In the massive influx of news, we oft-times do not pay attention to the real, life-changing stuff that is happening around us. Science discoveries and innovations is a perpetual process. From the deep caves of the cradle of humanity in Africa to the darkness hundreds of feet under the Arctic, scientists and researchers are working endlessly to solve science mysteries, create new things and save the future of humanity and our planet. In 2016, there were some breathtaking, fateful science discoveries that took place.
99 million-years Dinosaur Tail Found
Perhaps the biggest science discovery of 2016 was when scientists found a 99 million-years old amber fossil in which there was a hidden and preserved feathered tail of a dinosaur. Paleontologists say that this historic find will help juxtaposing the evolution of the bird family of which flying dinosaurs were a part. The tail is of a juvenile dinosaur whose size was probably not more than that of a sparrow.
Nuclear energy from Diamonds
Scientists and researchers at the University of Bristol invented a method of harnessing nuclear waste within diamonds into a battery, which can provide energy for “thousands of years”. This is a great science discovery of 2016 as the world is in dire need of clean and cheap energy resources in order to save the planet and economy.
Advanced Data Storage
Scientists at the University of Southampton created a coin-like crystal structure in 2016 which can store up to a whopping 360 terabyte of data. This invention and technological breakthrough also claims that the crystal can save the data for over 13 billion years.
Genetic Manipulation Tool
Sequencing and playing with the DNA of humans is the most important part of solving the mysteries of evolution and medical science. In 2016, scientists were able to make a tool to manipulate the DNA with CRISPR method. The tool helps scientists to create immortal mice and cancer-treatment and all the interesting stuff you can imagine in the realm of DNA mutations.
Detection of Ripples in the Universe
Scientists, for the first time, detected gravitational waves ripples in the universe. These ripples expand and contract the space-time around them, a claim that was made a century ago by Albert Einstein. Famous theoretical physicist Clifford Burgess of McMaster University called this discovery “off the scale huge”. The remarkable event was detected by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO).
Water on Mars
NASA found Opaline Silica inside the Gustav crater on Mars in 2008, but that was not a promising find as this year’s, in which a team of astronauts found large lakes of liquid water. This means that there are microbes, the unit of life on Mars. Then we found oxygen on Mars in 2016. For the first time in 40 years, NASA team detected oxygen molecules in the Martian atmosphere through Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA).
The Discovery of the Common Ancestor of Life Species
Scientists found The last universal common ancestor (LUCA), or Luca in this historic year. What is Luca? Well, after Darwin’s revolutionary idea, the unprecedented researches have led us to the conclusion that life is currently divided into six kingdoms: plants, animals, fungus, protists, eubacteria and archaebacteria. The first four belong to the a domain known as eukaryotes, while others stem from eubacteria and archaebacterial, which are single-celled organisms. Luca is the single-celled ancestor of these three originators of life. Luca’s existence is proved to date back over 4 billion years ago when the Earth was still in its formation process. The discovery was made by William Martin, an evolutionary biologist at Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf, Germany. Martin’s team studied genes of 2,000 modern microbes that are sequenced over the last twenty years. From six million total genes, they found 355 gene families which are connected to Luca.
Artificial Intelligence Breakthrough
Modern tech’s defining and somewhat terrifying moment came in 2-16 when Google’s robot AlphaGo beat the world champion Lee Sedol 4-1 in Go, a massively complex game with board positions that are more than the total number of atoms in our universe. The robot surprised the world by beating the human champion as the world saw in awe and shock. Alpha Go also depicted its intelligence and capabilities of learning on the spot.