An artist’s illustration of two merging neutron stars.
University of Warwick/Mark Garlick
Science-loving people look forward to the ‘SCIENCE’ sections of their favourite newspapers, magazines or websites. It is often a great idea to have a fixed time in your day or week to read up on the latest scientific developments and breakthroughs. Most computer and mobile operating systems allow for convenient notification settings that allows one to know about developments as soon as they are published on your favourite sites. Never before in human history has there been so many major discoveries in such concentrated spans of time; being alive in the 3rd millennium AD (i.e. after the year 2000) is something worth writing volumes about! Scientists live for the small and big discoveries, as well as for the subsequent enlightenment, advancing the collective body of knowledge about the world in and around us.
For example, imagine the awe, excitement and absolute ecstasy when astronomers (in the fields of astronomy and/or astrophysics) were able to detect the light AND gravitational waves from the collision of two neutron stars! (It was common to detect either light OR gravitational waves from distant objects outside Earth’s atmosphere, but never both). More than 100 years ago the iconic scientist named Albert Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves, and said that they would ‘bend’ (i.e. distort) under the influence of gravity. He couldn’t live to the present in order to see his prediction proven correct using state-of-the-art wave detectors; we realise at once how fortunate we are. (Einstein is the same legendary wizard known for conjuring the magic that states E = mc2)
If astronomy doesn’t excite you, consider the scientific breakthroughs closer to home, as in the field of artificial intelligence (AI). Most recently, a computer called AlphaGo Zero made history by learning a human board game called “Go” without any human input! Imagine a computer teaching itself. It sounds like a sci-fi movie, right?! Scientists managed to bring the fiction into real life, which is no small achievement. AlphaGo Zero beat its predecessor, AlphaGo Lee, by a stunning margin of 100-0, after AlphaGo Lee was the first AI computer to beat a human world champion of the game by a margin of 4-1! This recent event took us back 20 years, to 11 May 1997, a significant moment on human history’s timeline, when the world’s most iconic chess grandmaster, Gary Kasparov, struggled to accept defeat against an IBM supercomputer called Deep Blue, an event credited with launching the great data revolution.
Another example of AI news here.
Other warnings AGAINST the use of AI here.
The domains of healthcare and medicine also benefit by advances in biotechnological sciences. Quoting the abstract of a recent publication (click the link here or see the citation below, the purposes and usefulness of a career in biotechnology are rather forthcoming:
“Biotechnology has offered modern medical devices for diagnostic and preventive purposes, which include diagnostic test kits, vaccines and radio-labeled biological therapeutics used for imaging and analysis. Human health is a major growing concern worldwide because of infectious diseases. Biotechnology has played a dynamic role in improving the challenges regarding to human health as it has flexibility to reduce global health differences by the provision of promising technologies. Health, life quality and expectancy of life have been increased worldwide through the services provided by biotechnology. Malnutrition mainly arises due to the lack of essential nutrients and vitamins in food and ultimately results in [premature] death. Biotechnology has play[ed] a major role in eliminating these problems by producing [nutrient-enriched] food such as golden Rice, maize, potato and soybean, etc. Biotechnology has also played an important role in controlling the environmental pollution through biodegradation of potential pollutants. This review sketches improvement of human health by the use of biotechnological advances in molecular diagnostics, medicine, vaccines, nutritionally enriched genetically modified crops and waste management.”
Citation: Afzal H, Zahid K, Ali Q, Sarwar K, Shakoor S, et al. (2016) Role of Biotechnology in Improving Human Health. J Mol Biomark Diagn 8: 309. doi: 10.4172/2155-9929.1000309
Other examples of biotech in the news can be found here, here, here or here.
Then we’re also interested in showcasing major news topics in the energy sector. Here you would not find a lack of exciting developments! Take a look at the ideas already expressed in 2012, compared to what is happening today, a mere 5 years later! So much science and development is happening every day – it takes a dedicated habit of reading to get to grips with it all. (And don’t worry – scientists say that reading a modern LCD/plasma screen is not as harmful to your eyes except for making your muscles tired. Please read for no more than 30 minutes at a time. Take regular breaks).
Many people have been saying that solar energy might not be as economical as previously thought, but in the meantime these conjectures have been proven false:
“Renewable Energy World posts in Facebook every headline it publishes online. A few stories in 2016 garnered a lot of attention in the social media platform, but the news that Dubai broke the record for the lowest cost of solar blew away Renewable Energy World’s record for engagement in Facebook by followers. Written by Moritz Borgmann, partner at clean tech advisory Apricum, the story explained that the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority received bids as low as US$3/kWh for the 800-MW Sheikh Maktoum solar park phase three, marking not only the lowest cost ever for solar power, but also beating costs for fossil fuel in Dubai. Expect Dubai to continue to make headlines in 2017, as the city works to achieve Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid’s clean energy strategy for 2050, which includes generating 7 percent of all of its power from renewable resources by 2020 and 75 percent by 2050.”
From the website www.renewableenergyworld.com (Published 30 December 2016)
The World is Watching This Development, very closely indeed.
You could also try some or all of the major news outlets listed below. It is by no means an exhaustive list. Expand it and broaden your horizons into the forays of science. Note that this may or may not show actual scientific publications, which can be found on other sites by following links found through your own research activities.
BBC Earth (UK)
CNN Health (USA)
Independent Indy/Life (UK)
The Guardian Science (UK)
Fox News Science (USA)
ABC News Science (Australia)
Science (Journal) Magazine (Europe)
Science (Journal) Magazine (Africa)
Science (Journal) Magazine (Latin America)
Main site: http://www.sciencemag.org/
Brazilian Science News
Russian Science and Education News
Nature (Journal) – News – Global
Nature (Journal) – News – Africa
Australian Academy of Science – News
Canadian Science News
Chinese Science and Technology News
Indian Science and Technology News
Japanese Science and Technology News
Japanese Science (in general)
Northern Europe Science and Technology
Scandinavia Life Science Cluster
South African Science and Technology News
South African Engineering News
Thanks for you attention
19 October 2017