Friday, 17 August 2012

Real-Life Inspiration for Science Fiction

A guest blogger stops by today, Samantha Gray, with some thoughts on sience fiction turning into reality...

Real-Life Inspiration for Science Fiction

“Write what you know.” The phrase seems to be the mantra of every creative writing instructor of my college years. In a classroom environment that rejected any genre fiction, I very rarely injected any level of surrealism or fantasy into my stories. Instead, I learned how to craft realistic human drama with clarity and precision.
My true passion has always been speculative fiction. Stephen King, Ray Bradbury and H.G. Wells were the lights of my youth. Today, I can use my instructors’ advice in two different ways. I write what I know of human drama; and I pair my imagination with advancing technologies that point to the future progress and demise of our species.

Age Reversal

Two years ago, Harvard scientists released information on a study that reversed aging in mice. The mice were genetically modified to lack certain rejuvenating features. After being treated, the signs of aging began to reverse. The downside is that this approach could serve as a catalyst for cancer. Also, the study says that these effects in mice may not be mirrored in humans.

Mind Controlled Technology

Three years ago, Pierpaolo Petruzziello became the first person in the world to make complex movements using a biomechanical hand. After losing his hand and forearm in a car accident, the young man participated in an experiment that proved mentally controlled robotic prosthetics to be a realized technology.
Electrodes that were implanted in two nerves of his remaining arm served as neural interfaces between Petruzziello’s body and a robotic arm. Using intense focus, Petruzziello was able to manipulate the robotic arm with his mind.
This year, a woman who was paralyzed for 15 years was able to mentally control a bionic arm to serve herself a drink of coffee. This technology involves a chip that is implanted into the brain. Currently, patients are required to be plugged into a series of wires and electronics; but scientists say that future technology will be wireless. 


Who cares about ol’ lifeless Mars? Some scientists are pushing for exploration of Enceladus, an icy moon of Saturn and potential haven for life. Compared to Earth, Enceladus is teeny tiny. It could fit inside the Gulf of Mexico with room to spare.
However, the moon has an atmosphere and water geysers that erupt from the surface and into space. (This is how Saturn’s icy rings are formed.) Organic compounds, a subterranean ocean and geothermal energy sources all suggest the tiny moon could be a breeding ground for living things. 

Submarine and Ocean Technology

Some of the most futuristic projects in development are those that involve submarine and deep ocean technology. The Water Discus underwater hotel is a project slated for construction in Dubai. Guests will be able to sleep underwater, and there are number of interesting safety components that will accompany the project.
Also in conception is a solar-powered floating resort that will comfortably fit six people. It is a combination of luxury yacht and hotel; but the design echoes space craft designs of science fiction films.

Samantha Gray is an expert in online education and a freelance writer.  She wants to hear your feedback and ideas, too, at

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