Lending a Hand: the future of Prosthetics

by Futurist Kit Worzel

Two hundred years ago, a significant injury to an extremity meant you would lose it, and have to deal with a rudimentary prosthetic. Fifty years ago, the same injury might not cost you the limb, but if it did, you at least had the option of a prosthetic that gave back some functionality, and was designed with comfort in mind. Twenty years ago, the first microprocessor controlled prosthetic, the Intelligent Prosthesis knee, was developed and aided people to walk with a much more normal gait. Today, we have a wide variety of prostheses, ranging from tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars for the absolute top of the line models with microprocessors, programmed movements and even neural interfaces, to fifty dollar models made with 3-D printers that can be assembled, unskilled, in under three hours

Scary Superbugs: Your Money, or Your Life

by Futurist Kit Worzel

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are scary. They get lots of press time, with headlines screaming about super-bugs, and saying that resistant strains of TB, E.coli, MRSA, and gonorrhea are out there, and can’t be cured. This scares me as well, since I’m no more immune than anyone else. But then I take a step back, and think through some critical questions.

5 Things You Need to Know About Living Forever

by futurist Kit Worzel

Jeanne Calment of France was born in 1875, and died in 1997, at the age of 122, the oldest verifiable age for a human being. She was alive for the Boer war, the establishment of the Nobel Prize, the founding of the National Geographic society, both World Wars, the emergence of women’s suffrage, the Civil Rights movement, both the rise and the fall of the Iron Curtain, and even lived long enough to see Tiger Woods win his first Masters tourney. She lived longer than anyone else for whom we have records, and did most of it without the benefits of modern medicine. Life expectancy when she was born was just over 45, so she managed to live almost three times as long as she was expected to. It was truly remarkable, a unique circumstance.

GMOs vs True Believers: Greed versus Ignorance

by futurist Kit Worzel

When dealing with the future of food, there are few issues that are more emotionally charged than Genetically Modified Organisms, or GMOs. No one is lacking an opinion of these crops, and they are alternately hailed as the savior of the starving and of lands with adverse growing conditions, or as the end of agriculture. Since it’s incredibly unlikely that both points of view are right, I’ll present the highlights of the arguments, debunking some while supporting others, and finish with a summary about what should be done.