What Is The Formula To Find Speed Of Light Top 10 Hottest Topics in Science Research 2012

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Top 10 Hottest Topics in Science Research 2012

1. Look for the “God Particle” – the Higgs Boson

OK, so we’ve all seen Brian Cox captivate the audience with his silver tongue on the BBC, and refer to the search for the God particle – aka the Higgs boson. So what exactly is this ‘God particle’ and if it is finally found what will it change?

The Higgs boson is a hypothetical elementary particle predicted to exist by the Standard Model of particle physics and its existence, in simple terms, would explain why elementary particles such as quarks and electrons have mass. This particle was named ‘The God Particle’ by Leon Lederman, an American experimental physicist and Nobel laureate because of the particle’s important role in the fundamental workings of physics in the 21st century, coupled with its remarkable rarity.

Physicists have spent years eager to capture particles, so much so that they spent $10 billion on the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, a particle accelerator outside Geneva in Switzerland. After years of hard work, it seems that they are finally close to finding the particle “god-damn-it” (so called by some physicists because they are used to pulling their hair out because of the discouragement in their efforts to catch it), and in December 2011 there was a movement of work at CERN as data like the Higgs Boson was captured. If the data planned to be collected later this year confirm the discovery of last December, the capture of the Higgs will be considered one of the greatest discoveries of the 21st century.

2. The Ultimate Anti-Aging Cream

The holy grail of cosmetics; the legendary fountain of youth – well now it looks like we’re close to finding the ultimate anti-aging formula. Well, maybe not; but at least there is a theoretical basis for gene therapy in medicine that now aims to slow down and reverse the aging process and influence disease processes such as Cancer.

Scientists at Harvard Medical School have discovered a genetic mechanism that allows them to age properly, then rejuvenate laboratory mice. Thus, it is theoretically possible to reverse some of the effects of the aging process in mammals. They achieved this by creating genetic changes in the gene that controls the expression of telomerase, an enzyme that controls the repair of Telomeres (repeated strands of DNA that protect the ends of chromosomes), which are very important in the aging process, and if you are susceptible to Cancer. This research has the potential to produce significant advances in the treatment of diseases such as cancer and age-related diseases in the future.

3. So Is Time Travel Possible?

Well maybe, but not likely, according to most of the physics community. In September 2011, researchers from the OPERA collaboration caused a stir in the scientific community when they announced that they had measured neutrinos (subatomic particles) that appear to travel faster than the speed of light. Poor Einstein would turn in his grave at the news; this would not only break his theory of special relativity, but would shake the very foundations of the theory of physics.

However, most of the scientific community views the results with skepticism and suggests that there must be some inconsistency in the results. Physicists are now trying to independently repeat the experiment later this year; which involves shooting neutrinos into a device hundreds of kilometers away and measuring the time taken for the trip. After it is repeated and depending on the results, the physicists will breathe or enter a phase of mass hysteria; adding new meaning to the term ‘uncertainty’ in science.

4. Search for Extrasolar Planets in Goldilocks’ Zone

Everyone is talking about it – in the newspapers, in the media and on every television at every opportunity – ‘are we the only ones?’ Well, the hunt for planets outside our solar system that could support life took a leap forward last December when astronomers at NASA’s NASA Space Research Center announced that they had found the best candidate for an exoplanet that could support life. .

The planet, affectionately named Kepler-22b after the telescope that first spotted it, is right in the center of its star’s proposed habitable zone – the ‘Goldilocks Zone’. Although not much is known about the planet’s composition (its 600 light-years, or 3.5 x 1015 miles), it is 2.4 times the size of Earth and orbits its sun every 290 days. If it has a surface, scientists think the surface temperature would be somewhere around 210C – perfect for life.

Research continues and one day we may find the perfect extrasolar planet – with life on it (obtained from the presence of oxygen and other products of life in the atmosphere); the problem is getting there or even saying hello.

5. Human Cell Research

Much controversy still surrounds the use of human embryos as a source of stem cells, however in recent years scientists have cracked the problem and are now able to produce an unlimited supply of stem cells in the lab without destroying the embryos. This unlimited supply has opened the floodgates to stem cell research, allowing researchers to develop novel treatments for conditions such as blindness and Parkinson’s disease for effective treatment of spinal cord damage.

