There has been a time when science could be simplified into neat-and-tidy disciplines straight forward things like biology, chemistry, physics, and astronomy. But as science advances, these fields are getting to be increasingly specialized and interdisciplinary, resulting in entirely new avenues of inquiry. Listed below are 11 New fields of science you should know about.
If you know about Toxoplasma gondii — the cat-spawned parasite that alters both human and rodent behavior — you then know more about the job of neuroparasitologists. The simple fact that these eerie parasites today have their very own scientific discipline devoted to them shows just how widespread they are in nature. These parasites typically alter host behavior as part of their reproductive strategy (often by being consumed and excreted with a third party). Hairworms, which live inside grasshoppers, finally need to leave their hosts to keep their life span. Rather than leave peacefully, nevertheless, they publish a cocktail of chemicals that makes that the grasshoppers commit suicide by jumping into the water. The hairworms then drift from their drowning hosts.
2. Quantum Biology
That is a freaky one — but then again, anything with the word”quantum” in it is bound to be odd. Physicists known about quantum effects for well over a hundred decades, in which particles defy our sensibilities by disappearing from one place and reappearing in other, or simply by being in 2 places simultaneously. However, these effects aren’t relegated to literary laboratory experiments. As scientists are suspecting, quantum mechanics may also apply to biological processes. Possibly the best instance is photosynthesis — a remarkably effective system where plants (and some bacteria) build the molecules they need by utilizing energy from sunlight. It turns out that photosynthesis can rely on the”superposition” happening, where little packets of energy explore all possible paths and then settle on the most efficient one. It’s also likely that avian navigation, DNA mutations (via quantum tunneling), and even our sense of smell, is based on quantum effects. Though it’s a speculative and controversial field, its practitioners seem to the day when insights gleaned might result in new medication and biomimetic systems (with biomimetics being another emergent scientific field, where biological systems and structures are utilized to create new materials and machines).
Like exo-geologists and exo-oceanographers, exo-meteorologists are interested in analyzing natural processes that occur on planets besides Earth. Now that astronomers can peer more closely to the inner-workings of nearby planets and moons, they’re increasingly able to monitor atmospheric conditions and weather patterns. Saturn and Jupiter, with their impossibly large weather systems, are prime candidates for study. Planets outside our solar system are being analyzed by exo-meteorologists. And interestingly, exo-meteorologists could eventually find signs of extraterrestrial life within an exoplanet by discovering organic signatures in atmospheres, or elevated carbon dioxide levels — a possible indication of an industrial-age civilization..
Also known as nutritional genomics, this is the analysis of the complex interplay between food and genetic expression. Scientists are working in this field attempt to comprehend the role of genetic variation, dietary response, and also how nutrients influence our genes. And really, food has a profound effect on our health — and it starts quite literally at the molecular level. Nutrigenomics works both ways; our genes affect our dietary preferences, and vice-versa. A key objective of nutrigenetics would be to establish personalized nourishment — matching that which we eat with our distinct genetic constitutions.
Connecticut’s Peter Turchin University, cliodynamics, is an interdisciplinary field of research that combines historical macrosociology, economic background (cliometrics), the mathematical modeling of longterm societal processes, and the building and evaluation of historical databases. Simply put, it is an effort to quantify and clarify the broad societal forces of history, both to examine the past, and as a potential way to predict the future. An illustration of biodynamics has been Turchin’s recent newspaper calling societal unrest.
6. Synthetic Biology
This is the major one, and it is the emerging world-changing scientific discipline that many of us are familiar with. Artificial Intelligence is the layout and construction of new biological parts, devices, and systems. Craig Venter, a pioneer in this area, shook the research community in 2008 by announcing that he’d fabricated the entire genome of a bacterium by piecing together its chemical components. Two years after his group created”artificial life” — DNA made, then printed and inserted into a dwelling bacterium. And last year, synbio scientists generated the first complete computational model of an actual organism. Looking forward, artificial biologists will order and examine genomes to create custom-designed bootable organisms and biological robots which may produce chemicals from scratch, such as biofuels. There’s also the possibility of pollution devouring cyborg germs and the downloading and printing of newly upgraded vaccines during a pandemic. The possibilities are virtually infinite.
