Science is making new discoveries in the blink of an eye. It has made countless discoveries in the past few centuries that have not only been fruitful for us but have also helped us to better understand the world around us. It is rapidly revealing the most interesting yet the most shocking facts of the world which the human mind thought impossible beforehand. Despite being shocking, these discoveries have changed our lives in so many ways.
Researchers and scientists invest a lot of their efforts to bring a better future for us; their work has made our lives safer, easier and more amazing. In this era of science where scientific discoveries are made every day, it is difficult to keep track of the amazing work being done all over the world. Just like all the other years, 2017 was also full of incredible discoveries. A few have been mentioned below that we think truly deserve a round of applause for the remarkable effort that was behind them and their implications for the entire human race.
15. Water on Mars
Is there life on Mars? That’s what scientists keep looking for. Well NASA has recently put wheels in motion since it confirmed evidence that liquid water does exist on Mars today. Before 2015, it was believed that Mars could not host water at all, but in April this year, they found that the soil was damp with liquid brine that lowers the freezing point and increases the likelihood of flowing water. Some photos show that the planes on Mars resembled pocket-like structures which could possibly be for rivers or lakes. The American writer, Kevin Kopas, states that many theories from numerous researchers support the latest proof that Mars was at one time an Earth-like planet with continents separated by oceans that were swarmed with microbial life at least.
14. Eternal data storage disc
The University of Southampton discovered a small 1-inch device for data storage. This one-inch disk is of glass and can store up to 360 terabytes of data, facts, and figures which are encoded in tiny nanostructures onto the surface of the glass. It stores data equivalent to about half a million CDs and is called 5-dimensional data storage. In comparison, the CD stores data on its surface with small bumps read by a laser that creates a two-dimensional storage, whereas the 5-dimensional device stores data on Nanograting, which are tiny little structures that reflect light in five dimensions. University professor Pepita Kazansky believes that if the speed of writing increases with a simultaneous reduction of costs, this device can be standardized in the future.
13. Earth has a second moon
Another shocking discovery by NASA as it confirms that Earth has not one but two moons. A small asteroid has been found revolving around Earth from the last century and has recently been given the name Ho3. It is 120 feet wide but unlike the Moon, it is not bright at all. It seems to be locked in a pattern and it will keep dancing around Earth for centuries. The orbit of this moon is between 38 and 100 times the distance from our primary moon. Ho3 also hops up and down across the Earth’s plane. The primary moon is 384,000 kilometers away from the Earth whereas this moon is fourteen million kilometers away from the Earth. It is not going to affect us in any way but it’s an amazing discovery.
12. Private company SpaceX successfully lands a rocker vertically
If you are a cartoon lover, you might have often seen rockets landing on different planets and moons vertically, but it is not as easy to land a rocket vertically as it seems in cartoons. Recently, NASA and the European space agency, SpaceX, have developed incredible rockets that can sink into the ocean for later recovery and can be used in the future. They are also purposefully burned out in the atmosphere. Landing a rocket vertically with success means that not only can it be reused but an incredible amount of money is saved, which makes it a very useful invention. Private company SpaceX successfully landed the rocket vertically on a floating autonomous drone ship in April, saving a huge amount of time and money.
11. Cave-fish that can walk up walls
Fish are born with the ability to swim; that is what we have been taught since we were little. Recently, a fish has been found in Thailand which is capable of climbing walls. The water-climbing, cave-dwelling fish, also called cave angelfish, is 2.8 centimeters long. It was found by researchers in a cave, which may be the reason why it was named a cave fish. The fish uses its gaits to climb just like cows and horses. On further research, CT scans revealed a remarkably unique skeletal structure including a pelvis attached to vertebrae by long rib-like bones. Functionally, the CT scan makes sense of why this fish can climb, but to see a fish climbing a wall would be incredible to see.
10. The Fluorescent Frog discovered in Argentina
The tiny little creature, commonly known as the polka-dot tree frog, was accidentally discovered in Argentina. The ability to glow in the dark makes this little amphibian completely unique and incredible. Previously. this trait was found in some fish, turtles, and birds but this is the first time that this fluorescent trait has been observed in amphibians. Researchers Carlos Deboda and Jullian released some photographs of world’s first fluorescent frog from the Argentina Museum of natural sciences. The researchers noticed a mixture of green, yellow and red light displayed by the frog under normal light but a blue and green glow under dim light. The frog appears translucent under normal conditions but uses a combination of lymph and glandular emissions in order to fluoresce.
9. Human organs can grow inside pigs
Scientists at the Salk Institution in La Jolla, CA claimed that they are just one step away from being able to produce human organs inside of pigs. People who are aware that pigs are addicted to eating their own waste will not find this idea very appealing. However, statistics show that 1 in 10 people on the waiting list die since organs are short in supply. The scientists were able to grow human cells inside the pig embryos which serves as the hope that soon they will be able to grow organs as well. Scientists say it will not only help to develop different drugs by studying diseases but also help with human organ donation.
