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We've learned a lot about the universe and ourselves. But what we don't know... That's infinite.

This piece is based on an AskReddit thread. Link available at the end of the article.


1/11. Our entire universe might be inside a black hole. Just saying.

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-[deleted]

2/11. Within the next 10 years, I really believe we will finish creating a polymer opto-electric interface that can restore light sensitivity in blind retinas.

In other words, we will be able to cure blindness due to retinal degeneration.

-princess_turnip_spam

3/11. In the near future I think we will be able to store all our information not on hard drives as we do now, but on a form of DNA. This synthetic DNA will be able to store absolutely enormous amounts of data on a very small space with little to no deterioration. After all DNA can survive for millions of years!

-Comidus

4/11. The way people in industrialized societies have made it "normal" to delay reproduction until their thirties, after they have an established career, may lead to genetic problems in the future. This is mainly due to the fact that sperm cells are constantly dividing, and cell replication is where most mutations arise.

Some mutations are advantageous, but most are not, and these become more numerous in the sperm cells as we age.

Moreover, combined with modern medicine and nutrition, such damaging mutations are likely to stay in the gene pool as we live longer and reproduce more.

This could to a global-warming-like slow-boiling problem that will hasten the need for us to develop advanced methods to repair our own defective genes.

via GIPHY

-chiropter

5/11. This is kind of out there, but I believe birth control plays a role in the high divorce rates and in the birth of children with weak immune systems.

There was a study that found women are attracted to the smell of men with dissimilar immune systems and that they felt men with similar immune systems smelled like their father or brother. Therefore not attractive.

But women on hormonal birth control did not perform well in that study...


Keep reading on the next page.

They often picked similar immune systems as more attractive.

A massive percentage of women are on birth control during their dating years, when they meet their husbands. After marriage many of those women will stop taking hormonal birth control in order to have children. What happens then?

If you have a woman who marries a man who is a poor genetic match - someone she may not have wanted to be with if she wasn't on birth control - when she goes off of her birth control...

Well, it stands to reason that her perception of her husband may change. Given that her body and personality will be going through a change while her hormones are re-regulated, her husband's view of her may change as well.

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It would not surprise me if this subconscious change contributes to divorce rates. In addition, should those hypothetical people have children, the child may have a poorer immune system due to the lack of genetic variance between its parents.

-nobodycaresaboutmyus

6/11. I think there is a reasonable chance that, within the next 10 years, computers that analyze large bodies of data and make statistical predictions will be able to make much better routine strategic decisions at almost every layer of society than actual humans.

At some point this will likely start having a major impact on the structure of society, as there won't be all that much room for argument when the computer says that some decision is or is not optimal.

via GIPHY

What does that mean for the future?


Keep reading on the next page.

Some current signs that point to this, for example, are the story about an automated Target marketing campaign that detected that a teenage girl was pregnant before her own father knew about it. Automated data analysis is simply better at predicting common events than real people.

Why then would a corporation rely on human executives to make decisions about acquisitions and mergers? And if a politician makes decisions by computer, why do we need the politician?

Should we still use human juries and judges when computers can determine guilt or innocence with much greater accuracy? What happens when a human jury convicts a man that the judge-o-matic predicts has a 0.0000001% chance of having actually committed the crime?

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-afranius

7/11. I am studying in a relatively new field of science called astrobiology (life in space) and just finished my first internship. Of all my studies, this is what caught my attention:

In 2004, the spectral signature of methane was detected in the Martian atmosphere. Because of radiation, methane is predicted to disappear from the Martian atmosphere within several years, so the gas must be actively replenished in order to maintain the present concentration.

Let's just say I suspect we're going to find life in the solar system some time in the next couple generations.

via GIPHY

-[deleted]

Keep reading on the next page.

8/11. There is a fringe theory regarding the origin of ADHD (ADD) that I find really fascinating and think probably has something to it. It says that ADHD, like many other "disorders" is possibly an evolutionary adaptation that certain people have which provides a pro in addition to a con.

You see, lots of (sometimes terrible) genetic disorders do have an upside. Sickle Cell Anemia patients for example, are more resistant to malaria. Cystic Fibrosis patients are more resistant to salmonella. So what would ADHD's upside be? AWESOME HUNTING ABILITIES.

