3 Most Significant Scientific Discoveries of the Decade
There are many things that the human race is yet to comprehend. Every year, lots of scientific papers are written and published to try to explain some of these phenomena. Scientists around the world have been working tirelessly, hoping to find answers.
This era has been marked by major breakthroughs in understanding our planet and space, the human body, and our surroundings, including contactless level measurement. The progress has been remarkable and lays the ground for more inventions and discoveries in the future.
Among the many discoveries of the decade, here are the top 3.
Editing of Genes
In 2013, a new genetic engineering tool, CRISPR-Cas9, was used to modify eukaryotic cells. The tool, used for editing genes, is used to locate the required part of DNA then ‘cutting’ it out with the Cas9 enzyme. The removed part can then be replaced with new genetic material.
The technique can be applied to different situations such as the treatment of diseases like cancer, increasing muscle mass, and producing high-yielding crops that are resistant to diseases.
Chinese scientists used CRISPR-Cas9 in 2018 to genetically modify human embryos, which were then placed in the mother’s uterus, and twin girls were born. The genes had been modified to resist HIV infection.
Contact Level Measurement
In processing industries, the level measurement for solids and liquids in storage tanks is essential. The systems used for the measurement should thus be precise to ensure safety and quality production.
A radiometric measurement technology is widely used in level measurement. It works by applying gamma radiations externally on the vessel, which in turn makes it weak. The radiation is measured by a detector located on the opposite side of the vessel. From the weakening radiation, the detector can accurately measure the level.
This technique has made level measurement easier, especially for areas with high temperatures or pressure or abrasive media.
Detecting the First Gravitational Waves
The theory of relativity has been around since 1916 when Albert Einstein first proposed it. According to the theory, an acceleration of objects that have mass through the fabric of space and time creates ripples like those on a pond’s surface. These ripples are the gravitational waves.
In 2015, the aftershock of two black holes was heard by US-based observatory. The discovery was announced in 2016, and in 2017 the UK and US-based observatories felt more tremors when two neutron stars collided.
This was the first time that gravitational and light waves were observed as telescopes around the world saw the explosion.
Gravitational waves have also been thought of causing the big bang, which led to the expansion of the universe. They might be the answer to how fast the universe is expanding.
We may not have answers to all our questions, but the decade has certainly given the scientists enough ground on which to build their research. Many kinds of research are still underway, with researchers working tirelessly to make meaning of other phenomena. From breakthroughs in astronomy to science and technology, this coming decade is set to yield much more.