From the Editor: Issue 90.3 “Innovating for the Future”

Where do you see the world in 2030?

The progress of the world is inextricably tied with the progress of scientific innovations. Scientists improve the world by adapting creative breakthroughs in the lab to our own lives, through drugs that help us “forget” cocaine’s addiction or reversing hearing loss. There is cutting edge research in identifying addictions even prior to birth and in helping diabetes patients regain the production of insulin. Applying bench research to practical circumstances is the epitome of innovation.

These innovations excite the world when they first are announced, but they quickly fade into the status quo. It’s hard to imagine our lives without instant access to knowledge and affordable pain-relief drugs. This year, our masthead has decided to spotlight a new application every issue through our “Innovation Station”. This issue’s article explores a stable production mechanism for solar cells, a technology that drives the growth of a 200,000-person renewable energy industry. We look forwards to cover the latest breakthroughs with you in the issues to come.

Our cover story this issue tells the story of an innovative new cancer treatment that prevents DNA repair in only cancerous cells. By exploiting the cancer’s own vulnerabilities, this inhibitor causes cell death and could lead to clinical trials. Even as we celebrate humanity’s advancing understanding of the world, we remember that none of these breakthroughs happen in a vacuum. Instead, they rely on past discoveries that build up our knowledge of the natural world, piece by piece. Improved observations of molecules at very small energies can lead to better GPS systems while the creation of new exotic chemicals could lead to better computational resources. Even research that might not seem relevant today, like instruments looking for dark matter or simulations of the Earth’s core, could lead to improvements in our daily lives soon.

With the crucial role of scientific research in our daily lives, many scientists have been very worried about proposed budget cuts to science funding agencies. As of print, there have been almost 10 billion dollars in proposed cuts to departments like the National Institutes of Health, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Department of Energy, and the Environmental Protection Agency.  Scientists have reacted in shock to this news, organizing a “March for Science” on Earth Day this year to celebrate science. Understanding how this research connects to our lives is crucial in shaping our future.

Whatever your interests, we invite you into the pages of the Yale Scientific to continue exploring our majestic world. Let us use our current knowledge and creativity to find more breakthroughs, imagining a better future together.