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2022 Year in Review: Incredible Science Stories

To recap 2022, is taking a look back at some of the most interesting stories we’ve covered this year.
Today we’re looking at some incredible stories from the world of science.

Doctors Give Man Pig’s Heart in Medical “First”

Medical team performing the first transplant of a pig heart into a human.
Last Friday, doctors at the University of Maryland Medical Center successfully replaced the heart of a very sick man with a specially-grown pig’s heart. It’s the first time this surgery has ever been done. After three days, the patient appears to be doing very well.

Huge Area of Icefish Nests Found In Antarctica

Twenty or more icefish guard nests at the bottom of the southern Antarctic Weddell Sea.
Scientists exploring the ocean floor in Antartica have found the largest group of fish nests ever discovered. The huge area of nests came as a surprise, and will help scientists develop a more complete idea of the ocean food web in the area.

Scientists Identify Animals by DNA in the Air

Christina Lynggaard and Kristine Bohmann collect air samples at the Copenhagen Zoo.
Scientists have come up with a new way of identifying animals in an area – by testing DNA sucked out of the air. The researchers believe their new method could help scientists keep track of animals that are hard to spot, including endangered animals.

Spine Implant Lets Paralyzed People Walk Again

Patients with spinal cord injuries walking with walkers in Lausanne.
When someone damages their backbone, the injury can leave them paralyzed and unable to walk. Now, scientists have given three paralyzed men the ability to walk again, thanks to a device placed in their spine. Incredibly, the men were able to walk in just hours.

Serious Coral Bleaching Hits Great Barrier Reef Again

Bleached staghorn coral in the Great Barrier Reef in 2009.
The group in charge of caring for Australia’s Great Barrier Reef reports that the reef appears to be going through another widespread coral “bleaching” event. Once again, rising ocean temperatures are threatening this massive underwater treasure.

Scientists Train Nerve Cells in a Dish to Play Video Game

‘Dishbrain’ under the microscope. A microscopy image of neural cells where fluorescent markers show different types of cells. Green marks neurons and axons, purple marks neurons, red marks dendrites, and blue marks all cells. Where multiple markers are present, colours are merged and typically appear as yellow or pink depending on the proportion of markers.
Researchers in Australia have shown that human nerve cells in a dish can form a “brain” that can learn to play a simple video game. The research could help scientists understand the brain better. It could also lead to new kinds of computers.

Mosquito Larva Hunters Have Head-Popping Secret

Two screenshots showing before and after as the larva of an elephant mosquito launches its head to grab the larva of another kind of mosquito.
Most mosquitoes are annoying, and a serious health risk. But some aren’t. A few even help get rid of other mosquitoes. Now, scientists have discovered the head-popping secret that turns the larvae of some mosquitoes into deadly hunters of other mosquitoes.

Scientists Test Blood Grown in a Laboratory

Highly magnified image of a red blood cell grown in a lab.
For the first time ever, scientists are testing red blood cells grown in a laboratory on human volunteers. If the experiment is successful, the process could make it far easier to supply blood to people who need it – especially those with rare blood types.

Sharks Help Discover World’s Largest Sea Grass Meadow

Mature tiger shark swimming over Syringodium filiforme sea grass on the Little Bahama Bank.
Scientists have discovered the world’s largest known field of sea grass. They did it using videos shot by some unusual helpers: tiger sharks. The work should help protect the sea grass, and also shows off a powerful way to explore the ocean.

Fusion Progress: Scientists Gain Energy for the First Time

To create fusion ignition, the National Ignition Facility’s laser energy is converted into X-rays inside the hohlraum, which then compress a fuel capsule until it implodes, creating a high temperature, high pressure plasma.
US scientists announced a huge step forward for fusion energy. For the first time ever, they got more energy out of the process than they put into it. Fusion power is a long way off, but the news is major progress toward a powerful, clean energy source.



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