Saturday , February 4 2023

The most significant scientific advancement in 2018, according to science


For another year, the unstoppable progress of science and technology has passed Many research and discoveries who have transformed the way people live and help them adapt to a world that requires a constant change.

At this moment of the annual review, the prestigious magazine Science He published yesterday his annual list with which the most important progress was made since 2018 and will be labeled next years.

1- Submerge in the human cellular system

The combination of three technologies, known as "single cell RNA-sec", is the most important scientific breakthrough for all 2018, according to science, because they enable knowledge of the "intimate life" of cells and to see embryonic development with maximum detail.

These techniques allow the display of genes that are turned on and off in each cell at any time. As an example, this year, American scientists followed the entire embryonic development of 8,000 fruity flies embryo cells and 50,000 Caenorhabditis elegans nematodes. Dr. Leonard Zon of Harvard University (USA) and research leader said that these "techniques responded to fundamental issues of embryology, which they have never responded before."

In addition, scientists begin to see how genes work on regeneration of the body and extremities of planners and schoolchildren (Salamander type), respectively.

This development of three technologies that enable them to know how each embryo cell works at all times, serves in the future to heal some diseases or malformations and explore new ways to perform regeneration in tissues.

"These technologies are creating some of the most advanced movies ever made, showing that one cell grows inside the complex tissues and organs of the mature animal," said Tim Appenzeller, editor Science, to highlight this progress.

These technologies have already been used to mark and monitor embryonic cells, using fluorescent labels and bar codes inserted using the CRISPR gene edit technique. Although they can not be used directly in human embryos, they are already being applied in tissues and organoids (small artificial organs).

An example of this progress is the one implemented by the consortium Lifetime, which was founded by 53 institutions and 60 European companies, working on the application of these technologies and understanding What happens in every cell when tissues move to cancer, diabetes, and other diseases.

2- Great Greenlandic meteorite

A little over a month ago, an international team of researchers announced a remarkable finding: a huge crater of 31 kilometers in diameter (could be host to the city of Washington or Paris) is buried a kilometer deep below the ice of Greenland.

Named as Hiavatha, it is one of the 25 largest on Earth and was formed by the decline of asteroids relatively recently, perhaps even just 13,000 years ago. After impact, the wall immediately vanished with shock waves across the Arctic. Although it was not cataclysmic as a meteorite that killed dinosaurs 66 million years ago and left the Chickulub short-throw in Mexico, the Hiavath event could also have powerful effects on the global climate and could be linked to Ioung Drias, the cooling phase of Pleistocene cooling.

3- Daughter Neandertal and Denisovan

She was baptized as "Denni" and was the woman who lived more than 50,000 years ago. In particular, it is the first daughter of two extinct human species. An ancient DNA fragment of a bone fragment found in a cave in Siberia in 2012 revealed that his mother Neandertal and father Denisovano, a mysterious group whose remains were discovered in the same cave of 2011.

Homo sapiens, the species we all belong to, migrated with Denisovans and Neanderthals, at least occasionally, during the ice age in Europe and Asia, as the genes of both types of archaic people are present in humans. Asian and European descent today.

Other fossils found in the Siberian cave showed that members of the three species lived there at different times. But a new finding by the scientists of the Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck, in Leipzig, Germany, represents a unique direct testimony to this historical conjunction.

4- Droplets that create cells

Medicine is living through the last years of a lasting revolution. And one of his advances is the knowledge that cells like small cities are full of motion, allowing molecules to travel where they need at the right time.

In 2009, many proteins, long-chain amino acids carrying most of the work inside cells were condensed and separated by droplets, making it easier for them to respond and fulfill their tasks.

This reaction is part of a process known as "fluid and liquid separation" and can often be seen when the oil is separated from water or vinegar.

In 2017 two articles published in the nature They discovered that these droplets are crucial for compact genome regions (the whole genetic material of the cell) and "exclude" the genes that remain inside. Three studies have already been published this year Science they have found that proteins that convert DNA into RNA can condense with droplets to bond to genetic material.

A scientifically relevant thing is to discover that the failure in this condensation can lead to the formation of dysfunctional aggregates in a disease such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). In fact, in April, four studies published in Cell have suggested new ways to dissolve these toxic aggregates. Taking into account these studies, there are several companies and laboratories working to use it to design new drugs for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.

