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16 Outstanding Scientific Discoveries

Scientific Discoveries



The Most Striking Scientific Discoveries Of Mankind.

Over the past ten years, scientists have made significant progress in understanding the human body, the planet, and the cosmos.

They first photographed a “black hole”, discovered potentially habitable planets, created vaccines against terrible diseases, sent automatic devices to asteroids, and invented reusable rockets.

EP has collected 16 most striking scientific discoveries of the outgoing decade.


1.Artificial Meat


On August 5, 2013, the first hamburger containing 140 grams of cultured meat was introduced in London. It was created by the group of Professor Mark Post from the University of Maastricht.

The burger, which took two years and $325,000 to make, consisted of 20,000 thin strips of cow muscle tissue grown in a Dutch lab.


Chef Richard McGowan cooked up a hamburger in front of the TV cameras. Experts, nutritionist Hanni Rutzer and author of studies on the future of food Josh Schonwald felt that the meat was too dry and low in fat.

Since 2013, the laboratory meat industry has grown significantly, with startups New Age Meats and Memphis Meats developing new food products.

2. The First Ever Landing On The Surface Of a Comet


Launched in 2004, the Rosetta spacecraft of the European Space Agency in 2014 approached the goal of its mission – comet 67P / Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

Then Rosetta’s lander, Philae, made the first ever soft landing on a comet’s surface.

“Fily” was supposed to approach the comet with a relative speed of about 1 m / s and, upon contact with the surface, release two harpoons. The weak gravity of the comet is not able to hold the device, it could just bounce.

After landing, the module began to  determine the parameters of the comet’s nucleus,  study its chemical composition and  study the comet’s activity.

In 2014, the paper 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, a Jupiter family comet with a high D/H ratio was published. It noted a high content of heavy water in the ice of the comet, more than three times compared to the Earth’s oceans. This result contradicts the accepted theory that Earth’s water is of cometary origin.

3. Record-Breakingly Detailed Map Of The Human Epigenome


In 2015, a major international collaboration of researchers completed the Human Epigenome Mapping project, which aimed to analyze 111 body reference tissues. The results of this work are published in 20 separate articles published in the latest issue of Nature.

Why is this important and what is an epigenome? Epigenome (“above the gene”) – a set of marks that control the reading of DNA, but which do not change the DNA sequence.

The epigenome is made up of chemicals and proteins that can attach to DNA and change its function, turning genes on and off. Human environment and lifestyle – smoking, eating – can cause lethal changes in the epigenome that can cause cancer.

Mapping the epigenome will help scientists understand how tumors develop and how cancer spreads.

4. Private spacecraft docked at the ISS


In May 2012, SpaceX’s Dragon craft was docked to the Harmony module as part of the SpaceX COTS Demo Flight 2/3 demonstration mission. Dragon became the first private spacecraft docked to the International Space Station.

Previously, only state-owned companies from the United States, Russia, Japan and the EU could master such complex technologies. Seven years later, SpaceX launched a manned version of the Dragon, the Crew Dragon, for the first time, but without a crew, as part of a demonstration flight.

5.The First Stage Of The Rocket Made a Soft Landing


In 2015, after launching 11 Orbcomm-G2 satellites into orbit, the first stage of a Falcon 9 FT launch vehicle successfully landed on Landing Zone 1 for the first time.

After recovery, the first stage was successfully launched into space in 2017

6. Artificial Intelligence Beat a Man In The Strategy Game Go


In 2015, AlphaGo, developed by Google DeepMind, won a match against a professional player on a standard board.

This victory marked a major breakthrough in the field of AI: most artificial intelligence experts believed that such a program would not be created before 2020.

In March 2016, the program won 4-1 against top professional Lee Sedol

 7.Synthetic DNA Created


The DNA of all living beings consists of two types of amino acid pairs: AT (adenine-thymine) and GC (guanine-cytosine). This four-letter alphabet forms the basis of all genetic information in the natural world.However, in 2017, scientists invented two new letters, an unnatural XY base pair, which they integrated into the genetic alphabet of E. coli bacteria.

Floyd Romesburg, who led the study, believes that his invention could improve the treatment of disease. For example, the invention could change the way proteins break down in the body, helping drugs stay inside the person longer.

Romesburg’s team is considering how the discovery could help treat cancer and develop drugs for autoimmune diseases.

8. AutoPilot For a Car


In September 2017, Audi announced that it had launched the world’s first “level three” autonomous vehicle.This means that the legs, arms and eyes of a person are not needed to control the machine.12 technologies of 2019 rock that create the future of humanity in our eyes.

The A8 sedan can move  completely autonomously. He needs a person only in case of bad weather or lack of road markings.In comparison, Tesla drivers with Autopilot need to be ready to take control of the car at any time, so they are advised to keep their eyes on the road at all times.Two months later, Waymo, the autonomous vehicle arm of Google parent Alphabet, announced that it was testing self-driving minivans in Arizona without people behind the wheel in Arizona, USA. In 2018, Waymo launched the first fully autonomous taxi service in the US.

