Each year scientific achievements conquer new pinnacles. 2014 has been no exception. It was an excellent year for science and scientists. Each invention or discovery reminds that the nature and universe still holds many secrets. Here is the list of Major achievements of science in 2014.
Science in 2014: The Rosetta Spacecraft and Philae Landing
A journey of 10 years covering a distance of 6.4 billion km!! It is not a science fiction but a great achievement. Scientists are considering the achievement of the Rosetta spacecraft as the major achievement of science in 2014. The spacecraft reached the destination, the 67p/ Churuyumov-Gerasimenko comet in August 2014. It has been orbiting the comet since then at a height of 10 km. On 12 November, its probe Philae landed successfully on the comet, but was off the planned landing mark by a bit. Philae did not meet all the planned goals as its batteries could not be charged due to the shadow of a cliff near the location of the landing. But, Philae became the first ever man-made object to land on a comet. Rosetta has already managed to send massive volume of data making the overall programme a huge success. The spacecraft was launched by the European Space Agency. Rosetta is still on duty and it is expected to reveal more about the formation of universe and the contents of comets in coming days.
This project has been ranked as the breakthrough achievement by Science Journal.
Science in 2014: Team of Co-operating Robots.
Have you ever imagined an army of robots carrying out rudimentary tasks? 2014 witnessed various teams demonstrating the capability of thousands of robots to work together to achieve preferred goals, controlled through software. While working towards the common goal, robots interacted among themselves to avoid any collision.
Science in 2014: Transition of Dinosaurs to Birds.
By collating the earlier studies on dinosaurs, bird fossils and birds, biologists are confident that birds ultimately arose from dinosaurs.
Science in 2014: Age in Reverse Gear
Separate experiments made by different groups of scientists on rats now reveal that it is possible to strengthen the hearts, brains and muscles of older mouse by the blood or blood plasma of younger ones. Now researchers are concentrating on Alzheimer patients to improve the conditions.
Science in 2014: IBM Chip Mimics Human Brain
Scientists at IBM have succeeded in developing neuromorphic chips. These chips have the power to process information like human brain. The chip- TrueNorth- has only limited power compared to human brain, in integrating vast amounts of data. But the researches are only in the initial stages.
Science in 2014: Discovery of Oldest Cave Arts.
Scientists have discovered hand stencil drawing of at least 40,000 years old in caves on the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia. So far such drawings were discovered only in Europe. Such stencils are indications of brain developments and the new discoveries will throw more light into researches on brain and human developments.
Science in 2014: Memories May Not be Reliable
Researchers have succeeded in manipulating good memories to bad and vice versa in mice. With further progress, researchers may succeed in treating traumatic stress disorders in humans.
Science in 2014: New Genetic Alphabets
A,T,G and C are the four DNA letters that encode genetic information. For the first time, scientists have succeeded in creating new DNA letters, X and Y in labs. These letters are added only in test tubes and not in any organism. May be in future, it could be used for coding proteins and developing new medicines.
This was the People’s Choice of Breakthrough achievement
Science in 2014: CubeSats in New Roles.
A CubeSat is a miniature satellite with a volume of one liter (10cm x 10cm x 10 cm)and with a mass less than 1.33 klogram. CubeSats are transforming from educational tools to real science objects. In 2014, 75 CubeSats were launched. These 10 cm boxes are equipped to take photographs for monitoring deforestation, river changes etc.
(Reference : Science Journal)