We are currently in the technological era, and we seem to be speeding right through without too much direction. There are many areas of technology that are currently booming and are sure to create a positive and lasting impact on the future of our planet. While most of us remain in the dark with regards to the future of technology, the World Economic Forum put its Expert Network and Global Future Councils to the task by making them team up with the Scientific American in order to understand the breakthrough technologies this year.

According to the study, each of the technologies listed will drastically “improve lives, transform industries and safeguard the planet” over the next 3-5 years.

Here are the top five technologies from that list:

5. The Human Cell Atlas

The human genome is a mighty complex arena, the likes of which have never been created in a laboratory. Simply understanding the structure of all the cells in our body and their corresponding functions has taken up all the bulk of our medicinal history, but we are finally close.

The Human Cell Atlas is a large-scale collaborative effort aimed at referencing our cell structure entirely. This will be a historic first, one that will help us fend off most kind of medical problems, and even predict certain conditions by studying an individual’s genome. This could well usher a new age of personalized medicine in the near future.

4. Artificial Photosynthesis

While this mind-boggling process has remained exclusive to the plant kingdom for over 3.4 billion years, history is about to change very soon thanks to Artificial Photosynthesis. We can finally divide water molecules into their constituent parts by using the sun, just like plants, and this could help us create a much more efficient source of energy very soon.

3. Deep Learning

The concept of Deep Learning has been operational for some time now, but the scale of this breakthrough is ready to step up big time over the next few years. With the help of deep learning, we could analyze and resolve some of humanity’s biggest problems, including improving production methods, managing resources, and even solving The World hunger crisis.

2. Converting Air to Water

A sizable portion of our planet still doesn’t have access to clean drinking water, but all that is set to change thanks to this ground-breaking process. MIT and UC-Berkeley have managed to turn air into water by using the existing vapor in the air and converting it into drinking water. Several other companies, such as Zero Mass Water are now working on building large-scale, working models of this process, so the world might soon be rid of its nasty water problems.

1. Liquid Biopsies

The term “Liquid Biopsies” may not mean much to a lot of people, but it could have an incredulous impact on the lives of millions of people around the world who have been diagnosed with cancer.

Thanks to liquid biopsies, the diagnostic process itself is set to become a lot less invasive and a lot more precise.

The use of genetic screen technology now allows us to track the presence of cancer in a body by using nothing more than a blood test. If the lives of millions suffering from this deadly disease can be bettered even slightly, then this technology needs to be made available around the world immediately.