Humans are ingenious species and are always in the quest for discovering something novel,or travelling the unexplored path.While Science has been there with us for millennia in one form or another and has transformed the very foundations of the human civilization we’ve gotta admit that without it we’d still be wearing lion cloths and hunting with spears, so its important to pay proper tribute to the most ground-breaking, inspiring, notable discoveries, inventions, achievements and breakthroughs in the field of science that led to a true proliferation of knowledge and development of the human race in general.Any attempt to count down the most important inventions is certainly debatable,but here are some of the biggest strides made by scientists over the years!!!
1. Innovation of Editing Genes:
Ever since the DNA was discovered scientists have hypothesized about the possibility of artificially modifying DNA to change the functions of an organism. Imagine the possibilities of genetically engineered babies and the slowing down or complete eradication of ageing, or even eradication of genetic disorders. Genome editing technologies enable scientists to make changes to DNA, leading to changes in physical traits, like eye color, and disease risk. Scientists use different technologies like scissors,cutting the DNA at a specific spot&can remove,add,or replace the DNA where it was cut. Now genetic engineering is more precise due to a new genome editing tool called CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Inter Spaced Short Palindromic Repeats), invented in 2009, has made it easier than ever to edit DNA, which is why it is now simpler, faster, cheaper, and more accurate than older genome editing methods, and can be used for a wide range of applications,from increasing the muscle mass of livestock,to producing resistant and fruitful crops,to treating diseases like cancer by removing a patient’s immune system cells,modifying them to better fight a disease, and re injecting them into the patient’s body.Without the discovery of DNA,we wouldn’t have all the ground-breaking studies going on right now in genome mapping and sequencing,so for that reason this discovery has to be on the top of our list!
2. The Modern Anatomy:
If you have ever been to the doctor’s clinic, you might have seen the big poster of human body with all those bones,muscles & organs mapped out. And it might be easy enough to assume putting that visual image together was an easy task but you are very wrong! A Modern understanding of Anatomy is essential across multiple fields and sub fields of medicine ranging from diverse forms of surgery,cardiology,neurology and many more.But the precise understanding we have today was not always with us, in fact the path to get us there started long ago in Ancient Greece. The Greek anatomist, Herophilus, known as the Father of Anatomy was recognized as the first person to perform systematic dissections of the human body. His discoveries spanned the breadth and width of Human Anatomy and resulted in detailed knowledge of the eye,nervous,digestive,reproductive&cardiovascular system. Because of his fame and reputation his knowledge was passed on to the future generations with great precision,& thus each person coming out of the operating room today owes him a great debt.
3. The First Image Of A Black Hole:
Space inspires innovative and scientists alike but of the very bizarre &rattling things that make up the universe, Black Holes are without a doubt the most fascinating,& in 2019 after over a century of theories pointing to their existence a black hole was finally caught on camera.The Event Horizon Telescope & International Collaboration made up of eight radio telescopes from around the world revealed a Black Hole larger than our own solar system at the heart of the Messier 87 Galaxy over 50 million light years away!! This image is the end result of over a decade of efforts,dreams and is an accomplishment that many once believed to be impossible even within the scientific reach&community.
4. Detection Of The First Gravitational Wave:
Like Black Holes ,Gravitational waves have been the subject of much theorization dating back over a century.But it wasn’t until 2015 that their existence was finally confirmed.Gravitational waves are the ripples caused by the movement of objects with sufficient mass through space and that’s exactly what the LIGO & VIRGO observatories in America and Europe were able to observe directly for the first time following what has been identified as the distant collision of two Black Holes.Well for beginners it’s the long overdue confirmation of Einstein’s Theory Of Relativity that even Einstein himself doubted! More importantly however Gravitational Waves are a measurable force that allows us to explore &understand previously unfathomable depths of space!!!
5. Massive Discovery of Aeroplanes:
So the famous photo is just what it seems to be, an astounding image of the world’s first airplane at the outset of its first flight flown by Orville Wright.The Wright Brothers invented and flew the first airplane in 1903,which gave humans the wings to touch the sky beyond their wildest dreams proving that the “Sky is not the Limit”,and thus opening an entire new field of study the “Aerodynamics”.Planes brought the world closer together, allowing us to travel quickly over great distances thus resulting in what today is a blooming Airlines Industry. This technology has broadened minds through enormous cultural exchanges—but it also escalated the reach of the world wars that would soon break out, and the severity of every war thereafter.The first Jet Aircraft was the German HeinkelHe178 in 1939. The first Jet airliner, the deHavillandComet, was introduced in 1952. The Boeing 707, the first widely successful commercial jet, was in commercial service for more than 50 years, from 1958 to at least 2013.
