Another year on earth has passed, and now we can look back at what we’ve accomplished. Science has progressed in leaps and bounds, bringing us ground-breaking finds, revealing anticipated answers. It’s safe to say, there are more than a few examples of these accomplishments.
Let’s take a look at 10 of the most remarkable scientific discoveries of 2015.
1. Water on the Red Planet
It’s official! We have found water on Mars. This past September, we found conclusive evidence of dark streaks flowing down the mountains of the red planet. These trails could only mean one thing. Liquid water flows in the summer seasons while freezing in the midst of stream, beginning in the autumn months. This discovery could mean life on Mars, or simply a water supply for space missions. Time will tell.
2. The Fantasy of Reality
Can we measure reality? Some think we can while some disagree. One of the most startling scientific discoveries of 2015 is that reality might not exist! Scientists say that until we can measure reality, it has no definite space. We assume that protons and neutrons are either wave-like or particle-like. Scientists also believe that measurements are not necessary. Quantum theory disagrees with this assumption. It all comes down to the end of the journey, where particle and wave are measured in existence. Thus, if traveling one path, reality may not exist until the atom knows its nature.
3. Vocal Cords Grown from Scratch
There is another marvelous breakthrough for science. Researchers have found a way to grow vocal cords from scratch. Added to the list of artificially grown organs-kidneys, hearts and windpipes – vocal cords offer hope for those who have lost their voice to illnesses or defects. Using cells from human donors, doctors formed tissues that copy vocal fold mucosa. These folds are what creates the human voice. Now that’s amazing!
4. Oldest Known Solar System
Our own solar system is rather young, only about 4 billion years old. There is, however, a solar system so old, it’s said to have been born at the dawn of existence. This system, governed by the star, Kepler 444, is about 11.2 billion years old. A surprising fact about our intriguing discovery is that this system is only 117 light years away. The unfortunate fact is Kepler’s five orbiting planets are not within the habitable zone.
5. Big Bang/Big Lie
According to a model developed by physicists, the universe was always in existence. There is no beginning and no end. The model is capable of considering the big bang singularity and discounting that idea, what other models have not been able to do, including the Big Bang theory!
6. A New Human Ancestor
A recent discovery of 2015 uncovered fossils from 15 individuals which had characteristics of small-bodied humans-although with much smaller brains. Homo Naledi, found in a South African cave, adds another branch to the human ancestry. This single species provided the largest collection of fossils to date.
7. Cyborg Flesh
Harvard scientists create half human half cyborg flesh. It all starts with a scaffold. A basic foundation, made of collagen, serving as a base for the growth of human cells. The collagen acts as connective tissue, which is found in all living creatures. Nanowires and transistors are intertwined with the cells to create cyborg tissue with a neural network. As awe-inspiring as this may seem, there is more to come in the near future.
8. Another Earth
Earth 2.0-the possible new home for the human race, created a buzz which got us to dreaming. After five years of searching, the Kepler mission confirmed a planet within the habitable zone of its star in the constellation Cygnus. In case you didn’t know, the habitable zone is the area in which liquid water can exist and far enough from the sun for tolerable temperatures. Kepler 452b is located 1400 light years away from us and orbits a sun much similar to our own. Wow, what dream fodder.
9. The Bionic Brain
The electronic long-term memory cell is the key to the bionic brain. This world’s first multi-state memory cell is 10,000 times thinner than a strand of hair. It can store information in multiple steps, in analog and retrieves information much faster than the normal cell function. When thinking about immortal things, the bionic brain isn’t fictional. It’s just one of the greatest scientific discoveries of 2015.
10. Human Head Transplants
Of course, this list would not be complete without mention of the upcoming human head transplant. Science has done it again! It’s just one more step in creating the miraculous, well close to the miraculous at least. In 2016 or 2017, Dr. Sergio Canavero will perform a human head transplant. It’s not the first, but hopefully, it will be the first “successful” attempt. The lucky participant in this transplant is Valerie Spiridonov, who suffers from Werdnig Hoffman’s disease. With this disease, Valerie is paralyzed and has a life expectancy of only 20 years. If the transplant is a success, Spiridonov will have a new lease on life. Science will have a new testimony.
The above-mentioned scientific discoveries of 2015 are only the doorway to what the future will bring. More worlds will astonish us. More medical miracles will improve life in drastic measures. More awe-inspiring ideas will keep us coming back for more. In the year 2016, nothing can prepare us for what’s in store – we can only guess what scientific surprises await in our vast mysterious universe. Personally, I cannot wait!