The different branches of science have truly paved the way for scientists and researchers to discover methods and techniques to make life more comfortable and more convenient for everybody. Throughout science’s illustrious history, there have been many inventions and revelations that have been created and developed in order to serve a beneficial purpose for different kinds of people in the world.
Here are some of the greatest discoveries and inventions in science that are acclaimed for their significance in the advancement in medicine and other fields.
Before the invention of the polio vaccine, there have been millions of children around the world that are contracting the disease and dying because of it.
The first significant research that focuses on finding a cure for polio was conducted by John Enders along with his colleagues Thomas H. Weller and Frederick C. Robbins at the Children’s Hospital Boston in 1948. Through their research, they were able to grow polio cultures that will subsequently be used years after in studies that tackle making a cure or a vaccine against polio. Because of their efforts, the research group was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1954, and Enders was deemed “The Father of Modern Vaccines” due to opening a path towards modern vaccine creation and implementation.
The advanced research in finding a cure for polio eventually led to Jonas Salk’s creation of a fully effective vaccine. Salk’s vaccine is an inactivated poliovirus type that is given to humans via injection. People then shunned this type of vaccine during the Cutter incident, an event in 1955 that led to some children dying after getting injected by a Salk vaccine produce by Cutter Laboratories. Authorities soon found out that the vaccine contained live polio virus instead of inactivated ones, which resulted in children getting the diseases accidentally.
It wasn’t until 1961 that people regained their trust in the polio vaccine thanks to the popularity of the weakened poliovirus vaccine type given by mouth that was developed by Albert Sabin. The oral polio vaccine also became more widely available than the injected kind of polio vaccine due to its lower price, which allows it to be used and bought by third-world countries who are suffering from the polio outbreak much more than the United States.
Stem cell research has been quite prominent in recent years due to its contributions to finding a cure for cancer and other chronic diseases.
Because of the stem cell’s ability to reconstruct itself and easily produce mature cells on its own, it can be used to quickly repair and replace damaged cells caused by radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and other methods in eradicating cancer cells in the body.
Researchers are suggested that further stem cell research will eventually result in us being able to form organs inorganically out of stem cells. In the future, those who kidney transplants may not need a donor anymore since scientists can already create a replacement kidney, and those who have lost tissues or organs due to diabetes and cancer may be able to regain them once stem cell research is completed.
The Decoding of the Human Genome
The Human Genome Project (HGP) that launched in 1990 is responsible for how researchers are now fully able to understand human genetics and the intricacies of the human body.
Although the project is still unable to present a 100 percent perfect depiction of the human genome due to how each human has different genomes and DNA structures, they still manage to create a 90% replica that is sufficient for accurate studies in genetics.
Because of the HGP, scientists are now developing ways to prevent and cure diseases such as cancer and diabetes that usually damage DNA in cells.
Water on Mars
It has long been believed that living beings cannot survive on Mars due to the lack of oxygen, but in 2008, the world of science was shocked to discover that there are traces of water in the desolate planet, which could be a sign that it is possible for organisms to have enough food or water supply to live in Mars.
The traces of water were found using NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander, which landed in the planet’s northernmost region where ice is presumed to be building. Since water is made of hydrogen and oxygen, it is possible that microbes may have taken advantage of these elements and survived on the planet for thousands or even millions of years. NASA is currently searching for clues if there are still organisms living on Mars.
One year after the discovery of water on Mars, NASA found out that is also water on the moon caused by ice formation.
After this revelation, NASA is seeking permission and funding from the government to revive moon missions so that they can further investigate if humans living on the moon in the far future is feasible.
Reusable Rocket Parts
Sending a rocket in space is arguably one of the most expensive ventures that the United States of America has funded. Due to the materials made and how it is constructed, space rockets can be very pricey to produce, but thanks to the reusable parts manufactured by SpaceX, a company founded by Elon Musk, space agencies can reduce the costs of executing every rocket mission using SpaceX’s parts.
One of the rockets designed by Space X is the Falcon 9, which is one of the first reusable rockets in the world. By being able to create reusable rockets, we may not have to construct expensive rockets constantly in the future since we can use a single rocket again and again until it no longer passes quality tests.
The First Clone of a Mammal
On July 5, 1996, several researchers at the Roslin Institute in Scotland were able to create the first cloned mammal, Dolly the Sheep. Dolly was cloned using an adult cell of another sheep and grew unnaturally using three mothers. One mother sheep gave the egg, the other one provided the DNA of Dolly, and the third mother carried the clone and gave birth to it.
After the successful cloning, scientists then started cloning other mammals such as deer, horses, and pigs. Dolly was euthanized on February 14, 2003 due to severe lung problems and arthritis, but researchers are claiming that the sheep being a clone is not related to her death at the age of 6 because her species usually live for 11 to 12 years.
There are more scientific discoveries to learn more about, but these are the most important findings and inventions when it comes to the enhancement of living for humans and even animals. Through the research done on vaccines and stem cells, we can lessen the number of adults and children suffering from deadly diseases, and it is also possible that we can eradicate these diseases soon.