Dual Action Antibodies

The human immune system is incredibly complex and contains a large variety of different methods for fighting off disease-causing agents like bacteria and viruses. When dealing with cancerous cells, or any kind of damaged or unusual cells for that matter, it uses something called antibodies in order to eliminate them. These antibodies latch on to a specific type of molecule laying on the surface these cells called an antigen. Once the antibody has become attached to the antigen, it acts as a red flag of sorts, drawing in the immune system to the abnormal cell so that it will be destroyed. Cancer cells are often difficult for these naturally produced antibodies to find, and so avoid the attention of the immune system. Because the natural antibodies are not sufficient when dealing with cancerous cells, scientists have developed something called monoclonal antibodies in order to help treat cancer. These monoclonal antibodies are artificially engineered molecules that take the place of normal antibodies, and are specifically designed to bind onto antigens that are found much more often on cancer cells than healthy ones. These antibodies all work to deal with cancer cells in a variety of different ways. One type of antibody is designed to block the connection between a cancer cell and the proteins that cause cell growth. Another type of antibody prevents your body from producing new blood vessels, eliminating the blood supply to the tumors. Some of these antibodies are even designed to directly attack cancer cells, causing them …

Atmospheric Energy

Atmospheric energy refers to the vast amounts of different types of energy that are present throughout the various layers of the atmosphere.  There are vast amounts of energy spread throughout our planet’s atmosphere, existing in different forms and being converted from one to the other constantly. The vast majority of this energy comes in the form of solar radiation, most of which is trapped in the upper layers of the atmosphere before it can reach the surface of the planet. As a result of all of this radiation, large amounts of thermal and kinetic energy are generated and stored in the atmosphere as well. There is also an incredibly large amount of static electricity stored throughout the atmosphere, normally only seen during thunderstorms when it is released in the form of lightning strikes. There is also a large amount of magnetic energy present as well, used by several different animal species in order to navigate and find directions. If this energy could be harnessed and converted into a safely usable form, there is potentially a limitless amount of renewable energy available to be used, just waiting to be tapped into. For the most part, the only form of energy in the atmosphere currently being harnessed is kinetic energy carried by the wind, used to spin wind turbines. This energy is captured by wind farms throughout the world and then converted into electrical energy that can be used by the general population. However, in recent years there has been an increasing amount …

Blockchain

Blockchain is a term used in the realm of computer programming, referring to a specific method of recording information and sharing it with others online. A blockchain is a constantly growing list of recorded data, which are called blocks, which have all been linked together through the use of cryptography. These blocks all have to contain a cryptographic hash (which links each block directly to the one that came before it), a time stamp, and also the data being recorded. All of these components are necessary in order to be considered a Blockchain and be used for their intended purpose. Blockchain was invented in 2008, by someone (or possibly a group of individuals) using the name of Satoshi Nakamoto, for the purpose of being used by Bitcoin. Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency used so that individuals can transfer money and make payments through the internet. A major problem facing any business that facilitates the transfer of funds through the internet is that their systems are vulnerable to being hacked remotely, meaning that users could be suddenly robbed without any warning or way to get their money back. Blockchain was designed in order to solve this problem and help secure the online transfer of money.  Today, it is being used by essentially every cryptocurrency in existence and a variety of other financial services. The reason that Blockchain has so quickly become used prevalently throughout all of the various cryptocurrency services is because of the simple but ingenious way that it is resistant to …

Social Technology

Social technology is a term so broadly defined that it becomes hard to narrow down or demonstrate the limits of.  It refers to a method of using both human and technological resources in order to directly influence social processes. Historically, this type of phenomenon was simply known as social engineering, but as technology and social norms have evolved, the term social engineering has largely been abandoned. One of the primary reasons for that is that there are many negative conations associated with the term social engineering due to the history of its use. Beginning in the early twentieth century, social engineering became heavily associated with the policies of the Soviet Union, and the political ideologies of socialism and communism. Karl Popper defined two different types of social engineering; utopian social engineering and piecemeal social engineering. Utopian social engineering is when the tools of social engineering are used in order to reach a type of ideal state, a perfect society where all the people living in it are happy. While this seems benign on the surface, creating this utopian society would require consolidating power into a centralized rule, leaving the vast majority of citizens are powerless. Attempts at this utopian social engineering have led to numerous atrocities being committed under tyrannical rulers. Piecemeal social engineering is when instead of trying to make a perfect world, social engineers focus on fighting against injustices, and righting the wrongs in society. This has evolved into the social justice movement that has become so prevalent today. …

Smart Cities

Each and every day, technology seems to expand further and further into every aspect of our lives. Increasingly, things that have never before been computerized are becoming not only technologically advanced but also connected to the internet. Everything from your washing machine to your wristwatch is slowly being turned into a computer as advanced as a laptop, with similar capabilities as well. Slowly but surely, internet enabled technology is beginning to encroach on every aspect of our lives, connecting us to our environment in an unprecedented way. The term commonly used to describe the phenomenon in which seemingly every technological device being used has wireless capabilities is the internet of things. This internet of things is merely a prelude however, to a world where every aspect of day to day life is monitored through wireless technology. Everything from waste disposal to traffic control systems will soon be a part of this internet of things, leading humanity into a world where science fiction has become a scientific fact. It has already begun in urban areas, which are being called smart cities. Smart cities take advantage of the increasing prevalence of the internet of things in order to manage each and every aspect of modern life in the most efficient way possible. Using this technology allows both civil servants and ordinary citizens alike to monitor and interact directly with the evolving communities we now live in. Not only do smart cities allow each and every person to interact more closely with their …

