Each century marks a time period when significant discoveries were made. But, by far, the 21st century seems to have ticked off all of the boxes of discoveries in the different scientific fields. From uncovering secrets about space to cracking the code to cancer, the 21st century certainly has a wide range of accomplishments therein. If you can’t remember anything significant other than Elon Musk sending a Tesla to space, here’s what you’ve been missing. Check out these 10 amazing discoveries within the last hundred years.
Shedding Light on Dark Matter
From the thousands of jaw-dropping discoveries made, one of the greats of outer space has to be the discovery of dark matter. Dark matter makes up about 68% of the universe, so it’s a pretty big deal, literally. The existence of dark matter was proven through the distinguishability of clusters of visible matter. When scientists noticed that these visible clusters of matter were not actually connected in any way to dark matter, they realized that the picture of the universe was a lot more detailed and vast at the same time.
Still up in space, you might remember of the time when astronauts and the space center discovered the presence of water on Mars. Not only did they find water, but they found flowing water. Scientists had a hunch that there might be flowing water on Mars because of the many different hydrated salt locations found around the planet. Because these salt locations were mostly dry, it led them to believe that water on the planet was a seasonal thing, and their hypotheses were correct. During the warm season on Mars, these salts darkened into water and began flowing all around.
Another huge discovery in space of gravitational waves may allow our future generations to take a peek into the past. These waves were essentially thrown out into the universe by black holes, and capturing one could mean understanding black holes in detail, as well as understanding the early universe inside a black hole. These waves create ripples in the space time, essentially changing up the minutes and hours in outer space. Scientists are still looking to get a deeper gaze into these ripples as they pass by Earth to better understand their makeup.
Bringing everything back to Earth, there have also been considerable discoveries within our own atmosphere, as well. Starting with the human body, scientists have been able to create working and accepted human body parts. Robotic limbs have come in handy to those patients who have lost an arm or leg or for someone who has lost all motion in their current limbs. Designing a metal object that can both function like a human body part and not get rejected or attacked by the body itself is definitely a celebratory feat.
Man-Made Human Organs
Speaking of man-made body parts, scientists have taken it a step further by creating human organs, as well. Through the use of stem cells, scientists can create a whole new organ. This helps patients who are in line to get an organ donation receive the help they need quicker. It means the difference between life and death for many.
Cracking the Code to Cancer
Cancer has taken millions of lives, but it seems like the tide may be turning on that. Scientists and doctors have discovered the genome that leads to the creation of cancer cells. It took three years to break up the billions of letters that composed human DNA, but once it was broken down, researchers were able to understand which combination of letters led to cancer. While no cure is found yet, this helps them understand and implement prevention tactics better.
New Face in the Mirror
People who suffered from facial congenital disabilities or severe burns and trauma in their childhood used to have no option for their pain. They would have to live with feeling like an outsider because of the differences in their face. But the 21st century was the first time when a successful facial transplant had been done. Isabelle Dinoire of France became the first person to have a partial face transplant, paving the way for other successful cases down the road.
Closer to HIV Cure
HIV/AIDS has been a deadly disease since the beginning of time. There was no definite cure for it, but many doctors found that antiretroviral treatment has helped their patients achieve a better quality of life. But for the first time ever, a man named Dr. GeroHütte was able to successfully cure his patient of HIV by transplanting HIV resistant bone-marrow. It still doesn’t give a cure, but it redirects the path of research to study bone marrow and HIV in more detail.
With the increase of climate change, scientists are looking for more ways to power our world in a clean and efficient manner. Water is the latest candidate with a German company converting simple water into fuel. It starts with water and carbon dioxide, and after some changes, these hydrocarbons take the form of kerosene, petrol, and other synthetic diesel. This water-to-fuel model gives some inspiration for creating even more methods of clean energy in the 21st century.
Taking a trip into the past, paleontologists made a huge discovery when they uncovered a mostly fossilized, but partially decomposing femur bone. After testing, they realized that it was a T-Rex leg from 70 million years ago! The tissue had been preserved after all of these years because of the iron between the leg bones, so scientists were able to see flexible and transparent blood vessels in the tissue. It helped them understand the physiology of a T-Rex and dinosaurs in general even more. With these groundbreaking discoveries in the 21st century, it’s exciting to see what the next century holds in store for us.