Scientific Achievements and Us

A Note from Dylan's Desk

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In the first month of 2024, many different things have come to light for me. And no, I’m not talking about my own journey of self-discovery, rather, I’m talking about the increased interest I have had in crazy scientific discoveries as of late. There are a lot of cool things out there in the world and it really does seem like we humans have just barely scratched the surface of what’s possible each and every day. From engineered mosquitos to extraplanetary discoveries in our own solar system, there are a lot of insanely interesting things we humans have been doing in our world and outside of it. With that being said, let’s take a look at a couple of these stories.

If you’re like me, you read that “engineered mosquitos” bit and thought, “WHO THOUGHT THAT WAS A GOOD IDEA?”. And, to be fair, at first, it was a good idea. Way back in 2015 British researchers attempted to create and release a genetically modified mosquito that would fail to reproduce within a couple of generations. The idea was to put a lot of males into the gene pool who would both outcompete existing males and fail to produce offspring, thus resulting in fewer amount of mosquitos in the population. For several months this strategy did work, but over the course of several years has proven ineffective according to researchers from Yale University. Looks like we won’t get rid of these particular pests anytime soon, unfortunately.

In extraplanetary news, we have the development of space in the private sector. At first, you think; well duh! SpaceX has been driving NASA of course. But what many people don’t realize is that over the past 5 years, the amount of private space companies has boomed. While SpaceX manages to be at the forefront of this new “modern space race” other companies are swiftly gaining popularity and it’s only growing from there. In light of the recent developments and failures of various space industries, it will be interesting to see how the field continues to grow with and without a partnership with NASA. Who knows, maybe we will see commercial spaceflights within this lifetime yet!

Light has been proven to have more to it than simply illumination as of recent. Since we’ve been talking about space, I thought it appropriate to mention the developments with the laser-beamed messages that Earth has been receiving. NASA’s deep space Psyche spacecraft has successfully been communicating with Earth by literal laser beams containing information. This has been done in the past, but never from a distance of 40 times the gap between the Moon and Earth. That’s not all though, light has proven to be helpful to us right here on our rocky home with our communication instruments as well. Visible light communications technologies have been developed by scientists to transmit data by using simple light fixtures. Imagine one day receiving a wifi signal by turning on your living room lamp. How insane would that be?

With all of these developments in the scientific world, there are so many more yet to be announced and discovered. I’d also bet there’s a small portion of discoveries that aren’t meant for public eyes. Regardless, our world changes every day and if you don’t keep up, you might just be left behind! So keep your eyes open, and appreciate the wonders of scientific achievement, I know it’s certainly made our lives easier and probably more complex.

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