What was invented in 2022. Top 11 most important scientific discoveries

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What was invented in 2022. Top 11 most important scientific discoveries

Focus has collected the most important discoveries and achievements in the field of science – from space bowling with asteroids to pig heart transplantation.

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Dart mission

What was invented in 2022. Top 11 Most Important Scientific Discoveries

What was invented in 2022. Top 11 most important scientific discoveries

The threat of a collision between the Earth and an asteroid is quite real, and the surface of our planet is the strongest evidence. One asteroid 65 million years ago almost destroyed life on Earth, including dinosaurs.

How can humanity protect itself from those asteroids that are still on their way to our planet? This year, the international space community has taken the first steps to protect the planet from the asteroid threat. The joint mission of the American and European space agencies NASA and ESA was aimed at changing the trajectory of the small asteroid Dimorphos, which was orbiting another asteroid Didyma.

The goal was for the spacecraft to crash into Dimorphos and dislodge it from its original orbit .

The mission was more than successful. In October, scientists confirmed that they had indeed been able to change the asteroid's course. Thus, humanity has a chance to deflect a cosmic strike, of course, if there is enough time to launch the device.

The Orion Mission

What was invented in 2022. Top 11 Most Important Scientific Discoveries

What was invented in 2022. Top 11 most important scientific discoveries

This year, the Moon is back in the headlines of the world media. As part of the new NASA and ESA mission, humanity is going to not only fly to the moon again, but also build a new habitat there.

The first phase of the mission was the launch of the Orion capsule, which went into space in mid-November and successfully returned to the ground. This capsule is designed for six astronauts, however, during the test launch there was no one on board.

The main task of the capsule was to check the flight path around the moon and return home safely.

The success of this first flight opened the door for further Orion launches in a series of more challenging tests. The mission is expected to culminate with astronauts landing on the Moon in 2025.

James Webb Space Telescope

What was invented in 2022. Top 11 most important scientific discoveries

What was invented in 2022. Top 11 most important scientific discoveries

The largest, most powerful and complex space telescope in the world arrived in its “working” orbit on January 24, 2022. This project cost 10 billion dollars and is designed for 25 years.

Already on July 12, NASA published the first images taken by the telescope. The detail and quality of the images stunned not only amateurs, but also astronomers.

The telescope was able to capture what may be the oldest galaxies and stars in the universe, and for the first time created a chemical profile of the atmosphere of an exoplanet.

Interspecies heart transplant

What was invented in 2022. Top 11 most important scientific discoveries

What was invented in 2022. Top 11 most important scientific discoveries

On January 7, the first transplantation of a genetically modified pig heart was performed. It was transplanted into a 57-year-old man with an incurable heart disease.

Patient David Bennett was not suitable for a traditional heart transplant from another person. It is noted that Bennett suffered from arrhythmia and was connected to a heart-lung machine for the past eight weeks.

After a successful operation, the man was able to be disconnected from medical devices. The patient was able to leave the hospital and begin a normal life.

Bennett died in March, but through no fault of the transplanted organ. According to the scientists, the pig's heart functioned well and showed no typical signs of organ rejection. No such signs were found even during the autopsy.

The final medical examination showed that the patient died of heart failure, which was caused by a number of factors. This suggests that interspecies transplants still have a future.

The human genome has been completely deciphered

What was invented in 2022. Top 11 most important scientific discoveries

What was invented in 2022. Top 11 most important scientific discoveries

For 20 years, scientists have been working on sequencing human DNA as part of the Human Genome Project. In March this year, researchers finally presented the complete genetic sequence.

Back in 2003, about 92% of the human genome was mapped, and the last 8% were deciphered only this year. This piece of the puzzle involves numerous genes and repetitive DNA that are comparable in size to an entire chromosome.

So now we know that the complete human genome consists of .055 billion base pairs, the units that make up chromosomes and our genes, and 19,969 genes that code for proteins.

The first plants to grow in lunar soil

What was invented in 2022. Top 11 most important scientific discoveries

What was invented in 2022. Top 11 most important scientific discoveries

Scientists from the University of Florida in May of this year successfully grew the first plants in regolith, which was brought to Earth straight from the moon.

12 grams of lunar soil was provided by NASA, taken during the Apollo 11, 12 and 17 missions.

In the lunar regolith, scientists made thimble-sized pits, and the soil itself was placed in Petri dishes. Each such cup became a kind of pot with one gram of lunar soil.

The plants in the lunar soil grew slower and smaller, but still grew. This result suggests that the plants adapted to the chemical and structural composition of the lunar soil. This is exactly what further analysis of grown plants showed.

