Scientific discoveries in 2017 were really something special – and manifested in virtually every discipline, including in cosmology, biology, anthropology, etc. From fascinating insights on Jupiter's famous rings to the discovery of a new continent on our planet. Human cell and embryonic sciences were in the center of attention: researchers in one experiment "repaired" the gene that caused the disease in human embryos, and in the other, they produced human cells in the swine fever. Scientists have also achieved the first telescoping (particles) ever here on Earth, and in the distant universe of cosmic forces, they have excavated huge amounts of gold, literally galactic proportions – 200 times more than the mass of our planet. We bring 10 of the most significant scientific stories in 2017.
first We found seven Earth-like planets orbiting around a star.
We found not one, but seven planet-like Earth of which three might potentially support life. Orbiting around the cold, pale stars away from us 39 light years in the Trappist-1 system, these planets are noticed in their eclipses – shortening the brightness of their starlight when the planet passes in front of it. Although Trappist-1 resembles Jupiter and its Galilean moons rather than our Sun's system, its seven Earth-size planets may have "terrestrial" conditions. Three planets are located in a settling zone, and their surface temperatures are suitable for forming oceanic waters and Earth-like atmospheres
So far the effort invested in hunting the planets has been directed to brighter stars and larger planets. Trappist-1 is the first discovered planetary system that revolves around smaller stars – and its discovery opens up opportunities to detect many other exoplanets.
2nd We cut the mutation that causes human genetic disease.
Scientists have successfully exploited the genetic engineering technique, CRISPR-Cas9, to cut the mutated gene in human embryos and replace it with a healthy copy. The defective gene causes hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a heart condition that can cause sudden deaths in young people. While this was a stunning medical achievement, CRISPR-Cas9 technique is still controversial among doctors, ethics and sociolytics who are concerned that attempts to build a better person could lead to negative medical and social outcomes. When the study was published, the International Committee of the Genetics Specialist issued a statement calling for opposition to the editing of a single embryo that will be planted in future mothers.
Another group of scientists has been able to turn CRISPR into a fast, sensitive and simple diagnostic instrument for many diseases. Called SHERLOCK this method converts CRISPR into a tool that can sniff certain genetic information, such as abnormal RNK. Amazingly cheap, the SHERLOCK method costs less than $ 1 per sample, and can catch RNA agents such as dengue fever and Zika virus, and even look for mutations that can cause cancer.
3rd Leden's shelf Larsen C broke and one of the largest glaciers ever fired.
A giant piece of ice of about 6,000 square kilometers (about half the size of Dalmatia) broke away from the ice shelves of Larsen in Antarctica and now floats on the Weddell Sea. Heavy is a trillion ton, and is one of the greatest ice stars ever recorded.
Over the last few decades, Larsen's Ice Shelf has undergone major changes. The sections Larsen A and Larsen B collapsed in 1995 and 2002. Recently, a crack appeared along the Larsen C section, which grew steadily over two years – until it fell silent and finally separated.
Scientists say climate change is responsible for sea ice melting around the globe, but this particular break may have been inevitable. Ice poles naturally decompose as they extend to the ocean. And a massive ice snout will not cause the sea level to rise until it is digested – as ice cubes in your drink do not increase the volume of water in the glass.
4th We reached the teleportation (photon, at least).
Until recently, we read about teleportation only in science-fantasy novels; this year also appeared in reality. While still unable to teleport the whole man, Chinese scientists said they were able to teleport the particle of the photon .
How does it work? Teleprase is more of a transfer of things than transferring things. It looks a little like a fax machine, which sends information as a variety of labels on a piece of paper, not paper itself.
If you put this in combination with the concept of quantization, the state in which two particles are created at the same time and in the same place and effectively have the same existence, you can send one particle away, but remain fragmented – which means if one change, her twin brother will also change. So it is not about teleportation as it is designed in Star Trek, where objects and people can be moved from one place to another, but more like a double that is attached to you for a long distance.
Instead of sending labels on paper to a recipient on another fax machine, Chinese scientists have uploaded a bunch of photons. The team made 4,000 pairs of quantum-coated photons and "shot" a single photon from each pair through the air of the light to the satellite that can detect the quantum states of these individual photons sent from Earth.
Why are all so excited if we can not still teleport people? To begin with, quantum telephony offers the ability to create communication networks that are impossible to hack. Any attempt to intercept a quantum system or intercept the sent information would cause noticeable interference.
5. We discovered a new continent.
You may have thought Earth has been fully mapped so far, but in 2017 an international team of scientists has discovered a completely new continent deep under the sea. Named Zelandia, this eighth continent was torn off from Australia a few million years ago and belonged to the islands of New Zealand and New Caledonia. More than 9 percent of the area of Zelandia is under water, which is why geographers have not long observed.
The team dredged the core 1,200 meters below the sea and collected more than 8,000 rocks and deposits and several hundred fossils . They discovered microscopic remains of organisms that lived in warm, shallow seas, as well as spores and pollen of land plants, from which it can be concluded that the former parts of Zelandia were above the sea level.