This one’s quite insecure, and it’s technically talking nevertheless in the proto-science stage. Only be a matter of time before scientists get a better handle on the individual biosphere (the collective body of all human information) and also how the proliferation of information within it affects virtually all aspects of human life. Comparable to recombinant DNA (in which distinct genetic sequences are brought together to make something new), recombinant genetics is the analysis of how memes (ideas that spread from person to person) could be corrected and merged with different memes and memeplexes (a cohesive selection of memes, like a faith ) for beneficial or’socially therapeutic’ purposes (like fighting the spread of violent and radical ideologies). This resembles the notion of’memetic engineering’ — which philosopher Daniel Dennett suggested could be used to maintain cultural health. Or what DARPA is presently doing through their’narrative control’ program.
8. Computational Social Science
Cliodynamics Similar to computational social science is the rigorous investigation of societal phenomena and trends with time. The usage of computers and related information processing technology is fundamental to this subject. Quite obviously, this field has just been possible since the arrival of computing, and most especially because of the rise of the internet. Computational social scientists examine the copious quantities of data left behind from mails, cellular phone calls, tweets, credit card purchases, Google searches, and forth. It’s a field of research that is attracting not just social scientists, but mathematicians and computer scientists too. Examples of the work include research to the structure of social networks and the way information spreads across them, or how romantic relationships kind on the Web
9. Cognitive Economics
Economics is not typically associated with science, but that may change as the field integrates with conventional scientific disciplines. Not to be confused with behavioral economics (the study of our behaviors — what we do — in the context of economic decision making), cognitive economics is all about how we believe. Leigh Caldwell that runs a blog dedicated to the area puts it this way: Cognitive economics (or fund )… .looks at what is going on within someone’s head when they make that choice. What is the inner arrangement of the decision, what are the influences on it, how does data enter the mind and how is it processed, what kind do preferences take internally, then ultimately how are those processes expressed in our behavior? Looking at it another way, cognitive economics would be to physics what behavioral economics is to technology. To this end, cognitive economists begin their investigation at a lower, more reductionist level, and shape micro-founded models of how folks make decisions to devise a model of large-scale economic behaviors. To assist them with this, cognitive economists consider the related disciplines of cognitive science and computational economics, along with theories about rationality and decision making.
10. Organic Electronics
Normally, electronics are connected with inert and inorganic conductors and semiconductors, like copper and silicon. However, a brand new branch of electronics is emerging, which uses conductive polymers and tiny conductive molecules — both of which are carbon-based. It’s an extremely interdisciplinary field that involves the design, synthesis, and processing of functional organic and inorganic materials, along with the development of innovative micro- and nanofabrication techniques and circuit design. To be fair, it’s not an entirely new field, as preliminary concepts and devices were first developed in the early 1970s. But it’s only been recent that things have picked up, particularly due to the nanotechnology revolution. Organic electronics present the potential for organic solar cells, self-assembling monolayers in functional electronic devices, and chemical circuits, which could replace computer chips for human implantation (the cyborg of the future may just be more organic than artificial!).
11. Quantitative Biology
If you like both math and math, then this one’s for you. Quantitative biology, as its name suggests, is an attempt to understand biological processes through the language of math. However, it also applies other quantitative techniques, like physics and computer science. With the improvements in biological instrumentation and techniques and effortless access to computing power, biology is generating large quantities of information at an increasing speed. Obtaining the information and making sense of it requires qualitative approaches. At precisely the same time, coming out of a physicist’s or mathematician’s standpoint, biology has reached a state of maturity where theoretical models of biological mechanisms can be tested experimentally. This has caused the evolution of the extensive field of quantitative sciences.