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Pte 70 Score Essay on “What Scientific or Technological Advances have most Affected Modern Life in Your Country?”

What Scientific or Technological Advances have most Affected Modern Life in Your Country?

Genetic research has made rapid strides over the past few years. The analysis of genes has had a practical effect on human medicine as well as on animal and plant life. Tendencies to physical and mental handicap can be detected at the pre-embryo stage, i.e. during the first fourteen days after conception. Manipulation and very early abortion are therefore possible. Opinion is divided as to the morality of this interference. The UK government has achieved approval for genetic research subject to stringent safeguards in its application. The breeding of animals, especially for export, is also affected, as is the development of plants and seeds with an immunity to diseases which previously could only be prevented by dangerous spraying.

Great strides have been made in the use of laser beams. These are extreme concentrations of light which have great cutting and penetrative power. They are used medically, for ophthalmic repairs to the retina, for the penetration of opacity in various contexts, e.g. astronomy and military tactics, for public display purposes, and for cutting purposes in industrial work.

Electronics have increasingly wide uses in today’s world. This development of ordinary electricity allows its conduction in a gas, a vacuum or a semiconductor. Compact printed circuits are now used in a wide variety of devices ranging from spacecraft to radio and TV sets, computers to screen games and automatic chess boards. Television program changes are now effected by small remote panels which convey recognizable signals which instruct the set itself. Garage doors can be opened automatically by the same means. Security outside lighting around houses comes on automatically when a person approaches within a certain distance. Electronics have permitted a host of new devices such as the cellular telephone. These are cordless, and though limited in range are just as efficient as the old cable version which of course is still in more general use. The police can make reports to base or ask for immediate help in emergencies. Business can be carried on to and from the motor car. The telephone can be used anywhere in the house or garden.

Again, the use of radio waves has become very widespread. In biology, they are used to study the effect of radiation on living tissue. Radiocarbon, an isotope, is used to date geological strata, old manuscripts, archaeological artifacts, paintings etc. It is also used in genetic research, for sonar and aircraft altimeters, for space astronomy and for the reception of signals from outer space. Radio is crucial to today’s investigation of the universe.

For many years it has been possible to convey the printed word instantaneously over long distances by using the telephone system, i.e. the teleprinter. The use of fax or facsimile machines using the same system to convey images very accurately to a print-out machine has its obvious uses both for internal and international trade, and these are now very widespread. All businesses of any size use them.

Satellites can be used for a variety of terrestrial as well as space research purposes. Using a dish which points to the satellite, modern TV sets can receive a much wider range of channels. These can also be received across adjacent countries’ boundaries, sometimes with political consequences. Satellites are also used for radio and telephonic communications, and have certain military functions.

Perhaps the biggest change came about when computers became small enough to be manageable. Today, they are used for an enormous number of purposes. On a national scale they store and produce on demand information for all government departments. They are used in business, in shops, in schools, in industrial production, in spacecraft, in military contexts and in private homes. Yet, they present problems. Their memory may be lost. They are susceptible to the new crime of computer hacking for purposes of industrial espionage or simply mischief.

They contain and sometimes disclose confidential personal information, and this may seriously damage the individual. Yet, they have come to stay. Many schools teach their use from the primary stage onwards. This is essential to all pupils who expect a career in any sphere above manual work. They are integral to much modern medical work, especially in the diagnostic and monitoring spheres. All of these advances affect modern life, perhaps predominantly the computer. Ironically, the concept is at least one hundred and fifty years old, but prototypes were mechanical and far too large to be feasible in use. The first serviceable example was used for code-breaking in the Second World War, and since those days the computer has never looked back.

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