Category Archives: Research

Ten Best Science Discoveries of 2013

Another fun article by LiveScience.

1. The remains of King Richard 111 were finally located… under a parking lot in Leicester, England. Richard III was King of England for two years, from 1483 until his death in 1485 in the Battle of Bosworth Field. He was the last king of the House of York and the last of the Plantagenet dynasty.
I particularly like the 3D image of the grave.

2. The Higgs Boson. so called “God Particle” was confirmed at the CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research.  The Higgs boson confirms the existence of the Higgs field, a critical addition to the Standard Model in explaining why fundamental particles have mass.

3. The Oldest DNA ever found – 400,000-year-old hominid thigh-bone found in Spain. The oldest known human DNA found yet reveals human evolution was even more confusing than before thought.

4. Billion-Year-Old Water DiscoveredLast month, scientists announced they had found an ancient pocket of water buried in a mine 2 miles below Earth’s surface. The water, up to 2.6 billion years old, may have been around longer even than multicellular life. The find raises intriguing possibilities for understanding how life arose on Earth and if it could survive on other planets. But the really burning questions is, of course, what does it taste like? “It tastes terrible,” Barbara Sherwood Lollar, one of the scientists behind the study, told The Los Angeles Times in an interview. I love that she had to taste it! I probably would have done the same.

5. Life thrives in Lake Whillans under Antarctic.  Microbes,methane and very saltly sediment were recovered from 2,625 feet (800 meters) under the ice. The Whillans drill team had planned to sample the lake again this Antarctic summer (2013-2014), as well as downstream where the water drains into the ocean, but both projects were cut by the National Science Foundation because of the government shutdown.

6. T. Rex has a new relative. The Lythronax argestes, was uncovered in Utah’s Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. Granted he has been dead for 80 million years but is new.

7. Brain mapping research has started. In April 2013, President Barack Obama announced a new research program known as the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative, which will provide $100 million in funding starting in 2014 to map the structure and function of the human brain.  This research could lead to more accurate diagnoses and better treatment options for people who suffer from brain disorders.

8. Water evidence found on Mars by the Curiosity rover. I love the name Curiosity rover, scientists do have a sense of humor. “We know that on Mars there was what we interpret to be a habitable environment, where water was good enough for us to drink,” Melissa Rice, of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, said after a presentation on imaging results from Curiosity’s workhorse Mastcam instrument.

9. China successfully lands on the moon. The historic feat made China the third nation to make a soft landing on the moon, meaning a smooth landing that leaves the craft and its contents intact. The “Jade Rabbit” rover landed in the lunar Bay of Rainbows.

10. Coldest place on Earth pinpointedSpots along a high ice ridge between Dome Argus and Dome Fuji regularly get down to a teeth-chattering minus 136 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 93.2 degrees Celsius), according to detailed satellite measurements. The coldest temperatures were measured on Aug. 10, 2010, when the snow on the surface in these spots was colder than dry ice.