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In tribal hunter societies, someone with a looser attention span, who is able to react more quickly to moving stimuli would likely be the best hunter in the group, and would get showered with riches and women.

Nowadays all it gets you is frustration and medication. By the way, one of the coolest pieces of evidence for this theory, albeit anecdotal, is that kids with ADHD tend to be abnormally good at first person shooter video games.

-Singaporecane

9/11. We are going to find a biological recipe for creating self-assembled tissues from scratch.

Developmental biological processes can turn a single-celled zygote into an adult human. It's pretty damn incredible when you think about it.

Somewhere buried in the complexity of metazoan biology are a set of 'origami-like' rules that allow growing tissues to self-assemble into larger tissues and organs. If we can model and manipulate these programs with precision, we can engineer just about any tissue we like.

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-Funktapus

Keep reading on the next page.

10/11. I believe very soon (in terms of development of new treatments) that bacteriophages will replace antibiotics. Bacteriophages are essentially viruses that attack bacteria and bacteria only.

Some of you might argue, "well there's good bacteria in our digestive system, right?" True. Bacteriophages have surface proteins that work like a lock and a key, and can only combine with certain types of bacteria.

Antibiotics often cause many side effects and over the last 10 years have decreased in efficacy due to bacteria becoming resistant to the treatments.

via GIPHY

Also, antibiotics are delivered to the bloodstream and only happen upon the bacteria. Whereas bacteriophages can reach the bacteria and take over its replication machinery and replicate exponentially (108).

Baceriophages will replace antibiotics.

-tgmartin

11/11. I'm a neuroscientist. Paraplegia/quadriplegia are solved problems in my view. We are already very good at recognizing patterns of brainwaves and using this data to control various simple machines.

The next step is expanding the scale so that, instead of controlling a computer mouse, a paralyzed individual controls legs or arms fluidly. I believe that soon (very soon), we will be able to make this feasible for real-world application.

Beyond that, the entire field of brain machine interface is booming. It is a natural adaptation of where neuroscience is, because you simply (it is not simple, but relatively so) need to be able to recognize recurring patterns you observe when an individual thinks or does something to be able to use those patterns to control machines.

It's a fancy trick to allow "thought control" without really understanding why or how those "thoughts" exist in the first place. Very, very cool stuff.

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-Originalfrozenbanana

(Source)

Image by Anemone123 from Pixabay

Life is hard. It's a miracle to make it through with some semblance of sanity. We are all plagued by grief and trauma. More and more people of all backgrounds are opening up about personal trauma and its origins. Finally! For far too long we've been too silent on this topic. And with so many people unable to afford mental health care, the outcomes can be damaging.

All of our childhoods have ups and downs and memories that can play out like nightmares. We carry that, or it follows us and the first step in recovery is talking about it. So who feels strong enough to speak?

Redditor u/nthn_thms wanted to see who was willing to share about things they'd probably rather forget, by asking:

What's the most traumatizing thing you experienced as a child?
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Image by klimkin from Pixabay

Being single can be fun. In fact, in this time of COVID, being single can save lives. But the heart is a fickle creature.

And being alone can really suck in times of turmoil. None of us are perfect and it feels like that's all anyone is looking for... perfect.

Now that doesn't mean that all of us are making it difficult to partner up. Sure, some people are too picky and mean-spirited, but some of the rest of us are crazy and too much to handle. So one has to be sure.

The truth is, being single is confusing, no matter how much we try to match. So let's try to understand...

Redditor u/Mcxyn wanted to discuss some truths about love and our own issues, by asking:

Why are you single?
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Tiard Schulz/Unsplash

Whether you're an at home parent, a college student just leaving the nest, or a Food Network junkie, there are a few basic tips that everyone should know.

Chef's gave us some of their top tips for amateurs and beginner at home cooks that will really make a difference. They are trained professionals with years of experience in the kitchen, so they definitely know what we're all missing.

If you're looking to improve some of your cooking skills and techniques, but you're still learning how to boil water correctly, this list is for you.

Redditor BigBadWolf44 wanted in on the secrets and asked:

"Chefs of Reddit, what's one rule of cooking amateurs need to know?"

Let's learn from the masters!


What a common mistake!

