Six scientific discoveries that marked the decade

By El Comercio / GDA

01/01/2020 | 11: 19 p.m.

The last
10 years have been marked by relevant advances and discoveries
scientists, some of whom were deserving of a Nobel Prize. Without
doubt, some of them will be remembered for being the first time
recorded, like the image of a black hole.

In the
last decade scientists made progress in understanding the
human body, of the climate crisis and the cosmos that surrounds us.

review the most important scientific discoveries and advances of the last
10 years and their respective explanations.

Gravitational waves

The waves
gravitational are space-time disturbances that occur when
A massive body is accelerated. They were first detected in 2015. But, no
it was until February 2016 that a group of scientists from the Observatory of
Gravitational Wave Laser Interferometry (LIGO) managed to detect these
waves in the Universe, thanks to a precise instrument specially built
for this.

One more year
late, Rainer Weiss, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, for his
acronym in English), Barry Barish and Kip Thorne, of the Institute of Technology of
California, won the Nobel Prize in Physics.

The waves
gravitational are the tool to measure spatial phenomena like holes
blacks, wormholes and singularities. Thanks to them, it is possible to understand
and measure this universe.

In its
time, Stephen Hawking cataloged them as “a new way of looking at the

New distant cousin of the human being

Lee Berger,
Researcher at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, in 2015,
He said at a conference: “I am happy to introduce you to a new species of
human gender”.

Thus, the
scientist introduced the “Homo nadeli”, an ancient species that was found in
a cave with difficult access in Maropeng, near Johannesburg, where
find the rich archaeological site of the “Cradle of humanity”,
registered in the world heritage of Unesco.

a tiny brain the size of an orange and a very slender body, ”
declared John Hawks, a researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and author
Of the investigation.

New worlds outside the Solar System

In 2009, it was
launched the Kepler space telescope, belonging to NASA, and which had the
objective of finding exoplanets, or worlds that are outside the System
Solar. It was the first mission of the US space agency to have the
aim to find planets similar to Earth.

30 of
October 2018, the space agency’s analysis instrument ended its
operations. The probe that traveled through space observing different systems
Stellar in the Universe, came to identify more than 2,600 exoplanets.

In 2018,
his successor, the TESS telescope, which he has described to date has been launched
34 confirmed planets. The takeoff, made thanks to the Space X ship,
Billionaire Elon Musk’s company, Falcon 9, was successfully made from
the base of Cape Canaveral and initially, the instrument would analyze around
of 20 thousand exoplanets.

Guerrero, a TESS researcher, said on the day of takeoff: “we hope that
Help us answer if our solar system is common or unique. There is
very rare and strange planets and galaxies; aquatic worlds, covered in lava ”.

Human Genome Edition

In 2012, a
group of researchers proposed that the Crispr-Cas9 system could be used, the
that some bacteria use naturally as an immune system, as a
Powerful genetic editing tool.

Crispr-Cas9 allows to store fragments of viral DNA, recognize any
virus that matches in the future and then cut the virus’s DNA into tapes.

However, scientists could easily “customize” the DNA. Later,
They confirmed that the technique worked in the human genome.

This has generated
Ethical dilemmas. In 2018, Chinese scientist He Jiankui announced the birth
of two girls, which they had in genome edited with Crispr. They were the first
humans born with inheritable editions in their DNA.

An unpublished image

This 2019, is
he managed for the first time in the history of mankind to capture an image of a
black hole Specifically, it is the horizon of this phenomenon
astronomical located in the center of the Messier 87 galaxy, in the
constellation of Virgo, 55 million light years from Earth.

The unpublished
registration was obtained by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) and participated
different international telescopes, including radio telescopes of
SOUL, which are located in the Atacama desert.

astronomer Violette Impellizzeri, stressed that “ALMA is gigantic, the others
telescopes that have been part of this observation, which are eight in total,
They are about 10 meters in diameter. The biggest after ALMA has 30
meters in diameter (in Mexico), but it is also less modern and its result is
minor because it does not light so well. ”

In the
image can be seen at the center of the black hole, from which the
light. The illuminated area corresponds to the accretion disk and the bottom
it is brighter, because it is the result of the rotation and propulsion of the
black hole

The hole
portrayed black has a mass that equals 6.5 billion times to the
of the Earth’s Sun and a diameter that is almost double our solar system,
about 38 billion kilometers.

Scientific evidence about the climate crisis

In 2013, the
global CO2 levels reached 400 parts per million for the first time in
The history of mankind. 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 have been the five
hottest years since 1880. Because of this, scientists have
throughout the world they decided to demonstrate scientific evidence.

In 2014, the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published
its fifth assessment of the reality and consequences of climate change. A
year later the world nations negotiated the Paris Agreement, which
seeks to keep the temperature rise below 1.5 degrees.

This year,
IPCC experts reported that sea level could rise more than one
meter by the year 2100 if the current rise in temperatures is maintained.
The report warns that this could force millions of

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