2015 in science

Last updated
List of years in science (table)

A number of significant scientific events occurred in 2015. Gene editing based on CRISPR got significantly improved. A new human-like species, Homo naledi, was first described. Gravitational waves were observed for the first time (announced publicly in 2016), and dwarf planets Pluto and Ceres were visited by spacecrafts for the first time. The United Nations declared 2015 the International Year of Soils and Light-based Technologies. [1]

CRISPR family of DNA sequences in bacteria, contain snippets of DNA from viruses that have attacked the bacterium, are used by the bacterium to detect and destroy DNA from further attacks by similar viruses

CRISPR is a family of DNA sequences found within the genomes of prokaryotic organisms such as bacteria and archaea. These sequences are derived from DNA fragments from viruses that have previously infected the prokaryote and are used to detect and destroy DNA from similar viruses during subsequent infections. Hence these sequences play a key role in the antiviral defense system of prokaryotes.

<i>Homo naledi</i> Ape-like Hominid species.

Homo naledi is an extinct species of hominin, which anthropologists first described in September 2015 and have assigned to the genus Homo. In 2013, fossil skeletons were found in the Gauteng province of South Africa, in a chamber of the Rising Star Cave system, part of the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site about 50 km (31 mi) northwest of Johannesburg. Although archaic features of its skeleton resembled fossil specimens roughly two million years old, in 2017 the fossils were dated close to 250,000 years ago, and thus contemporary with the first appearance of larger-brained anatomically modern humans. The research team therefore thinks that H. naledi is not a direct ancestor of modern humans, but probably an offshoot within the genus Homo.

Pluto A dwarf planet in the Kuiper belt of the Solar System

Pluto is a dwarf planet in the Kuiper belt, a ring of bodies beyond Neptune. It was the first Kuiper belt object to be discovered and is the largest known plutoid.

Contents

Events

January

<i>Science</i> (journal) academic journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Science, also widely referred to as Science Magazine, is the peer-reviewed academic journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and one of the world's top academic journals. It was first published in 1880, is currently circulated weekly and has a subscriber base of around 130,000. Because institutional subscriptions and online access serve a larger audience, its estimated readership is 570,400 people.

5 January: Detection of an unusually bright X-Ray flare from Sagittarius A*, a supermassive black hole in the center of the Milky Way galaxy. X-RayFlare-BlackHole-MilkyWay-20140105.jpg
5 January: Detection of an unusually bright X-Ray flare from Sagittarius A*, a supermassive black hole in the center of the Milky Way galaxy.
Ferdowsi University of Mashhad

Ferdowsi University of Mashhad (FUM) is a university in Northeastern Iran named after the great epic poet Ferdowsi who is the author of Shahnameh. The FUM campus is in Mashhad, the capital city of the Razavi Khorasan province, which is most famous and revered for housing the tomb of Imam Reza, the eighth Shia Imam. The university was established in 1949 with the title of Razavi University, making it the fourth oldest major university in Iran in the modern sense (there are however other academic colleges established before. FUM offers 180 bachelors, masters, and Ph.D. programs to 26,000 international and local, male and female students studying under about 900 faculty members with the aid of 2,500 staff employees. Foreign students especially from Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq make the university a popular institution in attracting non-Iranian students so that the university could be ranked first in Iran amongst other universities in recruiting foreign students, after the efforts made during the presidency of Ahmadinejad who declared Mashhad as "Iran's spiritual capital".

Bowhead whale Species of mammal

The bowhead whale is a species of the family Balaenidae, in parvorder Mysticeti, and genus Balaena, which once included the right whale.

Japan Meteorological Agency meteorological service of Japan

The Japan Meteorological Agency, JMA, is an agency of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. It is charged with gathering and providing results for the public in Japan, that are obtained from data based on daily scientific observation and research into natural phenomena in the fields of meteorology, hydrology, seismology and volcanology, among other related scientific fields. Its headquarters is located in Chiyoda, Tokyo.

19 January: Ceres, a dwarf planet, as viewed by the Dawn spacecraft on 19 February 2015. Ceres RC2 Bright Spot.jpg
19 January: Ceres, a dwarf planet, as viewed by the Dawn spacecraft on 19 February 2015.
28 January: Ingredient in green tea found that may protect against oral cancer. Tea leaves steeping in a zhong caj 05.jpg
28 January: Ingredient in green tea found that may protect against oral cancer.

February

10 February: "Smiley" image of galaxy cluster (SDSS J1038+4849) and gravitational lensing (an Einstein ring) (HST). HST-Smiling-GalaxyClusterSDSS-J1038+4849-20150210.jpg
10 February: "Smiley" image of galaxy cluster (SDSS J1038+4849) and gravitational lensing (an Einstein ring) (HST).
20 February: An Anopheles stephensi mosquito, a vector of malaria - mosquito control is an effective way of reducing its incidence. Anopheles stephensi.jpeg
20 February: An Anopheles stephensi mosquito, a vector of malaria - mosquito control is an effective way of reducing its incidence.

