Saturday , December 5 2020

The 7 novels of science in 2019 according to the journal Nature

The largest radio telescope in the world, experiments in mitigating climate change, the first academic center dedicated to marijuana and regulation of genetic publishing.

These are some of the most important scientific topics that will focus on 2019, according to the magazine nature.

Here we present some of the progress and messages that are expected according to the prestigious scientific publication.

1. "Responsible" genetic version

The world of genetics continues to debate the story that shook the world of science in December: The Chinese Scientist Communication Han Jiankuiwho claimed to have created the first genetically modified babies.

I have claimed to have altered the genes of twins called "Lulu" and "Nana" to prevent them from entering the human immunodeficiency virus, HIV.

The message deserved widespread international condemnation because of the risk of the genetic editing method CRISPR, which may cause unwanted mutations.

In 2019, researchers will try to confirm whether Hens's claim is true and will look for mechanisms to ensure that editing of human DNA takes place responsibly and safely.

2. Cosmic characters

It is expected that the largest radio telescope in the world, it Telescopic radio spherical opening 500 meters from China (FAST), be fully operational in September.

Since the beginning of the first phase of commissioning in 2016, the US 170 million telescope has already discovered more than 50 new pulsars, dense dead stars rotating at high speed.

The telescope will look for weak signals coming from phenomena such as explosions of radio waves and clouds of cosmic gas.

On the other hand, in 2019, astronomers are expected to decide whether to build a 30-meter mega telescope at Mauna Kea Mountain in Hawaii.

The project was delayed due to opposition from local residents, but justice rejected the last of its claims in 2018.

3. Solar geo-engineering

Numerous studies in 2018 warned about the seriousness of climate change. Maybe it was with the greatest effect "Global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius", published in October by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or the IPCC.

The report said that greenhouse gas emissions should begin to fall in just 12 years to allow heating at not more than 1.5 degrees.

In 2019, the first experiments designed specifically to understand how to artificially cool the planet using solar geoengineering will take place.

One such test is the Stratospheric Controlled Perturbation Experiment (SCoPEx), from Harvard University.

The researchers plan to launch a balloon that rises about 20 km high with a load of calcium carbonate, a very common mineral powder used in products such as cement, toothpastes, cake mixes or pills to soothe indigestion.

When the balloon is in place, it will spread the dust into the atmosphere to create a "disturbed air mass" that would reach a kilometer long, Harvard researchers explained.

The goal is to study the dispersion of the particles that could eventually reflect sunlight back.

4. Polar projects

In January, researchers from the United States and the United Kingdom will begin their largest joint mission in Antarctica for more than 70 years.

The goal of the five-year project is to determine whether it is unstable Thwaites Glacier will begin to collapse in the coming decades.

The researchers will use autonomous submersible vehicles and put sensors on seals to study oceanic conditions close to this glacier as large as the state of Florida.

Months later, European researchers are planning to drill the ice in an ice dome, Little Dome C or Little Dome C in Antarctica to try to extract an 1.5 million year old ice cylinder.

If successful, the ice pipe is the oldest record of climate on our planet.

5. The truth of the collider

2019 can be a decisive year for the plans to build the successor to the Large Hadron Collider, LHC for its acronym in English.

Physicists in Japan suggested hosting International Linear Collider (ILC) in 2012, after the discovery of Higgs boson, which could be studied more deeply in the new particle accelerator.

However, a report from 2018 commissioned by the Japanese government criticized the enormous cost of the project, of approx. DKK 7,000 million USD.

Japan is the only country that has shown interest in hosting the ILC, and it is expected that the government of that country will make a statement before 7 March.

6. ABC of biosafety

The World Health Organization should, as expected, complete its main audit since 2004 Biosecurity manual in the laboratory.

The guide is used worldwide and recommends practices for treating high-risk pathogens such as Ebola.

The review will increase the focus on risk assessments and staff training in the laboratory.

7. A center for marijuana

Researchers in Canada should see the first results of several studies on biology and cannabis cultivation.

In October 2018, Canada legalized cannabis for all uses (the second nation in the world to do so, after Uruguay).

This decision led to a large increase in funding for studies of marijuana by provincial and federal agencies.

It is expected that by the end of 2019 researchers in UGuelph's University inaugurate the first academic center dedicated to marijuana research in Canada.

The center will study all aspects of the plant, from its genetics to its potential health benefits.

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