Most shocking inventions and discoveries of 2017! From the human-pig hybrid to time crystals these are the recent amazing scientific breakthroughs that are guaranteed to blow your mind!
#10. “CRISPR” –Imagine being able to prevent disease and genetic defects before a human is even born. Well, in 2017 scientists made significant strides towards being able to edit our genes. Chinese scientists became the first to successfully use a new gene editing tool called CRISPR-Cas9. CRISPR is an injectable DNA construct that can alter the genes of humans and other living organisms. Specifically it uses an enzyme to remove the part of the DNA that isn’t working properly or is damaged and then replaces it with a new DNA sequence. The Chinese successfully used this tool to complete the first two steps in process designed to treat a patient with lung cancer. The United States plans on conducting their first trial using CRISPR in the coming months and many see this research as the leading component of a new international science race between the U.S. and China.
#9. “Another Earth?”–The quest to find life outside of our own planet ramped up in 2017 as astronomers discovered three new Earth-like planets. These planets are around 40 light years away orbiting the star TRAPPIST-1 and are perfectly situated within the Goldilocks zone, or the location most likely to support life like ours. The planets were discovered by the Belgian astronomer Michael Gillon and a team of researchers when they noticed them as shadows dimming the light in front of TRAPPIST. Though not much can be inferred about the third planet of the group that is farthest away from the star, they have been able to deduce that the first two planets are about the same size as earth and though they probably receive as much as four times the radiation from the star as we do our sun, the are in the prime area to potentially host liquid water. Unfortunately we can’t yet get an up close and personal look at the planets as with our current space travel capabilities it would take millions of years to reach them.
#8. “Fountain of Youth”–What if your body would age to a certain point and then have the ability to trigger a process that reverses the aging process, theoretically letting you live forever? Well this idea may not be the stuff of science fiction for long, as there is a new therapy that has been proven to work in mice that reverses their aging. Scientists at Harvard University has been studying a compound with almost miraculous anti-aging abilities called NAD+. They found that when they increased the levels of this naturally occurring chemical in mice that not only did the test mice appear younger than other mice their age, but there were signs that their DNA’s ability to repair itself increased and the deterioration caused naturally by aging in their muscles was reversing. So what does this mean for humans? Well a company named MetroBiotech has developed a similar compound to NAD+ and put it in a capsule, with plans to test it on humans in the near future.