The Most Popular And Best Top 20 Science Stories Of 2017

2017-12-20 12:13:58

Neutron stars collide. Credit: NASA

Neutron stars collide. Credit: NASA

1. Neutron stars collide

Scientist detected a pair of colliding neutron, it shows dense, expanding cloud of debris stripped from two neutron stars just before they collided. Within this neutron-rich debris, large quantities of some of the universe's heaviest elements were forged, including hundreds of Earth masses of gold and platinum. This represents the first time scientists detected light tied to a gravitational-wave event, thanks to two merging neutron stars in the galaxy NGC 4993, located about 130 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Hydra.

2. 7 Earth-sized planets

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed the first known system of seven Earth-size planets around a single star. Three of these planets are firmly located in the habitable zone, the area around the parent star where a rocky planet is most likely to have liquid water. The discovery sets a new record for greatest number of habitable-zone planets found around a single star outside our solar system. All of these seven planets could have liquid water – key to life as we know it – under the right atmospheric conditions, but the chances are highest with the three in the habitable zone. At about 40 light-years (235 trillion miles) from Earth, the system of planets is relatively close to us, in the constellation Aquarius. Because they are located outside of our solar system, these planets are scientifically known as exoplanets. This exoplanet system is called TRAPPIST-1, named for The Transiting Planets and Planetesimals Small Telescope (TRAPPIST) in Chile. 

3. Error-free genetic editing in human embryos 

Scientists have successfully used CRISPR, a tool that cuts DNA with more precision than any other genome editing technology, to fix a genetic defect in human embryos  that causes deadly heart disease to run in families. It potentially opens the door to preventing 10,000 disorders that are passed down the generations.

4.  Leukemia Treatment ‘a Whole New Approach’ to Fighting Cancer

FDA approves CAR T-cell therapy, a state-of-the-art immune-therapy trial to target childhood leukemia. Mott is the only certified treatment center in Michigan and one of a select few in the country to offer it. The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first-ever treatment that genetically alters a patient’s own cells to fight cancer, a milestone that is expected to transform treatment in the coming years.


5. Mystery void is discovered in the Great Pyramid of Giza 

Archaeologists have uncovered a mysterious enclosure hidden deep inside the Great Pyramid of Giza, the oldest of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The massive cavity stretches for at least 30 metres and lies above the grand gallery, an impressive ascending corridor that connects the Queen’s chamber to the King’s in the heart of the historic monument. It is the first major structure found in the pyramid since the 19th century.

6. First synthetic retina

A synthetic, soft tissue retina developed by an Oxford University student could offer fresh hope to visually impaired people. It's made of soft water droplets and biological cell proteins that detect and react to light to create a grey scale image. The research could revolutionize the bionic implant industry and the development of less invasive technologies to help treat degenerative eye conditions such as retinitis pigmentosa, which can lead to blindness.

7. Soft robot helps the heart beat

Harvard University and Boston Children’s Hospital researchers have developed a customizable soft robot that fits around the heart and helps it beat, potentially opening new treatment options for people suffering from heart failure. The soft robotic sleeve twists and compresses in synch with a beating heart, augmenting cardiovascular functions weakened by heart failure. Unlike currently available devices that assist heart function, Harvard’s soft robotic sleeve does not directly contact blood. This reduces the risk of clotting and eliminates the need for a patient to take potentially dangerous blood thinner medications. The device may one day be able to bridge a patient to transplant or help in cardiac rehabilitation and recovery.

8. Human cells inside pig embryos

Researchers from the Salk Institute successfully managed to grow human cells inside pig embryos. The goal was to better understand how to develop functional and transplantable tissue or organs.

9. World's fastest camera captures neurons in action

New camera could be about to change how we see this storm of electrical activity as it is so fast that it can capture neurons as they fire. Scientists at Washington University in St Louis have created the fastest camera in the world, capable of taking 100 billion frames a second – three billion times faster than the camera on an iPhone.

