Challenged by the tendency of disease-causing microbes ot mutate into breeds that defy conventional antibiotics, researchers are pursuing a variety of high-tech schemes to give humans the upper hand in the war on infectious diseases.
Strapping rockets onto an aircraft creates a new breed of space plane. Look for cheaper satellite launch, ultrafast package delivery, and hypersonic passenger transport that would leave the Concorde in the dust.
Pound for pound, microbes such as anthrax rival nuclear weapons in their ability to inflict mass casualties. But the enforcing the existing treaty banning biological weapons must not compromise the biotech industry’s valuable trade secrets.
The Sojourner vehicle that trekked across the Martian surface captured the world’s fancy last summer, but we haven’t seen anything yet. Next will come rovers that can roam miles across Mars and “aerobots” able to survey other planets.