Top 10 Amazing biological discoveries of the past few years

Updated: Jan 8

Biology and biomedicine are propably the most exciting sciences as they uncover the secrets of life. Because these two sciences were not thorough investigated in the past , they are considered to be ''modern'' sciences and immense ammounts of researches are being held every year to find out more about how living organisms function, how characteristics are passed on from one generation to another and even how to cure diseases.Here, I will present you some examples of fascinating dicoveries in the field of biology, that have been made in the past few years, and that you propably did not know about.


1. A NEW ORGAN

YES!! You read correctly. Researchers back in 2017 found that we actually have 79 organs and not 78 as it was originally believed. The ''new'' organ is called Mesentery and it was originally believed to be part of the digestive system . However, it has been proved now that this part of our body is actually a organ that we just had never found out about . It was discovered by university professor J. Calvin Coffey , according to whom: "When we approach it like every other organ… we can categorize abdominal disease in terms of this organ,"“We have established anatomy and the structure. The next step is the function,”“If you understand the function you can identify abnormal function, and then you have the disease. Put them all together and you have the field of mesenteric science…the basis for a whole new area of science”.

The function of the organ is still being investigated...


2. Stop "aging"

It is known that aging is a result from copying DNA errors over time. Mitochondria are some of the worst culprits for this in the human cell.Scientists from Caltech and UCLA have discovered recently a way to "manipulate" that phenomenon and even remove the mutated Dna from the mitochondria , this way stopping premature agigng.


3. New Brain cells

A team at West Virginia University by recording eye movements and single neuron activity in the MTL and medial front cortexes of patients were abe to identify a type of cell(later called target cell), never seen before in humans. That name occured because these cells seemed to focus only on whether there was a target to focus on or not.


4. Brain controlled limbs

In the last years there have been many researches on how prosthetic limbs can be controled by brainwaves non invasively. Lately , researchers made the first limbs that can be completely controlled by the brain. This way , the person can use them more easily .


5. Cure for Aids

2020 will not only be remembered as the year of the pandemic but also as the year the first person was cured from Aids. A year that tortured thousands of people for many years can now be cured. There will be many more clinical trials before the "antidote" is widely dispenced but it seems like we are on the right path.


6. A vaccine against cancer

No matter how out-of-this-world this may sound, scientists are trying to make a vaccine against cancer. And it seems like they are succeeding as there has been HUGE progress on the matter. If the eventually actually succeed, one of the leading causes of death will cease to exist . People's lives will be saved and the average life-expectancy will increase.


7. Covid 19 Vaccine

Even if covid 19 is a rather ''recent'' virus , it has caused MANY deaths worldwide in a short period of time . Because of that, it is really fortunate that scientists made a vaccine. Even though it has not been dispenced worldwide yet, the projections are good and we hope for the best.


8. Brain mapping

The brain is propably the least understood organ of the human body. Scientists have been trying for centuries to find out how it works. Recently there has been huge progress in the matter with researchers making an actual "map" of the brain that shows details up to 20 micrometers in size. Based on that achievement they are currently working on improving the details of the map and understanding more the brain itself.


9. Digital 3D Hearts


Heart diseases are the number one cause of death worldwide. Most of the times, when a doctor needs to check the arteries of the heart for any clocked ones he will need to proceed in surgery . A former Stanford professor has found another solution: a digital model of the persons heart that the doctor can zoom in and out . The progress this way becomes MUCH easier and less painfull for the patient.


10. A cure for diabetes

Diabetes is one of the most common deseases. Treatment involves a lifetime of insulin injections, careful eating and generally a careful lifestyle this way making the life of the patients really difficult. Inspired by his daughter and son with diabetes , Harvard biologist Doug Melton found another approach: using stem cells to create replacement beta cells that produce insulin. As he claims:“If it works in people as well as it does in animals, it’s possible that people will not be diabetic, they will eat and drink and play like those of us who are not”


Sources:

https://time.com/5710295/top-health-innovations/

https://interestingengineering.com/11-developments-and-discoveries-in-human-biology-and-medicine-over-the-past-ten-years

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/techtank/2014/06/10/10-new-innovations-that-could-change-the-world/

https://www.aidsmap.com/news/jul-2020/top-5-hiv-cure-and-vaccine-stories-aids-2020

https://www.nap.edu/read/11567/chapter/5#140



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