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WSJ’s The Future of Everything

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What will the future look like? The Future of Everything offers a kaleidoscope view of the nascent trends that will shape our world. In every episode, join our award-winning team on a new journey of discovery. We’ll take you beyond what’s already out there, and make you smarter about the scientific and technological breakthroughs on the horizon that could transform our lives for the better.


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What will the future look like? The Future of Everything offers a kaleidoscope view of the nascent trends that will shape our world. In every episode, join our award-winning team on a new journey of discovery. We’ll take you beyond what’s already out there, and make you smarter about the scientific and technological breakthroughs on the horizon that could transform our lives for the better.




A Nuclear Power Plant in Your Backyard? Future Reactors Are Going Small

The next generation of nuclear power plants could be tiny, and that could mean big things for carbon-free electricity. Several companies including NuScale Power and Bill Gates’ TerraPower are developing small modular reactors that promise to be more adaptable than the towering conventional nuclear power plants. After years of development and growing investment, the first of these next-generation reactors could go online by 2030. But will their promises to provide safe and plentiful energy live up to the hype, and overcome the economic challenges of their predecessors? WSJ’s Danny Lewis looks at what small reactors could mean for the business of nuclear power and how you get your electricity. What do you think about the show? Let us know on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, or email us: Further reading: A Futuristic Plan to Make Steel With Nuclear Fusion Nuclear Power Is Staging a Comeback, but Is It Affordable and Safe? OpenAI’s Sam Altman Is Taking a Nuclear-Energy Startup Public Nuclear Power Is Poised for a Comeback. The Problem Is Building the Reactors. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Hearing Aid Tech Isn’t Just for Listening Anymore

There may come a day when everyone will be wearing hearing aids. That’s because today’s hearing aids can do much more than clarify and amplify sound. Companies like Starkey are adding features like cognitive activity tracking and exercise monitoring. They’re developing tech that aims to warn users before they might fall and predict aspects of mental health too. If barriers like high cost and social stigma are addressed, hearing aids could become a vital accessory, whether or not you’re one of the 55 million Americans projected to have hearing loss by 2030. What do you think about the show? Let us know on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, or email us: Further reading: Wait, Are Hearing Aids Cool Now? Ask Millennials ​​Apple AirPods Could Help You Hear Better Buying Help for Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids—Whether You Spend $250 or $2,500 Cheaper Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids Are Coming. Here’s How to Comparison Shop. Cures for Hearing Loss May Be Found in New Drugs Using Teeth to Help Restore Hearing Better Hearing Can Lead to Better Thinking Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Beaming Solar Energy From Space Takes a Big Step Forward

What if there were a way to generate clean solar electricity from space and send it directly to Earth? It sounds like science-fiction, but Caltech engineers are working on ways to collect solar energy on orbiting satellites and wirelessly beam that power back to stations on the ground. The results of their experiments suggest that space-based solar power may have a bright future. But while they’ve been able to show it’s possible on a demonstration satellite, getting power from orbit to Earth is a big challenge. WSJ’s Danny Lewis talks with science journalist Corey S. Powell about what it will take to wirelessly transmit solar energy and how it could transform the future of the grid. What do you think about the show? Let us know on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, or email us: Further reading: Beaming Solar Energy From Space Gets a Step Closer The Next Bets for Renewable Energy Solar Boom Spreads to Timberlands and Self-Storage Rooftops Investments in Solar Power Eclipse Oil for First Time Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Going Electric? Why Future Power Could Come From Hot Rocks

Want to go electric? We might need to dig a little deeper… into the Earth’s crust. Researchers and startups are testing new technology and drilling techniques to harness geothermal energy – heat from the Earth that can be used to generate electricity. It’s a renewable energy source that has been billed as a way to boost energy independence while reducing carbon emissions. But because of technical limitations, geothermal made up just 0.4% of all electricity generated in the U.S last year. The Biden Administration and energy giants such as Chevron are investing in geothermal, with the aim that your lights, your cell phone and your electric car might be powered by geothermal in the future. WSJ’s Alex Ossola explores what it will take for geothermal energy to scale. What do you think about the show? Let us know on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, or email us: Further reading: Can the Oil-and-Gas Industry Crack Geothermal Energy? ‘Deep Geothermal’ Promises to Let Drillers Go Deeper, Faster and Hotter The Next Bets for Renewable Energy Fracking for Geothermal Energy? Not So Fast The Race to Drill America’s Longest Oil and Gas Wells Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


