The 10 most impressive scientific discoveries of 2022!

Mauricio Saldivar Weathered Argentina 11 min
Neurons play tennis
Unbelievable, but real: neurons created in the laboratory have autonomously learned to play the legendary game of the 70s, Pong.

After several years of the coronavirus pandemic dominating the world scientific scene, In 2022, we witnessed amazing scientific discoveries that changed our perception of the universe.

Whether it’s knowing what the brain is capable of or discovering the enormous potential of artificial intelligence; understanding why humans are aging or how to deflect asteroids that threaten our planet; to improve the speed of data transfer or to manipulate light to realize that we are underestimating the impact of climate change.

Here is an overview 10 scientific discoveries and technological breakthroughs The most surprising of 2022.

Lab neurons play Pong

Researchers from Australia’s Cortical Laboratory cultured brain cells Who learned to play the legendary 1970s video game Pong independently. These cells have been shown to improve their technique as they play for longer periods of time.

If these “mini-brains” were developed in 2013, it’s the first time they connect and interact with the outside world, in this case a video game. The researchers believe that this experiment could provide valuable information for the study of neurological diseases such as epilepsy and dementia, as well as for evaluating the effects of drugs, alcohol or drugs on the brain.

The deepest description of the universe

Located 1.5 million kilometers from Earth, The largest telescope in space has started taking its first pictures. The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is a space observatory jointly designed, built and operated by the European Space Agency, the Canadian Space Agency and NASA to replace the Hubble and Spitzer telescopes. JWST offers unparalleled resolution and sensitivity, making possible the deepest view of the universe ever seen.

galaxy cluster SMACS 0723
This image shows the SMACS 0723 galaxy cluster that formed 4,600 million years ago, with many other galaxies in front and behind the cluster.

This is the SMACS 0723 galaxy cluster, which is packed with thousands of galaxies, including some of the smallest and faintest objects ever observed. Webb’s image is the size of a stretched grain of sand, a tiny slice of the vast universe.

Men age faster than women

Finnish scientists have found evidence men aging faster than women, and men are biologically four years older than women at age 50.

Men age faster than women
Men age faster than women. Scientists are looking for combinations of genetic, hormonal and behavioral factors to explain this aging gap.

This “aging gap” also exists between men and women in their twenties.

Reanimated dead organs

Researchers from Yale University in the USA were able to detect involuntary muscle movements and motor functions and were able to restore blood circulation in pigs seven hours after death. Although no electrical activity has been detected to indicate the existence of a conscious state, this research may help extend the viability of human organs for transplantation and increase the availability of donor organs.

OrganEx is a device that mimics the vital functions of the heart and lungs and helps improve organ transplantation.

The “miracle” is due to the sapphire blue solution, which is part of a new technology, “OrganEx”. a device that mimics the vital functions of the heart and lungs.

Although this technology is still in development, the first results are promising. The next steps will involve transplanting OrganEx-treated pig organs into living pigs to test their function.

Not one, but two asteroids wiped out the dinosaurs on Earth.

The discovery of a large, hitherto unknown asteroid impact crater 480 kilometers off the coast of West Africa, Provides new clues about the mass extinction that wiped out more than three-quarters of Earth’s species, including all dinosaurs except birds.

killer asteroids
In 2022, we not only find evidence of another asteroid that could wipe out the dinosaurs, but we learn how to defend ourselves against it.

Everything suggests that this huge underwater crater with a diameter of about 9 kilometers in the North Atlantic It may have collided with Earth at the same time as the Chicxulub asteroid. so far the sole “responsible” for the extinction of the dinosaurs.

Safe from killer asteroids

in September, NASA has successfully completed the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART). DART was launched at a speed of more than 28,000 kilometers per hour against a small asteroid, and the impact changed the asteroid’s orbit around its parent asteroid.

The DART mission was the first time humans had intentionally altered the motion of a celestial body and the first large-scale demonstration of asteroid deflection technology.

NASA’s long-term goal is to develop asteroid deflection technology as a form of planetary defense against potentially catastrophic impacts in the future.

Microplastics in the human body

By analyzing donor blood samples, scientists have found microplastics that can be inhaled or ingested. as well as plastic fibers in the lungs of patients undergoing surgery.

Microplastics are already present in our bodies and pose a serious threat to human health.

An indispensable element of modern life, plastic is everywhere on the planet, from the ice of Antarctica to the depths of the oceans, including Mount Everest.

Microplastics have been proven to harm human cells. allergic reactions and cell death have become a global health problem.

Quantum computing: science is no longer fiction

This year’s Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Alain Aspect, John F. Clauser and Anton Zeilinger. for his work on quantum entanglement. Quantum entanglement is a phenomenon in which two particles are intrinsically connected to each other regardless of physical distance. The scientists’ work involves a breakthrough in quantum computing, is considered the next frontier of our digital world.

Quantum Computing
Improved communication speeds and quantum computing will dramatically change the planet.

Quantum computing relies on the principles of superposition and quantum entanglement of matter to develop a completely different type of computing from traditional computing. Quantum computers have the potential to solve problems ranging from the discovery of drugs that can target very specific types of cancer to the creation of new materials, artificial intelligence and improved weather and climate forecasts.

Data transfer speed record

Using an optical chip and an infrared laser, scientists managed to transfer data at a speed of 1.84 petabytes per second, record the data transfer rate.

With this new chip and laser, all the information available on the internet can be transferred in less than a second.

To get an idea of ​​what is being done, this is equivalent to transferring all the information available on the internet in less than a second. Although there is currently no computer that can receive so much data in such a short time. it may be possible in the not-too-distant future, helping to reduce the internet’s carbon footprint and revolutionizing the world of communications.

Climate change and its impact on health

Climate change and its inherent risks are already at work. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has published a report that by 2100 three quarters of the planet’s people may suffer from extreme heat stress on a regular basis.

Air pollution
Environmental pollution causes 7 million premature deaths worldwide every year. Children and the poor suffer the most.

Air pollution increases the risk of lung damage, blood-borne vector diseases such as mosquitoes and ticks are expected to increase. This report highlights the need for drastic reductions in emissions and the importance of adapting to a warmer world before it is too late.

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