Around the turn of the millennium, there were several milestones or great achievements that were accomplished by different countries, and a lot of this was a result of globalization, the increased interconnectedness of countries throughout the world.
And whenever they were able to communicate and share their information more easily, people didn’t have to keep doing the same research over and over, approving the same things multiple times.
Next Lesson: Globalization – The Middle East
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If someone proved it in another area of the world, someone could move on to the next experiment, the next hypothesis, and keep looking for the next answer to things. So, the increased globalization has led to some pretty amazing milestones.
One of those was in 1993. The first web browser was developed. So, you get on the Internet, most days probably, you are watching this video on the Internet. And you’re doing that through a web browser. The first web browser wasn’t invented or developed until 1993. That’s only 20 years ago. So, before 20 years ago, people didn’t have the Internet to communicate. So, the last 20 years has had a great increase in communication and sharing of knowledge, and just being able to look up anything you want at your fingertips because we’ve got the web browsers, we’ve got the Internet right there. And this began the era of Internet communications that has revolutionized every area of human life
However, the Internet did not become widely used until 1997 and 1998. Now, still, think about how much you can do with the Internet. You’re able to look up how to fix something around your house that you might have to have a plumber come and do. If you can look it up online and watch a YouTube video of how someone else did it, you could go and fix some of the common household problems on your own. You can install fixtures that you wouldn’t have known how to do all on your own. Now, there are some things that you may not be able to do. You may still need someone to come fix your computer if it breaks, you might still need an electrician because dealing with electricity is very dangerous, and you’d want someone who knows what they’re doing for that.
But, as far as building some things or fixing some simple sink clogged issues, you can do those by following directions online. You can look up recipes for different foods, you can look up different experiments that have been conducted, you can look up historical events, anything that you want to look up is pretty much at your fingertips. There’s Skype available to talk to people and be able to see them face-to-face. There are all sorts of ways that the Internet has increased communication dramatically over the last 15 to 20 years.
In 1997, a Scottish lab successfully cloned a lamb from adult sheep DNA, opening the door to cloning other animals, or human organs for medical purposes, or even for the cloning of entire human beings. So, if they were able to figure out the sequence of the lamb’s DNA and know what they needed to have to be able to create a new lamb, they were able to clone this lamb from an adult sheep’s DNA. That means that they might be able to clone other animals if they’re able to figure out that DNA sequence and get it just right from an adult of that animal, and be able to clone another one from the DNA they’ve already got.
Or human organs. Think about what doors that would open if they can clone a liver, or a heart, or lungs for people that need transplants for those. You wouldn’t have to have someone else die to be able to get those organs from this person who’s passed away. You could just create a new organ from this DNA. You can clone a new organ for someone instead of having to wait on a list for a transplant. Or even the cloning of entire human beings. Now, that one’s a little more controversial because someone’s personality is going to be impossible pretty much to clone. You could probably clone someone’s body to where they looked the same. They may be able to figure how to do that, but as far as cloning that person’s personality, cloning everything about them is going to be a lot harder to do.
But the doors open, it’s been done with a lamb, so the possibilities are endless. And this last possibility, that of cloning an entire human being, was strengthened in 2001, when the work of sequencing the DNA of the human genome was finally finished. Now, human DNA is going to be the most complex we’ve got. So, since we are the most complex organisms, so now that we have sequenced the DNA of a human genome, like they sequenced the DNA for this lamb before they cloned it, there is an even greater possibility of being able to clone human organs or entire human beings. And although embryonic stem cell research has been limited in the US, other sources than embryos remain legal. Other countries are using cells from human embryos to search for cures for diseases.
So, in the United States, this isn’t allowed because a human embryo is considered to be life. And so, it’s very controversial to other people because once you’ve got a sperm and egg cell combine to form this embryo, it is a new life. If left for approximately 9 months inside a woman, the embryo would keep developing and turn into a human baby. And so, it is very controversial, and the United States has banned the use of human embryos, but using other cells from a human is still legal, and so they look at these stem cells. They look at these cells and they study them and try to figure out how they might clone a new cell from what they’ve got. Now, other countries are using cells from human embryos to search for cures for diseases. If they’re able to use these to figure out cures for cancer, cures for HIV, these would be great milestones for the future.
So, the turn of the century did see a lot of really amazing progress, and some really amazing milestones that were reached.
Next Lesson: Globalization – The Middle East