5- Forensic genealogy

An innovative genetic technique can catch the most wanted killers. It all started during the 1970s and 1980s, when a mysterious criminal was terrorized by California, with a dozen murders, 45 rape and more than a hundred robberies, committed from Sacramento to Los Angeles.

The police overwhelmed him with the "golden state killer", as he committed his terrible crimes with utter impunity. But in April, the police announced his arrest due to a surprising strategy. The researchers identified their relatives by setting up a DNA profile that took over from one of the crime scenes into a public genealogy database called GEDMatch.

The branches of the family tree led to Joseph DeAngel, a 73-year-old former policeman. And the direct test of his DNA proved to be a pairing and that he was a sought-after monster. Since then, this technique has been used to solve 20 more complicated cases, which are directed to a new field: forensic genealogy.

– The first animal on Earth

For a long time, it was considered one of the greatest mysteries of palaeontology because scientists did not know whether it was a lichen, a huge amoeba or an unsuccessful experiment in evolution.

But a new finding in 2018 brought to light its true identity: it is the oldest animal on Earth, called Dickinsonia, which lived 500,000 million years ago in a dark period called Ediacar. Researchers from the National University of Australia have discovered a cliff on the White Sea, in the northwest of Russia, a fossil of exceptional species, with molecular traces similar to cholesterol, fat that only animals have.

The strange creature was about five feet high and oval, with a large number of fine ridge on each side of the central line. It probably lies on the bottom of shallow marine waters and feeds on algae and cyanobacteria, although it is not known if it has mouth and intestines or simply absorbs food through the skin. The finding forms an image of the mysterious world that has caused some of the first animals on Earth.

7- Silent genes to cure

New drugs based on genes rape are another scientific advancement in the year. These are treatments based on the use of so-called RNA interferences (RNAi) to inactivate the production of defective proteins, which can lead to the onset of disease.

This RNAi has been known for 20 years, but by 2008 it did not begin to be used therapeutically. Its use is approved for the treatment of hereditary diseases known as hereditary amyloidosis, which is characterized by the production of defective proteins that accumulate in the tissues and ultimately lead to damage to the heart, kidneys and nervous system.

Now, according to Science, many researchers are considering ways to design RNAi molecules, stabilized sugars, to swallow gene, and to prevent disease in places like the liver, heart, or eyes.

8. Small molecule pier

The small world of the molecule was published in 2018 thanks to a new technical analysis that allows small crystals in three dimensions to find out the structure of small molecules such as hormones or drugs.

Two articles published in October last year revealed technology that allows determining the structure of the molecules not in days, weeks or months, as is usually done now, but in a few minutes. This will greatly speed up the investigation and allow access to knowledge that has been banned so far.

The technique consists of "firing" electronic beams into small laminar crystals to reorient the molecules and form a three-dimensional structure. In this way, you can find out what is the structure of small molecules.

9- Neutrino in front of the galaxy

In 2016, the first direct detection of gravitational waves, some space distortion predicted by Einstein, caused by high masses moving at high speeds, was a great jump in the mode of science known as multiple messenger astronomy.

Detection of neutrino, particles almost without mass, moving at the speed of light and constantly crossing our body is a revolutionary technique of astronomy that knows more about the universe that surrounds us.

September 22, 2017 IceCube, a large detector located below the ice on the southern hem, caught the neutrino collision outside the Milky Way. This became the first opportunity to identify a source of neutrino that is located outside the galaxy. Now, we hope that we will capture more of these messengers outside the Milky Way and detectors are expanding.

10. Against Sexual Harassment in Science

Sexual harassment in science is often ignored. That is why science has recognized as one of the achievements of the year the report of the national academies of science, engineering and medicine of the United States. about the sexual harassment of women working, investigating and studying in these areas. The magazine describes it as "historical".

The text concludes that more than half of teachers and female staff and between 20% and 50% of students, according to the scene and field, have experienced sexual harassment, including the most prevalent: Sexual hostility, both verbally and non-verbal. # MeToo or # mirakomonosponemos have also come to science.

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