What Planets Outside Our Solar System Can Tell Us About Life on Earth

Is there life on planets other than Earth? For generations, scientists have puzzled over the question, searching for planets that might have the right conditions both inside and outside the Milky Way. There are thousands of exoplanets – those beyond our solar system – ranging from gas giants, to balls of rock, to possible ocean worlds and so-called “super Earths.” But even as new technology has given scientists a glimpse at these distant worlds, one lingering question is whether any of them can support life and what forms it might take. WSJ’s Danny Lewis speaks to University of Arizona astronomer Chris Impey about what makes a planet habitable and how learning about exoplanets can teach us more about our own world. What do you think about the show? Let us know on Spotify, or email us: Further reading: ​​A Moon of Saturn Has All the Ingredients Needed for Life Jupiter Mission Launches on Journey to Explore Icy Worlds Astronomers Catch a Star Swallowing a Planet These Scientists Want to Send Space Aliens a Cosmic Road Map to Earth Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Real or AI? The Tech Giants Racing to Stop the Spread of Fake Images

AI-generated or manipulated images are quickly becoming a lot more realistic. Soon, it may be impossible to tell the difference. That could create an opportunity for people to spread misinformation, and make it difficult to know what’s real. Tech companies like Adobe, Microsoft and Google, academics and government agencies are coming up with frameworks to verify images and, in some cases, show how they’ve been altered. But, these techniques may come with security risks of their own. WSJ’s Alex Ossola and Charlotte Gartenberg explore the new technology solutions that will identify fake images online and the potential issues getting them in front of users. What do you think about the show? Let us know on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, or email us: Further reading: AI-Created Images Are So Good Even AI Has Trouble Spotting Some Ask an AI Art Generator for Any Image. The Results Are Amazing—and Terrifying Paparazzi Photos Were the Scourge of Celebrities. Now, It’s AI AI, Art and the Future of Looking at a Painting Some of the Thorniest Questions About AI Will Be Answered in Court Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


No More Charging Stops? We Take a Road Trip in an Ultralong-Range EV

The great American road trip has long been powered by gasoline. Gas stations are everywhere, making it easy to fill-up when your gas tank nears empty. But what if you’re trying to travel long-distance in an electric car and can’t find a charger? WSJ’s Danny Lewis speaks to WSJ tech columnist Christopher Mims about his recent road trip in an ultralong-range Lucid Motors EV. The car aims to eliminate range anxiety by traveling an Environmental Protection Agency-estimated range of more than 500 miles without needing to recharge. What do you think about the show? Let us know on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, or email us: Further reading: Ultralong-Range Electric Cars Are Arriving. Say Goodbye to Charging Stops Why America Isn’t Ready for the EV Takeover The Key to Widespread Adoption of EVs: Less Range Big Automakers Plan Thousands of EV Chargers in $1 Billion U.S. Push Ford Venture Gets Record $9.2 Billion Government Loan for EV Batteries Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Meet the Soft Robots Doing the Hard Jobs of the Future

When you think of a robot, what comes to mind? A big metal arm in a car factory? A shiny android like C3PO from “Star Wars”? What about a robot that’s soft, floppy and looks a little more like the hot dog fingers from “Everything Everywhere, All at Once”? Soft robots are engineered for more delicate tasks that used to require a human touch – like handling food or conducting tests inside our bodies. But for now, they’re isolated to specific fields, like manufacturing and medicine, and haven’t really made their way into the daily lives of most people. WSJ’s Alex Ossola looks into what it will take to bring soft robots out of the factory and hospital and into our homes. Further reading: Robots Are Learning to Handle With Care Robots Are Looking to Bring a Human Touch to Warehouses What Picking Up an Apple Tells You About the Future of Robotics First Autonomous, Entirely Soft Robot Developed Amid the Labor Shortage, Robots Step in to Make the French Fries The Quest for a Robot With a Sense of Touch Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


The Sensors Helping Farmers Adapt to Extreme Weather

Farmers across the U.S. are facing challenges from extreme weather. From intense heat and drought roasting crops to rain-delayed harvests, many who grow the food we rely on are having to find new ways to adapt. For some, that means going high-tech, using sensors that can tell them when their plants need more water or fertilizer. WSJ’s Jala Everett looks into how modern sensors are changing the world of farming and how some sensors the size of “bandages” could deliver even more precise data from individual plants. Further reading: Five Farming Technologies Tackle Climate Change Threats Widespread Drought Creates Winners and Losers in U.S Agriculture Harvesting Crews Hustle to Bring In Wheat Crop Hit by Drought, Late Rains The Environmental Upside of Modern Farming Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


