05 January, 2021 – Episode 857 – 2022 Science Predictions


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This Week: Predictions from 2021, Predictions for 2022, Schrödinger’s Tardigrade, Fishmobile, Hostile Earth, Amputee Advantage?, Baby Cry Recognition, Crow Tools, Bear Guts, No Matter Difference, And Much More…

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Every year…
Science adds to our knowledge.
Every year…
Discoveries are made.
Every year…
More tools for our survival are created.
Every year…
We get a little bit closer to having everything figured out.

The question then will be…
What do we do with the tools and knowledge that science has built?

When we look at the present day, or peer into the not too distant future
We have some serious issues that need to be resolved.
Many of them, science has solutions for…
Many more, science is the only path towards finding a solution.

A future will come no matter how we focus our efforts in the present
If we bring science along with us
If we encourage and support the next generation of scientists
If we put our trust in in data driven solutions
If we apply the tools we have already learned
The future we one day wake up in
Will be much better than the one we will find without it.
That’s it, that’s all… just a better future.
That’s the entire goal of science.

And if there is one thing that better future requires more than anything
It’s This Week in Science
Coming Up Next…

Let’s start with last year’s predictions

Who did the best at predicting the science of last year? What was the most wild prediction to come true? Let us know in the comments!


And, jump into the 2021 Science predictions…

2021 was a mental roller-coaster of pandemic related emotions…
“But now that the worst is over…” is a phrase people will slowly stop saying in 2022.

Despite all of the looming threats, in 2022 everything is going to be just fine…
That or everyone is going to die.
If I predict that everyone dies, nobody will be left alive to appreciate that I was correct.
But if I predict that everything will be just fine and everyone dies, no one will know I was wrong.
So my prediction is that everything will be just fine.

In 2022 both Websters and Oxford dictionaries will change the definition of “fine” to include a state where things are “Actually terrible beyond belief but ranking too far down the list of anxiety ridden awful things ones gotta deal with to do anything about at the moment.” Fine.

The Large Hadron Collider will continue running experiments mid year. While it was upgraded and expanded with additional detectors. The increased sensitivity they get will be considered a bit too much information even by data scientists looking forward to the upgrade.

New waves of variants will be met by a robust response of new vaccines. And an increased portion of the worlds population will be vaccinated… but only because the portion of the population that refuses the jab keeps mysteriously shrinking. Also, it’s not a mystery, they are dying of COVID-19.

2022 is the year when everyone stops putting up with willful idiots.
Nowhere is this new attitude made more dramatically apparent then the airline industry…
Which begins removing unruly passengers at altitude.

In 2022 a group of NASA scientists conducting experiments in search of a potential deep space cryogenic state will accidentally discover that, in large enough quantities, tardigrades taste absolutely delicious. While only a fad diet item in 2022 many tardigrade farms spring up around the world and genetic modification programs begin to increase their size. In the coming decade they reach the size of a small pig as Brazil races to reforest the Amazon in order to provide enough feeding grounds for the new meat staple. The situation seems to be a win, win for food supply and carbon sequestration until the tardigrades are discovered to be capable predators and soon are stalking the Amazonian rivers, jungles and coastline of Brazil in search of human flesh. It is said they prefer vegetarians.

When media reports that a large comet has been spotted hurtling towards the earth with near certainty of a direct impact… most people write it off thinking they’ve already seen the show on Netflix, while the rest ingest a topical antifungal cream meant to treat hogs feet in order to divert the comets path.

A guy named Dave will discover that his cat has been not only secretly accessing his computer, but reporting on his daily activities to other cats in the neighborhood who have in turn shared pictures of Dave with still more cats… by the end of 2022 cats all over the world are sharing human memes of Dave, who they refer to as “The Grumpy Ape”…

With the non-binding commitments of the COP26 meeting no longer remembered, delegates of various glitterati from around the world will look forward to making performative statements on climate during COP27 in November…

The year 2022 is the year that we discover that we really really really should have listened to Justin way back when, and just taken a few months off from everything.

-Humans will create a new, stronger material modeled after spider silk, but it still won’t be better than the real thing.
-Tardigrades will do something weird
-The world will declare the end of the pandemic, just in time for a new one.
-A new nightmare-inducing deep sea fish will be discovered.
-In human origins, a new, Out of Antarctica theory will surface.
-Webb telescope will break in some way. Sorry!
-A billionaire/millionaire will have their ashes scattered in space.
-Crows will reveal that they have understood everything we’ve said this whole time. And they will not forget.
-Mammoth cloning will move to the next stage, attempting to make viable blastocysts. It won’t work yet.
-Baby Yoda will return to the Mandalorian as Teen Yoda, and he’ll be a rude dude.
-TWIS will return to the stage at a live show!

– the virus causing COVID19 will mutate further due to further vaccination difficulties leading people to wonder if they ever really did have a life before the pandemic or if it was just a fever dream
– HOWEVER, pandemic waves will be less and less concerning as new mRNA booster shots updated based on the mutagenesis will become available before year’s end
– Our gravitational wave detectors will detect more gravitational waves
– The LHC will once again provide support for the standard model even as other experiments like muon g-2 try to escape its clutches
– We will see SpaceX Starship successfully reaching orbit in 2022
– The NASA SLS will see further delays, and will not get of the ground
– The JWST will continue its trip to L2 & return images before the end of the year that wow and astound the world
– scientists will continue to become better communicators, finally understanding that people have trust issues, but politicians will continue to use facts any old way they darn please
– unless social media is regulated, we will continue to see a growing distrust in science
– NASA’s DART mission will crash into Dimorphos, the asteroid moonlet of Didymos, & we will rejoice at the successful crashing of a spacecraft (talk about a high impact science mission!), but will be saddened as the craft will be gently cradled & enveloped in the soft dust of the moonlet’s surface rather than moving the space rock in its orbit.
– We will continue to be depressed rather than inspired by Justin’s Good News stories
– Artificial intelligence will be trained on reality in virtual reality designed by other AIs
– An artificial intelligence will design a synthetic biological lifeform
– TWIS will welcome a new member to the family
– TWIS will continue to bring you science!


What is the science news THIS week?

Schrödinger’s Tardigrade
Did physicists quantum entangle a tardigrade with a qubit?

A fish outta water (and doing just fine) story.

Hostile Earth
Radiation posed a problem for developing lifeforms until the atmosphere thickened.

Olympic Leg Debate
Amputees and people born without legs do not have an advantage in a foot race.

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It’s time for Blair’s Animal Corner!

Elephant seal moms recognize their baby’s cry after 2 days

Cows keep special tools extra safe
Crows know what tools need extra care


Let’s finish strong with science from Dr. Kiki!

Bear Guts
Human food is bad for bears.

No Differences
Matter & anti-matter keep on matching.

This Week in Science Questions!

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What were we discussing at this time last year? This time last year we were making predictions for 2021 and discussing proteins, progeria, panda popularity, and so much more. Listen to the show!

This time of year 10 years ago we were talking about predictions for 2012 and celebrity science stumbles. Take a blast to the past with TWIS!

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