1980 | Choosing the sex of children before they are conceived
This was accomplished in 1990 using preimplantation genetic diagnosis, but the procedure is still not widely available. It may be 20 or 30 more years before designer babies become common.
1982 | Artificial plastic and electronic organs for humans
The first real breakthrough in artificial organ design came in 1982 with the first fully functioning artificial heart. Businesses hope to have artificial organs commercially available by 2030.
1985 | Artificial heart implantations; brain linked to computer
The human brain was wirelessly connected to a computer for the first time in 2021, and Elon Musk is funding Neuralink technology to develop brain-computer interfaces soon.
1990 | Chemical synthesis of inexpensive, nutritious food; cancer conquered
The first lab-made hamburger was created in 2012, and it cost about $325,000 to produce. So it might be awhile before inexpensive synthetic food replaces natural food.
1995 | First human clone; brain transplants common-place
The Roslin Institute in Scotland successfully cloned a sheep in 1996, while Chinese researchers successfully cloned a monkey in 2018. No human clones have yet been attempted.
2000 | Transplantation of almost all organs of the body
The brain is the only organ in the human body that cannot currently be transplanted. The brain cannot be transplanted because the brain’s nerve tissue does not heal after transplantation.
2005 | Alteration of the processes of aging
By tweaking a few key genes in the DNA of a roundworm in 2020, scientists extended its lifespan by about 500 percent. But this has not been tried on humans.
2007 | Biochemicals to aid the growth of new organs and limbs
Researchers have developed a technique that could one day enable us to grow fully functional human organs in the laboratory, but no known biochemical causes humans to regenerate organs.
2010 | Widespread use of artificial insemination to produce genetically superior offspring
This technology has existed since 1770 but still isn’t widespread.
2012 | Drugs to raise the level of human intelligence
Modafinil has been on the market since 1994. It has serious side effects, but is sometimes prescribed to cellists, judges, pilots and scientists to enhance attention, memory and learning.
2015 | Fetuses grown in artificial wombs
A 14-day rule prevents embryos from being kept in artificial wombs longer than 14 days.
2020 | Genetic engineering in humans by chemically modifying their DNA chains; human brain linked to a computer to enlarge man’s intellect
In a landmark 2022 trial, a group of scientists from the United Kingdom and New Zealand showed that CRISPR can be used to successfully edit genes in the human body.
2030 | Total mastery of human genetics and heredity
The human genome was mapped in 2003, but mankind is a long way from mastering heredity.
2040 | Suspended animation of life
Doctors placed a human in suspended animation for the first time in 2019 by replacing the blood in the patient’s brain with an ice-cold saline solution. The patient was revived in an hour, but doctors hope to prolong the process soon.
2050 | Complete control of the aging process; man-made immortality
This is still complete science fiction.