Radio Verulam Science Feature 22-01-2018
Some of the top science discoveries and stories from 2017
Sam and Danny discussed the following stories:
Giant Pandas and Humpback whales no longer endangered
Thanks to conservation efforts both species are no longer endangered and wild panda populations have grown by 17 % since 2007.
Hole in the Ozone layer is healing
Since the discovery of the hole in the ozone layer, CFCs were banned in products in the late 1980s, early 1990s, since then we have been monitoring the size and shape of the hole. This is the first time that we have been able to estimate the healing of the hole to somewhere between 2050 and 2070.
Cure for the common cold?
A gene-targeting drug is being developed that may be able to cure all examples of the virus could be available by 2027. It targets the genes responsible for the assembly of the virus, which can attack all varieties, unlike a vaccine. Vaccines encourage drug resistance, whereas this is like pouring sand into a clock mechanism, disabling it.
Organ transplant breakthrough
Human-pig embryos have been created, potentially paving the way for doctors to be able to grow an unlimited supply of organs.
Brain implant helps quadriplegic man
He was able to move his fingers after he broke his neck six years ago, thanks to a cybernetic implant in his brain
Malaria death rates drop
Death rates have fallen by 60 % since 2000, translating to 6.2 million lives saved over the past 17 years, thanks to efforts to control and eliminate the disease.
These are the stories we didn’t have time to get to:
A new state of matter – time-crystals
Solid, liquid, gas, plasma, Bose-Einstein condensates and now, time-crystals. Time crystals have a repeating crystal structure, not just in space, but also in time. This discovery could help revolutionise quantum computing. They are a material that can have movement, even at their lowest energy state, by periodically switching the alignment of the atoms inside the crystal.
Therapy that reverses ageing in mice
Scientists in the Netherlands have developed a molecule that purges the damaged cells in tissues that build up promoting age-related diseases. Elderly mice re-grew fur and could out-run untreated mice by twice the distance.
Physicist creates drip-free wine bottle
An additional small groove at the top of the bottle saves every drop! Because glass is hydrophilic (‘water-loving’), it attracts the wine as it pours out. The groove forces droplets to fall with the wine as it pours or return to the bottle.
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