Breakthrough in thermonuclear energy

What was invented in 2022. Top 11 most important scientific discoveries

What was invented in 2022. Top 11 Most Important Scientific Discoveries

Researchers at Lawrence National Laboratory in California announced on December 13 that they had carried out a thermonuclear reaction that produced more energy than was used to start it. The experiment marked the biggest breakthrough in the field.

As you know, almost all the energy in the universe is generated from a thermonuclear reaction or nuclear fusion, which also occurs in the heart of our Sun. But it will take humanity years, if not decades, to master this process on their own.

Existing nuclear power plants or nuclear weapons use the energy obtained in the process of nuclear fission, when the nucleus of an atom, often uranium, splits into two different nuclei. This process produces a large amount of energy.

But there is an opposite process of nuclear fusion, where two nuclei fuse together to form one heavier nucleus. The mass of the new heavy nucleus is somewhat less than the sum of the previous two separate nuclei, which means that little mass is lost in the process. Einstein's most famous equation (E=MC^2) explains how this mass is converted into a large amount of energy.

Of course, fission and fusion reactions are already releasing large amounts of energy. But nuclear fusion can still produce more. For example, the nuclear fusion of two nuclei of the heavier hydrogen isotope will produce 4 times more energy than the fission of a uranium atom.

If the energy of nuclear fusion is commercialized, they will become a clean and renewable source of energy. It will be able to fight climate change and not produce the amount of radioactive waste that existing nuclear power plants are known for.

But the technology still has a long way to go, as the fusion reactions being tested last only a few minutes due to the difficult conditions that are required for the reaction to proceed.

Successful launch of the Large Hadron Collider

What was invented in 2022 Top 11 Most Important Scientific Discoveries

What was invented in 2022. Top 11 most important scientific discoveries

In April of this year, after a three-year break for maintenance and modernization, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the largest particle accelerator, was launched. This launch was the third in a row during which scientists planned to collect data on an unprecedented number of particle collisions occurring at record energy levels.

The launch results were not long in coming. Already in July, CERN announced the discovery of three new exotic particles – a new pentaquark and a pair of new tetraquarks.

With the help of data collected during particle collisions, scientists hope to study the Higgs boson particle in more detail, as well as confirm or refute the “Standard Model of particle physics”.

First photo of a black hole at the heart of the Milky Way

What was invented in 2022. Top 11 most important scientific discoveries

What was invented in 2022. Top 11 most important scientific discoveries

As you know, in the center of our Milky Way galaxy there is a supermassive black hole Sagittarius A*. Astronomers have long known about its existence, but could not see it.

The fact is that black holes do not have a surface, like planets or stars. But these space objects have a border, which is called the event horizon or a kind of point of no return. Absolutely everything that flies too close to the event horizon is doomed to be devoured by a black hole.

Using the Event Horizon telescope, which consists of 8 largest radio telescopes around the world, astronomers first photographed the “ring of fire” around a supermassive black hole .

Until very recently, any image of a black hole was just an artistic interpretation or a computer model. Now the researchers have a real photo of a supermassive black hole.

Next, a group of scientists plans to improve their equipment to get clearer images.

“Wormhole” on a quantum computer

What was invented in 2022. Top 11 most important scientific discoveries

What was invented in 2022. Top 11 most important scientific discoveries

The concept of a “wormhole” was first proposed in 1935 by Albert Einstein and Nathan Rosen. Wormholes or wormholes are theoretical structures like tunnels that lead to different points in space-time. They can connect two points at large or small distances, as well as two different points in time.

Now scientists at the California Institute of Technology (CalTech) have simulated two black holes on a quantum computer and sent a message between them. In this way, they managed to create a tunnel in space-time.

Of course, scientists did not create a wormhole in the real world, but simulations on a quantum computer were very successful.

Scientists claim that experimental simulations will help to figure out whether tunnels can really exist in space-time.

The Lost Tomb of Cleopatra

What was invented in 2022. Top 11 most important scientific discoveries

What was invented in 2022. Top 11 most important scientific discoveries

The lost tomb of Cleopatra has long been the “Holy Grail” for archaeologists. A team from the University of Santo Domingo may have found the entrance to the ancient queen's tomb.

In November, the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities confirmed that archaeologists had found a 1,300-meter long tunnel that descends to a depth of 13 meters. The tunnel was carved into the rock in the ancient Egyptian city of Taposiris Magna and partially flooded.

According to archaeologists, the famous tomb of Cleopatra may be located at the end of this tunnel.