6. Technological Advancement In Medical Imaging:
Medical imaging is an essential tool for clinical analysis, allowing doctors to see beyond what is hidden by skin and bone to accurately diagnose and treat diseases. From X-rays and Radiography to MRI scans and Ultrasound Technology, these scientific innovations have all helped to ensure modern medicine is the least invasive it can be while ensuring the best outcomes for patients. Medical imaging really showcases how science and technology are complementary disciplines, as one advances the other.
7. Transformation of Mankind To Artificial Intelligence:
We often look at Artificial Intelligence from a human perspective, for example robots that begin thinking for themselves (and perhaps take over the world), but for me artificial intelligence is one of the greatest scientific breakthroughs of all time because it enables machines to learn and process more information than we ever could as humans. Artificial intelligence can now mimic human speech, translate languages, diagnose cancers, draft legal documents and play games (and even beat human competitors). With all the big data being generated from genomics projects and electronic medical records from across the globe, artificially intelligent computers can learn to spot patterns in all that information, leading to faster discoveries and huge jumps forward in our understanding of diseases and how to treat them. We’re already in a society where systems can accomplish tasks we didn’t believe would be possible in our time.The capabilities of non-human systems will only continue to expand!
8. Vital Discovery Of Antibiotics & Vaccination :
Well first the difference between the two is Vaccines are administered before getting infected as a preventive measure to kill the virus in first place&once taken has a lifetime effect, whereas Antibiotics kills the Bacteria during the time of disease and is taken after getting infected. Antibiotics revolutionised medicine in the 20th century, and together with vaccinations, have almost completely eradicated many once-common diseases such as tuberculosis,smallpox ,rabies,ebola etc&thus extending the human lifespan.The first vaccine (for smallpox) was developed by Edward Jenner in 1796. A rabies vaccine was developed by the French chemist and biologist Louis Pasteur in 1885, who is credited with making vaccination the major part of medicine that is it today.While in 1928,Alexander Fleming discovered the first antibiotic,Penicillin,which he grew in his lab using mold&fungi.For the millions of lives antibiotics&vaccines have had &continue to save they have to be in this list.
9. Invention Of Personal Computers :
Computers, love them or hate them, we rely on them every day. In fact, you’re using one right now! But, have you ever stopped to think about who invented computers and how they came to dominate our lives? François Gernelle invented the Micral N, the world’s first “personal computer”(1973),invented in the 1970s, personal computers greatly expanded human capabilities. While your smartphone is more powerful, one of the earliest PCs was introduced in 1974 by Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS) via a mail-order computer kit called the Altair. From there, companies like Apple, Microsoft, and IBM have redefined personal computing.
10. Huge Discovery: The Internet
Last but not the least, possibly the greatest technological invention of our time, Internet. It really needs no introduction: The global system of interconnected computer networks known as the Internet is used by billions of people worldwide.A truly remarkable feat of physics and engineering in its own right, the Internet has had a huge impact on science from connecting scientists across the globe and allowing them to share information and research more easily, to providing scientific resources and papers to more people than ever. Countless people helped develop it, but the person most often credited with its invention is the computer scientist Lawrence Roberts.In the 1960s, a team of computer scientists working for the U.S. Defense Department’s ARPA (Advanced Research Projects Agency) built a communications network to connect the computers in the agency, called ARPANET,the predecessor of Internet ,that we know today is an even more modern invention. 1990s creation of the World Wide Web by England’s Tim Berners-Lee is responsible for transforming our communication, commerce, entertainment, politics, you name it.
Well these were the top ten noteworthy scientific discoveries of all time for me! While I know whittling down an entire blooming scientific era into just a handful of discoveries isn’t great.
What do you think is the most recent scientific achievement ? Or better yet what do you hope happens in the near future?
Do let us know in the comments below! Till then keep learning and discovering!
- nasa.gov, cbsnews.com
This article was written by Swarnima Nagapurkar of SKNCOE, for ZeroGravity and edited by Nia Gajbhiye, Editor of ZeroGravity.
The flyer is designed by Navin Bhagat of SKNCOE, for ZeroGravity.