Scientific Discoveries From The Past Few Months, 2022

Let’s get into some amazing scientific discoveries from 2022

  • Mercury’s Surface Covered With Diamond Dust

Kevin Cannon shared his findings at the 53rd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. He explained that simulations of Mercury’s surface and impact interactions have shown that the planet may be covered with microscopic diamonds.

Mercury formed its initial environment from a magma ocean. The magma produced graphite and eventually reached the surface to form a thick floating graphite layer. Asteroid impacts were a common occurrence in the first billion years after the formation of our solar system. They could have transformed graphite instantly into diamonds.

These would be different from the actual diamonds that we see in jewelry. They would be smaller and clearer than our usual jewels. It would have been microscopic, not diamond dust, that was scattered across the surface. Future missions could help us better understand Mercury’s surface. But, if our estimates are correct, Mercury may have diamond hoards 16 times larger than the ones on Earth.

  • The Merging Two Black Holes

The laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, also known as LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory), was constructed to confirm that gravitational waves exist. Space-time waves can be described as ripples created by massive mass shifts, which occur when two black holes collide.

The journal Physical Review Letters published a new observation on April 11, 2022. It shows a sudden velocity shift when two black holes merge. According to the news, the merger resulted in the larger black hole shooting off at around 5 million miles per hour.

Scientists are studying the merger to understand how large objects interact gravitationally. The newly merged black hole has two possible resting points, each with different probabilities. Understanding how and why it eventually settles in is key to better gravitational models. This can help explain how black hole formation occurs, like the one at our galaxy’s center.

  • Robot Skeletons Growing Human Tendons

Most transplanted organs and tissue come from deceased donors or living donors. All transplant tissues will be able to be grown from scratch in the future.

For years scientists have been working in lab bioreactors to create tendons that are suitable for transplantation into patients. Although they have been able to grow tissues with great success, their cells aren’t as strong as human ones. Naturally grown tissues are subject to constant stress. Tissues are subject to constant stress when a person moves about. They become compressed, stretched, and twisted as a result, which improves their flexibility and function.

Researchers developed a platform to mimic the motion of the body in Communications Engineering to help create more effective tissues. The artificial supraspinatus tendons were created by placing a bioreactor on top of an artificial shoulder bone skeleton. This mimicked the Supraspinatus tendon placement. After 14 days, the shoulder was able to move freely to mimic its natural movement.

The cells’ transcriptomes were analyzed after being incubated for 14 days. This revealed greater flexibility and better function. While it may take some time before we can grow transplantable tendons completely, building them on an artificial body could be a good step.

  • Uranus & Neptune Have Different Colours

    NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft captured these views of Uranus (on the left) and Neptune (on the right) during its flybys of the planets in the 1980s.

Saturn and Jupiter, both gas giants, receive the most attention. This logic is understandable, since Jupiter has an impressive storm system and beautiful ring systems, while Saturn has a mind-numbingly beautiful, intricate ring structure. Jupiter is considered one of the most special giant planets.

Neptune and Uranus are the closest celestial giants and the smallest. They have some very interesting things going on in faraway reaches of the solar system.

The atmospheres of both planets are primarily made up of hydrogen, helium, and methane. Neptune’s signature blue color is due to the presence of methane in its atmosphere (source: National Weather Service).

Despite their similarities, they have two different shades due to the haze particles that are present in their atmospheres. The atmosphere is where methane can condense into snow or ice crystals that reflect light. The level of atmospheric activity will determine the exact hue of blue each planet has. Uranus’s less atmospheric activity means that its methane layer is dense, while Neptune has a clearer layer. Even if things were different, they might appear the same.

  • Boosting your Immune System to Fight Cancer

Most of the diseases you will encounter will go away on their own after taking antibiotics for a few days. Cancer is an exception. Here, we often have to pull out all the stops. Treatments for cancerous tumors typically include radiation, chemotherapy, and the removal of parts of the body.

New England Journal of Medicine researchers performed a study at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center on a certain type of rectal carcinoma called MMR. MMRd cancers spread by tricking our immune system into overlooking them as they grow. Mutations typically trigger an immune response that would destroy the cells. But MMRd cancers send out a signal that shields the cells from the body’s defenses.

Researchers wondered if cancer could be fought with the body’s immune systems. In the course of the study, Jemperli was administered to 14 patients suffering from MMRd rectal Cancer. Although the sample size was small, the results were amazing.

Only a few treatments were required to make the majority of patients feel better. In the end, all of them were cancer-free and in remission. All of them did not require radiation, chemotherapy, or surgery. The study is ongoing to determine if other types of cancer can be treated with the same or similar treatment.