'Great inventions in my lifetime: have there been any?' blog discussion



  • vivatifosi
    vivatifosi Forumite Posts: 18,746
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Mortgage-free Glee! PPI Party Pooper
    My vote goes to medical genetics. Sure the DNA code was broken before you were born, but all of the major advances have been in recent years, helped by the advent of the supercomputer and distributed computing.

    When I had a tumour removed a couple of years ago there was no-one in this country who could tell me whether I had cancer as the diagnosis was so complex. I was told if I was still alive in 15 years I'd know I didn't have it (and as an MSE'r I don't need to tell you what havoc that plays with your insurances). After much searching of research papers (thanks to Tim Berners-Lee) on the web I found a new process at Stamford University Medical School hospital that could tell whether I had the disease or not. It worked! My local NHS hospital is now looking to refer its more complex cases to the US for diagnosis, so I'm not the only beneficiary.

    There are already teams all over the world making major progress in cracking the human genome and developing both new cures and new diagnostic tools. Fast forward 20 years from now and we could have the ability to deconstruct the genetic code of many of the world's killers. Whether or not that's a bad thing I don't know. Who will pay for a world where people just die older and older? Will people with known defects become second class citizens in terms of insurance, etc? One thing I know for sure is I wasn't old enough to die and I'm glad of such advances!
    Please stay safe in the sun and learn the A-E of melanoma: A = asymmetry, B = irregular borders, C= different colours, D= diameter, larger than 6mm, E = evolving, is your mole changing? Most moles are not cancerous, any doubts, please check next time you visit your GP.
  • immoral_angeluk
    immoral_angeluk Forumite Posts: 24,509 Forumite
    How about the Large Hardron Collider?
    Total 'Failed Business' Debt £29,043
    Que sera, sera. <3
  • Spendless
    Spendless Forumite Posts: 23,594
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    I once put the same question to my great grandmother, born 1901, she lived to be 91. Her answer was the automatic washing machine.
  • Greenshieldstamp_2
    Greenshieldstamp_2 Forumite Posts: 94 Forumite
    My suggestions are

    The digital camera
    and On-line shopping / ordering

    Thanks and best wishes
  • LucyTheDwarf
    LucyTheDwarf Forumite Posts: 880 Forumite
    Genetic engineering - more specifically GM foods. I don't think we'll ever feed the world, but it's the only way we'll get anywhere close.

    "Invented" in 1973 - creation of E Coli bacteria expressing a salmonella gene.
    Target Cash Net Worth: £25K by January 2012
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  • dogsbodyorg
    dogsbodyorg Forumite Posts: 29 Forumite
    Personally I would easily put the Internet in your age group, IMHO it was when the government and university networks were opened up to the public that the Internet as we know it was born.

    Failing that I would easily say the microwave! I know it hasn't saved lives but futurologists at the time completely failed to see it coming (concentrating on meals in pill form and flying cars) and I do think it has changed the way that a lot of people eat.

    Just my 0.02 GBP
  • slackboy
    slackboy Forumite Posts: 9 Forumite
    I'd have to disagree with your comments about the Internet. The protocol that allows the internet to work (TCP/IP) wasn't invented until 1972/3. Before that computers were networked to each other via dedicated links.

    The invention of TCP/IP made it possible for computer to communicate with any another computer and allowed what has become the Internet to develop along with idea that at any time, in any place we are connected to "the network".

    I'd argue that that has been (and still is) world changing.
  • SuperChap
    SuperChap Forumite Posts: 14 Forumite
    The mp3 player's a bit genius innit?
  • BillScarab
    BillScarab Forumite Posts: 6,027 Forumite
    SuperChap wrote: »
    The mp3 player's a bit genius innit?

    But really it's just an extension of the Walkman.

    I'd have to go with the Internet. Yes computers had been networked together before but using dedicated links. The way the internet works is different and has had a massive effect on the world. Its' changed the way we bank, the way we shop, they way we research thing and the way we communicate.
    It's my problem, it's my problem
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    And feel I want to die

  • JimmyTheWig
    JimmyTheWig Forumite Posts: 12,199
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    But I'm going to agree with slackboy and hang the "invention" of the internet on TCP/IP, giving us our answer.
    What on earth did we do before the internet? There are so many things that it is used for that I can't imagine how we coped before.
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