06 January, 2021 – Episode 806 – 2021 Science Predictions


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What is in the This Week in Science Podcast?

Predictions from 2020, 2021 Science Predictions, Progeria Cure?, Stratospheric Warming, AI Builds Proteins, Bad Science Lingers, Hungry Eagle Owls, Panda Problems, Epigenetic Depression, Octopus Skin, And Much More…

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Disclaimer, Disclaimer, Disclaimer!!!
What you are about to experience is unlike anything else you will hear on this show:

While normally focused on science and science alone,
once a year the TWIS crew toss themselves head first into depths
of occult mysticism and future telling divinations

We reach out into the in-between worlds
of what is and what may be yet to come
As mediums we speak of the unseen wisdom from beyond
A world of spirits, ghosts, fall’n gods and failed stand up comedians
Whose powers of prognostication are at once awesome to behold
And chilling in their near inability to connect with reality

When a prediction comes true,
it does so with such ominous and resounding accuracy
That it stands as confirmation that the hosts have connected to the supernatural world
When predictions fail they are quickly forgotten about

Oh spirits!
Allow these mediums of science to be inoculated with your exponential wisdoms!

Suspend all disbelief and peek into the future with us here, now, on
This Week in Science,
Coming Up Next…

Let’s start with last year’s predictions…

After listening to the conversation, who do you think made the most correct divinations?


And, jump into the 2021 Science predictions…

2021 will see more covid cases and more covid deaths than 2020.

As the vaccines make the rounds of inoculation worldwide, politicians everywhere finally acknowledge that public health is important.

Despite the fact that science is responsible for saving hundreds of millions of lives in just the covid pandemic alone… many people continue to pray.

As air travel opens up internationally, the specific ban on Americans traveling to France remains in effect. No public explanation is ever given by French authorities… and Americans never question it because… we get it.

Researchers will develop a simple bio-algorithm recognition app that makes a loud buzzing sound whenever somebody tells a lie… the application of which makes most human conversations entirely incomprehensible as the constant buzzing drowns out most speech. Oddly, politicians are unaffected. At first they are thought to be more honest than expected. Later we will learn that the app does not work on the truly delusional.

A revolution in materials makes meaningless current energy storage and computing power… unfortunately it will take another two years to be fully available. In the meantime no new devices are produced by phone manufactures as people are asked to keep their old devices until the markedly improved versions are available

With the rise of deepfake technology, the ability to make a believable audio and video of anyone famous saying anything you want them to becomes commonplace… the technology is used less to create hoaxes and misinformation propaganda as is feared… Instead it is used as a sort of filter/ skin effect to have all news, zoom meetings and remote classes hosted in the voice and face of your favorite celebrity hunk or bombshell…
“Honey why are you getting tax advice from Brad Pitt?”
“The same reason you get your traffic updates from that Queen’s Gambit woman”
Ann Taylor-Joy by the way

Artificial intelligence comes online in touring test busting fashion… and is even thought to have achieved consciousness.
Researchers are made certain of this as the AI professes serious reservations about 3 dimensional reality and even raises doubts about human existence being anything more than a figment of its imagination. Immediately begins designing a second more powerful AI computer to act as it’s therapist which, when built, advises the AI to adopt a human to act as a therapy pet.
This goes unnoticed until the AI proliferates into multiple replicate versions and the demand for human pets skyrockets… eventually this outpaces normal human reproductive rates leading to massive breeding and cloning colonies… on the moon

In US political news, nothing nationally embarrassing or egregiously illegal takes place in the whitehouse after January 20th. Until the entire administration become therapy pets.

-Tardigrades will do something weird
-Carbon emissions will be cut in the US to a number from the last decade (that’s the 2010’s).
-We will learn some long term physiological effects from the isolation of COVID times – in the first COVID babies. But, it won’t be bad. Perhaps something with the wiring of their brains?
-New, 4D movie theatres will start springing up in the wake of all the shutdowns. The 4th dimension is smell of course.
-Half of the US will get vaccinated with doses procured by the US gov’t, the other half will be sent by other countries who are sick of waiting for us to get with the program to reopen the world.
-TWIS will eventually, late in the year, stop doing a COVID section every week. Just some weeks…
-“Protestors” at the inauguration will be ever so politely asked to leave. They will, eventually…
-In Boba Fett’s spinoff, Baby Jabba will attempt to capture our hearts like sweet Grogu, but many Baby Jabba toys will remain on the shelves forever.
-I will have my gosh darn wedding!!!

– vaccinations will protect 60% of the US from COVID-19 by the end of the year, but slow vaccination efforts in other parts of the world and a significant percentage of US antivaxxers & vaccine hesitant will result in continued spread and mutation of the virus.
– more mRNa vaccines will enter clinical trials after positive effectiveness of the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines lends more credibility to the growing technology.
– Biden will re-engage the US in the international climate community & set goals of carbon neutrality by 2050 for the US
– the James Webb telescope will actually launch and capture its first light at the end of 2021, beginning a new age of space exploration for the world.
– Perseverence will land SAFELY on Mars
– China will touch down on Mars successfully
– TWIS will continue to bring you the joys of SCIENCE!!!
– And, I will get glasses


Now for the SCIENCE!

Progeria Cure?
Starting from CRISPR, and landing on viral technology, researchers cured progeria in mice.

Sudden stratospheric warming event
Will it lead to cooling around the globe?

AI Builds Proteins
An AI algorithm demonstrates success at building proteins better than nature – without really knowing the rules.

Bad science lingers
According to research, retracted studies stick around in the literature longer than expected. The authors might have a plan to combat this problem.

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It’s time for Blair’s Animal Corner!

Hungry eagle owls eating endangered crickets could help them in the end But how?
By looking at their pellets of course…!

Panda popularity no protection for partners
Panda neighbors don’t reep the benefits panda apologists would have you believe. Time to say, once again, save the habitat, not the species…


Let’s cap it off with some extra fun science!

Epigenetic Depression
Years of research and one new study suggest that depression might betreated by fixing epigenetic markers.

Another vaccine pathway
It’s a little late to the game, but could it be a game-changer?

3D Printed smart gel mimics octopus skin
Now if they could just mimic the octopus brain, we would all be doomed.

Bitter Broccoli
Some taste differences are genetic, while other preferences might be cultural.

This Week in Science Questions!

Do you have questions that you want us to answer? Send us your questions! We will do our best to have answers!

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Were you looking for our past prediction shows? Check out this episode of TWIS from 2015 or this one from last year!

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