How Vaccines Could Help Ease the Threat of Deadly Fungal Infections

The risks from fungal pathogens are increasing. Severe infections used to be rare, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates more than 75,000 people in the U.S. are hospitalized for fungal diseases each year, and the World Health Organization says rates of severe fungal infections are likely to increase as fungi adapt to warmer temperatures and become resistant to drugs. Could a vaccine be the answer? WSJ’s Danny Lewis explores how scientists are looking into new ways of reducing the threat from dangerous fungi. Further reading: Deadly Fungal Infections Confound Doctors—‘It’s Going to Get Worse’ Deadly Fungi Are Becoming More Common and We’re Running Out of Ways to Treat Them Dangerous Fungi Are Spreading Across U.S. as Temperatures Rise Fatal Fungi Threaten Global Health, WHO Says Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


The Wrinkles in Getting ‘Forever Chemicals’ Out of Our Clothes

So-called “forever chemicals” are seemingly everywhere. A recent government study found close to half of U.S. tap water contains at least one PFAS chemical. They’re also on a lot of our clothes, where the chemicals are used to promote water resistance or repel stains. But some of the things that make PFAS so effective also means they stay in our bodies for years. And these chemicals have been linked to health issues, including high cholesterol and an increased risk of kidney cancer. Now, as clothing companies look to eliminate PFAS from their products, they’re facing another challenge: what to replace the chemicals with—ideally without sacrificing performance. WSJ’s Alex Ossola dives into the textile industry’s efforts to move on from PFAS and change our expectations around our clothing. Further reading: Lots of Tap Water Contains ‘Forever Chemicals.’ Take These Steps to Reduce Your Risk. What to Know About ‘Forever Chemicals,’ or PFAS, and Your Health How ‘Forever Chemicals’ Are All Around Us, From Winter Coats to Fast-Food Wrappers EPA Proposes Limits for ‘Forever Chemicals’ in Drinking Water Coastal Town Brings Mass Litigation—and an ‘Existential Threat’—to Chemical Giants Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


How Drugs Like Ozempic Are Changing What We Think About Weight Loss

You may have heard about Ozempic, Wegovy and Mounjaro. It’s tough to miss the online chatter, the ads on TV and all the news coverage. They are part of a class of drugs originally designed to treat diabetes, and all three have been shown to help people lose significant amounts of weight. That’s leading to big sales for drug companies and helping change the way we think about weight loss. WSJ’s Ariana Aspuru digs into how these drugs work, the big money involved and what it means for millions of Americans who meet the criteria for obesity. Further reading: Pill for Obesity Has Wall Street Salivating Will Ozempic Change ‘Body Positivity’ for Good? No More Shots: Pill Versions of Ozempic-Like Drugs Are Coming The Drugs That Are Gaining on Ozempic Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Astronaut Fashion Is Changing. This Is Not Your Grandpa’s Spacesuit

For the first time in decades, NASA is planning to send astronauts back to the moon. Their spacesuits will be very different from what Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin wore when they walked the lunar surface in 1969. Spacesuits today are thinner and lighter, while still making sure astronauts can complete tasks and stay alive. In this conversation from the Future of Everything festival in May, WSJ’s Danny Lewis speaks to Amy Ross, one of NASA’s top spacesuit engineers. She explains how the lessons learned from designing next-generation moon suits will eventually help astronauts explore Mars, while leading to other innovations here on Earth. Further reading: NASA, Canadian Space Agency Select Astronauts for Artemis Moon Mission NASA's New Artemis Spacesuits Are Designed to Put a Woman on the Moon NASA Plans to Bring Bits of Mars to Earth. It May Change How We See Space Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


How Do You Make Hurricane Forecasts Better? Send In the Drones

Forecasting hurricanes is an inexact science. That's why they're called forecasts. But government researchers and meteorologists are working to make their predictions better, to help people know when they should evacuate and when it's safe to stay put. And that means using all sorts of new technology, including drones that sail right into the storms. WSJ's Ariana Aspuru visited the National Hurricane Center in Florida to find out how those forecasts come together and see the new models in the works to improve accuracy and save lives. Further reading: The Science for Determining Climate-Change Damage Is Unsettled - WSJ Atlantic Hurricane Seasons Are Starting Weeks Earlier, Raising Risks to Coastal Areas - WSJ Tornadoes, Hurricanes and Wildfires Racked Up $165 Billion in Disaster Damage in 2022 - WSJ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Greener Planes Are Taking Flight. That Could Change How We Travel

Some of the world’s biggest aviation companies, including Boeing and Airbus, are working on the next generation of planes. One big goal? Making air travel greener by cutting its carbon footprint. So, they're ditching traditional jet fuel in favor of other options, like hydrogen fuel cells, electricity from batteries, and “sustainable aviation fuels." That could mean major changes in how we fly and how much we pay to get to our destinations. WSJ’s Danny Lewis talks with Boeing, Airbus and others about how this push to change how planes are powered could shape the future of flight. Further reading: The Most Valuable U.S. Power Company Is Making a Huge Bet on Hydrogen Electric Planes Could Soon Take Off, but They May Not Go Far Fossil-Fuel Veterans Find Next Act With Green Hydrogen United Airlines Creates Fund for Sustainable Aviation Fuel Airlines Push to Reduce Carbon Footprint With Greener Fuels Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Can Flying Taxis Get Off the Ground?

