In the 1970s, the CIA created a laser-guided, liquid-fueled dragonfly-sized drone.
In 2017, researchers equipped a real genetically-modified dragonfly with a solar-powered backpack and steering implants to turn it into a drone.
Science is astounding.
We hear a lot of stupidity from right wing climate change deniers, militant anti-vaxxers, and a host of anti-science idiots, but despite the attention and press that these fools often receive, science marches on, accomplishing incredible feats of scientific achievement.
Did you know, for example, that Moderna, the company that produced one of the first vaccines for the coronavirus, developed their vaccine in just two days?
On January 11, researchers from China published the genetic sequence of the coronavirus. Two days later, Moderna’s team and NIH scientists had finalized the targeted genetic sequence they would use in the vaccine.
By February 24, Moderna had shipped its first vaccine batches to NIH scientists in Bethesda, Maryland.
Researchers administered the first dose on March 16 in Seattle, Washington as part of the first clinical trial of any coronavirus vaccine.
The vaccine for a disease that brought the world to a standstill was invented before lockdowns in the United States had even begun. It was shipping to labs for testing before most Americans has even heard of the coronavirus.
Thanks to a relatively new platform for vaccine development, the majority of the time spent developing the coronavirus vaccine was spent in clinical trials, determining efficacy and safety. Unlike previous vaccine development, which has taken years or even decades, scientists can now produce effective vaccines for certain viruses in just days.
In fact, the Russians began vaccinating their population back in August after forgoing the depth and breadth of testing that the United States requires. They essentially chose to use their general population for their clinical trial, trusting in the vaccine’s safety and efficacy. There was worldwide skepticism about this decision at the time, both in terms of dangers to the Russian people and effectiveness of the vaccine. but recently, independent trials determined that the Russian vaccine, named Sputnik-5, is 95% effective with minimal side effects.
If you’re feeling despondent about the state of the world today, think science.
Think about rapid vaccine development. Enormous advances in solar and wind power. The unbelievable potential of nanotechnology. Developments in space travel that might soon make a trip to Mars possible.
Think genetically-modified dragonflies with a solar-powered backpack and steering implants to turn it into a drone.
Science kicks ass.