Top 10 Sci-tech Achievements in the World in 2021
2. Muons, which are large, unstable electron-like particles, are more magnetic than originally predicted according to researchers who are involved in the Muon g-2 experiment at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in the U.S. If the results hold up, they could reveal the existence of completely new fundamental particles.
3. A study published by Science showed that quantum entanglement was directly observed and recorded at the macroscopic scale. A previous study displayed that it was possible to measure the position and momentum of the two drumheads used in the experiments at the same time. These findings could be applied to manipulate and entangle objects on a macroscopic scale, which can contribute to next-generation communication networks.
4. Helping China become the second country to successfully land on Mars, Tianwen-1 made headlines all over the world. After more than nine months, China's first Mars probe landed on the red planet and pictures captured by the rover Zhurong were released.
5. Scientists from the University of Copenhagen revealed what happened a microsecond after the Big Bang, using the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The researchers found the quark-gluon plasma (QGP), the first matter that emerged after the Big Bang, was a perfect liquid and it also changed shape over time in a way different from other forms of matter.
6. CRISPR, a gene-editing technology, was used directly in a human body for hereditary transthyretin (TTR) amyloidosis treatment for the first time. The results showed that the treatment was effective. Based on studies, the in-body treatment could also modestly improve vision in people with inherited blindness.
7. A kidney from a genetically modified pig was transplanted into a human body in the U.S. and functioned for 54 hours without displaying rejection from the body. The successful transplant was the first of its kind, a potential breakthrough that could bring hope to patients who need organ transplants to survive.
8. Effective treatment against variants of the novel coronavirus are constantly emerging. Merck's molnupiravir (antiviral medication) could reduce risk of hospitalization or death by 30 percent, Pfizer’s PF-07321332 candidate by 89 percent, and China’s first domestically developed neutralizing monoclonal antibody combination therapy by 80 percent.
The first living robots Xenobots 3.0. (PHOTO: VCG)
9. Scientists from several American universities managed to build the first living robots Xenobots 3.0 that can reproduce by themselves. These AI-designed living robots can gather up, find single cells and create copies of themselves. This entirely new approach of replication could offer more personalized treatment in the future.
10. Scientists generated 2,000 new protein sequences by the AI neural network they used. They offered completely random protein sequences and introduced mutations into them until the neural network predicted that the sequences would fold into stable structures. No interference was made to the AI network and these new proteins were what it "dreamed" up.