Scientific Advances in the New Millennium

The new millennium has also brought considerable scientific advances that are shaping and modifying our understanding of the universe. The computer has revolutionized nearly every aspect of our lives. From processing enormous data sets in a matter of seconds to understanding very complex systems or infinitesimally small processes, computers have changed our lives forever. The internet is another recent scientific advance that has dramatically changed the way we communicate. Gone are the days of waiting weeks or even months for correspondence to reach a recipient on another continent. Today we can telecommute and conduct meetings with colleagues around the globe without leaving the home or office. Another recent scientific advance that has changed how we see the world involves the development of a Global Positioning System, or GPS, which allows us to pinpoint exact locations on the earth. With all of these advances comes new responsibility and, as we have seen, new scientific advances are not without controversy. For example, the ability to map genes and clone living beings promises new hope for curing previously untreatable illnesses. However, this scientific advance has also led to considerable debate regarding bioethics, and when and how such technology can and should be used. As in the past, new scientific advances, and the debates surrounding them, will continue to shape our understanding of the world around us. Each new advance serves as the stepping stone for further scientific advances and propels us toward a more complete understanding of the universe and our place in it.

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