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Strange and wonderful scientific discoveries in 2022.. Get to know them!

29.12.2022 03:56 AM
Strange and wonderful scientific discoveries in 2022.. Get to know them!
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Strange and wonderful scientific discoveries in 2022.. Get to know them!
There have been many weird and wonderful scientific discoveries in 2022.
The Daily Mail takes a look at the most interesting developments this year:
Asteroid character mission:
 Scientists succeeded in carrying out the first-ever planetary defense test by deflecting an asteroid slightly from its path last September.

The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission saw a spacecraft intentionally crash into Dimorphos, a small asteroid moon in the Didymos twin asteroid system 7 million miles (11 million km) from Earth.

It was the world's first test of kinetic impact mitigation technology, using an object to deflect an asteroid that poses no threat to Earth and modify its orbit.
Before impact, Dimorphus had taken approximately 11 hours and 55 minutes to orbit its larger partner, Didymus.

However, this decreased by 32 minutes to 11 hours and 23 minutes after impact. The hope is that we can make this work one day as a strategy to defend our planet against potential future threats from space, if necessary.

The discovery of the oldest dinosaur fossil in Africa
  Paleontologists have discovered the oldest dinosaur ever found in Africa. Dubbed Mbiresaurus raathi, the creature was nearly six feet long and roamed Zimbabwe 230 million years ago.

Analysis of the fossils revealed that it was a type of sauropodomorph, a relative of the sauropod, that walked on four legs, had jagged teeth, and had a long neck and tail.

The skeleton was discovered during two expeditions, in 2017 and 2019, to the Zambezi Valley.

"The discovery of Mbiresaurus fills a critical geographic gap in the fossil record of the oldest dinosaurs and shows the power of hypothesis-based fieldwork to test predictions about the ancient past," said Dr. Christopher Griffin, of Virginia Tech College of Science.
The most complete baby woolly mammoth

It was discovered by gold miners in Yukon, Canada, in July.
It looks a bit like a mummified baby elephant, but this creature is actually a very well-preserved baby mammoth that lived over 30,000 years ago.

The Yukon government said it was "the most complete mammoth found in North America" and the second such find in the world.

Nun cho ga was frozen in permafrost, mummifying his remains.
Lab-grown brain cells learn to play video games

The classic table tennis-themed video game Pong was groundbreaking and very popular when it was released in 1972.

Human brain cells grown in the lab have been shown to be able to move a paddle vertically across a screen to hit a ball.
And researchers from Melbourne-based Cortical Labs have demonstrated for the first time that 800,000 brain cells can perform goal-directed tasks — in this case, Pong.

The results suggest that even brain cells in a petri dish can display inherent intelligence, modifying their behavior over time.

Microplastics are everywhere
Scientists have been studying microplastics - small pieces of plastic less than 0.2 inch (5 mm) in diameter that have been discovered, including as far away as Antarctica, but worryingly they are also being found inside us after scientists detected them in human blood for the first time.

Researchers in the Netherlands took blood samples from 22 healthy, unidentified adult donors and analyzed them for particles as small as 0.00002 of an inch.

They found that 17 out of 22 volunteers (77.2%) had microplastics in their blood - a finding described as 'extremely worrying'.

Microplastics were also detected in live human lungs for the first time this year - proof that we breathe them in from the air.

Researchers from the University of Hull and Hull York Medical School found microplastics in the deepest part of the lung.

It is not known what effect microplastics have on the human body, but research in 2023 and beyond is seriously continuing to find out.
First images of the new Super Space Telescope

NASA's new space telescope has sent back its first images of the early universe.

Astronomy enthusiasts received unprecedentedly dazzling images of a "star nursery", a dying star covered in dust and a "cosmic dance" between a group of galaxies.

It was hailed as the 'dawn of a new era in astronomy', and was taken up by James Webb - as the successor to the famous Hubble Observatory.

Webb's capabilities in the infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum mean he can "see past time" within just 100-200 million years of the Big Bang, allowing him to take pictures of the first stars to shine in the universe more than 13.5 billion years ago.

The human genome is finally complete

After it took two decades, in 2022 the entire human genome has finally been mapped.

And in March, researchers published a gap-free sequence of nearly 3 billion bases (or "letters") of a single person's DNA, 20 years after producing the first draft.

They said the complete, gap-free sequencing of the bases in our DNA was critical to understanding human genetic variation and genetic contributions to specific diseases.

The researchers suggested that some genes that were gaps in the original genome are believed to be very important in helping to create a larger brain in humans than in other apes.

The work was done by the Telomere to Telomere (T2T) Consortium, which included researchers at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI); University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC); and University of Washington, Seattle.

The newly completed genome, named T2T-CHM13, can now be accessed through the UCSC Genome Browser online.
First photo of Sagittarius A * (Sagittarius A)

Astronomers revealed, in a historic precedent, how they captured a wonderful image of a supermassive black hole at the heart of our Milky Way galaxy.

The eagerly awaited image showed Sagittarius A* - which has a mass about 4.3 million times that of our Sun and is located about 27,000 light-years from Earth.

This came just over three years after astronomers revealed the first-ever image of a black hole.

The two black holes bear striking similarities, despite the fact that Sagittarius A* is 2,000 times smaller than Messier 87, which is located in a distant galaxy 55 million light-years away.

Fossil from the day the dinosaurs died 66 million years ago

Paleontologists have discovered the first-ever fossilized remains of a dinosaur killed the day a massive asteroid struck Earth 66 million years ago.

The Thescelosaurus leg was discovered alongside a section of a seven-mile-wide space rock.

Scientists believe that the skin-covered tip likely 'broke off' when the Chicxulub asteroid struck, and was then buried in the falling debris on the day of the impact.

They also said they believed they had discovered a small part of the space rock that ended the age of the dinosaurs and gave rise to mammals.
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