The Future is Gray, Small & Female: Disruptive Demographics and Transportation Tomorrow
Joseph F. Coughlin is director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology AgeLab (http://agelab.mit.edu). His research explores how demographic change, technology and consumer behavior drive innovations in business and society. Coughlin teaches in MIT's Department of Urban Studies and Planning and the Sloan School's Advanced Management Program. He is author of the new book The Longevity Economy: Unlocking the World's Fastest-Growing, Most Misunderstood Market (Public Affairs, 2017).
Data dense and seemingly dry, demographic change and transportation are two topics that by themselves do not readily grab the attention of the public. Yet, these are two inter-related factors that both reflect and reinforce lifestyles, consumer patterns, future retail, real estate and mobility demand. In short these are data-driven bookends that shape how we are likely to live tomorrow.
This video was produced by Transportation@MIT and MIT World recording a talk I delivered November 2010 before a group of researchers, students and transportation professionals in both the public and private sectors. The talk (it's nearly an hour long, so grab a cup of coffee) provides an overview of three demographic 'driving forces': aging, household size, and the predominance of women in an older society and addresses their possible impacts on the transportation behavior and demand in the United States. Examples of related technology-enabled futures based upon research conducted by the MIT AgeLab and the New England University Transportation Center are presented as well as other innovations in livable communities, home services, real estate development patterns, and alternative transportation systems.
It's a development that could one day lead to much better treatments for osteoporosis, joint damage, and bone fractures.
- Scientists have isolated skeletal stem cells in adult and fetal bones for the first time.
- These cells could one day help treat damaged bone and cartilage.
- The team was able to grow skeletal stem cells from cells found within liposuctioned fat.
Gut bacteria play an important role in how you feel and think and how well your body fights off disease. New research shows that exercise can give your gut bacteria a boost.
- Two studies from the University of Illinois show that gut bacteria can be changed by exercise alone.
- Our understanding of how gut bacteria impacts our overall health is an emerging field, and this research sheds light on the many different ways exercise affects your body.
- Exercising to improve your gut bacteria will prevent diseases and encourage brain health.
A groundbreaking new study shows that octopuses seemed to exhibit uncharacteristically social behavior when given MDMA, the psychedelic drug commonly known as ecstasy.
- Octopuses, like humans, have genes that seem to code for serotonin transporters.
- Scientists gave MDMA to octopuses to see whether those genes translated into a binding site for serotonin, which regulates emotions and behavior in humans
- Octopuses, which are typically asocial creatures, seem to get friendlier while on MDMA, suggesting humans have more in common with the strange invertebrates than previously thought
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