"A lot of the time when people add salt to a dish because they think it tastes flat, what it really needs is an acid like lemon juice or vinegar."

- Vexvertigo

"Instructions unclear I drugged my dinner party guests and now they're high on acid."

- itsyoboi_human

"Yes! Or tomatoes. They're pretty acidic too and go with so many things. Our dinners are so much better once the garden tomatoes are ripe. Or if a dish is too acidic, oil/butter or a little sugar can help add balance to it."

- darkhorse85

"Like tomato and eggs. Every Chinese mom makes those slightly differently and I haven't had a tomato egg dish I didn't like yet."

- random314

"There's a book called 'Salt Fat Acid Heat' that comes highly recommended to amateur cooks."

- Osolemia

"Reading even just the first chapter about salt made a lot of food I cooked immediately better, because I finally understood salt wasn't just that thing that sat on the dinner table that you applied after the meal was cooked."

- VaultBoy42

"Salt is important for sweets. A batch of cookies without that little hint of salt doesn't taste quite right."

- Osolemia

Unfortunately, this tip might not be accessible to everyone. Many people who contracted COVID can no longer use their sense of smell the way they used to.

"Have a friend that lost his smell from COVID, and now he only recognizes if food is salty, sweet, sour or bitter."

- AlphaLaufert99

"Just wait until he gets his sense of smell back and a ton of foods smell like ammonia or literal garbage now. Yeah, that's fun... It's been 7 months for f*cks sake just let me enjoy peanut butter again!!!!!!!!!"

- MirzaAbdullahKhan

You can't take back what you've already put in.

"You can always add, but you cannot take away."

- El_Duende666

"I find people's problems usually are they're too scared to add rather than they add too much."

- FreeReflection25

"I see you also grew up white in the mid-west."

- Snatch_Pastry

Safety first!

"Not really a cooking tip, but a law of the kitchen: A falling knife has no handle."

- wooddog

"I'm always so proud of my reflexes for not kicking in when I fumble a knife."

"If I drop anything else, my stupid hands are all over themselves trying to catch it (and often failing). But with a knife the hardwired automatic reaction is jump back immediately. Fingers out of the way, feet out of the way, everything out of the way. Good lookin out, cerebellum!"

- sonyka

"Speaking of KICKING in. On first full time cooking job I had a knife spin and fall off the counter. My (stupid) reflex was to put my foot under it like a damn hacky sack to keep it from hitting the ground. Went through the shoe, somehow between my toes, into the sole somehow without cutting me. Lessons learned: (1) let it fall; (2) never set a knife down close to the edge or with the handle sticking out; (3) hacky sack is not nearly as cool as it could be."

- AdjNounNumbers

"Similarly, NEVER put out a grease or oil fire with water. Smother with a lid or dump baking soda in there (do not use flour, as it can combust in the air making things worse)."

- Metallic_Substance

How else will you know it tastes good?

"Taste the food."

- OAKRAIDER64

"Also don't be afraid to poke and prod at it. I feel like people think the process is sacred and you can't shape/flip/feel/touch things while you cook them. The more you are hands on, the more control you have."

"No, this does not include situations where you are trying to sear something. Ever try flipping a chicken thigh early? That's how you rip a chunk out of it and leave it glued to the pan until it's burnt."

- Kryzm

Here's one just for laughs.

"When you grab a pair of tongs, click them a few times to make sure they are tongs."

- Kolshdaddy

"People really overlook this one. You've gotta tong the tongs a minimum of 3 times to make sure they tong, or else it can ruin the whole dish."

- BigTimeBobbyB

If you're looking to get into cooking or to improve you technique, pay attention to these few tips.

Salt generously, add an acid to brighten things up, and don't forget to taste your food!

If all else fails, you can always order take out.

Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.

Victoria_Borodinova/Pixaba

As part of the learning process, children often do embarrassing things before they learn a little more about the world and all the different implications therein. While the inappropriate moment is usually minor and ends in laugher some instances are truly mortifying.

One such instance involved a little sister who was around 6 at the time. It was the 90s and at the height of the youth-focused PSAs (think the frying egg representing your brain). One type was a safety PSA about stranger danger. The speaker would remind the children that if a stranger tried to take you anywhere to yell “Stop, you're not my mommy/daddy" to raise the alarm.

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