Top 4 Scientific Breakthroughs in 2017

2017 had been a year of rapid scientific innovations and new discoveries. Some of the discoveries were extremely promising while some are life-changing and have the potential to make living better and more efficient.

Some of such important scientific breakthroughs in 2017 are discussed that proves how far technology has advanced. These discoveries are both informative and educational.

  • Creation of Metallic Hydrogen

Researchers had been studying the methods to turn hydrogen into metal for several years. Finally, the scientists from Harvard University figured out the process and turned hydrogen into metal. A tremendous amount of energy is required to convert liquid hydrogen into metal. Researchers applied almost five million atmospheres of pressure to liquid hydrogen to solidify it and made the first metallic hydrogen.

Potential of Metallic Hydrogen:

Metallic hydrogen is a supercomputer and can be used in various fields. Some of the potential uses of metallic hydrogen are:

  1. Faster supercomputers,
  2. Powerful Rocket Propellant,
  3. Levitating Railway lines,
  4. Effective Energy Storage.
  • Breakthroughs with CRISPR

The structure of DNA was discovered in 1953 by James Watson and Francis Crick. Then in the 1970s, DNA sequencing was discovered. After that, several breakthroughs have been made with the DNA and one such discovery is CRISPR. CRISPR stands for  Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats and is a family of DNA sequences in bacteria.

In 2017, a significant breakthrough in gene-editing technology was achieved by researchers in Portland, Oregon. Using CRISPR, they “deleted” a gene linked to heart condition from a human embryo. This was the first time CRISPR was used on human embryos.

CRISPR gene editing tool has also been used by eGenesis(a Cambridge-based biotech startup) to engineer pigs that would not transmit viruses into humans. With this, scientists got closer to implanting pig parts in humans.

  • CAR T-Cell Therapy

CAR T-cell therapy is the acronym for Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T-Cell Therapy. This treatment treats cancer and has revolutionized the Oncology studies. In this, a cancer patient’s cells are removed, re-engineered and then re-inserted into the body. The T-cells (a type of WBC) are changed in the lab so that they can fight the cancer cells when inserted into the body.

  • Teleportation

Chinese scientists have managed to teleport photons to the outer space (satellite) from ground station. They created entangled pairs of photons i.e. the photons are connected to each other at a quantum level. They used mirrors and lasers to teleport the photons to the outer space.

With this breakthrough, quantum computing can reach new heights. In future, the quantum internet will have super-speed, and communication will be faster, more hack-proof and thus, a lot safer than ever.

These were the top 4 scientific breakthroughs in the year 2017. Several other discoveries were also made that can positively affect our living standards. Engineers and researchers are constantly working to advance our society to a new technology-dependent era.

Students who wish to pursue their career in scientific fields need to start developing an interest in scientific subjects from an early age and appear for exams like JEE, NEET, etc. These exams can help students to get admissions into any of the top institutes and can enhance their scientific skills and work positively towards new scientific innovations.

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