The Biggest Science Stories Of 2019

Jan 6, 2020 By Aaditi P, Writer
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The Milky Way galaxy2019 was defined by the countless advancements made in science and technology, paving the way for even greater progress to come.

From calculating the weight of the Milky Way galaxy to exploring a world of deepfakes and even discovering the cause of your dominant hand, researchers made tremendous leaps in many fields. 

Diseases and Medicines

One of the top priorities in science is to monitor the spread of diseases and to research cures for medical conditions.

Pigs in a styIn 2019, scientists analyzed the rise of measles, an outbreak of swine flu in East Asia, and yet another Ebola epidemic that struck Congo.

We discovered how our cells respond to our body’s oxygen levels - thanks to a Nobel prize-winning discovery by a trio of scientists. Additionally, the development of a new drug may lead to a possible cure for Alzheimers! Finally, thanks to an extraordinary case of survival, scientists are looking into therapeutic hypothermia to reverse the effects of cardiac arrest.

Our Daily Lives

Everywhere we look, we can see traces of the impact that science and technology leave on our daily lives.

As you step outside for a walk, you may look to your Fitbit, a wearable fitness device from a company that was recently bought by Google. Chances are that if you have a smart device, you have used Google’s search engine to look something up. The company made news when it changed its search algorithms to highlight primary sources and less biased reporting.

Drone carrying UPS boxA rising trend in the modern world is the use of virtual reality devices to integrate technology into our lives. Facebook recently launched its own virtual reality (VR) platform, Horizon, which allows users to simulate their own VR environment. Speaking of Facebook, the company announced that it would merge three of the largest social media platforms - Messenger, Instagram, and Whatsapp!

One of the biggest innovations in 2019 was the increased use of drones for practical applications. For example, drones are being used to deliver packages, prescription medicine, and even life saving medical supplies! However, some unregulated drones are posing a risk to airplanes

Space

As always, the year would be incomplete without considering the astronomical achievements made in space.

Astronaut in spaceRight from the start, scientists answered extraordinary questions such as - How young are Saturn’s rings? NASA even took a step beyond Pluto to explore a snowman in outer space. Scientists even reached a milestone far beyond Pluto - they photographed a black hole that is 55 million lightyears away from Earth! 

NASA made history by scheduling a female-only spacewalk which, unfortunately, was delayed out due to a sizing issue with one of the astronaut’s spacesuits. However, spacesuit sizing issues may not happen again thanks to the new spacesuits that NASA unveiled in October. These spacesuits are customizable to any wearer’s size and provide additional features that assist space missions. 

To round out the year in astronomy, we saw the approach of the comet Borisov and discovered more about the sun from the Parker Probe.