It’s 2019 and we’re taking a look at some big and small steps that science, medicine and technology has taken in the past year.
6. Scientists created a tiny robot which can shrink tumor.
This tiny unfolding robot is 1000 times smaller than a human hair and is capable of traveling through the body’s blood stream, looking for tumors to treat- all without causing any harm to healthy cells along the way. It was built by a team of scientists from Arizona State University and The Chinese Academy of Sciences. It can be injected through an IV( intravenous injection) and as yet has been successfully tested on mice and pig.
7. Australian scientists identified the “earliest known member of the animal kingdom”
Scientists are calling this discovery “the Holy Grail of palaeontology.” The fossil of the mysterious oval shaped creature named “dickinsonia” had confused scientists with its identity for many years now, up until last year when conclusive proof allowed scientists to claim it to be the oldest known animal on Earth.
Jochen Brocks, who is from the team that led the research said that, “The fossil fat molecules that we’ve found prove that animals were large and abundant 558 million years ago, millions of years earlier than previously thought.”
8. The fossils of the earliest giant dinosaur were discovered!
The fossils of the Ingentia Prima were discovered in Argentina. The giant dinosaur would have weighed as much as three African elephants and roamed the Earth around 210 million years ago, which is 30 million years earlier than scientists previously thought giant dinosaurs existed!
Another dinosaur was also discovered last year in South Africa. The Ledumahadi mafube– it lived about 200 million years ago. Both creatures would have been alive at the time of Pangea!
9. Chinese scientists revealed in January that they had successfully cloned monkeys.
Two identical long-tailed macaques, Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua, were cloned by scientists from the Institute of Neuroscience of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai using the same method that birthed Dolly the sheep in 1996. This new advancement was seen to break the “technical barrier” for cloning humans- although it has, for very long, provoked questions of ethics. They are the first primates (the order of mammals that includes monkeys, apes and humans) to be cloned from a non-embryonic cell.
10. There’s a new lander on Mars that has the potential to unlock many mysteries for us.
The 794-pound Martian lander InSight blasted off for Mars on May 5, 2018. The robot will do a “check-up” of the planet’s temperature, atmosphere and measure its size. It could also potentially reveal new secrets about why Earth and Mars went different ways- with Earth being able to support life and Mars ending up as a cold desert planet.