As another year comes around, and our solstice plans come to a head I want to review this year’s great progress in science to follow on from last year’s great review.
The general criteria is: World changing science, not politics. That means a lot of space discoveries, a lot of technology, some groundbreaking biology, and sometimes new chemical materials. There really are too many to list briefly.
With that in mind, below is the list:
Things that spring to mind when you ask people:
- T3d printing organs and skin tissue http://www.bbc.com/news/health-35581454
- Baby born with 3 parents. link
- AlphaGo VS Lee Sedol
- Cryopreservation of a rabbit brain – Link
- Majorana fermions discovered (possibly quantum computing applications)
- SpaceX landed Falcon 9 at sea – Link
- Gravitational waves deteced by LIGO
- Quantum logic gate with 99% accuracy at Oxford
- TensorFlow has been out just over a year now. An open source neural net project.
Note: the whole thing is worth reading – I cherry picked a few really cool ones.
- Astronomers identify IDCS 1426 as the most distant massive galaxy cluster yet discovered, at 10 billion light years from Earth.
- Mathematicians, as part of the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search, report the discovery of a new prime number: “274,207,281 − 1”
- The world’s first 13 TB solid state drive (SSD) is announced, doubling the previous record for a commercially available SSD. link
- A successful head transplant on a monkey by scientists in China is reported.
- The University of New South Wales announces that it will begin human trials of the Phoenix99, a fully implantable bionic eye. Link
- Scientists in the United Kingdom are given the go-ahead by regulators to genetically modify human embryos by using CRISPR-Cas9 and related techniques. Link
- Scientists announce Breakthrough Starshot, a Breakthrough Initiatives program, to develop a proof-of-concept fleet of small centimeter-sized light sail spacecraft, named StarChip, capable of making the journey to Alpha Centauri, the nearest extrasolar star system, at speeds of 20% and 15% of the speed of light, taking between 20 and 30 years to reach the star system, respectively, and about 4 years to notify Earth of a successful arrival. Link
- A new paper in Astrobiology suggests there could be a way to simplify the Drake equation, based on observations of exoplanets discovered in the last two decades. link
- A detailed report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine finds no risk to human health from genetic modifications of food. Link
- Researchers from Queensland’s Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, and the University of Queensland jointly report that the Bramble Cay melomys is likely extinct, adding: “Significantly, this probably represents the first recorded mammalian extinction due to anthropogenic climate change.” Link
- Scientists announce detecting a second gravitational wave event (GW151226) resulting from the collision of black holes. Link
- The first known death caused by a self-driving car is disclosed by Tesla Motors. Link
- A team at the University of Oxford achieves a quantum logic gate with record-breaking 99.9% precision, reaching the benchmark required to build a quantum computer. Link
- The world’s first baby born through a controversial new “three parent” technique is reported. Link
- A team at Australia’s University of New South Wales create a new quantum bit that remains in a stable superposition for 10 times longer than previously achieved. Link
- Scientists at the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry officially recognizes names for four new chemical elements: Nihonium, Nh, 113; Moscovium, Mc, 115; Tennessine, Ts, 117 and Oganesson, Og, 118. Link
- Zika virus
- North Korea launches a long-range rocket into space, violating multiple UN treaties and prompting condemnation from around the world.
- The ESA and Roscosmos launch the joint ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter on a mission to Mars.
- The Gotthard Base Tunnel, the world’s longest and deepest railway tunnel, is opened following two decades of construction work.
- The United Kingdom votes in a referendum to leave the European Union.
- NASA‘s Juno spacecraft enters orbit around Jupiter and begins a 20-month survey of the planet.
- Solar Impulse 2 becomes the first solar-powered aircraft to circumnavigate the Earth.
- NASA launches OSIRIS-REx, its first asteroid sample return mission. The probe will visit Bennu and is expected to return with samples in 2023.
- Global CO2 levels exceed 400ppm at the time of year normally associated with minimum levels  A 400 ppm level is believed to be higher than anything experienced in human history.
- Marvin Minsky, American computer scientist
- Donald E. Williams, American astronaut
- Walter Kohn, Austrian-born American Nobel physicist
- Harry Kroto, English Nobel chemist
- Elie Wiesel, Romanian-born American Nobel writer and political activist
- Seymour Papert, South African-born American mathematician and computer scientist
- Ahmed Zewail, Egyptian-American Nobel chemist
- Reinhard Selten, German Nobel economist
- Roger Y. Tsien, American Nobel biologist
- James Cronin, American Nobel physicist
- Shimon Peres, 9th President and 8th Prime Minister of Israel, Nobel Peace Prize laureate
- Dario Fo, Italian actor, Nobel playwright and comedian
- The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2016 was awarded jointly to Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Sir J. Fraser Stoddart and Bernard L. Feringa “for the design and synthesis of molecular machines”
- The Nobel Prize in Physics 2016 was divided, one half awarded to David J. Thouless, the other half jointly to F. Duncan M. Haldane and J. Michael Kosterlitz “for theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter”.
- The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2016 was awarded to Yoshinori Ohsumi “for his discoveries of mechanisms for autophagy”.
- The Nobel Prize in Literature 2016 was awarded to Bob Dylan “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”.
- The Nobel Peace Prize 2016 was awarded to Juan Manuel Santos “for his resolute efforts to bring the country’s more than 50-year-long civil war to an end”.
- The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2016 was awarded jointly to Oliver Hart and Bengt Holmström “for their contributions to contract theory”
100 years ago (1916):
- The British Royal Army Medical Corps carries out the first successful blood transfusion using blood that had been stored and cooled.
- Emma Goldman is arrested for lecturing on birth control in the United States.
- In Munich German automobile company BMW (Die Bayerischen Motoren Werke) is founded.
- The toggle light switch is invented by William J. Newton and Morris Goldberg.
- Margaret Sanger opens the first U.S. birth control clinic – a forerunner of Planned Parenthood.
- Oxycodone, a narcotic painkiller closely related to codeine is first synthesized in Germany.
- Ernst Rüdin publishes his initial results on the genetics of schizophrenia.
- Louis Enricht claims he has a substitute for gasoline.
- The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers is founded in the United States as the Society of Motion Picture Engineers.
Nobel Prizes in 1916:
- Physics – not awarded
- Chemistry – not awarded
- Medicine – not awarded
- Literature – Carl Gustaf Verner von Heidenstam
- Peace – not awarded
- Pokemon go
- Brexit – Britain secedes from the EU
- Donald trump US president
- SpaceX making more launches, and had a major explosion setback
- Internet.org project delayed by SpaceX expolosion.
Meta: this took in the order of 3+ hours to write over several weeks.
Cross posted to Lesswrong here.