March

2 March: Light imaged as both a particle and a wave. Light imaged as both a particle and wave.jpg
2 March: Light imaged as both a particle and a wave.
12 March: Aurorae on Ganymede, largest moon of planet Jupiter - auroral belt shifting may indicate a subsurface saline ocean. 15-33i2-JupiterMoon-Ganymede-Aurora-20150312.png
12 March: Aurorae on Ganymede, largest moon of planet Jupiter auroral belt shifting may indicate a subsurface saline ocean.
15-044a-SuperNovaRemnant-PlanetFormation-SOFIA-20150319.jpg
15-044b-SuperNovaRemnant-PlanetFormation-SOFIA-20150319.jpg
19 March: Supernova remnant ejecta producing planet-forming material.
10 April: Artist's restoration of Titanis walleri, an extinct eight-foot tall carnivorous flightless bird also known as a "terror bird". Titanis07DB.jpg
10 April: Artist's restoration of Titanis walleri, an extinct eight-foot tall carnivorous flightless bird also known as a "terror bird".

April

14 April: Pluto and moon Charon - first color image from the New Horizons spacecraft mission (Ralph camera; 9 April 2015). PlutoCharon-1stColorImage-NewHorizons-Ralph-20150409.png
14 April: Pluto and moon Charon - first color image from the New Horizons spacecraft mission (Ralph camera; 9 April 2015).
22 April: It is confirmed that Chinese scientists have genetically modified human embryos. 8-cell stage embryo.png
22 April: It is confirmed that Chinese scientists have genetically modified human embryos.
29 April: The World Health Organization (WHO) declares that rubella has been eradicated from the Americas. Rubella virus TEM B82-0203 lores.jpg
29 April: The World Health Organization (WHO) declares that rubella has been eradicated from the Americas.

May

15 May: The Opah is confirmed as the first known warm-blooded fish. Opah 6.jpg
15 May: The Opah is confirmed as the first known warm-blooded fish.
21 May: NASA reports that WISE J224607.57-052635.0 is the most luminous galaxy in the Universe. (artist's impression) PIA19339-MostLuminousGalaxy-WISE-J224607.57-052635.0-20150521.jpg
21 May: NASA reports that WISE J224607.57-052635.0 is the most luminous galaxy in the Universe. (artist's impression)
3 June: Reactivation of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Large Hadron Collider dipole magnets IMG 0955.jpg
3 June: Reactivation of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

June

4 June: New temperature data suggests that global warming has not slowed. No-slow-down-in-global-warming-NOAA.jpg
4 June: New temperature data suggests that global warming has not slowed.
8 June: Alga crater on Mars - detection of impact glass deposit - possible site for preserved ancient life. PIA19673-Mars-AlgaCrater-ImpactGlassDetected-MRO-20150608.jpg
8 June: Alga crater on Mars - detection of impact glass deposit - possible site for preserved ancient life.
16 June: The eastern cougar is declared extinct. EasternCougar.jpg
16 June: The eastern cougar is declared extinct.
26 June: All large impact craters on Earth have been identified. Meteor Crater - Arizona.jpg
26 June: All large impact craters on Earth have been identified.

July

9 July: Researchers led by IBM shrink transistors in computer chips to the 7nm scale. Ibm-7nm-chip.jpg
9 July: Researchers led by IBM shrink transistors in computer chips to the 7nm scale.
14 July: Pluto, dwarf planet, as viewed by the New Horizons spacecraft just before closest flyby. Nh-pluto-in-true-color 2x JPEG.jpg
14 July: Pluto, dwarf planet, as viewed by the New Horizons spacecraft just before closest flyby.
31 July: An ebola vaccine is found to be 100% successful in an initial trial. Ebola virus virion.jpg
31 July: An ebola vaccine is found to be 100% successful in an initial trial.

August

3 August: Glacier loss worldwide is reported to be "unprecedented" and occurring faster than ever. Baltoro glacier from air.jpg
3 August: Glacier loss worldwide is reported to be "unprecedented" and occurring faster than ever.
19 August: Hydrogen-rich area detected at "Marias Pass" on Mars by the Curiosity rover. PIA19809-MarsCuriosityRover-HydrogenRichAreaFound-20150721.jpg
19 August: Hydrogen-rich area detected at "Marias Pass" on Mars by the Curiosity rover.
24 August: A new way of "switching off" cancer cell growth, using the PLEKHA7 protein, is reported by the Mayo Clinic. SEM Lymphocyte.jpg
24 August: A new way of "switching off" cancer cell growth, using the PLEKHA7 protein, is reported by the Mayo Clinic.

September

10 September: Scientists announce the discovery of Homo naledi , a previously unknown species of early human in South Africa. Homo naledi.jpg
10 September: Scientists announce the discovery of Homo naledi , a previously unknown species of early human in South Africa.
15 September: Global ocean found in Saturn's moon, Enceladus. PIA19656-SaturnMoon-Enceladus-Ocean-ArtConcept-20150915.jpg
15 September: Global ocean found in Saturn's moon, Enceladus.
28 September: After a review of evidence from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, NASA concluded that liquid water occurs on present day Mars. Liquid water on mars.jpg
28 September: After a review of evidence from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, NASA concluded that liquid water occurs on present day Mars.

