How It Works

10 Things Nobody Knew This Time Last Year

2017 has seen some incredible discoveries and some fantastic research that will shape the future of our world. It has been a year of innovation, creation, and determination. Here’s ten of the most important things we have learnt this year.

A Continent Was Found in the South Pacific
Zealandia is a lost land sitting on the ocean floor between New Zealand and New Caledonia, that was discovered this year!

 

A Cancer Treatment Was Invested That Hijacks Patients Cells
CAR T-cell therapy is a new cancer treatment that attacks in an entirely new three-prong approach by removing a patient’s cells and re-engineering them to attack cancer cells. They  are then re-inserted them into the body. It’s already been approved for use in adult B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Researchers Discovered a Way to Pull Water Out of Thin Air
Researchers at MIT and University of California have invented a way to pull water out of thin air in areas where the humidity is as low as 20% humidity. The solar-powered metal device can pull three quarts of water from the air in just 12 hours and could be revolutionary in the search to find a solution to providing clean water to those who struggle to access it.

A human embryo has had its DNA alterned for the first time
A viable human embryo has had its genome edited using CRISPR technology which successfully corrects a genetic mutation that causes a heart condition. The controversial breakthrough could be the start of a world without serious disease.

The FDA approved a new gene therapy treatment for blind people.
The first ever approved gene therapy for an inherited disease has been proven to cure a form of hereditary blindness called leber congenital amaurosis. The treatment is injected into a patient’s retina, and the virus carrying the gene cuts out the flawed genes and replaces it with the correct vision-producing protein. People start noticing a difference in less than a month.

Researchers created an artificial womb to help premature babies grow.
Eight premature lambs have been grown in an artificial womb for four weeks, and researchers saw the small mammals grow their wool coats, gain weight, and develop organs from within the controlled conditions. They even opened their eyes for the first time within the artificial womb! It will take a few years before we’re ready to test this on humans, but it could be a huge step in caring for premature babies.

We made a robot do a backflip!
Boston Dynamics have built an amazing humanoid robot called Atlas who can execute a perfect backflip!

Chinese computer scientists made a “quantum” leap into teleportation.
Scientists in China have successfully teleported light particles from the ground into space using mirrors and lasers. It might not lead to the creation of Star-Trek teleportation machines, it may revolutionise computing by providing a new super-speed quantum internet.

We created a whole new kind of matter. 

Scientists have created a sort of matter that stays in perpetual motion without energy by using a fracture in time’s symmetry. Matter is usually motionless at resting, but these ‘time crystals’ are the first ever non-equilibrium matter. If you find this hard to get your head around, don’t worry – we do too!

A glowing frog has been discovered in Argentina 

Scientists discovered the first amphibian with the ability to glow in the dark. They glow a gentle red under certain light conditions, but under UV the frogs glow with a vivid green and blue.

 

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