Science is a continually evolving field, and each year, more questions are answered, and even more stunning discoveries are revealed. It only proves that there is so much more in this world that we don’t understand. These discoveries though have given us the tools we need moving forward.
5. New prime number was discovered
Do you remember when you were in elementary and you were taught about the concept of prime numbers? These are numbers greater than 1, but are only divisible by 1 and itself. Using the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search, a new prime number was discovered – the 2^74,207,281-1. This is highly significant especially in the field of modern cryptography and data encoding. This new discovery is also a record holder as the longest prime number, which is about 5 million digits longer than the previous longest prime number.
4. Ninth planet discovered in the Solar System
Do you remember when Pluto was demoted as just a dwarf planet? It seems like everything that we knew and was taught to us when we were young about the solar system. Well, there is another mind-blowing discovery in 2016. There is indeed a 9th planet, but it is not Pluto. There is no name for the 9th planet just yet, but there is concrete evidence of its existence at an orbital period of 15,000 years. It is due to gravitation clustering beyond the orbit of Neptune. According to computations, there is only 0.007% chance that this is coincidence and not the existence of an actual planet. It is also believed that this planet is 2 to 15 times the mass of the Earth and around 200 to 1,600 Astronomical Units from the sun.
3. Stem cell technology has allowed stroke patients to walk again
It is always great to hear how researches have led to improvements in the field of medicine. This time, a clinical trial at Stanford University has helped patients of chronic stroke to regain their ability to walk by injecting stem cell directly to their brain. The procedure was deemed successful and no negative effects were seen. The patients also showed significant healing over a long time and increased mobility. This discovery has proven that even seemingly hopeless cases still have hope.
2. Carbon dioxide pumped to the ground can be turned into solid stone
The release of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has caused too much trouble in this world. This paved the way for global climate change and the entire world is suffering from its impact. Scientists from Iceland may have found a way to put an end to this problem though. This is by pumping carbon dioxide into a volcanic rock. This hastens the process of turning basalt into carbonate minerals, eventually turning into limestone. The process usually takes thousands of years, but is now reduced to just two years. It also makes sure that carbon doesn’t return to the atmosphere.
1. An almost eternal data storage method was discovered
What if you can save the information of almost everything that has ever existed in a small glass device? This discovery was totally stunning since it created a storage device which is the size of a glass disk to hold as much as 360 TB of data and keep it intact for up to 1,000°C. At room temperature, this device could hold information of up to 13.8 billion years. This is equivalent to the amount of time the universe is in existence. It uses an ultrafast laser with short but intense light pulses. With this discovery, even if the Earth is gone, the memories of its existence remain.
Rest assured, there will be more stunning discoveries in the future. It is just amazing to look back to what humans have accomplished in 2016 – a year when bad news has dominated our lives. Amid all these sad stories lie the stories of hope and a brighter future for all of us. It is up to us on how we can use this new information to make this world a better place.