The 20 most important scientific discoveries of the past decade: detecting the first gravitational waves

BEIJING, May 11 (Xinhua) — According tomedia reports, the past decade has been an era of exploration and discovery, scientific research projects are more global and cooperative than ever before, and scientists around the world have made remarkable progress in understanding the human body, exploring the Earth and space. Let’s take a look at the 20 most important scientific findings we’ve made over the past decade:

1, detect the first gravitational wave

The 20 most important scientific discoveries of the past decade: detecting the first gravitational waves

In 1916, scientist Albert Einstein suggested that when an object has sufficient mass acceleration, it can sometimes produce waves that travel through the structure of space-time, like a pond.” Although Einstein later questioned the existence of gravitational waves, these space-time folds, known as gravitational waves, were a key prediction of general relativity. For decades, the exploration of gravitational waves has captivated researchers, and although convincing signs of gravitational waves first appeared in the 1970s, it was not until 2015 that the LIGO Observatory in the United States detected the aftermath of the distant collision between the two black holes, and in 2016 announced a new way for humans to “listen” to the universe.

In 2017, the LIGO Observatory and the European Virgo Observatory detected another set of vibrations, this time caused by a collision between two neutron stars, and the explosion was observed by telescopes around the world, the first astronomical event to be observed in light and gravitational waves. These landmark data help scientists understand how gravitational waves work and how elements such as gold and silver form.

2. Change the human “family tree”

The 20 most important scientific discoveries of the past decade: detecting the first gravitational waves

Over the past decade, scientists have made many progress in understanding the complex origins of humans, including surveying known fossils, discovering complete skull fossils, and discovering multiple branches of human ancestors. In 2010, National Geographic explorer Lee Berger discovered an ancient human ancestor called the Australopithecus sediba, and five years later announced the discovery of a new ancient human species, the Homo naledi, in a cave in a cradle of humans in South Africa, which is very similar to modern humans and distant relatives of ancient times. A follow-up study showed that the Naredis were very young, living 236,000 to 335,000 years ago.

Scientists have made other major discoveries in Asia, and in 2010 a team of researchers claimed that DNA extracted from the ancient Siberian smallfinger bone was different from any modern human, the first vague evidence of the Denisovan lineage. In 2018, a 2.1 million-year-old stone tools were discovered at a site in China, confirming that the tool was made in Asia hundreds of thousands of years earlier than previously thought, and in 2019, Philippine researchers released the Homo Luzonensfossils, a new discovery of ancient humans similar to the Flores, the newly discovered stone tools in Sulawesi, which predate the landing of modern humans, indicating that the third ancient species of ancient humans in Southeast Asia once existed today.

3. Revolutionary study of ancient DNA

With the rapid development of DNA sequencing technology at an exponential level, great progress has been made in understanding how ancient genes shape modern humans over the past decade, and in 2010, researchers unveiled the first near-complete ancient Homo sapiens genome, opening a revolutionary decade for the study of our ancestors’ DNA. Since then, more than 3,000 ancient genomes have been sequenced, including the DNA of Naia, an ancient girl who died 13,000 years ago in Mexico, where her remains are one of the oldest and most complete human bones ever found in the Americas. In the same year, researchers published the first Neanderthal genome blueprint, providing the first reliable genetic evidence that 1-4% of the DNA of all modern Africans originated from these ancient close relatives.

In another startling discovery, scientists studying ancient human DNA in 2018 found a 90,000-year-old skeleton belonging to a young girl who, surprisingly, had a Neanderthal mother and her father, Denisovan, meaning she was the first mixed-race ancient human to be found so far. Scientists later found that comparing the DNA of the Denisovans with fossil proteins confirmed that the Denisovans had lived in what is now Tibet, thus expanding the scope of life of the mysterious group. As scientists matured in their understanding of the field of ancient human DNA, they also discovered ethical issues that ancient humans had dealt with, such as participating in group activities and returning the remains of their companions to tribes.

