In 2015, there were so many laboratory notebooks filled with exciting information that it is very difficult to narrow the list of science stories down to just 10. Since 2016 is already off to a significant start, expect no less of a struggle next year for the top science stories of the year. From things as seemingly simple as universal flu shots to mind-melding and modifying DNA, 2015 was an exciting year for science in almost all countries around the world.
- Mind-meld: Duke University researchers combined the thought processes of three monkeys, enabling them to combine efforts to control a robotic arm. They also managed to connect different species for a similar effect.
- Teixobactin: A new antibiotic may prevent bacteria from growing, which is much more efficient than killing existing bacteria. Since bacteria uses lipid molecules as tools to build new cell walls, this antibiotic simply targets the lipid molecules to prevent this from happening.
- Superbabies: While the rest of the world was watching the latest superhero movies, Chinese scientists were splicing DNA. 28 out of 86 subjects survived, but not all of them carried the DNA with them.
- Spooky Action: Einstein once proposed that some subatomic particles may be able to influence each other even when they weren’t touching and had a large amount of distance between them. Today, scientists in the Netherlands filled more than one laboratory research notebook with conclusive evidence that 2 subatomic particles across from each other at the Delft University of Technology were able to do just that.
- Ripples with Atmosphere: Rosetta, a program with the European Space Agency, was able to take multiple stunning images of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, a comet that showed significant landscaping that only comes with the presence of wind, which the comet doesn’t have.
- Brain undamaged: For those suffering from brain damage and disorders, the creation of artificial neurons brings new hope. These neurons are able to restore some neural functions by bypassing the damaged ones.
- Splitting hairs: Leave it to MIT to create a new way to communicate. Fibers thinner than a strand of hair can allow communication between computers and human brains alike.
- Bionic eye: Forget about 20/20 vision. By 2017, developers expect to market a bionic lens that has better than perfect human vision. This lens offer three times the current 20/20 standard for perfect human vision.
- Oceanfront property: Discoveries on the moons of Saturn and Jupiter give a whole new meaning to oceanfront property. Saturn’s moon offers a nice warm ocean, while oceans on Jupiter’s moons outspan the entire sphere of the Earth.
- Medical history: Pretty soon no one will have to try to remember their medical history, as far as any viral infections are concerned. A new DNA test can trace any virus you have ever had. That isn’t the only surprising part. It can do it based on a single drop of blood.
Keep in mind that every advance in science leads to unlimited advances based on the previous ones. 2015 was pretty exciting, but it will be exciting to see what the laboratory notebooks from 2016 will hold!