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2022 In Review: The Top Scientific and Technological Breakthroughs

This year has seen remarkable progress in all varieties of scientific fields, starting from major discoveries in various areas to advancements in technology. Breakthroughs that happened this year have the potential to significantly improve human life by providing faster and more effective treatments for diseases and increasing efficiency in everyday tasks. It was a year of progress and expansion, introducing new options that were once impossible to imagine and allowing us to tackle some of the world's greatest challenges. Not only are the innovations made this year transforming the way we think about science and technology, they are also inspiring a new generation of scientists. With that being said, here are a few of the most notable developments that took place this past year.



1) Microplastics Found in Human Lungs and Blood

Microplastics are so widely distributed all across the globe that many scientists consider them as identifiers of the contemporary period, marking a new historical milestone: The Plasticene. This refers to the era of the Earth's history from about 1945 to today, characterized by the increasing prominence of synthetic plastics in everyday life and human technology. Microplastics are tiny fragments of plastic trash not bigger than a sesame seed, sometimes even smaller. They can be found in unexpected places such as waterways, near the peak of Mount Everest, and in the digestive systems of many different species from planktons to large whales, and even humans. Due to plastic being non-biodegradable, these tiny particles are considered a serious threat to the health of both humans and wildlife creatures. In March 2022, researchers have found that these particles find their way into essential biological systems and are frequently ingested by individuals through inhalation and food or drink consumption.


2) Scientists Resurrected Dying Organs in Pigs

Scientists discovered in August 2022 that the OrganEx technology may partially revive pigs’ organs that have ceased functioning for a few hours. OrganEx uses a device similar to heart-lung machines that perform the duties of the lungs and the heart during surgeries. The system gradually resurrected dead cells in the heart, liver, and kidneys. The results of the improved life support system are still a long way from bringing individuals back to life, but this study provides great hope to those who have been declared dead but may still hold some chance of living.



3) Discovery of a Black Hole at the Center of Our Galaxy

In November 2022, astronomers revealed that they had located the nearest confirmed black hole. It is ten times as large as the sun and it orbits a star that is roughly as far away from it as the Earth is from the Sun. It differs from the 20 others that have already been discovered in the Milky Way galaxy in many ways. In addition to being the closest, being in a dormant state and not gravitationally swallowing everything in its vicinity signify this black hole. This discovery of a dormant black hole not only implies our further understanding of the universe, but it could also give us insights as to why some black holes remain dormant while others become more active.



4) The Perseverance Rover Uncovering Past Life Evidence on Mars

For a long time, researchers have debated whether there is life on Mars. A 1996 discovery of a rock from Mars have revealed evidence of life in the form of minerals, carbon compounds that may have came from microorganisms, and magnetite, a substance certain bacteria produce. The Perseverance Rover has worked on its mission to locate life on Mars all throughout 2022. A dry river delta that is thought to have previously contained water is now the greatest lead for the presence of early traces of life. Scientists claim that the large rocks scattered around the delta are proof of previous major floods.


5) ChatGPT: A Promising Chatbot Launched by OpenA

This experimental chatbot built by the artificial intelligence research group OpenAI is ready to outperform widely used internet search engines such as Google. This is because it communicates with people more simply by presenting information and answering questions in a basic language. Aside from all this, it can even develop ideas from scratch. "ChatGPT is a variant of the GPT (Generative Pre-training Transformer) language model that was developed by OpenAI specifically for chatbot applications. It is trained on a large dataset of human-generated text and is designed to generate human-like responses to a given prompt or input," said the AI tool itself in an interview with EU-Startups.


2022 was yet another year filled with lots of scientific and technological achievements. Every year, science exceeds our expectations and it is obvious that the things we continue to discover and develop will keep astounding us.


Works Cited

Campanale, Claudia, et al. “A Detailed Review Study on Potential Effects of Microplastics and Additives of Concern on Human Health.” PubMed Central (PMC) , 13 Feb. 2020, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7068600.

Bush, Evan. “Researchers Found Microplastics in Human Lungs and Bloodstreams. Should We Be Concerned?” Researchers Found Microplastics in Human Lungs and Bloodstreams. Should We Be Concerned? , 11 Apr. 2022, news.yahoo.com/microplastics-human-body-know-dont-133630324.html.

“Astronomers Discover Closest Black Hole to Earth - Gemini North Telescope on Hawai‘I Reveals First Dormant, Stellar-mass Black Hole in Our Cosmic Backyard.” www.noirlab.edu , 4 Nov. 2022, www.noirlab.edu/public/news/noirlab2227.

“We Rounded up the 20 Greatest Breakthroughs in Science and Technology This Year.” Popular Mechanics , 22 Dec. 2022, www.popularmechanics.com/science/a42295181/20-greatest-science-and-tech-breakthroughs-of-2022.

Ohr, Thomas. “We Just Interviewed ChatGPT. the Answers to Our Straightforward Questions Might Surprise You! | EU-Startups.” EU-Startups , 22 Dec. 2022, www.eu-startups.com/2022/12/we-just-interviewed-chatgpt-the-answers-to-our-straightforward-questions-might-surprise-you.

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