4. Discover thousands of exoplanets

The 20 most important scientific discoveries of the past decade: detecting the first gravitational waves

Around 2010, there has been a huge leap in human perceptions of planets orbiting distant stars, thanks to NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope, which has discovered more than 2,700 confirmed exoplanets from 2009 to 2018, more than half of the current total. One of the most famous discoveries of the Kepler telescope was the confirmation of the first rocky exoplanet, launched in 2018 by its successor, the TESS telescope, and has now surveyed the sky, with 34 exoplanets found.

In 2017, researchers announced the discovery of the TRAPPIST-1 planetary system, which is only 39 light-years from Earth and has seven Earth-like planets, the largest planetary system ever found outside the solar system. In 2016, the Red Dot Project announced the discovery of a neighboring planet b, a planet about the size of Earth that orbits the nearest star to the sun, just 4.25 light-years from Earth.

5. Humans enter the era of Crispr gene editing

The 20 most important scientific discoveries of the past decade: detecting the first gravitational waves

Over the past decade, scientists have made great strides in precisely editing DNA, thanks in large part to the Crispr-Cas9 system, which allows them to store fragments of the virus’s DNA to identify any virus that is about to match, and then cut the virus’s DNA into strips. In 2012, researchers noted that Crispr-Cas9 could work with a powerful gene-editing tool because scientists could easily and precisely cut DNA, and a few months later other research groups confirmed that the technique was effective in human DNA. Since then, experiments around the world have begun to identify such systems, modify the Crispr-Cas9 system to make it more accurate, and experiment with applications in the agricultural and medical fields.

While the benefits to humans of Crispr-Cas9 are enormous, the ethical dilemma struck is staggering, with researchers using Crispr to edit the genomes of two baby girls in 2018, the first genetically-edited DNA in human history.

6. Analysis of the universe in an unprecedented way

The 20 most important scientific discoveries of the past decade: detecting the first gravitational waves

Scientists have revolutionized our understanding of the universe over the past decade with several important space observations, and in 2013 the European Space Agency launched the Gaia spacecraft, which can survey more than 1 billion stars in the Milky Way and more than 150 million stars over long distances, helping scientists make a 3D film about the Milky Way, giving people an unprecedented view of how the Milky Way has evolved and changed over time.

In 2018, scientists released the final measurements of the early faint afterglow of the universe by planck satellites, which include important clues about the composition, structure, and expansion of the universe, and inexplicably, the early expansion rate of the universe observed by Planck is different from today’s, a potential “cosmic crisis” that may require an explanation of physics theory. In the same year, large-scale dark energy measurements released the first data reports to help explore hidden patterns in the structure of the universe, and in April 2019, scientists discovered the outline of a black hole for the first time through the Horizon telescope, based largely on observations of the M87 Galaxy Center.

7. Reveal the ancient human art

The 20 most important scientific discoveries of the past decade: detecting the first gravitational waves

Discoveries from around the world are further evidence that art , or at least graffiti, is an older, more global phenomenon, a certain difference from previous perceptions, and in 2014, researchers found hand-painted frescoes and a “pig-deer” mural at the site of the Marlos Cave in Sulawesi, dating back 39,000 years, in the same period as Europe’s oldest cave mural art. Then, in 2018, researchers discovered cave art dating from 40,000 to 52,000 years ago in Borneo, further confirming its origins as figurative paintings, and in 2018, scientists discovered another ancient human art in South Africa, and found a thin piece of stone in the Blombers cave, engraved with six vertical parallel lines and three horizontal bends dating back to 73,000 years ago.

Other controversial findings are controversial about Neanderthal artistic skills, with researchers discovering 115,000-year-old paint and perforated conch shells in Spain in 2018, when only Neanderthals lived in Europe. In the same year, another study showed that some cave murals in Spain are 65,000 years old, and many cave art experts have questioned the discovery, but if the findings are conclusive, it will prove to be the first cave painting by Neanderthals. In 2016, researchers claimed that strange stalagmite-shaped circles formed about 176,000 years ago in French caves, and that if the bears were not made in some way, the age of the circles suggested that Neanderthals made more handmade works of art.

