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10 ten greatest scientific discoveries and achievements of the past decade
Material posted : Administrator Publication date: 20-04-2017

Over the last 10 years in the world of science there have been many amazing discoveries and achievements. I'm sure many of you who read our website, heard of most of the presented current list points. However, their importance is so high that once again at least briefly to remind you about them would be a crime. Remember their need for at least the next decade, while on the basis of these discoveries will not be made new, even more amazing scientific achievements.

Reprogramming stem cells

Stem cells are amazing. They perform the same cellular functions that other cells of your body, but, unlike the latter, possess one amazing property – if necessary, they are able to change and acquire the function of all cells. This means that stem cells can be turned, for example, in erythrocytes (red blood cells), if your body lacks the latter. Or in white blood cells (leukocytes). Or muscle cells. Or neurocity. Or... well, you get the idea – almost all types of cells.

Despite the fact that stem cells wider public has been known since 1981 (though they were open much earlier, at the beginning of the 20th century), to the 2006 science and had no idea that any cell of a living organism can be reprogrammed to turn into stem cells. Moreover, the method of this transformation was relatively simple. The first person clear about the definition of this feature, was a Japanese scientist, Shinya Yamanaka, who turned skin cells into stem cells by adding four specific genes. Within two to three weeks from the time when skin cells turned into stem cells, they can be further transformed into any other kind of cells in our body. For regenerative medicine, as you know, this discovery is one of the most important in recent history, as now this scope is almost limitless source of cells necessary for treatment received by your body damage.

The largest discovered black hole

The "BLOB" in the center of our Solar system

In 2009 a group of astronomers decided to find out the mass of the black hole of S5 0014+81, which at that time was only open. Imagine their surprise when scientists found out that its mass is 10,000 times greater than the mass of a supermassive black hole located in the center of our milky Way that actually made it the biggest of currently known black hole in the known Universe.

This ultramassive black hole has a mass of 40 billion suns (that is if you take the mass of the Sun and multiply it by 40 billion, then we get the mass of the black hole). No less interesting is the fact that this black hole, scientists believe formed during the earliest period of the history of the Universe – after only 1.6 billion years after the Big Bang. The discovery of this black hole contributed to the understanding that holes of such size and mass are able to increase these figures very quickly.

Manipulation of memory

Sounds like the seed to some kolanowska "the Beginning", but in 2014, scientists Steve Ramirez and Xu Liu conducted a manipulation of memory laboratory mouse, replacing negative memories to positive and back. The researchers implanted in the mouse brain special light-sensitive proteins and, as you might guess, just shined in her eyes.

In the experiment, positive memories were replaced by negative ones firmly entrenched in her brain. This discovery opens door to new treatments for those who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder or can't deal with emotions from the loss of loved ones. In the near future, this discovery promises to lead to even more amazing results.

Computer chip mimics the human brain

This a few years ago was viewed as something fantastic, but in 2014, IBM introduced the world to a computer chip, operating on the principle of the human brain. With 5.4 billion transistors and consume 10,000 times less power to operate compared to conventional computer chips, SyNAPSE is able to simulate the synapse of your brain. 256 synapses, to be exact. They can be programmed to perform any computational task that can make them extremely useful when used in supercomputers and various kinds of distributed sensors.

Thanks to its unique architecture, the efficiency of the SyNAPSE chip is not limited to performance, which we used to evaluate the in conventional computers. In work it is only activated when needed, which allows to significantly save on energy and keep operating temperatures. This revolutionary technology can truly change the entire computer industry.

One step closer to robot domination

In the same 2014 1024 tiny robots "kilobite" was tasked to form a star shape. Without any additional instructions, the robots independently and together started the assignment. Slowly, hesitantly, colliding with each other several times, but they still performed their task. If one of the robots got stuck or "lost", not knowing how to be, came to the aid of neighboring robots, which helped "poteryashka" to navigate.

What's the achievement? It's very simple. Now imagine that the same robots, only thousands of times smaller, are introduced into your circulatory system and imple deployed to fight entrenched in your body of any serious disease. Larger robots also together, go on any search and rescue operation, and even larger – are used for a fantastically rapid construction of new buildings. Here, of course, you can remember some script for a summer blockbuster, but why escalate?

The confirmation of dark matter

According to scientists, this mysterious dark matter could contain the answers that explain many still unexplained astronomical phenomena. Here's the example one: let's say we have a galaxy with a mass of thousands of planets. If we compare the actual mass of the planet and the mass of the entire galaxy – the numbers will not add up. Why? Because the answer lies much deeper than a simple calculation of the mass of matter that we can see. There is another matter which we see not. She is just called "dark matter".

In 2009, several American laboratories announced the discovery of dark matter using detectors submerged in an iron mine to a depth of about 1 kilometer. Scientists were able to determine the presence of two particles, whose characteristics correspond to the previously proposed description of dark matter. Next, you will spend a lot of rechecking, but everything indicates that these particles are actually particles of dark matter. It can be one of the most amazing and important discoveries in physics over the last century.

Is there life on Mars?

Possible. In 2015, the space Agency NASA has published photos of Martian mountains with dark bands at their base (photo above). They appear and disappear depending on the season. The fact that these bands are irrefutable proof of the existence of water on Mars in liquid form. Scientists cannot with absolute certainty say whether there were such features of the planet in the past, but the presence of water on the planet now opens up many prospects.

For example, the presence of water on the planet is able to provide great assistance, when humanity will finally collect a manned mission to Mars (sometime after 2024, according to the most optimistic forecasts). The astronauts in this case you will have to carry with them far fewer resources, as everything is already there on the Martian surface.

Reusable rockets

Private aerospace company SpaceX, which is owned by billionaire Elon Musk, was able after several attempts to make a soft landing waste missiles on a remotely controlled barge in the ocean.

It went so well that now fit the exhaust of rockets for SpaceX is considered a routine task. In addition, it allows the company to save billions of dollars on the production of missiles, since they can now just to sort out, re-fill and re-use (again, in theory), instead of just flushing somewhere in the Pacific ocean. Thanks to those missiles, humanity has become several steps closer to manned flights to Mars.

Gravitational waves

Gravitational waves are ripples of space and time, moving at the speed of light. They were predicted by albert Einstein in his General theory of relativity, according to which the mass is able to bend space and time. Gravitational waves could create black holes, and in 2016 could be detected using high tech equipment laser-interferometric gravitational-wave Observatory, or LIGO just, thus confirming a century Einstein's theory.

It is really very important for astronomy, because it proves a large part of the General theory of relativity and allows you to use instruments such as LIGO in the future to determine and to follow the events of the great cosmic scales.


TRAPPIST-1 is a star system located about 39 light years from our Solar system. What makes it special? Not much, unless you consider her the star, with 12 times smaller mass compared to our Sun, as well as a minimum of 7 planets around it and the relay is located in the so-called Goldilocks zone, where potentially life could exist.

Around this opening, as expected, is now hotly debated. Even statements that the system can be quite suitable for life and its planets look rather unsightly broken space rocks, rather than our future interplanetary resorts. Nevertheless, the system deserves all the attention now riveted. First, it is not so far from us only 39 light years from our Solar system. In scale space around the corner. Second, it has three earth-like planets located in the habitable zone and is, perhaps, the best targets for the search for extraterrestrial life. Thirdly, all the seven planets may be liquid water – the key to life. But the probability of the presence thereof above all, it is three planets that are closer to the star. Fourth, if life there really is to confirm we can do it, not even sending back a space expedition. Telescopes like the JWST, which is going to launch next year, will help to resolve this issue.

Nikolai Khizhnyak


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