exist or not.

However, as technology has improved, we have been able to probe deeper into whether the concept of aliens is valid or not. Scientists have recently found some compelling evidence. According to an article in The Astrophysical Journal, it has been said that there could be dozens of intelligent lifeforms hidden around the universe communicating with one another.

This may seem like a confusing thought and many might find it very odd because we’ve always been told there is no proof of aliens. The assumption that aliens exist has been made through the fact that it takes around 5 billion years for intelligent life to form on a planet like Earth. If this is the case, then it is likely that other planets like Earth must have life on them.

The lead researcher believes that the idea is similar to evolution, but one needs to view it from a cosmic point of view. From their observations and findings, they predict that there must be 36 such civilizations in the universe which could have intelligent life on them.

Previously, all the research that had been conducted was based loosely on numbers that varied and were unpredictable. They believe that their new study has simplified such assumptions with new data and helped them research this specific number of alien civilizations.

Wrapped alongside the good news is bad news too. Even though such assumptions have been made with new data collected, the closest intelligent alien civilization must be at least 17,000 light-years away. Also, it could be possible that that civilization went extinct a long time ago.

Nonetheless, finding out more about such civilizations may give us more information about the future of humanity and reveal secrets and information we may not yet be aware of.

If we were to find out more about such civilizations, then this could help reveal the lifespan of the human race and how far we as humans can live until become extinct. However, if for example, we find that no such life exists, it predicts a grave future for our existence in this universe.

To consider that alien life could exist and might be just as technologically advanced, is very exciting, and the possibility that someone might be doing the same thing as me or you right now 17,000 light-years away is a weird thought.

Invisible Man

Researchers have been using gene hacking for the past couple of years for research and to achieve various goals. One of the things they have used gene backing for is to create an invisible man. By manipulating human genes, scientists and researchers could give humans the ability to be invisible or to camouflage just like a squid can.

This is done by using a protein that is only found in squids called reflectin. This protein enables the squid to camouflage or turn transparent when hunting or in danger. The protein scatters the light coming onto the squid in a way that it depicts transparency or iridescence.

Not only does this new gene hacking trick amuse people and excite them, but also gives way to genetic mutation and a variety of different ways of gene hacking, and with this we could make a significant impact on the human body, the way we live our life, and our life expectancy.

Researchers were able to integrate the protein into a human gene enabling it to take on the same characteristics as the squid. Researchers found that with the help of quantitative phase microscopy, they were able to find out that the protein structures had a different optical characteristic when fused with human cells. This in other ways is saying that the protein worked and was able to mimic the function it performs in the squid within a human cell too.

Even though we would love to see the invisible men originate soon, the research being conducted isn’t strictly for that purpose. Rather, it is to identify through the process of gene hacking, new light-reflecting materials that can help us. Scientists believe that their research can make way for new materials to come onto the market which could use similar properties to what a squid would use through gene hacking. Maybe something similar to Harry Potter’s cloak?

They also believe that their research opens doors to other possibilities and further progression into microbiology and genetics. People could mimic their results with gene hacking and come up with other beneficial outcomes.

When we think about the future possibilities gene hacking could have, the possibilities are endless. We could potentially hack cancer genes and introduce molecules that could eradicate them forever. We could change genetic disorders and help those with them. We could even work on the specific protein to create a truly invisible man. With the progression of time and technology anything might be possible by altering a human’s DNA.

Energy Weapons

Previously for thousands of years, men have physically fought with men during times of war. Whether it is conquering the land, taking revenge, or initiating combat. Men have always done it physically through swords and gun power. Now things have begun to change.

The technology used to make our daily life easier, is now being used to develop weapons as well that could change the future of warfare.

Recently on a US Navy ship, a powerful laser weapon was onboard. This weapon was used to successfully take down an aerial vehicle in the Pacific Ocean. The weapon used is called The Technology Maturation Laser Weapon System Demonstrator (LWSD) MK 2 MOD 0. This weapon was created so navy ships could defend themselves against drones that come from above and to protect themselves from smaller boats.