9. The Content Of CO2 in The Earth’s Atmosphere Has Reached a Peak in 800 Thousand Years


In 2018, scientists found that atmospheric carbon dioxide had reached its highest level in 800,000 years.When thermal power plants burn coal, greenhouse gases are emitted  into the planet’s atmosphere : carbon dioxide and methane. They accumulate in the atmosphere and trap heat.

2016 was the hottest year on record. However, climatologists expect 2019 to be the second hottest year on record for 140 years. July has already become the hottest month on record.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has warned that reducing greenhouse gas emissions over the next decade is critical to avoiding the worst effects of major climate change.

10.The Antarctic and Greenland Ice Sheets are Melting at an Unprecedented Rate.


An April 2019 study found that the Greenland ice sheet is losing an average of 286 billion tons of ice per year. Two decades ago, the annual average was only 50 billion tons.In 2012, Greenland lost over 400 billion tons of ice. Antarctica has lost an average of 252 billion tons of ice per year over the past decade, compared to just 40 billion tons in the 1980s.

Portions of Thwaites Glacier in western Antarctica are retreating 800 meters a year. A study published in July showed that the melting of this glacier is likely approaching an irreversible point, after which the entire glacier could collapse into the ocean. If this happens, global sea levels could rise by more than 0.45 meters.

11.The Telescope For The First Time Managed To Photograph a “Black Hole”


An unprecedented photo shows a supermassive “black hole” at the center of the galaxy Messier 87, which lies about 54 million light-years from Earth. The mass of the “black hole” is equivalent to 6.5 billion suns.

Although the image is somewhat blurry, it shows what “black holes” look like: dark spheres surrounded by a glowing ring of light. Scientists have struggled for decades to capture a “black hole” on camera. The problem was that “black holes” warp space-time so that nothing can escape their gravitational pull, not even light. However, many years later, scientists managed to take a photo.

12. Google Created a Quantum Computer


In 2019, Google engineers created a quantum computer. It can perform a calculation in three minutes  that would take the world’s fastest supercomputer 10,000 years to complete.

The successful development of quantum computers will help to make a technological breakthrough in the field of artificial intelligence and drug development.

13.The First Highly Effective Malaria Vaccine


At the beginning of the 21st century, 350-500 million people fell ill with malaria a year, of which 1.3-3 million died. The death rate was expected to double over the next 20 years.

According to the World Health Organization, there are 124-283 million cases of infection with malarial plasmodia and 367-755 thousand deaths from the disease per year.Until now, the effectiveness of the vaccine against malarial plasmodium has remained low: 31-56%. However, after three decades of research, a new vaccine has been created, its effectiveness  is more than 90%.

14.First Effective Ebola Vaccine


The vaccine comes in addition to two experimental treatments that significantly improve survival rates.The two new treatments, REGN-EB3 and mAb-114, are mixtures of antibodies that are injected into people’s bloodstreams. These methods have saved 90% of newly infected patients in the Congo.

15.Scientists Have Recorded For The First Time The Gravitational Waves Predicted By Einstein


Gravitational waves are generated by the movement of massive bodies with variable acceleration and propagate in space at the speed of light. In view of the relative weakness of the gravitational forces, these waves have a very small magnitude, which is difficult to register.However, back in 1915, Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves. He thought they would be too weak to be picked up on Earth.

Modern detection tools have proven otherwise. With their help, physicists in 2016 detected gravitational waves from the collision of two “black holes” at a distance of billions of light years.The 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded for the experimental detection of gravitational waves.

The study of gravitational waves will make it possible to bring research closer to the time of the Big Bang, test the inflationary model of the Universe, and solve other urgent problems of theoretical physics and cosmology.

16..Astronomers Launched a Telescope Into Space To Study Exoplanets


In December 2019, the European Space Agency launched the Cheops Space Telescope (Cheops) into orbit, designed to search for and study exoplanets by the transit method.The main goals of Cheops are planets with masses from Venus to Neptune near the stars neighboring the solar system. The task of the mission is not so much the search for planets as the study of those already found. Research targets are selected from data collected by the ground-based SuperWASP and HAT-P exoplanet search projects.

Scientists will select candidates to study with large telescopes – the future European super-telescope E-ELT or Hubble’s successor James Webb.The existence of 4,133 exoplanets in 3,073 planetary systems has been reliably confirmed. The total number of exoplanets in the Milky Way galaxy is estimated at 100 billion, of which 5-20 billion are possibly “Earth-like”.

About 34% of sun-like stars have planets comparable to Earth. The total number of planets outside the solar system resembling Earth discovered up to August 2016 is 216.

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