2018 Science Recap (Part I)

2018 has been a great year look back at- amazing scientific, medical and technological advances have been made. The year’s research, findings and inventions have made sure that there is a lot more for us to look forward to in 2019. So as we usher in the New Year, let’s take a look at some big and small steps that science, medicine and technology has taken in the past year.

 1. A new revolutionary identification device was developed which can be a breakthrough for the cyber-security world.

Fingerprints are not as secure as we’d like to think- they can be hacked by a special printer. So, to up the security game, Descartes Biometrics developed a new identification device called the “Earprint”. The “Earprint” might very soon substitute fingerprint security. It works by sending sound into your ear which is then echoed back- and the echo is different for every individual.

2. We “flew to the sun” recently, after the Parker Solar Probe was launched.

Roughly the size of a small car, the probe was launched on August 11, 2018. It is meant to fly directly through the Sun’s atmosphere, as close as 3.8 million miles from its surface, closer to the surface than any spacecraft before it. Right now it’s the fastest moving man-made object in space

3. For the third time ever a female scientist won the Nobel Prize in physics.

 Donna Strickland shared the 2018 Nobel Prize in physics with Gérard Mourou for her work on lasers. She is an associate professor of physics at the University of Waterloo in Canada. Another female scientist, Frances Arnold, became the fifth woman since 1901 to win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

4. Scientists found a cruelty-free way to grow meat in a lab.

Creating meat in a lab required scientists to rely on an animal product called fetal bovine serum (which comes from slaughtered cows) until the Dutch startup Meatable claimed to have successfully created meat in a lab by a cruelty-free method by using only stem cells from animals’ umbilical cords.

5. A plastic trapping pipe- a groundbreaking invention that can help clean up our oceans- was finally put to test.

Boyan Slat’s started his non-profit organisation Ocean Cleanup when he was 18. It aims to “advanced technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic.” It recently deployed its $20 million system designed to clean up the 1.8 trillion pieces of trash floating in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The Ocean Cleanup website claims that “a full-scale deployment of our systems is estimated to clean up 50 % of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch every 5 years.”

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