10. Humans Are 100,000 Years Older Than We Thought

Experts said it is evidence mankind evolved much earlier than originally believed. Until now, most researchers believed our species – Homo sapiens - descended from ancient pre-humans that lived in East Africa around 200 thousand years ago. But recently unearthed remains of five early H. sapiens were dated at 300,000 years old, making our species100,000 years older than we thought.

11. Asia’s glaciers to shrink by a third by 210

Asia’s mountain glaciers will lose at least a third of their mass through global warming by the century’s end, with dire consequences for millions of people who rely on them for fresh water.

12. Sea levels to rise 1.3m unless coal power ends by 2050

Coastal cities around the world could be devastated by 1.3m of sea level rise this century unless coal-generated electricity is virtually eliminated by 2050, according to a new study that combines the latest understanding of Antarctica’s contribution to sea level rise and the latest emissions projection scenarios.

13. Patagotitan mayorum -Largest Dinosaur Species

A newly named species of sauropod is not only the largest known dinosaur, it now also holds the record as the largest animal that has ever walked on land. The biggest dinosaur to ever live was discovered in Argentina in 2013. Now, scientists have officially named the 70-ton, 120-foot-long species Patagotitan mayorum, and have discovered it belonged to a group of extra-large titanosaurs that lived around 100 million years ago.

14. Astronomers Just Discovered The Most Distant Black Hole Ever Seen

Astronomers have discovered the oldest supermassive black hole ever found — a behemoth that grew to 800 million times the mass of the sun when the universe was just 5 percent of its current age- around 690 million years after the Big Bang.

15. Scientists at Harvard report the first synthesis of metallic hydrogen

Nearly a century after it was theorized, Harvard scientists have succeeded in creating the rarest - and potentially one of the most valuable - materials on the planet. According to one theory, the metal would be a superconductor capable of dramatically improving anything to do with electricity, creating faster computers, saving vast amounts of power currently lost in transmission and ushering in a new generation of super-efficient electric vehicles. It could also be used to make a much more powerful type of rocket fuel, enabling humans to explore the solar system as never before.

16. New particle from CERN

A new particle detected in the atom smasher at CERN has sent physicists scurrying back to revisit an experiment from more than 10 years ago. The new particle, called Xi-cc++ (pronounced sigh-see-see-plus-plus), will help scientists better understand quantum physics. And its discovery has rekindled interest in a US experiment that claimed evidence for a similar Xi particle, back in 2002. Xi-cc++ is a type of subatomic particle called a baryon, which is made up of three quarks  some of the fundamental building blocks of matter.

17. 3D bioprinter which can print functional human skin

Researchers in Spain have developed a 3D bioprinter that can create functional human skin for use in transplants, research, or cosmetic and chemical testing. 3D-printed skin designed to be transplanted needs to be made from the patient's own cells, so their body doesn’t reject it. 

18. Ice shelf breaks, largest iceberg emerges

A vast iceberg nearly the size of the US state of Delaware has finally broken away from Antarctica in a move that is likely to alter the frozen landscape forever. Scientists have been waiting months for the dramatic calving of the iceberg, one of the biggest on record at almost 6,000 square kilometres, after huge cracks emerged on the Larsen C ice shelf in west Antarctica.

19. Spotting the gravitational waves

Astronomers have detected another set of gravitational waves  ripples in the fabric of space and time traveling throughout the Universe. It’s the fourth time this phenomenon has been measured by the scientists at LIGO, or the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory.

20. Promising new drug stops spread of melanoma by 90 percent

Michigan State University researchers have discovered that a chemical compound, and potential new drug, reduces the spread of melanoma cells by up to 90 percent. The human-made, small-molecule drug compound goes after a gene's ability to produce RNA molecules and certain proteins in melanoma tumors. This gene activity, or transcription process, causes the disease to spread but the compound can shut it down. Up until now, few other compounds of this kind have been able to accomplish this.