The HUGE Three

If you're just sit around picking your toes -- or listening to right-wing radio - you might think nothing is happening in scientific progress.  

Truth is (ah, truth, facts, actualities!), there is an astonishing acceleration in new discoveries, breakthroughs and invention.  I've picked my fav three, and they are so big I call 'em HUGE.

These are going to affect us all.  Big time.  But take any random sample of the population of us U.S.-ers, and you will find darn few aware of even one of them, much less all three.  Why is that?  Simple.  The less simple, the less likely the 'mainstream media' is to cover it.  Methinks:

Pix credit:  Duffer's flying pencil

[Thus my snide comment about right-wing talk radio, home base for simplistic.  "Nuanced" is their word for anything smacking of complexity.  The huge, complex set of information that spells out "global warming" becomes a "hoax." (Interpretation:  way too complex; way easier to label than debate.)  Etc.]

These "HUGE Three" scientific advances are extremely complex.  Even the populist science publications have had trouble writing about them in lay-friendly language.  But they are getting it done, and praises upon them for the hard work.   The same can't be said for the mainstream media.  Even with the hard work done for them by the science magazines, these big stories just aren't making the cut and getting out there for the general population.  Fooey!

Big Story 1  -  Breakthroughs in mapping the mysteries of our DNA.  (The "dark" areas)

pix credit:

Here is one paragraph from MIT News

A ‘treasure trove’ of genetic information

This new map helps pinpoint mutations that are likely responsible for disease — generally in genes that have been preserved across millions of years of evolution. Knowing the causal mutations and their likely functions can then help uncover the underlying disease mechanisms and reveal potential drug targets. 

OK, that's going to change medicine big time over time.  Plus mega-insights into the basic mechanics of how life functions.  Plus spectacular insights into how evolution has worked for hundreds of millions of years making us (and all other living things) what we are today.  Just the potential to change medical care alone should make this a lead story.  Not happening.  

Big Story 2 - The Human Microbiome Project

Great job of de-complexing the story here by Sheryl Eisenberg.

Maybe you've heard the news that there are about ten times the number of microbes in and on our bodies than we have cells.  I like this graphic (from Sheryl's story) because it implies that maybe we can communicate with our microbiomes.  Maybe super meditators are doing just that.  Just speculatin', y'know.

Pix Credit:  From Eisenberg's story   

Speculation aside, the discoveries (the

project is under the National Institutes of Health) are huge and getting huger.  Again, this promises breakthroughs in medicine, including whole new understandings of just what keeps us healthy - or not.  I have to admit the mainstream media is flirting with this story, perhaps because of their love for ick-factor stories.  

Big Story 3 - A Big Push to Understand Neutrinos

Pix credit:  New Scientist On-line

Best de-complexed story I found (probably unavailable unless you register) in NewScientist.

OK, neutrino research has been going on for decades, but now that the Large Hadron Collider (in Europe, not Waxahachie, TX shame on you Congress) has spotted the Higgs Boson, there is a push to improve or rewrite the Unified Field Theory.  That's like rewriting the Bible, in a way.  So that's big. Succeed, and the next thing we know, there will be "beam me up Scotty" progress.

Lots of action.  Revisiting string theory.  Building bigger, better neutron detectors.  Next time you see a story about this action, drop me a note.  Since this story doesn't promise revolutionary new medical advances, and it doesn't have an ick factor, I won't hold my breath.

So, COME ON, MAINSTREAM MEDIA, cover the stuff that is going to change our world.  I'm talkin' to you, TV, Cable, Print, On-line, Radio, et al.  


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