8. Red chili peppers reduce your chances of death
Say hi to your favorite spicy foods. Recently, it has been discovered that red chili peppers reduce the risk of death and play a role in living a longer life. According to a CBS news report, people who consume more spices tend to live longer than those who do not. After analyzing more than 16, 000 Americans through the national health and nutrition examination survey, this discovery was made by researchers from the larger college of medicine at the University of Vermont. According to their findings, red chili pepper was associated with lowering the risk of death up to thirteen percent. Participants were observed for 18 years on the basis of their lifestyle including their eating habits. Researchers found that mortality rates were only 21.6 % for people who consumed spices and that for people who didn’t eat hot chili peppers was 33.6%.
7. Gene-editing inside the human body
Jennifer Doudna, who is a biochemist at the University of California-Berkeley, discovered a gene editing technology. The name CRISPR would go well with a burger, but it is a technology which is completely changing the field of biology. Using CRISPR, scientists are able to alter the genes with precision, accuracy, and speed, which is incredible news for health and research. “A Crack in Creation” is Doudna book’s name which provides detailed insight into the revolutionary discovery. In her book, Doudna says that the days of costly, complex processes to alter DNA are gone. We’re now in an age of CRISPR, and it’s a profoundly simple technique.
6. Babies can develop outside the womb
Science is rapidly discovering things beyond our imagination. Scientists kept premature lambs alive for weeks in an artificial womb which looked like a plastic bag and were able to get successful results. Apparently, the plastic bag played the role of a mother’s womb and provided everything a fetus needs. It allowed the lambs to continue to grow with a nutrient-rich blood supply and a protective sac of amniotic fluid. Interestingly, one day this approach might be helpful for premature human babies since globally each year millions of babies are born prematurely. Premature babies suffer chronic health conditions as their lungs and brains are still at a very early stage of development. This discovery will help premature babies to complete their required development under natural conditions rather than experiencing incubation.
5. Your teeth can repair themselves
You can now skip the dentist appointment because scientists have discovered an alternate for your teeth. A drug which is used to treat Alzheimer’s can be used to regenerate your teeth. Dentists nowadays use fillings for cavities in the teeth, but this is an artificial way to solve this problem as protective minerals in the teeth never fully regenerate in the process. Scientists from Kings College London found that the drug traditionally used for the treatment of Alzheimer’s could also be used to help teeth repair themselves. During testing, biodegradable sponges were coated and soaked in a drug tight glue CIV which was then inserted into the holes of mice teeth. When the sponge started to break down, the researchers observed the teeth were able to naturally repair themselves.
4. Pull water out of thin air
Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley at MIT found out how to pull water out of thin air. A device has been invented by a scientist and it is capable of pulling water out of the air in certain weather conditions, where the humidity is as low as 20%. The device is solar powered, and it uses a metal-organic framework which is made from zirconium and fumarate. The device sucks out water vapors present in the air. In 12 hours, about three quarts of water was pulled by the device under while the humidity was maintained at about 20% to 30%. This discovery is revolutionary for places where there is a lack of water including many areas in Africa.
3. Breakthrough initiative will grow organs and regenerate human tissues
Scientists are now investing in technologies and procedures that will develop and grow tissues and human organs in order to restore normal functionality in patients. There were many previous breakthroughs that could provide us with the ability to heal nerve damage and even help to grow entire organs and limbs, but needed more research and development in order for them to be standardized. A recent initiative is to boost up the innovation in this area of medicine. Medicine is one step closer to develop standardized processes to make replacement of tissues and organs successful that will lead to the wide availability of organs. Anthony Atala M.D., director of WFIRM, says that he is looking forward to revolutionizing and invigorating this field of medicine.
2. A pill that will cure alcoholism
Alcohol is the most excessively used addictive substance in the world with millions of people suffering from abuse or dependence. It can be one of the most difficult tasks to treat alcoholism but a miracle pill that can help to kill the buzz of wanting a drink has come into existence. In other words, a drug has been discovered that might help alcoholics to get rid of their drinking habit. The drug is called naltrexone and is also a reversal agent for opiate abuse. Naltrexone help to reverse the effects of alcohol or other addictive substances. However, it will not be useful for smokers looking to cure their addiction.
1. Metallic hydrogen
Isaac F. Silvera, a professor of natural sciences at Harvard University, made a new material that never existed on Earth before called metallic hydrogen. Hydrogen exists as a gas at room temperature but if it is cooled down to low temperatures, it liquefies and if it is cooled to 14 degrees, it becomes solid. Professor Silvera states that if you compress the molecules of hydrogen to a high enough density, at a certain pressure the molecules disassociate and become atomic, hence becoming a metal. The molecules of hydrogen are converted into solid with the help of a small device that can generate pressure more than the center of the Earth. Some of the remarkable advantages of this discovery are that it can be used to make electric wires that will provide electricity without dissipation and can also be used to make magnets used in MRIs.
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