In addition to their historical significance, these discoveries help us understand the future prospects of our planet. Zimbabwe's historical records of the past will provide more insight into the motion of the tectonic plates and the global climate system, and contribute to the computer models used to predict future climatic conditions.
6th We found a mysterious cavity in the Great Pyramid of Giza.
With the help of a new type of tomography using subatomic muonus particles, scientists have generated 3D images of ancient Egyptian pyramids, including the Great Pyramid in Giza, the largest in Egypt. Images, generated as part of the ScanPyramids project, an international venture that began in 2015, revealed a surprising cavity suggesting the existence of some internal structure.
Despite being subject to study for more than a hundred years, the Great Pyramid in Giza, built more than 4,500 years ago as Khufu's Pharaoh tomb, is still full of secrets waiting to be discovered. Muonio, the by-products of cosmic radiation, go through stones better than X-rays or other similar technology, and are a very good instrument that can peek into the unavailable ancient structures. According to these photographs, the cavity is at least 30 meters long and structurally resembles a section directly below it – the Great Pyramid Gallery, a long field that gives the impression of "a very large cathedral in the center of this monument," as described by the engineer and co-founder of ScanPyramids Mehdi Tayoubi. The discovery is the first time that the new inner structure has been located inside the pyramid since the 19th century.
7th We have injected human cells into embryos of pigs.
Scientists from the Salk Institute successfully developed human cells in pig embryos . The goal was to better understand how to develop functional tissues and organs that can be transplanted
The project consisted of two parts. During the first part, researchers crossed rats and mice by planting rat cells in mouse embryos. In the second part of the project, the same technique crossed human cells with inhumane animal hosts – such as cows or pigs, because their organs resembled ours. The second part was much harder because people and pigs differ much more than mice and rats, and pig's embryos are developing faster than human.
The experiment was successful but technology is still controversial, as many experts fear that such research could lead to the creation of human-animal chimeric.
8th We missed Jupiter and sent Cassini a suicidal mission to Saturn
The Juno mission aimed at Jupiter's research, and reaching its target in 2016 proved that much of what we thought about this planet was wrong . It turns out that the Jupiter's famous belts are not going to the north and south. Instead, the poles are characterized by chaotic vortices and ovulation features, that is, the ammonium cyclones of the size of Texas. Amonics, which emerge from Jupiter's great depths, play a significant role in the atmosphere of the planet and its weather, but its levels vary considerably from area to area. Scientists still do not know if there is Jupiter core, but they know that the pressure from the gaseous gaseous interior is so strong that hydrogen, which is usually gaseous, is pressed into metal fluids. Another mystery to which Juno's mission is thrown is the Jupiter's magnetosphere, which generates spectacular aurora that naturally differ from polar light on Earth.
In September, scientists targeted sacrificed the Cassini aircraft which was left without fuel after decades of long exploration of our other cosmic neighbor, Saturn. Launched in 1997, the Cassini aircraft arrived to Saturn seven years later and since then expanded our knowledge of Saturn, its satellites and the entire Solar System . Thanks to this aircraft we have come up with information on the composition of Saturn's rings and found that it has six months. More interestingly, it expanded our assumptions about the range of settling planets. We have learned that Titan's moon has metanous lakes that could support different forms of life, and perhaps underwater, with potentially hydrothermal openings that resemble underwater earthworms. Now that Cassini's mission has ended, all eyes are in the Juno.
9th We watched the collision of neural stars
Astronomers have watched so far the undisputed cosmic phenomenon: merging two dead stars into one. It was head in the head of the collision of two neutrons stars supergustih residues of the previously exploded stars.
When the two stars collided in the distant galaxy of 130 million light years from Earth, they emitted gravity waves who started their trip to the outside like a ripple on the surface of the lake. When the waves began their cosmic journey before 130 million light years, Earth was harassed by dinosaurs, and complex equipment for observing this phenomenon did not exist. But the existence of such waves was foreseen by Einstein, and from the time they reached Earth, scientists were ready with their detectors – two in the United States and one in Italy.
A few moments after the detectors spotted the waves, advanced space telescopes registered a burst of high-light light. Hours later, astronomers noticed a bright new spot in the sky that emitted infrared and ultraviolet light, and days after they were followed by x-rays and radio waves. These observations provided scientists with information about the "kilo" hypothesis, which claims that collisions of neuronal stars generate and cast heavy elements such as gold, silver, platinum and uranium
10th Modern people are 100,000 years older than thought
By this year, it was thought that modern humans evolved 150,000 to 200,000 years ago, according to the oldest known fossils Homo sapiensa found in Ethiopia. But the recently excavated remains of the five early H. sapiensa are dating 300,000 years ago, meaning that our species was 100,000 years older than it was thought of
New fossils were found in Morocco, on the other side of the African continent and north of Ethiopia. Researchers now think our ancestors may not be from a certain point in Africa but have evolved across the continent.
Before the Sahara became a desert, this area had a lot of forests and plains, which led early people to travel on the continent. Early hominids probably followed and hunted the herd of gazelles and other animals, and through the development of new cognitive skills, leading to the invention of more complex tools and the development of advanced social behaviors. So, as they spread to Africa, these early people adopted those features that later became the definitions of our species.