There are only a few days left in this strange beast in a year, which will definitely go down in the annals of history, so we think it would be a good thing to reflect on the wonderful things that scientists still provide. Despite everything.
Of course, scientific achievement usually takes several years. Nonetheless, this is a summary of some exciting science news we reported in 2020. Remember, this is not terrible.
We found the first known alien protein in a meteorite.
Will life appear elsewhere in the solar system? As curious and clever creatures, human beings will naturally be interested in finding whether living creatures can thrive outside of our small blue space rocks. One way to discover this requires turning to meteorites.
Earlier this year, scientists revealed that they had discovered the first-ever alien protein, which was hidden in a meteorite that fell to Earth 30 years ago.
Astronomer Chenoa Tremblay told ScienceAlert in March: “We are pretty sure that proteins are likely to exist in space.”
2. We avoided some disturbing changes in the atmosphere
A new study shows that the famous Montreal Protocol (a 1987 agreement to stop the production of ozone-depleting substances) may have caused a suspension or even reversal of some disturbing changes in airflow around our planet’s southern hemisphere.
Healing the protective ozone layer around the earth seems to have stopped the migration of the air currents known as the Southern Jets, a phenomenon that eventually caused parts of Australia to fall into prolonged drought.
Ian Rae, a chemist at the University of Melbourne, explained: “If the ozone layer is recovering and the circulation is moving northward, then this is good news in two ways.”
3. Artificial intelligence solves a 50-year-old biological challenge, decades earlier than anyone expected
Earlier this month, scientists at the British-based artificial intelligence company DeepMind announced that a new AI system has effectively solved the long-standing and extremely complex scientific problems related to protein structure and behavior.
For about 50 years, researchers have been trying to predict how a protein achieves its three-dimensional structure. The astronomical number of potential configurations makes this task-known as the protein folding problem-extremely difficult.
The success of DeepMind means that a series of research efforts have taken a big step from disease modeling and drug discovery to applications far beyond the field of health research.
4. Scientists use fast radio pulse bursts to discover the missing material in the universe
In a confusing mystery, earlier this year, a truly clever Fast Radio Burst (FRB) tracking application provided astronomers the answer to a puzzled question-where is the missing thing in the universe?
We are not discussing dark matter here, but due to all our calculations, baryon (normal) matter that should exist has not been discovered until now. The universe is vast, and the range between galaxies is also large. However, in this seemingly empty space, the lonely atom is still running around.
While looking for the source of the powerful interstellar signal called FRB, the researchers discovered that extremely diffuse gas can explain all the missing “normal” matter in the universe. ew
5. We also confirmed that FRB was first discovered in our galaxy
That’s right. On April 28, 2020, a galaxy magnetar named SGR 1935 + 2154 exploded in a millisecond burst, so fast and incredibly bright that it can be found in another galaxy.
This landmark discovery has had a huge and direct impact on the study of mysterious FRBs. It is only now that they only came from outside our galaxy, so it is difficult to determine their exact source.
Shrinivas Kulkarni, an astronomer at the California Institute of Technology, told ScienceAlert: “In most people’s minds, this type of precipitate settles the origin of FRB in a magnetic field.”
Astronomers have spent time and effort to carry out the follow-up work of this detection, and by November, we also confirmed that the FRB in the galaxy is a repeater. To be sure, we will be even more excited next year.
6. SpaceX and NASA’s first manned launch made history
Despite the global pandemic, various launches and space missions continue, so space enthusiasts do have many reasons to be excited this year. On May 30, 2020, SpaceX became the first private space company to transport NASA astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS).
We have lift off. This is the history of @NASAKennedy since the first launch of @NASAKennedy on @SpaceX Crew Dragon in nine years: pic.twitter.com/alX1t1JBAt
-NASA (@NASA) May 30, 2020
They not only took them home safely a few months later, but also carried out a manned spacecraft launch in November and successfully transported four astronauts to the space station. These are many possible cases in 2021 and beyond. The first time in the mission.
7. NASA encountered an asteroid, JAXA got a sample back
After a long journey of more than 320 million kilometers (200 million miles), NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft finally landed on the asteroid Bennu in October, collecting samples of its surface rubble, and providing a magnificent shot of the space Filmed the future generations of works agencies. We can expect that the detector will return its precious cargo in 2023.
Last year, Japan Space Agency JAXA achieved a similar feat with the Hayabusa2 probe, which collected a sample from the asteroid Ryugu. In December of this year, we witnessed the safe return of the sample, and had a preliminary understanding of some black dust recovered by the team. We can’t wait to learn more about what these asteroid missions will discover.
8. Scientists have discovered the first animal that can survive without oxygen
Back in our own world, when biologists discovered the first multicellular organism without a mitochondrial genome, biologists were taken aback-this meant that the organism could not breathe. In fact, its life does not need oxygen at all.
Although some single-celled organisms are known to grow well under anaerobic conditions, in fact this common salmon parasite is an organism similar to jellyfish Henneguya salminicolaIt is remarkable to survive without oxygen, which brings researchers many new questions to answer.
9. We got a spectacular shot of a “long string of little things” off the coast of Australia.
As early as April, the chain of tentacle clones caused quite a stir among a group of biologists who were exploring the rarely studied part of the ocean along the coast of Western Australia. This strange entity is a particularly long siphon, a floating string of thousands of individual animals. In fact, it may be one of the longest such strings ever.
Check out this beautiful *huge* siphon worm Apolemia recorded by the #NingalooCanyons expedition. The specimen appears to be the largest specimen ever, and it is in a feeding position similar to that of a UFO. Thanks to @Caseywdunn for getting information @wamuseum @GeoscienceAus @CurtinUni @Scripps_Ocean pic.twitter.com/QirkIWDu6S
-Schmidt Ocean (@SchmidtOcean) April 6, 2020
Biologists Nerida Wilson and Lisa Kirkendale of the Western Australian Museum told Science Letters: “Everyone was shocked when they saw it.”
“Exciting. People flooded into the control room from the entire ship. The siphon is common, but it’s big and unusual.”
10. A physicist came up with the mathematical principles that make “paradox-free” time travel possible.
Wouldn’t it be nice to break into the time machine and fix the misfortunes of the past without accidentally killing the grandfather in the process?
Well, 2020 has also become the year when we understand the time travel solutions that cannot solve all problems in mathematics. Germain Tobar, a physics student from the University of Queensland, Australia, proposed how to square a number so that time travel is feasible without paradox.
Although this does not make us immediately close to using the working time machine, his calculations show that space-time can potentially adjust itself to avoid paradoxes. Moreover, according to Tobar’s supervisor, the mathematical method can be tested. Excellent.
11. The first batch of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered outside of clinical trials
The biggest challenge facing the world this year is the global COVID-19 pandemic. Medical staff and basic workers have shouldered the burden of making society run continuously, and we can never thank them enough. At the same time, researchers in many related fields from immunology to genetics have also made unremitting efforts to study the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.
This work will continue into the new year, but in late November, we finally got the first impression of the significance of accelerating scientific research and funding beyond its usual pace. The first vaccines designed to protect people from COVID-19 have completed all necessary clinical trials and are being launched in the United Kingdom, the United States and some regions or Europe.
More needs to be done before we can put this devastating pandemic behind us and protect the world’s most vulnerable communities, but having an effective vaccine is indeed a remarkable achievement, and there is no doubt that it This is the biggest reason to celebrate science this year. Someone who will bring us to the hopeful 2021.