8, open the “Stargate”

The 20 most important scientific discoveries of the past decade: detecting the first gravitational waves

Future historians may see the past decade as a golden decade of interstellar exploration, opening the “stargate” for the first time as human spacecraft travel through the “hidden zone” between the sun and interstellar space, and the first time humans have visited objects forming around distant stars.

In August 2012, NASA’s Voyager 1 probe traversed the outermost part of the heliospheric layer, the charged particle bubbles released by our sun. In November 2018, the Voyager 2 probe entered interstellar space. But the interstellar path is a “two-way road”, and in October 2017, astronomers detected the mysterious “Oumuamua”, the first object ever discovered in other star systems that formed and passed through the solar system. In August 2018, astronomy enthusiast Gennady Borisov discovered a second similar interstellar intrude, a very active comet, and was named after the discoverer, the “Borisov” comet.

9. Open the door of ancient civilization

The 20 most important scientific discoveries of the past decade: detecting the first gravitational waves

Archaeologists have made many major discoveries over the past decade, with the discovery of the remains of Richard III in a parking lot in 2013 by British archaeologists; in 2014, researchers claimed that there was still an unspoilt royal tomb at the Castillo de Huarmey shrine in Peru; and in 2016, archaeologists announced the discovery of the first tomb of the non-Semitic (the ancient Southern Palestinian non-Semitic) tomb, which will reveal the most mysterious clues of the life of the Hebrew Bible. In 2017, researchers said jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which dates back more than 1,700 years to more than 1,700 years, was built by Rome’s first Christian monarch, which appears to confirm that it was built at the christian burial site chosen by the Roman Empire; in 2018, a team of archaeologists in Peru announced the discovery of the largest child sacrifice site to date, while archaeologists used a machine-borne laser to detect more than 60,000 ancient Mayan buildings in Guatemala.

In addition, scientists have made major archaeological discoveries underwater, in 2014, a Canadian team of archaeologists found the shipwreck of the Erebus, an Arctic research vessel that sank to the bottom of the sea in 1846, and another expedition to find the remains of the “Eric” sister ship, the Eliebus, at the bottom of the sea; It was one of the most tragic disasters in the history of the U.S. Navy; the Black Sea Maritime Archaeological Corps discovered more than 60 shipwrecks on the Black Sea floor, including a 2,400-year-old ship discovered in 2018 and the long-lost Clotilda in 2019, the last African slave carrier.

10. Open up new horizons in the solar system

The 20 most important scientific discoveries of the past decade: detecting the first gravitational waves

In July 2015, NASA’s New Horizons probe successfully completed its exploration of the dwarf planet Pluto, sending stunning high-definition surface images to the ground for the first time; on January 1, 2019, the probe made the longest ever space flight, taking the first shot of the icy celestial body Arrokoth, the original remains of the solar system’s infancy.

In 2011, in a space area closer to Earth, NASA’s Dawn spacecraft visited Vesta, the second-largest object in the asteroid belt, and after mapping the asteroid, Dawn entered the orbit of the dwarf planet Ceres, the largest object in the asteroid belt, and over the past decade, NASA’s OSIRIS-Rex probe and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) have surveyed the Benu Asteroid and Dragon Palace asteroids to collect earth.

11, prevention of deadly diseases

The 20 most important scientific discoveries of the past decade: detecting the first gravitational waves

In response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014-2016, public health officials and Merck Pharmaceuticals quickly tracked the experimental Ebola vaccine rVSV-ZEBOV, which European officials approved in 2019 after a highly successful field trial in 2015, a major milestone in the fight against the disease.

