Home Technology 5 issues we didn’t placed on our 2024 listing of 10 Breakthrough Applied sciences

5 issues we didn’t placed on our 2024 listing of 10 Breakthrough Applied sciences

5 issues we didn’t placed on our 2024 listing of 10 Breakthrough Applied sciences


We haven’t all the time been proper (RIP, Baxter), however we’ve usually been early to identify essential areas of progress (we put natural-language processing on our very first listing in 2001; in the present day this know-how underpins giant language fashions and generative AI instruments like ChatGPT).  

Yearly, our reporters and editors nominate applied sciences that they assume deserve a spot, and we spend weeks debating which of them ought to make the lower. Listed below are a number of the applied sciences we didn’t choose this time—and why we’ve left them off, for now. 

New medicine for Alzheimer’s illness

Alzmeiher’s sufferers have lengthy lacked therapy choices. A number of new medicine have now been proved to gradual cognitive decline, albeit modestly, by clearing out dangerous plaques within the mind. In July, the FDA accepted Leqembi by Eisai and Biogen, and Eli Lilly’s donanemab might quickly be subsequent. However the medicine include critical unwanted effects, together with mind swelling and bleeding, which might be deadly in some instances. Plus, they’re laborious to manage—sufferers obtain doses through an IV and should obtain common MRIs to test for mind swelling. These drawbacks gave us pause. 

Sustainable aviation gas 

Different jet fuels constructed from cooking oil, leftover animal fat, or agricultural waste might cut back emissions from flying. They’ve been in improvement for years, and scientists are making regular progress, with a number of current demonstration flights. However manufacturing and use might want to ramp up considerably for these fuels to make a significant local weather impression. Whereas they do look promising, there wasn’t a key second or “breakthrough” that merited a spot for sustainable aviation fuels on this yr’s listing.  

Photo voltaic geoengineering

One technique to counteract world warming could possibly be to launch particles into the stratosphere that mirror the solar’s power and funky the planet. That concept is very controversial throughout the scientific neighborhood, however a number of researchers and firms have begun exploring whether or not it’s potential by launching a sequence of small-scale high-flying exams. One such launch prompted Mexico to ban photo voltaic geoengineering experiments earlier this yr. It’s probably not clear the place geoengineering will go from right here or whether or not these early efforts will stall out. Amid that uncertainty, we determined to carry off for now. 


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