Αυτή είναι η ανακάλυψη της χρονιάς που φεύγει – Σύμφωνα με το Science (ΒΙΝΤΕΟ)

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Η ανακοίνωση για την πρώτη ανίχνευση βαρυτικών κυμάτων, που έκαναν οι επιστήμονες των ανιχνευτών LIGO στις ΗΠΑ τον Φεβρουάριο του 2016, υπήρξε η επιστημονική ανακάλυψη της χρονιάς που φεύγει, σύμφωνα με ένα από τα κορυφαία στον κόσμο επιστημονικά περιοδικά, το Science.

Τα βαρυτικά κύματα, οι «ρυτιδώσεις» του χωροχρόνου που ταξιδεύουν στο σύμπαν από μακρινές πηγές για να φθάσουν έως τη Γη, είχαν προβλεφθεί θεωρητικά από τον Αϊνστάιν πριν από περίπου ένα αιώνα και η ύπαρξή τους επιβεβαιώθηκε φέτος με μεγάλη καθυστέρηση. Τα πρώτα βαρυτικά κύματα που ανιχνεύθηκαν, όπως εκτιμάται, δημιουργήθηκαν από τη συγχώνευση δύο μεγάλων μαύρων οπών σε απόσταση 1,3 δισεκατομμυρίων ετών φωτός.

Τη λίστα (Top 10) με τα δέκα σημαντικότερα επιτεύγματα του 2016 συμπληρώνουν:

Η ανακάλυψη από τους αστρονόμους ενός μικρού εξωπλανήτη που μοιάζει με τη Γη, γύρω από το κοντινότερο άστρο, τον Εγγύτατο του Κενταύρου.
Η θριαμβευτική νίκη στη Ν. Κορέα του υπολογιστή AlphaGo της DeepMind (θυγατρικής της Google) επί του Νο 2 στον κόσμο παίκτη του πολύ δύσκολου επιτραπέζιου παιγνιδιού Go, δείχνοντας ότι η τεχνητή νοημοσύνη γίνεται όλο και πιο έξυπνη.
Το ξανάνιωμα και η επέκταση της ζωής τρωκτικών μέσω κυτταρικών και γενετικών επεμβάσεων, δείχνοντας ότι η γήρανση μπορεί να αναστραφεί, τουλάχιστον εν μέρει.
Η ανακάλυψη ότι (και) οι μεγάλοι πίθηκοι έχουν μια ικανότητα που έως τώρα θεωρείτο αποκλειστικά ανθρώπινο προνόμιο: να «διαβάζουν» το μυαλό των άλλων, κατανοώντας τις επιθυμίες και τις προθέσεις τους.
Η δημιουργία πρωτεϊνών που δεν υπάρχουν στη φύση, κάτι που ανοίγει το δρόμο για την ανάπτυξη νέων φαρμάκων και νέων υλικών.
Η ανάπτυξη από Ιάπωνες επιστήμονες, εμβρύων τρωκτικών από ωάρια που είχαν δημιουργηθεί στο εργαστήριο, δίνοντας νέο νόημα στον όρο «μωρά του σωλήνα» και ανοίγοντας τον δρόμο για την μελλοντική δημιουργία ανθρωπίνων ωαρίων κατά παραγγελία.
Η ανακάλυψη, μετά από γενετικές αναλύσεις, ότι ένα μοναδικό κύμα μεταναστεύσεων των προγόνων μας από την Αφρική, πριν περίπου 70.000 χρόνια ήταν αρκετό για να «κατακτήσει» ο Homo sapiens όλη σχεδόν τη Γη.
Η δημιουργία από τη βρετανική εταιρεία Oxford Nanopore Technologies μιας φορητής συσκευής αλληλούχισης του γονιδιώματος, η οποία επιτρέπει την εύκολη και γρήγορη ανάγνωση του DNA.
Η δημιουργία του πρώτου φακού από μετα-υλικά, που χρησιμοποιεί το πλήρες φάσμα του ορατού φωτός, είναι φθηνός, ελαφρύς και λεπτός και μπορεί να φέρει επανάσταση σε μικροσκόπια και κάμερες.

Επειδή όμως, εκτός από τη γνώμη των ειδικών, μετράει και η γνώμη του…λαού, το «Science» ζήτησε από τους χιλιάδες αναγνώστες του να δώσουν διαδικτυακά τη δική τους βαθμολογία. Περίπου 225.000 «ψήφοι» ρίχτηκαν στην κάλπη και το αποτέλεσμα ήταν διαφορετικό όσον αφορά την πρώτη θέση.

Ως σημαντικότερη επιστημονική ανακάλυψη ψηφίστηκε η καλλιέργεια ανθρωπίνων εμβρύων στο εργαστήριο επί σχεδόν δύο εβδομάδες (43%) και ακολούθησαν η ανίχνευση των βαρυτικών κυμάτων (32%), η φορητή συσκευή ανάγνωσης του DNA (13%), η νίκη της τεχνητής νοημοσύνης του AlphaGo (7%) και η μερική αναστροφή της γήρανσης (5%).

Οσον αφορά τις αρνητικές για την επιστήμη εξελίξεις, το «Science» ως τέτοιες θεωρεί την καταπίεση και τις επιλεκτικές διώξεις ακαδημαϊκών, επιστημόνων και ερευνητών στην Τουρκία από το καθεστώς του Ταγίπ Ερντογάν, τη διάλυση της «φούσκας» της αμερικανικής εταιρείας Theranos της Σίλικον Βάλεϊ που είχε -εις μάτην- υποτεθεί να φέρει επανάσταση στις διαγνωστικές εξετάσεις αίματος με μια νέα συσκευή, καθώς και τις επιδεινούμενες σχέσεις του ολοένα πιο συντηρητικού αμερικανικού Κογκρέσου με την επιστημονική κοινότητα των ΗΠΑ.

Περιοχές που αναμένεται να τραβήξουν το επιστημονικό ενδιαφέρον το 2017, θεωρούνται η (με πολλά ερωτηματικά) στάση της νέας κυβέρνησης Τραμπ απέναντι στα επιστημονικά θέματα, η καλλιέργεια και ανάπτυξη ανθρωπίνων εμβρύων στο εργαστήριο, για πρώτη φορά πάνω από δύο εβδομάδες (οπότε αρχίζουν να σχηματίζονται τα πρώτα όργανα), τα αποτελέσματα των πρώτων εμβολίων για τον ιό Ζίκα και η αναζήτηση του -ακόμη υποθετικού- πλανήτη Εννέα ή πλανήτη Χ στο ηλιακό μας σύστημα.

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155 απαντήσεις στο “Αυτή είναι η ανακάλυψη της χρονιάς που φεύγει – Σύμφωνα με το Science (ΒΙΝΤΕΟ)”

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