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7. New Human Species
Biologists all over the world were intrigued upon hearing the 2015 discovery of a new species of human, Homo Naledi, allowing for an ever clearer picture of our ancient ancestry. The findings were unveiled deep in an underground cave in South Africa and is considered one of the greatest collection of human remains ever unearthed. So far, it is known that this species of human grew to an average height of 5 feet and had a brain no larger than an orange. The way the bones in the South African cave were arranged suggests that these human ancestors ritualistically buried their dead, giving scientists a glimpse into our cultural past.
6. Bionic Lens
While still in the testing stage, the founder of Ocumetics Technology Corp may have stumbled upon a revolutionary technology that could augment the way humans perceive the world. A new bionic contact lens will give wearers an ability to see the world with stronger than 20/20 vision. Some subjects, who have already tried the lens themselves, claim that they not only see better than ever before but have identified a unique spectrum of colors unfamiliar to the unaided eye. Is this perhaps the first step in the direction of a new era of superhumans?
5. Harder Than Diamond
Scientists may have recently discovered a substance harder than diamond, Q-carbon. What gives diamonds their excellent hardness are the chemical bonds that hold them together. The carbon in diamonds is held together by incredibly tight chemical bonds at the microscopic level, giving diamonds their prominent hardness. By the manipulation of carbon atoms, scientists were able to augment their chemical bonds, producing a material that is potentially 60 times harder than diamond. While this substance is still being experimented on, it is a potential prospect for the future of cheap, efficient technologies.
4. First Mammals
Researchers from the University of Edinburgh have discovered an ancient species of mammals that survived the notorious extinction of the dinosaurs over 65 million years ago. The reason this find is so significant is that it gives us a glimpse at how mammals began to rule the world previously dominated by their cold-blooded counterparts. The mammal is thought to have been a plant-eater closely resembling a modern beaver. Once the dinosaurs were eliminated these beaver-like creatures began to flourish, given that they were no longer victims of dinosaur predators. Because these little guys were able to withstand the destruction that wrecked havoc on the dinosaurs, an array of mammals, including our ancestors, were finally able to leave their mark on the world.
3. Whale Gene Mapping
Gene mapping is starting to look less like a theoretical nicety and more like an applied science with this new aquatic discovery. Scientists have finally discovered why Bowhead Whales are able to live to 200 years old by remapping their entire genome. By comparing the genome of Bowhead Whales with the genome of other mammals with a less impressive lifespan, scientists were able to point out marked differences. Bowhead longevity is due to its genes’ effectiveness in repairing gene deterioration, which is the cause of cancer and other ailments known to cut human life short. By further studying this animal’s genes, scientists may finally be able to restore our own faulty genetic system, substantially lengthening our lives.
2. Second Earth
NASA has recently confirmed their discovery of a possible second Earth. Kepler-452b orbits its sun in what scientists call the “Goldilocks Zone,” which is the habitable region in space, not too far or close to the sun, necessary for the possibility of life to flourish. The new planet appears to have a rocky surface as well as liquid water, which is another key ingredient for life to subsist. Although not much is known about if there is life beyond Earth, it makes sense to take notice of planets similar to our own.
1. Animal Re-animation
Scientists have always been intrigued by the prospect of re-animating creatures that have been extinct for many years. While bringing a dinosaur back to life would be kind of cool, bringing a Wooly Mammoth back to life would be just as cool, and that is just what scientists are trying to do. Because Wooly Mammoths and Saber-Toothed Tigers have only been extinct for tens of thousands of years, unlike the millions of years dinosaurs have been extinct, intact DNA samples are much easier to find. Scientists believe it is possible to recreate these extinct beasts by cloning them with DNA and tissue samples, which have been found, over the years, preserved in ice.