2017 has been a innovational year for science and tech.
From a dramatic sun eclipse and breathtaking advances in gene-enhancing science and technology to the detection of ripples in space-time predicted by Einstein greater than a century ago, the memories just saved coming. here’s a recap of seven we deem especially noteworthy.
Here are our Top 5 picks:
1- Fixing nature’s “mistakes”
For the first time ever scientists successfully edited the DNA of a human embryo using a gene-editing tool called CRISPR.
But if the DNA edit goes wrong it won’t only affect that individual but could create a ripple effect through generations. Scientists say CRISPR can be used reliably to eliminate serious diseases in the coming future. (Source: Nature International Journal of Science).
2- Using Balloons for Internet
Remember Hurricane Maria?
It knocked down cell phone towers in Puerto Rico. A research and development project called “Project Loon” came up with a solution immediately. It deployed high-altitude balloons in the stratosphere to create an aerial wireless network and provide internet access to rural and remote areas. (Source: X – Project Loon)
3- Living on another planet
Scientists got closer to finding another planet that can support life. (Source: NASA)
They discovered TRAPPIST-1f, a planet outside our solar system (a.k.a exoplanet), that’s 39.46 light years away from Earth. It may be incapable of forming an atmosphere but astronomers are considering this discovery another success in a continuing trend. According to them, the more exoplanets there are the more likely it is that life exists on at least one of them.
4- Self-driving trucks
Companies like Tesla, Daimler, Uber and Google are now testing self-driving truck. They claim self-driving trucks are safer and less costly and would reduce stress for the driver. This technology helps complete long routes more efficiently, but would also erode salaries of million of truck drivers worldwide.
5- Extraterrestrial life
A NEW YORK TIMES report unveiled secrets about Pentagon’s mysterious UFO programme.
Luis Elizondo the military intelligence official who ran the programme, said “the programme had found a lot of strange air crafts”. He resigned in October 2017 to protest excessive secrecy and internal opposition to the programme.
But that’s not it.
In 2017 we also saw: a baby born from a 24-years-old frozen embryo and a robot that grows like a vine. For this year scientists anticipate serious solutions to climate change and faster smarter artificial intelligence.