Science has done a lot this past year and I think it is time we took a look at some of those things. Sure, we are always learning new things but 2017 brought about some pretty interesting finds.
Below you will find a list of science related things we know now that we didn’t know going into 2017, I can’t wait to see what we accomplish in 2018! This year has been quite interesting and full of so many advancements. Did you know about any of the things on this list?
22 Science Facts We Learned in 2017 That We Didn’t Know Before:
1. We have completely redrawn the dinosaur ‘family tree.’
We have had to change the classifications of two major dinosaur groups all thanks to a fossil that was before thought to be completely unimportant. These findings indicate that the theropods and the ornithischians share 21 anatomical traits.
2. We found that it was possible to reverse some types of brain damage that were caused by lack of oxygen.
This was found back in July when a little girl who had drowned in a pool was resuscitated and suffered severe brain damage. Researchers were able to improve her condition drastically. This was done through oxygen treatments.
3. We found that polycystic ovary syndrome may begin in the brain, not the ovaries.
One study found evidence that this syndrome may begin in the brain. This was due to excess androgens in the brain. A new treatment may come from this information in the future.
4. We found a new human organ.
This extra organ is known as the mesentery. It was found in the digestive system and has been thought to be made up of fragmented separate structures, but we now know it is one organ. You can read more on this by clicking here.
5. We realized how mathematically possible time travel truly is but lack the materials to actually do it.
Physicists came up with a mathematical model for a time machine, but of course, we do not quite have the technology to make it just yet. With that being said, the fact that it is mathematically possible warms my heart. I’m going to be disappointed if it doesn’t look like the TARDIS though.
6. We found a new type of diabetes.
This type is known as 3c diabetes, and it is being misdiagnosed as type 2. Chances are you wouldn’t even know if you had it. This is a type of diabetes that occurs when the pancreas cannot keep up with the insulin demand of the body. It tends to start at middle or old age and is quite interesting, to say the least.
7. We found that Mammalian lungs produce more than 10 million platelets per hour.
Yes, our lungs make blood. Now, isn’t that interesting? Researchers discovered this close to the middle of the year. This finding suggests a much more sophisticated view of the lungs and proves they are not merely for respiration.
8. Ancient forests are being exposed for the first time in 200,000 years.
Because of a colossal crater called the ‘doorway to the underworld’ and the fact that it is melting at a rapid rate these forests are being uncovered. These forests are in Siberia and are mysterious, to say the least. Who knows what we will find there.
9. We have identified a neuron that wraps around the entire circumference of a mouse’s brain.
This appears to be linked to consciousness in mammals. It is quite large and was found using a new imaging technique. This was found in one of the best connecting regions of the mouse’s brain and could be linked to so much more than we know now.
10. The New Guinea Highland Wild Dog is not extinct.
This kind of dog was thought to be extinct, but seems to be alive and well. To be completely honest it seems they may even be thriving. Who would have guessed?
Yes, scientists have finally been able to photograph a collision between two neutron stars. This allowed for some intense observations. We were finally able to measure the speed of gravity for the very first time. Isn’t that amazing?
12. We have created impossible objects.
We now recognize time crystals as a state of matter and have a blueprint for creating them. No, I am not joking. This odd atomic structure repeats not just in space, but in time and allows for a constant oscillation without energy.
I know this one is a bit morbid but it is important to know. When we sleep our brains are clearing away neural debris when we don’t get any sleep it cannot do that. When we are sleep deprived our brain kicks this into overdrive and essentially begins eating itself.
14. We may have found what the appendix is actually doing.
While the appendix is often considered to be something we don’t really need anymore anywhere we might need it after all. Researchers from Midwestern University traced the appendix back as far as they could and found that it has evolved at least 29 times throughout our evolutionary process. There seems to be a link between our appendix and our lymphoid tissue.
Decades of very low-frequency radio communications seem to have by accident created a protective human-made bubble around the Earth itself. We have changed the Earth in many ways but we are even going so far as to change space, literally.
16. We found that narwhals do use their horns to hunt but not in the way you would assume.
Footage captured some narwhals using their tusks to hunt arctic cod by hitting them and stunning them so they could eat them. This was pretty interesting and can be observed if you click here. We have never seen this before.
17. We found out why pugs look the way they do.
Scientists have, of course, known that selective breeding has played a major role in the scrunching of faces in pugs and other breeds, but until now the gene responsible for this was not identified. The gene responsible for this trait has been found to be the SMOC2 gene. It also plays a role in the cranial development in mice and fish.
18. We found that giant penguins existed in New Zealand roughly 59 million years ago.
These penguins stood almost six foot tall and were well, huge. Scientists discovered the remains of this species not too long ago and it was found on the coastline of New Zealand. This species is being called the Kumimanu Biceae.
While they can tell the difference between artists they don’t like any music. They seem to find it to be meaningless. It seems the ability to enjoy music is one of the most distinguishing features that separates humans from ‘monkeys.’
20. The world’s smallest fidget spinner was created and it is smaller than the width of a human hair.
Why this was made, we may never know but it is pretty interesting. This tiny ‘whirligig’ was created by researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences. You can click here to read more on this.
21. We found that we may have an underground continent known as Zealandia.
This is a bit hard to explain but you can learn all about this by clicking here. A team of scientists during 2017 found that Zelandia does fulfill the requirements to be considered a drowned continent and would change so much if it were recognized on a wider scale.
22. A gene-editing has been performed for the first time to fix a mutation for an inherited disease in embryos.
Yes, scientists used CRISPR to fix genetic defects in human embryos. This could potentially be far more enormous than it already is. That being said, some of the embryos used were not viable.