October

8 October: A third global coral bleaching event is announced, likely to be the worst on record. Keppelbleaching.jpg
8 October: A third global coral bleaching event is announced, likely to be the worst on record.
8 & 28 October: Details of a human mission to Mars, and related health hazards, released. PIA19808-MarsCuriosityRover-AeolisMons-BuckskinRock-20150805.jpg
8 & 28 October: Details of a human mission to Mars, and related health hazards, released.
23 October: Hurricane Patricia is the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Western hemisphere. Patricia 2015-10-23 1730Z Worldview.jpg
23 October: Hurricane Patricia is the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Western hemisphere.
26 October: Eating processed or red meat linked to some cancers by WHO. FoodMeat.jpg
26 October: Eating processed or red meat linked to some cancers by WHO.

November

5 November: MAVEN, an orbiter circling Mars, helped determine that the solar wind stripped away the atmosphere from Mars over the years. Mars-MAVEN-Orbiter-20140921.jpg
5 November: MAVEN, an orbiter circling Mars, helped determine that the solar wind stripped away the atmosphere from Mars over the years.
12 November: CO2 in Earth's atmosphere if half of global-warming emissions are not absorbed.
(NASA computer simulation). M15-162b-EarthAtmosphere-CarbonDioxide-FutureRoleInGlobalWarming-Simulation-20151109.jpg
12 November: CO2 in Earth's atmosphere if half of global-warming emissions are not absorbed.
(NASA computer simulation).
19 November: FDA approves genetically modified salmon for human consumption. Salmo salar GLERL 1.jpg
19 November: FDA approves genetically modified salmon for human consumption.

December

3 December: Call for moratorium on inheritable human genome edits. ADN static.png
3 December: Call for moratorium on inheritable human genome edits.
16 December: Cancer mainly the result of environmental factors. DARK CLOUDS OF FACTORY SMOKE OBSCURE CLARK AVENUE BRIDGE - NARA - 550179.jpg
16 December: Cancer mainly the result of environmental factors.

Awards

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Last updated

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See also

Related Research Articles

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2010 in science Overview of the events of 2010 in science

The year 2010 involved numerous significant scientific events and discoveries, some of which are listed below. The United Nations declared 2010 the International Year of Biodiversity.

2011 in science Overview of the events of 2011 in science

The year 2011 involved many significant scientific events, including the first artificial organ transplant, the launch of China's first space station and the growth of the world population to seven billion. The year saw a total of 78 successful orbital spaceflights, as well as numerous advances in fields such as electronics, medicine, genetics, climatology and robotics.

2012 in science Overview of the events of 2012 in science

The year 2012 involved many significant scientific events and discoveries, including the first orbital rendezvous by a commercial spacecraft, the discovery of a particle highly similar to the long-sought Higgs boson, and the near-eradication of guinea worm disease. A total of 72 successful orbital spaceflights occurred in 2012, and the year also saw numerous developments in fields such as robotics, 3D printing, stem cell research and genetics. Over 540,000 technological patent applications were made in the United States alone in 2012.

Timeline of Mars Science Laboratory

The Mars Science Laboratory mission and its rover, Curiosity, were launched from Earth on November 26, 2011. As of March 4, 2019, Curiosity has been on the planet Mars for 2337 sols since landing on August 6, 2012. (See Current status.)

2013 in science Overview of the events of 2013 in science

A number of significant scientific events occurred in 2013, including the discovery of numerous Earthlike exoplanets, the development of viable lab-grown ears, teeth, livers and blood vessels, and the atmospheric entry of the most destructive meteor since 1908. The year also saw successful new treatments for diseases such as HIV, Usher syndrome and leukodystrophy, and a major expansion in the use and capabilities of technologies such as 3D printing and autonomous cars.

2014 in science Overview of the events of 2014 in science

A number of significant scientific events occurred in 2014, including the first robotic landing on a comet and the first complete stem-cell-assisted recovery from paraplegia. The year also saw a significant expansion in the worldwide use and sophistication of technologies such as unmanned aerial vehicles and wearable electronics.

The Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) is an analog habitat for human spaceflight to Mars. HI-SEAS is located in an isolated position on the slopes of the Mauna Loa volcano on the island of Hawaii. The area has Mars-like features and an elevation of approximately 8,200 feet (2,500 m) above sea level. The first HI-SEAS study was in 2013 and NASA's Human Research Program continues to fund and sponsor follow-up studies. The missions are of extended duration from four months to a year.

A number of significant scientific events occurred in 2016. The United Nations declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses.

A number of significant scientific events occurred in 2017. The United Nations declared 2017 the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.

A number of significant scientific events occurred in 2018.

A number of significant scientific events have occurred or are scheduled to occur in 2019.

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