Biocurious is a weblog about biology, quantified.

The next 50 years

by PhilipJ on 21 November 2006

New Scientist (hmm…) has asked prominent minds what the next 50 years holds for science. Some of the predictions are less than exciting (Mandelbrot predicts that fractals will be important…),
but a few others really caught my attention.

[Between the time that I started writing this post (yesterday) and now, Sean Carroll (congratulations, by the way!) scooped me on the physicists, so click here to see the physics rundown.]

Catering to the other half of our audience (and our own interests), here are some of the biologically pertinent musings:

  • Sydney Brenner thinks humans would evolve into a small-but-smart race if a disaster wipes most of us out.
  • Richard Miller thinks we’ll figure out the molecular basis for long living.
  • Peter Atkins predicts we’ll be able to create synthetic life.
  • Paul Nurse thinks we’ll be well on our way to answering the question “What is life?”

There are many more, so click here to see them all.

If you were to ask me what the next 50 years will bring to biological physics, it is the long-wished for molecular-level eye on life. A new tool that gives us real-time sub-nanometer resolution in a living cell. It will be magical.



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