5 Scientific Breakthroughs Which Changed Our World in 2016!
Science is no doubt an important entity in our day to day life – If not for science, then we would be still living under caves, comprehending this Earth as a flat mass of land.
If not for scientists who made vaccines and medicines, we would have been dead with a viral fever and if not for science, Mars and Moon would still have been distant images, seeming impossible to conquer.
Herein, we bring to you 5 biggest and most powerful scientific discoveries, inventions and attempts which actually redefined our World as we know it, and took humanity one step further:
Injection of Stem Cells Into Stroke Patients & Making Them Walk Again
Easily one of the major breakthroughs for medical science this year: Scientists at Stanford University School of Medicine were able to inject stem cells directly into the brains of chronic stroke patients, which will enable to walk again.
Till now, such patients were bedridden or were made mobile via wheelchairs. Hence, this new procedure to inject stem cells opens up a new window of opportunities to help paralyzed and immobile patients.
Unlimited Storage Of Data For Eternity
Destruction is the rule of the World – Whatever is created, needs to be destroyed. And sadly, it includes all storage devices as well. But not anymore.
Some smart folks at University of Southampton have invented a storage system, which can store data for 13.8 billion years. This is approximately the same time period for which our Universe has existed!
(Image Source: southampton.ac.uk)
Size of a small coin (American quarter), this a round shaped nano-structured glass, which can hold upto 360 GB of data at any given time. And the beauty of this tiny storage device is that, it can remain intact even in -1000 degree Celsius temperature. However, for storing the data for 13.8 billion years, the storage device needs to be present within 190°C.
Interestingly, the recording and retrieval process consists of ‘five dimensional (5D) digital data by femtosecond laser writing.’
CO2 Can Now Be Converted Into Rock
CO2 Or Carbon Dioxide is one of the most harmful by-product of humans – not only it gets emitted by us during the breathing process, but this chemical is also produced by industries and machines. As of now, the emitted CO2 gets mixed up with the atmosphere, thereby harming the ozone layer, and making the whole environment harmful.
But not anymore.
Researchers at University of Southampton have devised a method using which carbon dioxide can now be converted into rock. Infact, when scientists pumped CO2 into volcanic rocks at Iceland, they sped up the process which converts basalts into carbonate minerals, thereby turning them into lime stones. Usually, this process takes over 100 years, but scientists from University of Southampton did it in less than 2 years.
Thus, carbon dioxide will be now be utilized for various purposes, including construction of buildings and for making roads.
ISRO Makes History, Yet Again
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) continued to make and break history in 2016.
In April this year, ISRO successfully broke US monopoly over GPS, when they launched 7th and final IRNSS Navigational Satellite, which will enable Indian military and commercial establishments to use India’s own satellite navigation system.
In September this year, ISRO made us again proud, when they launched it longest ever launch mission as they placed 8 satellites in different orbits in one single launch. India became world’s second country, Asia’s first to achieve such feat.
And now, few days back, ISRO announced that they will launch whooping 83 satellites in one single go, a feat which no other country has achieved till date.
SpaceX Lands A Rocket Vertically
In animation and movies, we have seen this countless times: a rocket landing vertically on a surface. But in reality, this has never been done before due to the complexities of execution. Normally, when NASA or ISRO’s rockets come back, they are either dumped into the ocean or destroyed as soon as they enter Earth’s atmosphere.
But SpaceX, company founded by Elon Musk, for the first time in the history of mankind, landed a rocket (part of its Falcon 9 rocket) vertically on a floating autonomous drone ship in Atlantic Ocean.
Such successful landing will save a billions of dollars, as rockets can now be reused, and can be landed at any location.
The landing was broadcasted live as millions of space enthusiasts watched this phenomenon with wonder, an event which forced them to admire and appreciate what SpaceX has been doing for years.