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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Metabolism is the set of life-sustaining chemical reactions in organisms. The three main purposes of metabolism are: the conversion of food to energy to run cellular processes; the conversion of food/fuel to building blocks for proteins, lipids, nucleic acids, and some carbohydrates; and the elimination of nitrogenous wastes. These enzyme-catalyzed reactions allow organisms to grow and reproduce, maintain their structures, and respond to their environments..
An earthquake is the shaking of the surface of the Earth, resulting from the sudden release of energy in the Earth's lithosphere that creates seismic waves. Earthquakes can range in size from those that are so weak that they cannot be felt to those violent enough to toss people around and destroy whole cities. The seismicity, or seismic activity, of an area is the frequency, type and size of earthquakes experienced over a period of time. The word tremor is also used for non-earthquake seismic rumbling.
X-rays make up X-radiation, a form of electromagnetic radiation. Most X-rays have a wavelength ranging from 0.01 to 10 nanometers, corresponding to frequencies in the range 30 petahertz to 30 exahertz (3×1016 Hz to 3×1019 Hz) and energies in the range 100 eV to 100 keV. X-ray wavelengths are shorter than those of UV rays and typically longer than those of gamma rays. In many languages, X-radiation is referred to with terms meaning Röntgen radiation, after the German scientist Wilhelm Röntgen who discovered these on November 8, 1895, who usually is credited as its discoverer, and who named it X-radiation to signify an unknown type of radiation. Spelling of X-ray(s) in the English language includes the variants x-ray(s), xray(s), and X ray(s).
A star is type of astronomical object consisting of a luminous spheroid of plasma held together by its own gravity. The nearest star to Earth is the Sun. Many other stars are visible to the naked eye from Earth during the night, appearing as a multitude of fixed luminous points in the sky due to their immense distance from Earth. Historically, the most prominent stars were grouped into constellations and asterisms, the brightest of which gained proper names. Astronomers have assembled star catalogues that identify the known stars and provide standardized stellar designations. However, most of the estimated 300 sextillion (3×1023) stars in the Universe, including all stars outside our galaxy, the Milky Way, are invisible to the naked eye from Earth.
An exoplanet or extrasolar planet is a planet outside the Solar System. The first evidence of an exoplanet was noted in 1917, but was not recognized as such. The first scientific detection of an exoplanet was in 1988; it was confirmed to be an exoplanet in 2012. The first confirmed detection occurred in 1992. As of 1 February 2019, there are 3,976 confirmed planets in 2,971 systems, with 653 systems having more than one planet.
Kepler is a retired space telescope launched by NASA to discover Earth-size planets orbiting other stars. Named after astronomer Johannes Kepler, the spacecraft was launched on March 7, 2009, into an Earth-trailing heliocentric orbit. The principal investigator was William J. Borucki. After nine years of operation, the telescope's reaction control system fuel was depleted, and NASA announced its retirement on October 30, 2018.
Global warming is a long-term rise in the average temperature of the Earth's climate system, an aspect of climate change shown by temperature measurements and by multiple effects of the warming. The term commonly refers to the mainly human-caused observed warming since pre-industrial times and its projected continuation, though there were also much earlier periods of global warming. In the modern context the terms global warming and climate change are commonly used interchangeably, but climate change includes both global warming and its effects, such as changes to precipitation and impacts that differ by region. Many of the observed warming changes since the 1950s are unprecedented in the instrumental temperature record, and in historical and paleoclimate proxy records of climate change over thousands to millions of years.
Mitochondrial DNA is the DNA located in mitochondria, cellular organelles within eukaryotic cells that convert chemical energy from food into a form that cells can use, adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Mitochondrial DNA is only a small portion of the DNA in a eukaryotic cell; most of the DNA can be found in the cell nucleus and, in plants and algae, also in plastids such as chloroplasts.
Cancer is a group of diseases involving abnormal cell growth with the potential to invade or spread to other parts of the body. These contrast with benign tumors, which do not spread to other parts of the body. Possible signs and symptoms include a lump, abnormal bleeding, prolonged cough, unexplained weight loss and a change in bowel movements. While these symptoms may indicate cancer, they may have other causes. Over 100 types of cancers affect humans.
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".
The bowhead whale is a species of the family Balaenidae, in parvorder Mysticeti, and genus Balaena, which once included the right whale.
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.
Astrobiology is an interdisciplinary scientific field concerned with the origins, early evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universe. Astrobiology considers the question of whether extraterrestrial life exists, and how humans can detect it if it does. The term exobiology is similar.
The planet Mars has been explored remotely by spacecraft. Probes sent from Earth, beginning in the late 20th century, have yielded a large increase in knowledge about the Martian system, focused primarily on understanding its geology and habitability potential. Engineering interplanetary journeys is complicated and the exploration of Mars has experienced a high failure rate, especially the early attempts. Roughly sixty percent of all spacecraft destined for Mars failed before completing their missions and some failed before their observations could begin. Some missions have met with unexpected success, such as the twin Mars Exploration Rovers, which operated for years beyond their specification.
The possibility of life on Mars is a subject of significant interest to astrobiology due to its proximity and similarities to Earth. To date, no proof has been found of past or present life on Mars. Cumulative evidence shows that during the ancient Noachian time period, the surface environment of Mars had liquid water and may have been habitable for microorganisms. The existence of habitable conditions does not necessarily indicate the presence of life.
Mars is the focus of much scientific study about possible human colonization. Mars's surface conditions and past presence of water make it arguably the most hospitable planet in the Solar System besides Earth. Mars requires less energy per unit mass (delta-v) to reach from Earth than any planet, other than Venus.
Terraforming of Mars is a hypothetical process of planetary engineering by which the surface and climate of Mars would be deliberately changed to make large areas of the environment hospitable to humans, thus making the colonization of Mars safer and sustainable.
The Mars general circulation model (MGCM) is the result of a research project by NASA to understand the nature of the general circulation of the atmosphere of Mars, how that circulation is driven and how it affects the climate of Mars in the long term.
A human mission to Mars has been the subject of science fiction, aerospace engineering, and scientific proposals since the 19th century. The plans comprise proposals to land on Mars, eventually settling on and terraforming the planet, while utilizing its moons, Phobos and Deimos.
Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun and the second-smallest planet in the Solar System after Mercury. In English, Mars carries a name of the Roman god of war, and is often referred to as the "Red Planet" because the reddish iron oxide prevalent on its surface gives it a reddish appearance that is distinctive among the astronomical bodies visible to the naked eye. Mars is a terrestrial planet with a thin atmosphere, having surface features reminiscent both of the impact craters of the Moon and the valleys, deserts, and polar ice caps of Earth.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is an independent agency of the United States Federal Government responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and aerospace research.
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.
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.
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 is a timeline of the Mars Science Laboratory mission and its rover, Curiosity. As of February 13, 2019, Curiosity has been on the planet Mars for 2319 sols since landing on August 6, 2012. (See Current status.)
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.
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.
ESA’s Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle flew a flawless reentry and splashed down in the Pacific Ocean just west of the Galapagos islands.