The greatest scientific breakthroughs of 2014 have affected all aspects of modern life, from medicine, to space exploration, to the future of renewable technologies. Scientists all over the globe are publishing their findings and treating patients with new medicines and techniques that are changing everyday life for the human race, and adding to our vast banks of scientific knowledge. Some of the greatest scientific discoveries of all time were made in 2014.
In the animal kingdom, it turns out monkeys can do math, and a certain kind of female bug has a very unique reproductive strategy. NASA has discovered all sorts of cool new things in the moons of the outer planets, including water and what just might be the birth of a brand new moon. Medical scientists have restored the sense of touch for an amputee and developed new drugs to change the way cancer is treated.
This list of scientific discoveries will be updated throughout the year, to include the most revolutionary breakthroughs in all different fields. Vote up the biggest breakthroughs below and get ready for whatever comes next!
Scientists Complete DNA Analysis of Richard III
In December 2014, scientists reported in the journal Nature Communications, that remains found in 2012 in a Leicester, England parking lot are, in fact, those of Richard III, noted villainous 15th century monarch. Even more impressive than the team's full trace of his DNA, is that they were able to trace genetic evidence through over 20 generations, to his living descendants. This is the oldest DNA identification case of a known individual.
Source: Popular Mechanics
Researchers Finally Record Video of the Black Seadevil
Though a Black Seadevil (a female anglerfish) was featured in Finding Nemo, the first ever recorded video footage of the elusive fish was released in November 2014. The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute captured the video with their remotely operated vehicle dubbed "Doc Ricketts." Though not exactly easy on the eyes, the discovery indicates the many unknown species of fish still out there, and just how much humans still have to learn about their planet.
European Space Agency Lands on a Comet
The European Space Agency (ESA) achieved a first for human space exploration in November 2014, landing the first probe on a comet. Their Philae lander detached from its ship, the Rosetta, landing on the comet after a 7-hour descent. The Rosetta mission, which has been on a ten-year journey, was a team effort between the ESA, NASA, and other partners.
Scientists hope that the probe will teach us about the composition of comets and how they react when nearing the sun.
Lockheed Martin Makes Nuclear Fusion Breakthrough
In October, Lockheed Martin announced that they made a huge technological breakthrough in the realm of nuclear fusion power. Nuclear fusion is an alternative energy source that, if deemed safe and scalable, could be a good alternative in a world that is rapidly approaching peak oil. The new type of reactors are small enough to fit on the back of a truck, and could be ready to use within a decade. Lockheed sees the breakthrough as just one part of a comprehensive approach to solving current global problems related to energy and climate change.