Wednesday, January 12th, 2022...4:43 pm

Scientific Breakthroughs and Their Impact on the Earth

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By Da Beattie

DNA is the genetic information for all living things. Although you cannot see it from the naked eye while looking at a given organism, it is hard to believe that it was once unknown. First discovered by Friedrich Miescher in 1869, it was James Watson and Francis Crick that identified the double-stranded helix structure and became well known. This discovery, on top of many more, has provided the basis for many new technologies such as Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) and gene therapy. 

Physics nowadays sounds very complex to the average person. The Nobel Prize in Physics in 2021 was given to Syukuro Manabe and Klaus Hasselmann “for the physical modeling of Earth’s climate, quantifying variability and reliably predicting global warming” and to Giorgio Parisi “for the discovery of the interplay of disorder and fluctuations in physical systems from atomic to planetary scales.” However, back in 1543, Nicolaus Copernicus theorized that the universe revolved around the sun which was a different belief from the thought that everything revolved around the Earth. It was Galileo that proved Copernicus’ theory by using a telescope to show the different phases of Venus that resulted from orbiting around the sun. 

Louis Pasteur, famously known for many things including pasteurization also discovered fermentation. He was the first to show that fermentation occurs due to microorganisms that can be killed by heat. This has saved many people from the diseases of unpasteurized foods like eggs and milk. This confirmed the germ theory which provided the basis for vaccines and antiseptic surgical techniques. 

Isaac Newton discovered gravity at the age of 23. Newton also defined the three laws of motion: (1) an object will not change its motion unless a force acts upon it, (2) the force of on object is equal to its mass multiplied by acceleration, and (3) that when two things interact, they apply forces of equal magnitude in opposite directions. Gravity is the concept that underlies the satellites that orbit Earth. The International Space Station (ISS) has allowed us to view the Aurora australis from space. 

If you are worried that the best scientific findings have unfortunately already been discovered, think again! These discoveries, followed by many, many more, have allowed modern-day science to exist and thrive. Whether it is a drug to cure cancer or an organism to reverse global warming, there are and perhaps always will be new curiosities to uncover, new and old problems to solve with up-and-coming research.

As Walt Disney once said, “if you can visualize it, if you can dream it, there is some way to do it.” Let your imagination run wild, for the answers are out there if you dream to find them.


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