Just how scary is the future? In a question posed on Twitter, the Science Friday radio show asked people to come up with #CrimeHeadlinesFrom2025. There were a lot of great responses, running the gamut from copyright law and clones to accidents involving driverless cars. The only problem? Some of the headlines are almost appropriate today. Here are three.

The Hypothetical Crime:


Stem Cell Tweet

The Real Life Example:

As pointed out by another Twitter user, this isn’t just a future crime. It’s a scenario that’s been going on for decades. In 1951, doctors removed cancer cells from the uterus of Henrietta Lacks, and those cells are still reproducing to this day. They’ve been used in all sorts of science experiments, often without the permission of Lacks’ family. The controversy is the subject of The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks, a book by Popular Science contributing editor Rebecca Skloot. In 2013, the National Institutes of Health finally reached an understanding with Lacks’ family. Now two members from the Lacks family form part of a six-person group that reviews new research based on the Lacks’ genome.

The Hypothetical Crime


Quadcopter Software Patch Tweet

The Real Life Example:

While rogue quadcopters aren’t killing anybody yet, software updates to restrict where drones fly are a real thing. After a quadcopter crashed into the White House lawn last month, the maker of that quadcopter brand sent out a firmware update that prevents all models with the update from flying within restricted DC airspace. There’s even a company, NoFlyZone, based around the idea of automatically updating restrictions for where drones can fly.

The Hypothetical Crime:


Pacemaker Ransom Tweet

The Real Life Example:

The late hacker Barnaby Jack demonstrated how to hack a pacemaker remotely in 2012, so in theory this is possible today. Former Vice President Dick Cheney reportedly disabled the Bluetooth on his pacemaker, just in case.