10 January, 2013 – This Week in Science

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TWIS Reviews The Top 11 Science Stories of 2012 And Makes Predictions For 2013

Disclaimer, Disclaimer, Disclaimer!!!
The entire universe, and everything in it, is in the past…
Now, is finally here at last.
The now between everything that has ever happened,
and everything that has never happened yet
This now, like now’s past, is the one place where we can look backward and see the result of all human civilization…
The culmination of our species turbulent trails and fortuitous forging on to futures past and futures not yet present
We stand upon this high precipice of now, like a surfer atop a monster wave…
Ready to ride to sandy shore, or wipe out and spitting salt water, try again…
From this plucky perspective we are able to see clearly what once was invisible to the world, and have better insight into which mysterious unknowns might be uncovered next
I do not say this lightly nor mean it to be taken literally when I say that we are standing at the highest point in human knowledge, are the most educated humans in the history of humanity, and have more resource of mind and material at our disposal than at any other time ever in the story of mankind…
So let us make the best of it.
While we can, while we are able, while we are willing and while we are tuned in to
This Week in Science… Coming Up Next.

Number 11!!!
Simulations:
The structure of the entire observable universe, the first complete computer model of a living organism, and 530 billion neurons and 100 trillion synapses on a supercomputer…

Number 10!!!
Origins:
Red Deer Cave People, denisovian dna, apes with spears, ancient lichen, and pushing back the age of life on earth…

Number 9!!!
Cloaking and Transporters:
Scientists alter the speed of light to cloak an object from view for 40 trillionths of a second, successful “cloaking” of a three-dimensional object in the microwave region of the electromagnetic spectrum, a cloaking device capable of slowing light to a virtual halt, a highly efficient meta-material cloaking device capable of rendering objects invisible to microwaves, quantum teleportation to transmit photons over a distance of 97 kilometres, quantum teleportation over a record-breaking distance of 143 kilometres (89 mi) through free space, the first quantum teleportation from one macroscopic object to another…

Number 8!!!
3-D Printing goes mainstream:
an artificial jaw made using a 3D printer, a 3D printing method to construct complex microscopic structures out of individual molecules, the beginnings of printable robots that can be designed and made to order by the average person in less than 24 hours, the world’s first 3D printer retail outlet, a tactical 3D printer to rapidly manufacture critical components on the battlefield, a novel hybrid printer for creating implantable cartilage, a 3D printer capable of manufacturing tools from lunar regolith…

Number 7!!!
We Will be Cyborgs:
a robotic arm that can be precisely controlled by paralyzed patients, the United Kingdom’s first successful ocular implant trial, the first implantation of an early prototype bionic eye,

Number 6!!!
Brains:
a method of decoding thoughts by studying activity in the human brain’s superior temporal gyrus, new scanning technology reveals that the human brain possesses a simple 3D grid structure with sheets of parallel neuronal fibers crossing one another at right angles, the Blue Brain Project identifies key principles that determine synapse-scale connectivity and make it possible to accurately predict the locations of synapses in the neocortex, a new brain-scanning functional magnetic resonance imaging device that allows paralyzed people to type out words using only their thoughts…

Number 5!!!
DNA:
synthetic DNA compounds that demonstrate evolution, successful sequencing of the genome of an 18-week-old human fetus in the womb by taking blood samples from the mother, a new genetic test to fully sequence the genome of a newborn baby in 50 hours, the most detailed analysis to date of the human genome, human genetic variation has accelerated faster than natural selection can operate in recent centuries, researchers refute NASA’s claims that bacteria can successfully incorporate arsenic into their DNA, the first direct images of DNA…

Number 4!!!
Stem Cells come into their own:
the first-ever monkeys grown from cells taken from different embryos, eggs from stem cells, repair of myelin sheath damage in aging mice with multiple sclerosis by injecting the blood of younger mice into them, damaged heart tissue in heart attack patients can be repaired with infusions of the patient’s own stem cells, genetically engineered stem cells seek out and kill HIV in mice, healthy bone from human embryonic stem cells, healthy heart muscle cells from the skin cells of patients, stem cells successfully restore hearing in animals for the first time, a kidney-like organ grown from scratch in a laboratory, a method of safely cultivating medicinal stem cells from the blood of adult patients…

Number 3!!!
Global Warming:
Human emissions of carbon dioxide will defer the next Ice Age, a cheap plastic capable of removing large amounts of CO2 from the air, anthropogenic CO2 emissions over the last 100 to 200 years have already raised ocean acidity far beyond the range of natural variations, changes in solar activity cannot be responsible for the current period of global warming, the Earth’s oceans may be growing more acidic at a faster rate than at any time in the past 300 million years, Even if humankind manages to limit global warming to 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F), as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recommends, future generations will have to deal with sea levels12 to 22 meters (40 to 70 feet) higher than at present, global temperatures could rise by 3.0°C (5.4°F) by 2050, satellite data reveals that 97% of Greenland’s ice is undergoing a thaw, The rapid decline in Arctic sea ice is at least 70% due to man-made global warming, Arctic sea ice sets a record for the lowest cover since satellite records began in the 1970s, 2012 North American drought continues to worsen, with over 19% of the contiguous United States suffering from extreme drought, and groundwater levels declining nationwide…

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Number 2!!!
Space: voyager, Curiosity, ancient galaxies, quadruple sun solar systems and planets, planets everywhere:
NASA scientists release the latest WMAP results and an image of the very early universe, each star in the Milky Way Galaxy may host “on average … at least 1.6 planets”, three rocky exoplanets smaller than Earth, a large exoplanet orbiting within the habitable zone of a star 22 light-years away, cientists two new exoplanets orbiting a binary star, a rocky planet twice Earth’s size orbiting a nearby star is composed largely of diamond, a Neptune-like exoplanet that has four suns, a new exoplanet orbits Alpha Centauri, HD 40307 g is within the habitable zone of its host star HD 40307 and may be “just right to support life”, Tau Ceti hosts five exoplanets, Voyager 1 is close to entering interstellar space and becoming the first human-made object to leave the Solar System, the MESSENGER probe discovers water ice and organic compounds on the surface of Mercury, the detection of glycolaldehyde in a distant star system, NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission successfully lands Curiosity, direct detection of part of the invisible dark matter “scaffolding” of the universe…

Number 1!!!
The Higgs and The Standard Model
data suggests that the elusive hypothesized Higgs boson might have been detected, indirect evidence supporting the existence of the Higgs boson found, announcement of a particle consistent with the standard model’s Higgs boson at a “5 sigma” level of significance… Also, an extremely rare particle decay event casts doubt on supersymmetry…

And our runners-up include:
The top science story that wasnt – The End of the World…
The top story I want to hear more about next year…
The top story that will make you squirm…

And, then we made some predictions…

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