National Geographic on How Science Fiction Informs the Future

Word would travel of scientist Giovanni Aldini’s electric reanimation experiments on dead criminals in 1803 to author Mary Shelley before the 1818 publish of her book Frankenstein. It was an instance of science informing fiction. In turn, Shelley’s masterpiece would then inspire scientist Earl Bakken to develop the first wearable, battery-operated pacemaker. This is only one example of science fiction triggering the pursuit of scientific …

Extracting Water From Thin Air

Even scorching desert landscapes have water molecules floating in the atmosphere. Until now, the technology required to extract them has required vast amounts of energy. But a scientific duo from MIT and UC, Berkeley has just prototyped a new machine employing an MOF, or metal-organic framework. Here, a thin MOF powder layer absorbs water vapor—and ambient sunlight then releases it into a basin within the …