Imagine getting from your home to the airport and skipping all the traffic on the road in a flying taxi. They once were the domain of science fiction and Saturday morning cartoons, but a growing number of companies are working to make taxis in the sky a reality, and the FAA is coming up with regulations to keep them safe. In this conversation from the Future of Everything festival in May, WSJ’s Alex Ossola speaks to Billy Nolen, the acting FAA administrator, about the business and technology behind air-taxi travel and the challenges facing regulators. Further reading: FAA Plans New Sky Lanes for Air Taxis When Will Flying Taxis Get Off the Ground? The CEO of Boeing-Backed Wisk Aero Has Some Ideas. United to Invest $15 Million in Flying-Taxi Maker Backed by Embraer For eVTOLs to Really Take Off, Airspace Needs an Overhaul. Here’s Why. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


NASA Plans to Bring Bits of Mars to Earth. It May Change How We See Space

NASA’s Perseverance rover is currently collecting samples on the surface of Mars, and some of them will be coming to Earth—that is, if all goes well. NASA has a complex plan to bring bits of the Red Planet here, arriving in 2033, so scientists can study them to answer some burning questions. What’s the planet’s history? What is its dust like? And, are there any signs that life may have existed there? WSJ’s Alex Ossola speaks to Lindsay Hays, an astrobiologist at NASA and deputy lead scientist for the Mars Sample Return mission, about how this mission could help us better understand the history of our own planet and shape future missions to Mars and beyond. Further reading: NASA Lands Perseverance Rover Safely on Mars After ‘Seven Minutes of Terror’ NASA Collects Mars Rock Samples in Historic First for Perseverance Rover NASA’s Perseverance Rover Begins Its Search for Life on Mars Mars Photos: See NASA’s Perseverance Rover’s First Visions of Red Planet Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Forecasting Future Diseases With Every Flush

At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, epidemiologists looked to our sewers to help figure out the scale of the virus’ spread. It worked, giving some public health officials a heads-up before Covid surges. Now, researchers are taking the lessons from that pandemic, and working to put the wastewater from bathing, toilets, laundry machines and dishwashers to use in monitoring the spread of other diseases. WSJ’s Danny Lewis speaks with environmental microbiologist, engineer and epidemiologist Marlene Wolfe about why it’s so important to look at wastewater if we want to stop the next pandemic. Further reading: For Future Viral Threats, Health Officials Look to Sewage - WSJ From the Sewers, Clues to Covid-19’s Next Moves - WSJ CDC Will Test Sewage for Polio in Some U.S. Communities - WSJ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


How Recycling Wastewater Could Help Quench the West’s Thirst

Severe droughts in the American South and West are raising new questions about how to ensure millions of people have access to clean, safe water. That’s why several local water systems, including one that provides water to 19 million people in Southern California, are looking to a method of water recycling that brings treated wastewater back into the system. It’s called “direct potable reuse,” but many people have dubbed it “toilet to tap.” Can it succeed despite the ick factor? WSJ’s Alex Ossola visited Los Angeles to find out just how it would work, and how the public is reacting. Further reading: California Could Face Cuts to Colorado River Usage Under Federal Proposal California Governor Lifts Most Drought Restrictions on Water Use Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


How Smell is Helping Treat the Toughest Cases of Trauma

Our sense of smell is deeply linked to our emotions, due to the connections between the tissue structures that identify odors and the parts of the brain that govern our memories and feelings. But what if those smells are linked to traumatic memories? Researchers are finding success using a combination of artificial scents and virtual reality to treat people with severe cases of trauma. WSJ’s Danny Lewis examines how new innovations could make this therapy more accessible. Further reading: High-Tech Smell Sensors Aim to Sniff Out Disease, Explosives—and Even Moods - WSJ The Metaverse’s Effects on Mental Health: Trivial or Troubling? - WSJ The New Halloween Scare: ‘Oh, My God, That Smell Was Gross.’ - WSJ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit