16 December 2008

10 main scientific events of 2008

According to RIA Novosti, the rating of the most important events in science, published by TIME magazine, was headed by the Large Hadron Collider, which was launched on September 10, 2008. The world's largest particle accelerator has been built since the 1990s by the efforts of physicists and engineers from many countries, including Russia. Scientists hope that the results of the research will confirm the existence of the Higgs boson — the particle responsible for the mass of all other elementary particles. The first attempt to conduct a particle beam around the entire ring on September 10 was successful. However, a few days later, an accident occurred at the accelerator and a significant leak of liquid helium into the tunnel. As a result, the new launch of the tank was postponed until spring.

The Phoenix rover follows the TANK in the TIME rating. In May, the probe made a successful landing near the north pole of the "red" planet, which was previously inaccessible for research. With the help of the rover, scientists have found that as the "Martian winter" begins to snow over the planet. It goes at an altitude of 4 km and evaporates before reaching the surface of the planet. Phoenix was also able to detect water in the planet's soil.

In third place was the world's first artificial chromosome, created by American geneticist Craig Venter (J. Craig Venter) and his colleagues. Scientists hope that the data obtained will allow them to create new forms of life that do not exist in nature.

The fourth most important event in the scientific world was the first spacewalk of a Chinese cosmonaut. Chinese Air Force officer Zhai Zhigang stayed outside the spacecraft for 20 minutes, conducted a series of experiments and greeted outer space with a wave of the national flag of China. Thus, China became the third country in the world to master outer space. It is expected that by 2020 China will build its own space station in orbit and create a space laboratory.

In the fifth place of the rating was a study by the Society for the Protection of Wildlife, according to which the number of gorillas in the Congo is twice as large as previously thought. Researchers have found out that there are 125 thousand animals in the forests and swamps of the Republic of the Congo. Meanwhile, in the Virunga Nature Reserve, caught in the middle of a civil war, mountain gorillas are in danger of complete extinction. Military operations threaten the lives of about 350 mountain gorillas.

Time experts also paid attention to astronomical discoveries. In June of this year, Swiss astronomer Michel Mayor and his colleagues discovered 45 previously unknown exoplanets outside the Solar System. One of them turned out to be 9.5 times larger than the Earth, writes "Версии.Сом ".

Journalists awarded the seventh place to scientists from the University of California at Berkeley, who created the "invisibility cloak". The canvas, which is 10 times thinner than a sheet of paper, consists of nanowires running inside a porous aluminum tube. To make the object invisible, scientists wrapped it in a material and sent light waves around it.

One of the most significant scientific events in the past year was the decoding of 80% of the mammoth genome. Thanks to a study by American scientists from the University of Pennsylvania, the mammoth has become the most genetically studied extinct species. Professor of biochemistry and molecular biology Stephen Schuster does not rule out that this study will help revive the mammoth, but it will happen in the distant future.

The "top ten" of the most important scientific events also included a study on the illiteracy of the US population. According to the data obtained, only a quarter of the country's residents have scientific literacy (civic scientifically literate). Thus, every fourth American is able to read and understand articles from the scientific column of The New York Times.

The archaeologists' find closes the rating — a human burial made 4,600 years ago in central Germany. An ancient grave of members of the same family was discovered on the territory of the federal state of Saxony-Anhalt. This finding made it possible to conclude that already in the Stone Age people lived in modern-type families consisting of parents and children.

Portal "Eternal youth" www.vechnayamolodost.ru16.12.2008

Found a typo? Select it and press ctrl + enter Print version