According to several pieces of research, it has been found that there has been a rise in the market for energy weapons similar to the weapon used by the Navy all around the globe. This is because nations are looking for new and innovative ways to increase security and protect their borders from enemies that might harm them.

“With this new technology and the power it holds, the world is now redefining war conducted on water for the Navy.” This was said by a commanding officer in the US Navy. It seems that the navy prides itself on mastering such a weapon and is willing to test it out if they need to.

In comparison, the UK is also working on a similar weapon. They are working on a 50 kilowatt laser system which they plan on calling Dragon Fire. This system will be used in their maritime and land forces against missiles and other enemy weaponry. It will help strengthen their nation’s borders and keep their enemies at bay.

Russia, China, Iran, and Turkey are just a few names that too are working on energy weapons.

It is said that this spike in energy weapons is not sudden or recent. Rather the US has been working on it since the 1960s. However, the US Navy believes that this test was different. This was conducted with a high power laser and could be used as a future way of creating more energy weapons on a similar design.

The US air force is also working on new weapons just like the Navy is. They believe that the threat from drone attacks is a serious concern and a surge in drone technology has increased the likelihood of an attack.

Suspended Animation

Most science fiction movies have concepts of space travel which that every 11-year-old wants to take. However, is it possible in real life? Can we travel through space through extended periods or is it just science fiction?

In movies we have often seen humans that are sent into extended periods of a deep sleep just so they can survive their journey in space by flash freezing their bodies. This may still be far off in the future, but there has recently been some progress made.

A team of scientists has been researching suspended animation in mice. They wanted to see whether mice would be able to survive suspended animation or not by putting the mice into a state of hibernation by stimulation of certain neurons in their brain that could control hibernation-like behavior.

It is the first time in history that such neural progress has taken place.

In a journal titled Nature, a paper was published which explained how the researchers had found that certain brain pathways existed within the hypothalamus. These were said to be responsible for the state of hibernation-like sleep that mice would fall into. This state occurs when the body temperature of the mice decreases down to 20 degrees while the metabolic rate also decreases.

Researchers believe that body temperature is vital for most animals. It is vital in keeping them alive. In humans, if the body temperature were to fall by even a few degrees, the human would go into hypothermia and die. However, in the hibernation that is created by the research, the body temperature falls drastically and is controlled.

However, one should note that there is still much research that needs to be done in the field of human hibernation and how to sustain, maintain, and create it. It’s a task that will take many years to master.

Researchers believe that the research right now is not strong enough and not extensive enough for them to start thinking of humans. However, their end goal is to induce a similar state within humans by identifying neural processes that could do so.

Genetically Modified Moths

Moths are insects that a lot of people are scared of. They are also known to eat and destroy crops and ruin harvests. To reduce these losses, scientists have come up with a plan.

The Diamond Back moth is a huge moth that ruins tons of harvests and leads to around 5 billion dollars of losses every single year. Teams of researchers have been hired to take care of this issue and try to suppress the population of the Diamond Back moth.

To do so, a genetically modified Diamond Back moth has been created which will help reduce the population of moths that can ruin the harvest. These moths have just recently been put out into the wild.

The process that will take place will be that the moths that have been released will mate with female moths and the offspring will not be able to survive beyond the caterpillar age, which will eventually begin to lessen the population of moths. However, the catch is that only the female offspring will die, the male offspring will survive and mate with females again to breed offspring in which the female moth dies. When this continues for a while, the species will begin to suppress and they will be much less in number than before. However, it cannot completely erase the Diamond Back moth as the gene will rectify after a few generations.

This technique of creating sterile insects was created back in the 1950s. Now with updated technology and vast research, scientists have used a similar technique to reduce or suppress the population of the Diamond Back moth, so it does not harm or ruin the crops leading to huge losses.

Before the modified moths were released in the wild, they were marked on their bodies with fluorescent powder so they could easily be identified. This then allowed the team of researchers to observe the behavior of the moths and the way they interacted with their community.

They saw the released male moths behaved in the same manner as other male moths do in terms of survival and distance traveled, and this then helped their plan for insect suppression move forward.

However, one thing to note is that when a species is genetically modified, there is always a concern about the impact it will have on the environment.