Scientific and Technological Discoveries of 2016
Earth has a new friend.
A small asteroid that orbits around the sun, has also been discovered to be part of Earth’s orbit. Although the asteroid is far too distant to be an actual satellite like our moon, but is a true example of a companion of Earth. This could also be called a “quasi-satellite” which is an object in a specific type of co-orbital configuration. This satellite is named 2016 HO3 and is said to be Earth’s stable companion for a little less than a century and will continue to orbit around Earth for a long time. 2016 HO3’s orbit is odd compared to the rest of the solar system. Most of the time, the satellite is closer to the sun than to Earth, but it does cross through the orbital plane of Earth. The gravitational pull of Earth restricts 2016 HO3 from getting over 100 times the distance of the moon. Overall, this asteroid is in a gravitational dance with Earth.
As well as this asteroid circling Earth, NASA’s Juno mission has entered the orbit of Jupiter. Juno mission had been launched almost five years ago and has successfully entered the orbit of the largest planet in the Milky Way solar system. The craft had turned away from the sun and continued onto the insertion attitude. After series of steps, the spacecraft will go from 5 to 2 RPM, or revolutions per minute, and will transmit information from the antenna. Juno mission will take 53 and a half days to complete its full circle around Jupiter. The 14-day phase will begin the final burn of the engine had happened on October 19th. JPL, or Jet Propulsion Laboratory, is the main manager for this mission, and Scott Bolton is the investigator. Juno is in NASA’s Frontiers Program for the Science Mission Directorate. Juno was built by Lockheed Martin Space Systems.
Stroke patients usually have disabling effects following their stroke. A lot of the time, patients can’t walk, or simply cannot move one of their arms. There are more effects, but these deem the most frequent. Neurosurgeons injected SB623 cells, which are derived from stem cells in bone marrow from two separate donors, which were modified to fix the function. These stem cells, being naturally produced hasn’t caused any problems producing unnecessary tissue or any newly formed tumors. These retracted stem cells hasn’t created any immune system reactions with
patients who aren’t related to their donors. After the procedures, the patients were monitored by blood tests, were evaluated, and were brain imaged. These cells were shown that they all disappeared from the brain by two months after the procedure, but the patients continued to improve months afterward. Also, the motor-functions improved with a point of 11.4, but the improvements weren’t minor. There were cases where patients were in a wheelchair, and after the procedure gradually learned to walk again. Overall, this procedure was deemed very important, considering stroke patients of a vast ages are responding well.
Prokaryotic organisms, also known as single celled organisms are the reason we exist today. An ancient molecule, GK-PID, has been proved to be the reason as to why single-celled organisms have multiplied over time into multicellular organisms, known as eukaryotic organisms. This molecule was found to be similar to a molecular carabiner, whose function is to collect and join chromosomes which will be latched onto the wall of the cell membrane when divided. This process will restrict the cell from becoming cancerous, but also allowing it to copy itself and reproduce. This discovery has shows that this ancient molecule does not work as it worked in ancient times. This would be because of the mutation that occurred during the process of copying and reproducing. This ultimately means that multicellular organisms are resulted from a single mutation.
Rocks on Earth have given evidence that there may have been life before oxygen. In the Northern Cape Province of South Africa, fossils were found of bacteria in the times where the oxygen levels were one-thousandth of one percent as now. These have been the oldest recorded fossils of bacteria ever found. These bacteria are recorded as 2.52 billion years old and were recorded as very large, sphere shaped, smooth microscopic bacteria that are much larger than modern day bacteria. Scientists did not believe that there were any bacteria in these times that there was little to no
oxygen. After this discovery, more of the Earth’s past has become known to us; there was life before there was oxygen for most organisms were able to sustain life.
Geologists have now made an initial statement on the technosphere weight of Earth. This weight is recorded as 30 trillion tons. A technosphere is the weight of all the objects that humans have created. This would range from a factory to the iphone you use. This would be found very extreme because this would mean for every square meter of Earth there would be an estimated 100 lbs of weight. Most of the weight is from houses, farms, factories, airports, computer systems, mines, shipping ports, and computer as well as the waste they all produce. In regard to the technosphere, humans have made an extremely large impact. This is now considered a new phenomenon of Earth, and the weight grows more and more each day. Scientists researching this claim that humans are reshaping our planet. There is more to is than the weight, this part of the atmosphere has enabled humans to make things that will later be known as technofossils from this part of history, known as the Anthropocene. Many scientists believe that the technosphere could be another tool to determine human impact on Earth.
And in TECHNOLOGY…
Paralyzed man, Ian Burkhart, is a 24 year old man who had suffered an accident at age 19 that caused extreme damage to his spinal cord; this accident lead to Burkhart unable to move his arms and legs. A device has been implanted into his brain which was connected to a sleeve of electrodes which are worn on his arm. After this device was implanted movement has been regained in his arms and a few fingers. Burkhart is now able to perform everyday activities like pouring water into a glass… and playing “Guitar Hero”! This device is brain-computer-interface-technology, which is controlled by a computer that translates signals in a brain of a human into electrical pulses. This was worn on Ian Burkhart’s arm. The creation of this technology was that the device implanted held microelectrodes into the motor cortex. Although this isn’t the first time a paralyzed man has been able to regain movement in limbs; this is the first time a man has regained movement in a limb by their own body.
A new way of storage has been discovered. There has been a nano-constructed glass disk created that holds 360 TB of data. This amount of data is the equivalent to 360,000 GB of data. Another feature of this disk is that it can withstand until 1,000 C which is 1832 F. The average shelf life for this disk is estimated around 13.8 billion years… around the same amount of years the universe has existed.