Several landmark studies over the past decade have also opened up new avenues for preventing the spread of HIV, a 2011 trial that showed that preventive use of antiretroviral drugs can significantly reduce HIV transmission between the sexes, a finding confirmed in subsequent tests of same-sex couples.

12, breaking the birth limit

The 20 most important scientific discoveries of the past decade: detecting the first gravitational waves

In 2016, clinicians announced the birth of a “three-parent baby”, which was developed by the father’s sperm, the mother’s nucleus, and the egg provided by a third donor ( the nucleus of the egg was removed), but the treatment remains ethically controversial. In 2018, scientists used genetically re-edited skin and blood cells to create human sperm and egg precursors in one study, while another study showed that gene editing can conceive mice of the same sex.

13, tracking the Higgs boson

The 20 most important scientific discoveries of the past decade: detecting the first gravitational waves

How does a substance get mass? In the 1960s and 1970s, physicists including Peter Higgs and Fran?ois Englert came up with a solution to think that the Higgs boson was a strange energy field that permeated the universe, now known as the Higgs particle field. The theoretical field also includes its elementary particles, now known as the Higgs boson.

In July 2012, two research teams at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider announced the discovery of the Higgs boson, ending a decades-long research search that filled the last missing part of the standard model, describing three of the four basic forces in physics, as well as all known elementary particles.

14. Rewrite the paleontological textbooks

The 20 most important scientific discoveries of the past decade: detecting the first gravitational waves

As scientists used new analytical tools to discover some shocking animal fossils, the past decade has been a major burst of human understanding of prehistoric life, and in 2010, national geographic researchers published the first report on the reimagining of dinosaur body pigment based on the discovery of dinosaur pigment fossils. In recent years, scientists have further increased their research on dinosaur pigment, paleontologists found that the camouflage effect of dinosaur feathers, their colors are different, including: black, blue, rainbow color, and at the same time in a complete preserved a dinosaur fossil found that they had a slightred skin, in this study, they analyzed the preserved fat molecules. In 2018, archaeologists confirmed dickinsonia, a primitive creature that lived 540 million years ago.

In 2014, palaeontologists also discovered a new fossil of a predatory ratfish, confirming that it was a semi-aquatic predatory dinosaur, the first semi-aquatic dinosaur species ever discovered. In 2015, Chinese archaeologists discovered a shocking fossil of a strange feathered dinosaur with bat-like wing membranes. Over the past decade, archaeologists have been interested in more than 90 million years of amber found in Myanmar, with dinosaur feathers trapped in it, newborn birds, and various invertebrates.

15, looking for elements of life on other planets

The 20 most important scientific discoveries of the past decade: detecting the first gravitational waves

Over the past decade, the space mission has given us a deeper understanding of the carbon-based organic molecules of other planets, which are essential components of life as we know them, and the European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission orbited and landed on comet 67P. Survey data collected between 2014 and 2016 giveus us a more in-depth analysis of the potential life elements of ancient celestial collisions on Earth, and before the suicide crash of NASA’s Cassini probe in 2017, it was confirmed that the earth’s surface jet plume contained organic molecules, an important clue to the satellite’s suitability for life. In 2018, NASA announced that the Curiosity rover had found organic compounds on the surface of Mars, as well as strange seasonal cycles of methane levels in the Martian atmosphere.

16, the climate is getting worse alarm bells ringing

Over the past decade, the Earth’s atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have reached their highest levels in modern history and temperatures have reached record highs, reaching 400 ppm for the first time in human history on May 9, 2013, and remained stable above this threshold until 2016. As a result, global temperatures have risen in recent years, with 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 the highest temperatures recorded since the 1980s. In 2014, ocean warming triggered a global bleaching event, with corals dying around the world, including parts of the Great Barrier Reef. In 2019, Australia announced the extinction of coral-naked sage rats living on the islands due to rising sea levels, the first known mammal to be wiped out by modern climate change.