Stem cells are found in all living organisms, and can differentiate into many specialized cell types, effectively a ‘wild-type’ cell. If they are implanted in the human body, they often change into the surrounding cells. This has far-reaching implications for medicine and research is currently underway worldwide to find effective treatments for diseases such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (which is very important here in Ireland as Prof. Orla Hardiman at Beaumont Hospital is considered one of the world’s leading researchers in the field), heart damage after a heart attack, blindness, deafness, skin disorders, arthritis, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s to name a few. Check out this post; it is the future of medicine.

6. Quantum Computing

The evolution of quantum physics may soon pay off with the advent of quantum computers, a term that has been bandied about for years now. The promise of super-fast computers, which perform certain calculations billions of times faster than any silicon-based computer and can surpass the human mind in raw computing power, may not be too far away. At the end of last year another race in the race to develop the first quantum computer was made when a team at the University of Bristol’s Center for Quantum Photonics developed a microchip that manipulated and measured entanglement and mixing, two quantum elements that are the basic principles of a quantum computer. .

The most powerful potential applications of quantum computing are in cryptography and communications; however the potential to develop the first artificial intelligence is now within the realm of reality.

7. Can Arsenic Really be a Barrier to Building Life?

The element Arsenic, historically called the Poison of Kings because of its popularity as a poison for the ruling classes to reject each other, is highly toxic to all known life on earth, or at least that’s what we thought until a few years ago. ago.

NASA scientists have discovered a new virus in Mono Lake in the United States that uses the deadly poison Arsenic as part of its biochemical machinery instead of Phosphorus that causes movement in the way scientists have traditionally thought about the biology of life.

Traditionally, the six basic building blocks of all life on Earth were Carbon, Hydrogen, Nitrogen, Oxygen, Sulfur and Phosphorus, with a dusting of trace elements thrown into the mix. The new discovery sees Arsenic replacing Phosphorus as part of the microbe’s DNA backbone, paving the way for a change in the way scientists view the possibility of life in previously thought hostile environments. If a microbe can build a deadly poison in its biochemical processes, who can say that other organisms are not in the most hostile places in the solar system, using substances that we consider as poison in their basic biochemistry.

8. How is the Weather These Days?

It’s hard for any of us to dismiss the subtle changes in weather patterns over the past twenty years or so (well, for anyone over thirty, that is). However, on a more negative note, recent evidence from climate researchers has revealed a disturbing trend – the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets are melting at a faster rate than previously thought, making them a major contributor to rising sea levels.

The study, carried out over a period of about twenty years, showed that in 2006 the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets lost a combined mass of 475 gigatonnes (one billion tons) per year on average and the rate of loss was found to be increasing rapidly during the study period. They estimate that at the current rate of melting, global sea levels could rise by 32 cm (more than 1 foot) by 2050. With the ever-increasing power of supercomputers, meteorologists and climatologists are busy modeling the changing climate in an attempt to observe. how the reality of global warming will impact the environment in the near future.

9. So now we become the Great Designer

One of the spin offs of many genome projects over the last decade has been a closer knowledge of how base pairs in DNA come together in sequence to make life. This challenged the geneticist J. Craig Venter, one of the main players in the human genome project, puts his skills to work in the effort to create artificial life. In 2010, he succeeded in creating life in the lab by splicing the 582,000 base pairs needed for the complete genome of a new bacterium, proposed to be called Mycoplasma laboratorium. This paves the way for the genetic engineering of bacteria to perform tasks such as the production of organic medicines and bio-fuels. Who knows we might be able to create bacteria designed to kill other bacteria.

10. Medicines made just for you

Personalized medicine, or pharmacogenomics for the geeks among us, is quickly becoming one of the hottest areas of research in clinical medicine, with the promise of effective treatments for a range of debilitating conditions and patients. Personalized medicine is based on the premise that drugs work differently for different people due to genetic differences. With the advent of the human genome project, and the evolution of diagnostic tests, researchers can now tailor drug regimens to individuals with a high degree of accuracy, leading to a significant increase in treatment efficacy.

The most notable application of personalized medicine will be in the treatment of Cancer – instead of treating Cancer with a ‘one size fits all’ approach as is done with chemotherapy, doctors will be able to identify the genetic basis of the tumor and design a treatment regimen. based on this. The cost of diagnostic tests and the lack of available drugs currently prevent the general use of human medicine at the moment, however in the coming years a raft of new biopharmaceutical treatments will come to the market, the end of thirty years of research, introducing the field of pharmacogenomics to conventional medicine.

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