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The Year is 2050. Your pet robot is sleeping peacefully at your feet and the kids will have just rung from Mars.

And if you step outside into an unexpected cold spell Noun 1. cold spell - a spell of cold weather
cold snap

while, spell, patch, piece - a period of indeterminate length (usually short) marked by some action or condition; "he was here for a little while"; "I need to rest for a piece"; "a spell of good
, your clothes will turn up their own in-built heating.

These are some of the fantastic things top scientists predict will become the norm as we enter the new Millennium. The Internet will be old hat, TVs will be as flat as posters and test tube babies can be born without ever being inside a womb.

In 50 years we'll know more about the oceans where a predicted 100 million undiscovered species lurk. Men will be on the pill, buildings will `know' when they are going to collapse and cars will not rust.

Thanks to advanced telephone technology 3D people will appear in your living room as you speak to them hundreds of miles away.

The genetic make-up of most diseases will be known and planes will carry up to 1,000 people at a time at 900km an hour.

This is not science fiction, but science fact, says the world-respected Time magazine.

In its special Discovery edition the mag looks at the things around us already we have yet to properly discover or understand.

It's estimated that 90 per cent of the world's animals and plants have yet to be described or named.

The oceans are thought to be home to the greatest undiscovered secrets of nature.

The magazine says: "Scientists are looking at the anti-cancer, anti-viral, heart-stimulating properties of everything from deep-sea sponges to starfish."

It also reports how the planet's remaining rain forests will provide the petrol of the future.

Time looks at great discoveries of the 20th Century and the way they have affected our lives.

Dr William Haseltine describes DNA DNA: see nucleic acid.
 or deoxyribonucleic acid

One of two types of nucleic acid (the other is RNA); a complex organic compound found in all living cells and many viruses. It is the chemical substance of genes.
, our genetic `fingerprint' discovered in 1953, as essential for research into disease.

He says: "We are entering an era when illness will be predicted before it occurs.

"We'll be able to do a genetic fingerprint genetic fingerprint
See DNA fingerprint.
 showing your potential future health."

The magazine also highlights studies being made of the brain and how it works.

And it suggests that one day we will have drugs that could wipe out problems such as mental illnesses.

But the most fascinating theories concern computers.

Researchers are already working on machines to make them talk like humans and help the blind see.

And they predict an age where computer chips will be embedded in almost everything - including food - to make them "smart".

Writer Rod Usher says: "Computerised tags concealed in meat could set the correct temperature when placed in the oven.

"The same chips would turn off the heat when the meat is cooked."

But developments in sensors and detectors could lead to a sinister real- life Big Brother state, Usher warns.

He says: "The day may come when computers listen to our brains to discover what we are up to at any moment."

Neil Gershenfeld Neil Gershenfeld is a professor at MIT and the head of MIT's Center for Bits and Atoms, a sister lab spun out of the popular MIT Media Lab. His research interests are mainly in interdisciplinary studies involving physics and computer science, in such fields as quantum computing,  of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Massachusetts Institute of Technology, at Cambridge; coeducational; chartered 1861, opened 1865 in Boston, moved 1916. It has long been recognized as an outstanding technological institute and its Sloan School of Management has notable programs in business,  says: "Powerful computers will melt into furniture and paper."

Each member of his research group wears a watch which carries a chip to open doors and cabinets.

If a student removes a tool from a cabinet, it "remembers" who has the item.

The lab is also responsible for electronic paper, capable of printing a paper like The Mirror over and over on the same sheet of recycled paper.


Male birth control pill birth control pill
See oral contraceptive.

birth control pill Oral contraceptive, see there
 or contraceptive injection becomes commonly available


Advances in genetics enable doctors to combine gene therapy with immunotherapy to create more effective cancer treatments


Wall-mounted, 1m-long flat screens show television programs or videos, and when not in use display works of art


Mobile phones with video cameras and screens enable people to watch films or play

computer games from home or office


Video vacation postcards, postcard sized film screens that display 10 seconds of holiday sights and sounds, go on the market


Active contact lens contact lens, thin plastic lens worn between the eye and eyelid that may be used instead of eyeglasses. Actors, models, and others wear them for appearance, and athletes use them for safety and convenience. , linked to Internet, allows wearer to read E-mail and surf the World Wide Web without opening her eyes


Smart construction materials, with electronic sensors built into their molecular structures, detect excessive stress and warn of potential collapse. Clothes made from smart fabrics automatically warm up wearer in cold and cool him or her down in hot


New cars equipped with anti-collision radar, thermal imaging systems to improve

visibility, on-board computers that detect and warn drivers about imminent faults, and satellite based global positioning system Global Positioning System: see navigation satellite.
Global Positioning System (GPS)

Precise satellite-based navigation and location system originally developed for U.S. military use.


Robotic pets, programmed to recognise their master's voice and face, operate and control all computerised functions of home


Genetic roots of all diseases identified


Holographic See holographic storage.  telephone projects a life-size holographic image of person being called


Humans land on Mars. Permanent colony established on the planet around 2044


Flying wing aircraft The following is a list of flying wing aircraft, along with some information about their roles, successfulness, and country of origin. A flying wing aircraft is one in which the fuselage and tail sections are abandoned, and the crew operates inside a thick wing.  are able to carry 1,000 passengers up to a distance of 900 km/h


Foetuses conceived in vitro in vitro /in vi·tro/ (in ve´tro) [L.] within a glass; observable in a test tube; in an artificial environment.

in vi·tro
In an artificial environment outside a living organism.
, mature to term in extra-uterine incubators and are born without having been inside human womb


Computers connected directly to brain are able to recognise and respond to thoughts, obviating ob·vi·ate  
tr.v. ob·vi·at·ed, ob·vi·at·ing, ob·vi·ates
To anticipate and dispose of effectively; render unnecessary. See Synonyms at prevent.
 the need for the manual input of data and commands


Following on the development of artificial lungs, kidneys and livers, doctors can now

create artificial legs and fully functional artificial eyes


Human hibernation is used for the first time in long-distance space travel


Nuclear fusion nuclear fusion

Process by which nuclear reactions between light elements form heavier ones, releasing huge amounts of energy. In 1939 Hans Bethe suggested that the energy output of the sun and other stars is a result of fusion reactions among hydrogen nuclei.
 is harnessed to generate electricity


Microscopic robots capable of reproducing themselves devised using nanotechnology


From an average of 78 years, human life-spans are extended to 140 years

1925: John Logie Baird

For other people named John Baird, see John Baird (disambiguation).

John Logie Baird (August 13 1888 – June 14 1946) was a Scottish engineer and inventor of the world's first working television system.
 invents the television.

1940: DuPont invents nylon.

1948: Swiss mountaineer Georges de Mestral develops a "sticky" new material - resulting in Velcro.

1948: First supersonic flight.

1960: Submarine reaches very bottom of the sea - 11.52kms, deeper than Mount Everest rises.

1967: First heart transplant.

1968: Child-proof caps for medicine bottles.

1969: Man on the Moon.

1978: The microchip is born.

1996: Life on Mars Scientists have long speculated about the possibility of life on Mars owing to the planet's proximity and similarity to Earth. It remains an open question whether life exists on Mars now, or existed there in the past. : NASA NASA: see National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
 in full National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Independent U.S.
 reveals microscopic fossils found in meteorite meteorite, meteor that survives the intense heat of atmospheric friction and reaches the earth's surface. Because of the destructive effects of this friction, only the very largest meteors become meteorites.  from the red planet.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1997 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Dunn, Justin
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Dec 5, 1997
Previous Article:TV star Noel in Tommy pledge.

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