Electric Car Viability

The vast majority of individuals hold the false belief that electric cars are a modern invention, a fad brought on by increased awareness of the negative environmental impact of the use of fossil fuels. In fact, the use of electric cars predates that of those using an internal combustion engine by almost two decades. In 1884, the first electric car suitable for mass production was invented by Thomas Parker. It took nearly ten years after this invention for the first commercially viable electric cars to begin production in the United States. For several decades, the electric car proved superior to its gasoline using counterparts, providing consumers with an unmatched level of comfort and reliability. By approximately 1912, advancements in the development of internal combustion engines made gasoline using vehicles become more popular than electric cars. For the better part of one hundred years after this, electric cars were incredibly rare in the United States, with almost none being produced by manufacturers. Then in 2008, Tesla Motors sparked a renaissance in the electric car industry with their Roadster, proving to the world that electric cars (when manufactured and marketed appropriately) are a financially sound alternative to cars powered by an internal combustion engine. For almost an entire century, it was considered common knowledge that the use of electric cars was simply not economically viable for manufacturers and consumers. Although Tesla and their competitors have since proven that to be false, this assumption is still the prevailing view of the average individual …

Energy Storage

The first battery was believed to have been invented somewhere in Ancient Mesopotamia, during either the time of the Parthian or Sasanian Empires, and is commonly known as the Baghdad Battery. The time period this encompases stretches from approximately the year 150 BC to 650 AD, long before historians believed human beings understood how to harness the power of electricity in any form. This was the first known example of any kind of energy storage technology, what is now currently one of the most important areas of scientific development being worked on today. The usage of the word battery is far more modern than the Baghdad Battery, having been coined to describe a group of electrical devices by Benjamin Franklin in 1748. Today, the term encompasses any kind of device designed for the purpose of storing energy for use in the future. The term accumulator is also used to describe these devices, but it is not a frequently used part of the common vernacular. The main purpose of energy storage devices is to allow us to convert energy from forms that are difficult to store in the long term into those that do so more easily and cheaply. The most widely used and economically sustainable form of energy storage today is the use of hydroelectric dams. As the world’s supply of fossil fuels and other non-sustainable sources of energy are steadily being depleted, finding more efficient and inexpensive methods to store energy is crucial to our society. Because of the …

Wearable Technology

Wearable technology, also known to many as fashion electronics, refers to electronic devices that can be worn directly on your body or as a part of clothing items. The first wearable technology to be developed and used by many people was made in the 1500s, by Peter Henlein when he created small watches that could be worn as a necklace. Over the next several hundred years, watches remained the only known form of wearable technology, changing from necklace watches, to pocket watches, and finally to wristwatches. Today, there a variety of different forms of wearable technological devices available to the average consumer, used for a variety of different purposes. From hearing aids to calculator watches, wearable forms of new technologies have become more and more popular as time goes on. As the field of wearable technology has expanded, the uses of these wearable electronic devices has expanded as well. For hundreds of years, the only form of wearable devices were watches, simply worn in different styles and fashions. But the sheer convenience of being able to wear your technology attracted the focus of hundreds of inventors and pioneers, all aiming to make it easier to use their electronic devices wherever they want to go. By incorporating their inventions into the daily lives of their consumers so thoroughly, they have changed the way that people view both fashion and technology. As cellular telephones became widely popular and far less expensive to purchase, there were several individuals who worked hard to incorporate …

Climate Change

It is an undeniable fact that human beings have had a drastic effect on the global climate over the last three hundred years, in large part due to the widespread use of coal and other fossil fuels. Global warming is the term used by most individuals when talking about the repercussions of the use of fossil fuels, but it is a misleading term that leads to widespread misinformation about climate change. The effects that the human race have had on the global climate patterns are not so simple as just an increase in temperature. As a result, the use of the term ‘global warming’ simply confuses the general public, and helps spread misconceptions about the changes in weather patterns that scientists predict will occur in the near future. However, it is useful when discussing climate change as a catch-all term for the negative effects on climate patterns caused specifically by people rather than natural phenomenon. For this reason, it is commonly used by many individuals when they are attempting to inform the general public about what damage will be done to the environment.   The most important factor contributing to climate change is a dangerous buildup of greenhouse gasses like CO2 in the atmosphere, which has been exacerbated by the use of fossil fuels across the world. Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, and the adoption of the use of coal as a source of energy, large amounts of carbon dioxide have been released into the atmosphere. While this …

Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology is a term used to refer to any form of technology that operates on the smallest of scales, from the level of atoms, molecules, or groups of molecules. The earliest use of the term nanotechnology came from science fiction, and was used specifically to refer to technological devices that allowed human beings to manipulate matter on the atomic and molecular level in order to create anything. A good example of this form of nanotechnology is the fictional devices called Fabricators on the Star Trek television show, which allowed users to simply request an item be created for them. Today, the term nanotechnology refers to a wide field of study, and has for this reason been broken down into many different subcategories. More importantly however, nanotechnology is no longer solely relegated to science fiction, but has become an accepted part of scientific fact. The field of nanotechnology was first theorized in the late 1950s by Richard Feynmen, when he described the possible development of technology that could manipulate atoms directly in order to create large scale objects. The term ‘nanotechnology’ itself was not actually coined for another couple of decades, by the Japanese scientist Norio Taniguchi. In the 1980s, nanotechnology became something scientists across the world began to actively start to attempt to develop, but progress was slow until the dawn of the twenty first century. Governments across the globe began to allocate funds and attention toward the development of nanotechnology because it had become a goal that appeared to …