It may still seem to be in the realm of science fiction, but nearly half of Americans believe cloning organs will be routine by 2020, according to a new poll.
Forty-nine percent of 2 841 people questioned in a Zogby interactive survey said use of stem cells and cloned organs will be commonplace in the next decade.
"Also, more than one-third say it is likely by 2020 that computer chips will be implanted in humans, robots will perform manual labour, and virtual reality will be a staple of home entertainment," the polling group said in a statement.
What the poll revealed
Twenty-eight percent of people questioned envisioned a cure for cancer in 10 years, 13% expect regular commercial travel to space and an equal number believe human life will be extended by 50 to 100 years. But just 2% thought time travel would be possible in a decade and only 4% had confidence humans would be traveling in flying cars and levitating.
Despite general optimism about what the future will hold, the poll revealed differences between people born before 1945, known as the private generation, and first globals, who were born after 1979.
"Privates were more likely than first globals to anticipate a cure for cancer and chip implants to monitor health, and less likely than the younger cohort to expect virtual reality in entertainment, commercial space travel and replication technology," according to Zogby.
When asked to name which areas of technology they expected to see the greatest advances in the next year, 18% thought it would be in home entertainment, watching films and television, and 15% thought it would be in compiling and storing information.
High-speed Internet and increased used of e-mailed were the top choices for the technologies that had the most impact during the past decade. - (Reuters Health, January 2010)