Scientific discoveries and technological innovations play a vital role in tackling many of the challenges and crises we face each year.
The past year may have come and gone by quickly, but scientists and researchers have worked diligently to advance our knowledge in a number of disciplines, industries, and projects around the world.
During 2022, it’s easy to lose track of all the great stories in science and technology.
At a Glance: Key Scientific Topics of 2022
Below we delve a little deeper into some of the most interesting titles, while providing links in case you want to explore more of these developments.
James Webb Space Telescope Has Arrived
What happened: A new space telescope promises exciting findings and beautiful images from the final frontier. This telescope builds on the legacy of its predecessor. Hubble space telescopeReleased over 30 years ago.
Why is it important: The James Webb Space Telescope is our state-of-the-art “window” into deep space. With greater access to the infrared spectrum, new space images, measurements and observations will be possible.
» Read to learn more This article From The Planetary Society or watch this video From the Wall Street Journal.
Complete: The Human Genome
What happened: Scientists have finished sequencing the human genome.
Why is it important: A complete human genome allows researchers to better understand the genetic basis of human traits and diseases. New therapies and treatments are likely to emerge from this development.
» Watch to learn more this video Read with or through Two Minute Papers This article from the NIH
Monkey Blossom Breakouts
What happened: Higher case volume monkey flower The virus has been reported in non-endemic countries.
Why is it important: Overshadowed by a global epidemic, researchers are following more closely how diseases spread. The spike in multinational cases of monkeypox raises questions about the development and prevention of the disease.
» Read to learn more This article by the New York Times.
Perfectly Preserved Woolly Mammoth
What happened: Gold miners unearth a well-preserved 35,000-year-old baby woolly mammoth In the Yukon tundra.
Why is it important: named mammoth come on now Prepared by Tr’ondëk Hwëch’s First Nation, it is the most complete specimen ever discovered in North America. Each new discovery allows paleontologists to expand our knowledge of biodiversity and how life has changed over time.
» Read to learn more This article From Smithsonian Magazine
The Rise of Artificial Intelligence Art
What happened: Access to new computer programs such as DALL-E and Midjourney give members of the general public the ability to create images from text prompts.
Why is it important: Widespread access to productive AI tools fuels inspiration and debate. Concerns about artist rights and copyright infringement are growing as these programs potentially threaten to diminish creative labor.
» Read to learn more This article by or watch MyModernMet this video By Cleo Abram
A Second Chance for Dead Organs
What happened: Researchers create a perfusion system that can rejuvenate organs after cellular death. By using a special mixture of blood and nutrients, a dead pig’s organs can be preserved after death and in some cases even promote cellular repair.
Why is it important: This discovery could potentially lead to a longer shelf life and supply of organs for transplant.
» Read to learn more This article by Scientific American or This article from the New York Times
DART Delivers a Cosmic Response
What happened: NASA crashes a spacecraft into an asteroid to see how far it will move. Dimorphos, a moon bear orbiting a larger asteroid named Didymos 6.8 million miles (11 million km) from Earth, is hit by the DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) spacecraft. NASA estimates that up to 22 million pounds (10 million kg) were launched after the collision.
Why is it important: Earth is constantly at risk of being hit by stray asteroids. Developing reliable methods for deflecting near-Earth objects could save us from facing the same fate as dinosaurs.
» Watch to learn more this video by Real Engineering or read This article from Space.com
Falling Sperm Counts
What happened: A scientific review shows that human sperm counts have declined by up to 62% over the past 50 years.
Why is it important: A lower sperm count makes it harder to get pregnant naturally. Concerns are also emerging about declining men’s health globally because sperm count is a marker for overall health. Researchers look at external stressors such as diet, environment, or other tools that may influence this tendency.
» Browse to learn more This article From the Guardian.
Finding Ancient DNA
What happened: Two million-year-old DNA found in Greenland.
Why is it important: DNA is a record of biodiversity. In addition to showing that a desolate Arctic landscape was once teeming with life, ancient DNA provides clues about our progression into modern life and how biodiversity has evolved over time.
» Read to learn more This article from National Geographic
What happened: The US Department of Energy reported that for the first time net energy gains have been achieved in the development of nuclear fusion.
Why is it important: Fusion is often seen as the Holy Grail of safe clean energy, and this latest milestone brings researchers one step closer to leveraging nuclear fusion to power the world.
» To learn more our infographic in fusion or read This article from the BBC
science in the new year
The future of scientific research looks bright. Researchers and scientists continue to push the boundaries of what we know and understand about the world around us.
For 2023, some disciplines are likely to continue to dominate the headlines:
- Progress Space Continues with projects like the James Webb Space Telescope and SETI COSMIC’s search for life beyond Earth
- climate action Recovery and prevention from extreme weather events may become more demanding as the new year continues
- Prolific AI tools like DALL-e and ChatGPT became mainstream in 2022, sparking widespread interest in their potential. artificial intelligence
- Even amid the persistent shadow of COVID-19, new therapeutics advance medicine into new territories
It is yet to be seen where the science is going, but last year the belief is instilled that 2023 will be filled with even more progress.
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