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|作者：英语点津 文章来源：China Daily 点击数：22 更新时间：2017/7/2|
Much of our electricity is generated by burning coal or gas, both of which will ultimately run out. Renewable energy sources are fraught with their own problems (not least the changeable nature of British weather), so could a Norwegian concept of erecting wind turbines thousands of feet in the air where there is always a breeze become a reality?
A team of scientists of BBC's Horizon meets researchers pioneering gene-based therapies that early results suggest could offer a cure for leukaemia.
It works by 'editing' a patient's genome by inserting genes that will allow the immune system to identify cancerous cells as alien and destroy them.
Michael Mosley visits a research project at St Thomas's Hospital in London, where doctors are working to map the developing brain by safely MRI scanning foetuses as they grow.
The plan is to use the increased knowledge to identify pathologies that could shed light on conditions like autism and schizophrenia.
James Young, who lost an arm and a leg in an accident, goes in search of integrated technologies that might reveal a future for human-machine chimeras.
James meets self-proclaimed cyborg Neil Harbisson, who claims to have 'cured' his colour-blindness by converting colour to sounds that are then transmitted to his skull.
The average life expectancy in the UK has been steadily increasing since records began in 1840, but the fact remains that the human body gives up at around the 100 year mark - so could that change?
The team turns to the east African naked mole rat, which enjoys ten times the lifespan of other species, to see if they can shed any light on the subject.
Dr Chris Faulkes, of Queen Mary University of London, asks whether - given the unique protein in their skin that makes it super stretchy and means cancer is virtually unheard of - the mole rat actually holds the secret to a long life.
Britain's famously unpredictable climate may soon be a thing of the past, according to weatherman and meteorologist Peter Gibbs, who argues that we can expect a hotter, drier south, and a warmer, wetter north.
Biologist Adam Rutherford outlines the potentially catastrophic impact of plummeting numbers of non-human vertebrate species between now and 2030 - including the rise of smaller predators like rats as a knock-on effect should we lose apex predators such as lions and tigers.
He also warns that changing environments could lead us to a point where coffee can no longer survive on planet, or where entire marine systems disappear.
'Life will continue on earth as it has for four billion years,' he said. 'What we are doing is removing the ability for us to live on earth.'
Some jobs seem more susceptible than others to being taken over by robots, but how sure can we be that 'soft skill' careers will always require human ability?
To give some indication, Dr Zoe Williams discovers an Artificial Intelligence programme that's as good as she is at being a GP.
According to the show, several groups are developing what they hope will become 'drone taxis'. But can we be trusted at the controls? The answer is emphatically 'no'.
But help is at hand. Dr Raffaello D'Andrea designed the complex programme that runs Amazon's fiercely efficient warehouse robots – hundreds of which select products for dispatch to customers, all without crashing into one another.
By taking unreliable human pilots out of the equation, It could – perhaps – be the start of just the thing to finally make flying cars – or at least flying taxis – a reality.
Crucial among the things we 'need to know' about the future? And the one the team of scientists are 100 percent confident will prove accurate? Expect the unexpected.
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