In a series of important reports, scientists around the world have urged close attention to changes in the Earth’s climate, the risks posed by climate change and the need to address climate change. In 2014, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued its fifth report on the realities and effects of climate change, and in 2015 the world began negotiating the Paris Agreement, with the main goal of limiting the rise in global average temperatures to 2 degrees Celsius this century. In October 2018, the IPCC released another report, pointing out that even if the global average temperature rise by 2100 were to be capped at 1.5 degrees Celsius, it would be a huge price to pay, which may be the minimum for the planet, and in the face of such a huge challenge, record-breaking climate protests swept the globe, many of them young people.

17, the discovery of a large number of new species

The 20 most important scientific discoveries of the past decade: detecting the first gravitational waves

Modern biologists are discovering new species at an alarming rate, with an average of 18,000 new species named after each other, and for the first time in a decade scientists have described several exotic mammals, such as The Burmese snout monkey, the Wangunu giant, and the little-kissed raccoon (the first carnivore found in the western hemisphere since the late 1970s). As scientists have discovered some strange new species, the ranks of other new species are growing, such as a fish with a “hand”, frogs smaller than a corner of a coin, a giant florida dragonfly, and, in addition, Vietnam’s Wuguang cattle and China’s Ili Rat Rabbit, who have been declared missing for years, are back in sight.

But with these species discovered, scientists have calculated that modern species are rapidly becoming extinct exponentially, and in 2019 they warn that a quarter of the world’s plant and animal populations are at risk of extinction, meaning that as many as a million species, both known and unknown, are at risk of extinction, with some likely to disappear within the next few decades.

18, opening a new space era

The 20 most important scientific discoveries of the past decade: detecting the first gravitational waves

The past decade has been a critical transition period for human space flight, as the low-Earth orbit and farther space environment have become a more global and commercial region, with China putting its first space laboratory, Tiangong-1, into orbit in 2011, and in 2014, the Indian Mars Orbiter reached Mars orbit, opening the era of Mars exploration in India. The mission made its first soft landing on the moon. The global astronaut fleet has also become more diverse: Tim Peake became the first professional British astronaut, Aidyn Aimbetov became the first post-Soviet Kazakhstan astronaut, the United Arab Emirates and Denmark sent their country’s first astronauts into space, and American astronauts Jessica Meir and Christina Koch Koch) carried out the first all-female spacewalk.

Private companies began filling the gap after the last U.S. space shuttle mission in 2011, and in 2012 SpaceX launched its first commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station, and in 2015, Blue Origin and SpaceX successfully launched reusable rockets and landed vertically on to the ground, a milestone in the lower cost of low-Earth orbit launches.

19, see the unexpected side of animals

Over the past decade, there have been many unusual features and behaviors in the animal kingdom, and in 2015, National Geographic explorer David Gruber discovered that sea turtles emit green and red fluorescence, the first recorded discovery of a reptile’s ability to emit biofluorion. In 2016, researchers were surprised to find that Greenland sharks lived at least 272 years, making them the longest-lived vertebrates ever known.

Human seints have also improved their understanding of animal use tools, with a 2019 study showing that Pisa warthogs use tools, and several studies confirming that Brazilian curly-tailed monkeys have used tools for at least 3,000 years, the oldest record of non-human use outside Africa. In 2018, Kenyan biologists discovered an African black panther for the first time since 1909.

20, redefining the scientific unit

To better understand the natural world, scientists must measure, but how do we define our units of measurement? Over the decades, scientists have gradually redefined universal constants based on cosmic constants, for example: the use of the speed of light to help define the length of 1 meter, but the scientific mass unit, the kilogram, is still consistent with the international standard kilogram entity “Le Grand K”, an absolute authoritative indicator of global scale calibration, made from platinum alloys.

If the block of metal changes for any reason, scientists will have to recalibrate their instruments, and in 2019 they agree to adopt a new kilogram definition based on a fundamental element in physics, the Planck constant, and an improved definition of current, temperature, and the number of particles in a given substance.