Science is ever-evolving, and 2021 was rich in discoveries. From health to space, there were developments in diverse scientific areas bringing us knowledge and further understanding.
In this slogging thread, our community shared their favorite scientific discoveries of the year.
This Slogging thread by Mónica Freitas, Daniel Guzman, Sara Pinto, Amy Shah and Jack Boreham occurred in slogging's official #random channel, and has been edited for readability.
What's the 2021 scientific discovery that most excited you?
For me, it was a team from Northern Arizona University and Johns Hopkins University discovering that water was once present in a region of Mars called Arabia Terra. It can tell a lot of past environments and their evolution.
Limarc Ambalina, Sara Pinto, Jack Boreham, Khamisi Hamisi, Daniel Guzman, Teri Eyenike, Favour Amadi, Allyson Blinkhorn, Amy Shah: What was yours?
Hey Mónica Freitas! I heard a while ago that a group of astronomers identified a planet outside the Milky Way, using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory! We're one step closer to Aliens 👽, do you believe in Aliens?
Daniel Guzman, did we? Did we name it yet? I want to google it! I'm not narcissistic to the point of believing that we're so special that there are no other forms of life outside of earth. So, I do believe in Aliens. I'm not sure about the grey big-headed image we're often fed, but I'm sure there are other forms of life. There are so many hints of patterns that repeat themselves in the universe, so it's only logical to me that other living creatures also exist somewhere else. What about you? 👽
Mónica Freitas, I'm not sure if it's considered a discovery, but yesterday I saw in the news that we managed to get a quite detailed photo of the sun. Since I enjoy the visual side of the space discoveries, this, for me, was pretty amazing! https://www.news18.com/news/buzz/this-could-be-the-clearest-ever-photo-of-our-sun-have-you-seen-it-yet-4528412.html
Mónica Freitas, on the other hand, an actual discovery was finding the two black holes near Earth. These two might merge at some point, creating a massive black hole. I wonder what this means for us since black holes have a big gravitational and magnetic force. https://www.eso.org/public/news/eso2117/
Sara Pinto, WOW, that picture is amazing! We've never been able to see beyond the gases around the sun. This is so clear!
Sara Pinto, I can see how that can be a massive deal for us. If their gravitational force is big enough, it can affect our solar system. It's a bit frightening.
Mónica Freitas, it probably doesn't excite us, but it certainly leaves us alert!
Sara Pinto, true that! On another news, a spacecraft has 'touched' the sun for the first time. I only found that out now, but it happened back in April. "NASA's Parker Solar Probe reached the sun's extended solar atmosphere, known as the corona, and spent five hours there. The spacecraft is the first to enter the outer boundaries of our sun." https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/12/211214134947.htm
Also, there seem to be new developments around HIV. "An experimental HIV vaccine based on mRNA - the same platform technology used in two highly effective COVID-19 vaccines - shows promise in mice and non-human primates, according to scientists. Their results show that the novel vaccine was safe and prompted desired antibody and cellular immune responses against an HIV-like virus."
This is very inspiring. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/12/211209124236.htm
Not sure if this was in 2021, but I was pretty excited about the COVID vaccine as well as other treatments that have been developed to get us out of this pandemic.
Anything to get me out of the house and social again.
Amy Shah ABSOLUTELY!I will be even more excited when we get a cure for this disease and can resume our lives as before.
This is pretty cool!!
Jack Boreham COPYCAT! I saw that article. It's awesome! I don't know how they were able of building something that could endure those high temperatures.
Mónica Freitas, hahaha, great minds think alike.
Mónica Freitas, would you live in space if you got the chance? 😄
Jack Boreham, ahahah let's blame it on our geniality.
Jack Boreham, actually, I've thought of that a lot growing up. So, here's my line of reasoning:
In conclusion, yes, I'd love to go, as long as it was for free, I was knocked out during the flights, a month-long tops and I can take my snacks.
Jack Boreham, how about you? Sara Pinto do let us know your thoughts on this.
😂 Mónica Freitas, I completely agree with the knocked-out part. There's no way I would want to wait around, hoping nothing bad would happen. Hopefully, they will speed up the process. By that point, I hope the suits aren't as claustrophobic; otherwise, I'm going to die in space. I hate things that feel like they are going to suffocate me.
Jack Boreham, ahahah you must hate amusement parks. But I get it. I've tried those scuba diving things and panicked. Being stuck on a spaceship would be equally nerve-wracking 😂
Mónica Freitas, I'm a little late, but the news on "touching" the sun, that's (almost) literally fire 🔥😂
Mónica Freitas, I would like to go on vacation, for like 3 days. Actually, living there? I don't think so. The view would be amazing every time, but after a while, it's just you and space. Unless you are an enthusiast about it, I don't think it's that exciting.
Mónica Freitas, when it comes to the journey there, in my naive head, I think I would actually like to be awake, haha.
Sara Pinto, oh yeah, I'm with you. I wouldn't be able to live in space, maybe if I were more of an introvert.
Sara Pinto, oof, you're braver than me