The Best of Science in 2017

Alexander-Lakhanpal-2017

This year has been an interesting year for the science community. From the political woes of evidence-based knowledge to the extreme natural disasters across the globe, science and research are more important than ever. Here are some of the highlights of major science news of 2017.

 

Iceberg Breaking

In July, an iceberg that was sized to be the same as Luxembourg broke away from the Antarctic Peninsula. The iceberg broke away over 10 percent of the surface area of Antarctica’s fourth-largest ice shelf. The result of the breakaway is still unsure but if it collapsed completely, Larsen C, the ice shelf, would create glaciers that have enough water to increase the global sea level by one centimeter.

 

CAR-T Cancer Therapy
An approval for a new form of cancer treatment called CAR-T cell therapy has pushed the field of cancer research and treatment forward. This new technique involved genetically modifying and engineering a patient’s immune cells to then attack cancerous tumors. CAR-T sparked some concerns regarding safety yet the US Food and Drug Administration approved the therapy to use in children and young adults who have been diagnosed with an acute form of leukemia.

This gene-editing, in a clinical use setting, has been pushed forward this year. The beginning use of CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing was used to repair a diseasing-creating mutation in human embryos. The research conducted showed that the given technique was safe and found no side effects.

 

Artificial Intelligence

AI is booming in various markets and is even beginning to trickle down to American consumers. DeepMind’s AlphaGo Zero game playing bot was one of the biggest strides in pushing AI forward by beating its predecessor 100 percent of the time. AlphaGo Zero also taught itself how to play the game and became the ultimate champion while doing it.  It may seem simple that a robot can win a game but in the larger picture, it shows the intelligence of robotics is increasing at a fast rate.
We are finding various markets such as smartphone technology begin to understand human patterns and cater the user experience. The medical field is even beginning to adapt AI into their industry to improve efficiency and accuracy of healthcare.