06 January, 2011 – This Week in Science


Predictions for 2011!!! How Did We Do Predicting Last Year? What Do We Predict For 2011? And, Much More…

Show Notes:
Sense About Science yearly review of celebrity missteps

Predictions from 2010 in Review!!!

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Predictions for 2011!
Kirsten predicts:
– The LHC will make some amazing discoveries this year, but it will not find the Higgs Boson. Fermi Lab will be given an extended run-time.
– Efforts to curb government spending will lead to major attacks on NIH and NSF grants… “Joe the Plumber” will play the main prosecutor.
– Results of human hESC trials in cases of macular degeneration and spinal column damage will show positive therapeutic results.
– We will see pluripotent stem cells produced from blood in a cheap, easy manner: draw blood, immerse blood cells in RNA cocktail, get stem cells. How will this – affect garage biotech experimentation???
– NASA will permanently retire the space shuttles, but not before at least two more flight delays and an additional mission is added at the end of the year. But, the Mars Science Laboratory Mission will launch without a hitch.
– Virgin’s SpaceShipTwo will launch and fly safely taking us one step closer to commercial space flights.
– From last year: We will see $1000 genome sequencing this year. And, I’m betting $100 sequencing before the end of the year… maybe not results within 24 hours, but the price will come down significantly.
– Genetic cancer screening will be introduced. And, tests for chromosomal disorders in unborn babies will no longer require probabilities or invesive tests, as research from 2010 into screening the mother’s blood for cells from her baby will lead to the development of a new, simple blood test.
– While many question the existence of dark matter due to sparse and indirect evidence, we will see more concrete evidence of the stuff before the end of the year. One such experiment, IceCube, in the South Pole will enable high energy neutrino detection that could provide evidence of dark matter particles interacting with the sun.
– A computer will make a major scientific discovery this year.
– More planets… not just “earthlike”, but a good replacement, will be found.
– 2011 will be a bad year for bees and bats.
– I will produce a human child.

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