We’re barely through the first half of 2017 and already we’ve made some mind-blowing scientific discoveries! Every year, scientists and researchers from around the world work hard on solving the problems that surround us and continue to discover more fascinating things about our life on Earth, and possibly quite soon – beyond it! The breakthroughs made in 2017 have pushed the boundaries of what we thought we knew already and introduced brand new elements into the game of science. Some of these amazing discoveries teach us about our bodies, the world around us, the space beyond it, and some may very soon change all of our lives drastically. Feast your minds on the latest progress made in science!
Lungs Make Blood
The organ so far thought responsible only for facilitating respiration is confirmed to play a much more complex role in our bodies. Lungs are one of the key factors in blood production. Recent experiments with mice discovered that the decades-long assumption that bone marrow produces all of our blood components is incorrect. A previously unknown pool of blood stem cells residing inside the lung tissue is also producing blood components. (More Details)
Vantablack – The Blackest Material on Earth
It’s not Photoshop, censorship, CGI or any kind of image manipulation, what you’re looking at is a real physical object simply sprayed with Vantablack. This material was discovered in 2014, and the team behind it has been working on continually upgrading its blackness. This portal to another dimension is capable of absorbing 99.96% of ultraviolet, infrared, and visible light, and now it’s available in a spray-on version! (More Details)
7 Earth-Sized Planets in Aquarius
Not one or two, but seven Earth-sized planets were discovered in the constellation of Aquarius surrounding a star. Even though they are 39 light years away and surround a dwarf star not emitting as much energy as ours, scientists believe these planets could be home to life. “It is a crucial step in finding out if there’s life out there”, said the researchers at the Institute of Astronomy at Cambridge University, and we may be closer than we think! (More Details)
Doorway to The Underworld
Colossal craters have been appearing seemingly out of nowhere on Russia’s Yamal Peninsula. Due to varying conditions, Siberia’s permafrost has been compromised lately, and the huge craters are revealing interesting elements of the past. One of the biggest craters in the region is expanding so rapidly that it uncovered long-buried forests, carcasses, and other remnants of the past, revealing more than 200,000 years of historical climate records. (More Details)
Pill Against Binge Drinking
Studying the genomes of light, moderate, and heavy drinkers, scientists were able to focus their research on a specific gene and single out the variation inside the gene which made people drink significantly less than others. University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center created a pill that consists a variation of hormone attached to the “less-drinking” gene and is designed for human consumption. Ideally, this new discovery will help combat alcoholism and binge drinking. (More Details)
The Origin of Consciousness?
Using the latest technologies and a brand new imaging technique, scientists have detected a giant neuron wrapped around the entire circumference of a mouse’s brain. This neuron is so densely wrapped and connected across both hemispheres that it might be the explanation behind the origins of consciousness. (More Details)
Male Contraceptive Gel with 100% Success Rate?
The very limited choice for contraception when it comes to men might be expanding with a new option, and a 100% successful one! French scientists have discovered a new injectable gel that blocks sperm inside the body, thus preventing them from leaving, while allowing the seminal fluids to pass through. The product is known as Vasalgel, and it has proved to be highly effective in trials using monkeys. Scientists are hoping the first human trials will arrive within a few years. (More Details)
New Continent on Earth – Zealandia
A new study of Earth’s crust revealed a seventh geologic continent called ‘Zealandia’, and it has been there for millennia. According to the 11 researchers behind this claim, New Zealand and New Caledonia are not just an island chain, in fact, they are both part of a single, 4.9-million-square kilometer (1.89 million-square-mile) slab of continental crust separate from Australia. The accumulated data and several interpretations of the researches throughout the years lead to this publication. (More Details)
First Fluorescent Frog
The tiny creature named polka-dot tree frog was considered as an ordinary amphibian, until the scientists realized it actually glows in the dark. So far, fluorescence was registered in certain species of fish, turtles and parrots even, but this is the first example of a fluorescent frog. After a group of scientists decided to shine some ultraviolet light on the tiny creature, they realized it triggered the fluorescence in its skin, which means this could lead to a whole new way of studying amphibians and other creatures. (More Details)
Building a Time Machine
Physicists have designed a mathematical model of a theoretical time machine. It is a “simple” box that can move backwards and forwards through both time and space, and the trick is to use the curvature of space-time in the Universe in order to bend time into a circle for the passenger in the box, thus allowing them to skip into future and the past. The model is called TARDIS (Traversable Acausal Retrograde Domain in Space-time) and all we need to make this Sci-Fi concept into reality is the materials, and that’s where it gets tricky. Apparently, these materials are so exotic we haven’t even discovered them yet…wait, what? The team of researchers claim the concept is mathematically possible, and the discovery of the necessary space/time-bending materials is just one of the directions this mind-boggling physics can go to. (More Details)
Creating Water Out of Thin Air
One of the most revolutionary recent discoveries is definitely the device created by researchers at MIT and University of California, Berkeley, which basically pulls water out of thin air. In weather conditions with humidity as low as 20%, this solar-powered device can effectively suck water vapor out of the air. In 12 hours, the device made of zirconium and fumarate extracted three quarts of water in an area with 20% – 30% humidity. The potential of massively producing this device and distributing it across areas where there’s little access to clean water is priceless. (More Details)