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Top 7 Technology Breakthroughs to Watch in 2022

The running joke we share with each other is that technology is fantastic when it works as intended. It’s the go-to line whenever something doesn’t work, and social interactions are necessary to fill the silence.

You might say it’s the updated version of “How are you doing today?”

Several tech breakthroughs have happened in the past few months that could change everything we know about our daily routines. Here’s a closer look at what is happening and why it matters.

Virus Variant Tracking

Coronavirus,2019-ncov,Novel,Coronavirus,Concept.,Microscope,Virus,Close,Up.,3d

COVID-19 delivered circumstances that we haven’t experienced in more than a century. How the coronavirus evolves brought a need for gene sequencing to protect people and deliver vaccines. With the improved surveillance methods available to scientists today, it is possible to spot new variants and warn people about their spread.

This technological breakthrough allowed the world to understand the problems that Omicron could bring before it happened to ensure some preparations were possible. It will also let us get to know future variants and viruses better so that we can react faster to potentially dangerous situations. [1]

Grid Batteries

Dawn,Of,New,Renewable,Energy,Technologies.,Modern,,Aesthetic,And,Efficient

We use more renewable power today than at any other time in human history. What happens when the wind stops or the sun sets for the evening?

Geothermal power is one solution, but it isn’t available everywhere. Grid operators must have ways to store the electricity generated by renewable sources for later use. That’s why the newest iron-based batteries are a breakthrough technology. [2]

Not only are these batteries made from abundant materials, but they could also be more practical and cost less than all other grid storage options.

Malaria Vaccine

Malaria,Vector,Illustration.,Labeled,Mosquito,Bite,Infected,Disease,Scheme.,Blood

Although COVID-19 has created devastating consequences for families, it’s still far behind the 600,000 annual deaths that malaria causes. What makes it even more heartbreaking is that most of the victims are under the age of five.

The World Health Organization approved a vaccine to treat malaria proactively. It’s the world’s first treatment option of its type for a parasitic infection.

Although the vaccine requires four doses and doesn’t prevent the disease entirely, researchers found that it reduces severe cases by 30%. [3]

Proof of Stake

Concept,Of,Proof,Of,Stake.,Pos,Cryptocurrency,Blockchain,Technology.

Cryptocurrencies have blossomed into a viable commerce vehicle over the past decade. Although not everyone is using Bitcoin and more than 1,000 others, the explosion of NFT options has created significant interest in blockchain technology.

The issue with crypto involves the amount of electricity it needs to verify transactions. It takes significant computing power to have a successful outcome.

This technology offers a new way to verify those transactions without needing as much electrical power. Ethereum believes it can cut energy use by over 99.9%. [4]

Fusion Reactors

Fusion,Reactor,Tokamak.,Reaction,Chamber.,Fusion,Power.,3d,Illustration.,Thermonuclear

Until now, the promise of carbon-free electricity through fusion reaction has always been the stuff of science-fiction novels. One startup plans to use the decades of research in this field to deliver power generated by this methodology by the early 2030s.

This technology relies on powerful new magnets that rely on niobium wires and extensive liquid helium cooling. The reactor is expected to cost $20 billion to bring online. [5]

Synthetic Data

Artificial,Intelligence,(ai),machine,Learning,With,Data,Mining,Technology,On,Virtual

Artificial intelligence could transform every industry in some way. It’s even creating content for people to read (although AI didn’t write this piece!).

Before AI becomes effective, it must receive training. It’s a lot like how you go to school to earn a degree or pick up a new skill. That process takes time.

Artificial intelligence also needs lots of information to learn. The info in the real world often reflects biases or privacy issues. That’s why the use of synthetic data is a breakthrough technology. It creates a cleaner “classroom” for AI while streamlining the training process. [6]

Carbon Removal Factories

Reduce,Carbon,Dioxide,Emissions,To,Limit,Global,Warming,And,Climate

If we want to mitigate climate change within our lifetime, our goal must be to reduce emissions. During the 2020 lockdowns, the pollution levels dropped dramatically. We know what is possible.

Carbon removal factories could create similar outcomes without the need to stop all manufacturing activities. Iceland recently opened the largest facility of its type globally to accomplish this goal. It uses heaters, fans, and filters to pull about 4,000 metric tons of CO2 from the air each year.

Once the carbon is underground, it mixes with water to create stone as it cools. This factory eliminates the annual emissions equivalent of about 790 cars, but the hope is that more startups and entrepreneurs will get involved to help this technology grow. [7]

Each year, breakthrough technologies support who we are and what we do. These examples are a handful of many! What have you discovered that has helped your life get better recently?

References:

[[1]] https://www.technologyreview.com/2022/02/23/1044975/covid-19-variant-tracking-scientists/ ; [[2]]https://formenergy.com/technology/battery-technology/ ; [[3]] https://www.who.int/news/item/06-10-2021-who-recommends-groundbreaking-malaria-vaccine-for-children-at-risk ; [[4]] https://ethereum.org/en/developers/docs/consensus-mechanisms/pos/; [[5]]https://www.science.org/content/article/fusion-startup-plans-reactor-small-powerful-superconducting-magnets ; [[6]]https://research.aimultiple.com/synthetic-data/ ; [[7]] https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/worlds-largest-carbon-capture-plant-opens-iceland-180978620/

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