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22nd June 2021

2067 – Fully automated container vessels at 50,000 TEU

Container ships have continued to grow in size over the decades. The largest are now reaching half a kilometre in length and carry more than twice the capacity of vessels in 2020.

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19th June 2021

2028 – Completion of the Brenner Base Tunnel

In 2028, the Brenner Base Tunnel becomes the longest underground railway connection in the world, linking Scandinavia with the Mediterranean.

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17th June 2021

New method cuts dengue fever cases by 77%

A trial of mosquitoes infected with Wolbachia bacteria resulted in a 77% reduction of dengue fever incidence and 86% reduction of hospitalisations.

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14th June 2021

New record distance for quantum communications

Toshiba has achieved quantum communications over optical fibres exceeding 600 km in length, three times further than the previous world record distance.

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11th June 2021

AI outperforms humans in microchip designs

Researchers from Google have reported a new machine learning technique for microchip floorplanning that can outperform human experts.

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10th June 2021

Future washable smart clothes powered by Wi-Fi

In the future, ordinary clothes could be turned into smart fabrics that are both waterproof and wirelessly powered.

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8th June 2021

First fully reusable, entirely 3D-printed rocket

Relativity Space has revealed a new rocket that is both 3D printed and fully reusable. The Terran R could serve as a competitor to SpaceX's Falcon 9.

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6th June 2021

2031 – DAVINCI+ lands on Venus

DAVINCI+ is a robotic spacecraft sent to investigate the atmosphere of Venus. Having launched in 2029 and performed a series of flybys, it deploys a descent sphere in 2031.

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6th June 2021

2029-2032 – DAVINCI+ mission to Venus

Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble gases, Chemistry, and Imaging, Plus (DAVINCI+) is a probe to study the atmosphere of Venus. The mission includes a descent sphere to the surface.

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5th June 2021

2028-2031 – VERITAS mission to Venus

Venus Emissivity, Radio Science, InSAR, Topography and Spectroscopy (VERITAS) is a three-year mission conducted by NASA to study the planet Venus.

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3rd June 2021

Multi-strain vaccine blocks COVID-19 in monkeys

A pan-coronavirus mRNA nanoparticle vaccine with activity against all major SARS-CoV-2 variants has been described in the journal Nature, showing 100% effectiveness in macaques.

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1st June 2021

Chinese fusion reactor sets world record

China's EAST tokamak has achieved a new world record for superheated plasma, with its reactor becoming 10 times hotter than the core of the Sun.

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1st June 2021

New drone is first to reach Level 4 autonomy

Exyn Technologies, a pioneer in aerial robot systems, has announced the highest documented level of aerial autonomy.

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31st May 2021

2042 – 16K virtual reality is mainstream

By the early 2040s, the audio-visual aspects of VR have been largely perfected for mainstream use, with a level of immersion that offers a near-perfect imitation of the real world. [Update of an earlier prediction for 2039. This new version is more grounded in reality and current trends, while retaining the potential for nanobots further down the line.]

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29th May 2021

Humans could live to 150, according to study

A longitudinal analysis of blood markers has found a theoretical maximum lifespan for humans of between 120 and 150.

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26th May 2021

Nanotubes aligned in pristine condition

Scientists in Japan have developed a new "dry transfer technique" for the precise positioning of carbon nanotubes.

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23rd May 2021

Atoms viewed at highest ever resolution

Researchers at Cornell University have developed a new microscopy technique that can shrink spatial resolutions to less than 20 picometres.

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21st May 2021

Nanotech batteries will charge 70 times faster than lithium-ion

New graphene aluminium-ion cells developed by researchers in Australia are said to charge up to 70 times faster than lithium-ion cells and have triple the battery life.

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19th May 2021

AI is thousands of times faster at simulating Universe

With machine learning, astrophysicists can now simulate vast, complex universes in a fraction of the time it takes with conventional methods.

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18th May 2021

2038 – Re-emergence of Brood X cicadas

In 2038, the world's largest insect swarm re-emerges after a period of 17 years, affecting much of the eastern US.

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17th May 2021

BCI decodes neural signals for handwriting

Researchers have, for the first time, decoded neural signals associated with writing letters, then displayed typed versions of these letters in real time. They hope their invention could one day help people with paralysis communicate.

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14th May 2021

World's smallest single-chip system is <0.1 mm³

Engineers have created the smallest ever single-chip system that is a complete functioning electronic circuit. This could lead to implantable chips visible only in a microscope that can be injected into the body with a hypodermic needle to monitor medical conditions.

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10th May 2021

AI can now detect sarcasm

Computer science researchers have developed a new AI program that can detect sarcasm in social media.

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8th May 2021

New 3D printing process uses wood waste

Desktop Metal has become the first manufacturer to upcycle wood waste into 3D printing for the creation of custom and luxury wood products.

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6th May 2021

IBM reveals world's first 2nm chip

IBM has announced the first chips based on a 2 nanometre (nm) process, allowing 50 billion transistors to be crammed onto an area the size of a fingernail, which could be arriving in 2024.

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6th May 2021

New extraction method could revolutionise mining

A new process that involves drilling electrodes directly into an ore body could lead to a more sustainable mining industry, without the need to remove huge volumes of surface soil and overburden.

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4th May 2021

EPA plans to phase down hydrofluorocarbons

The United States has joined other countries in committing to a phasedown of hydrofluorocarbons, which could prevent an additional 0.5°C of global warming by 2100.

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