As we head into the last few days of this decade, what better time to look back on all the revolutionary breakthroughs that have shaped the 2010s? In the last 10 years, the milestones in science have rocketed and set themselves at astounding heights.
From discovering thousands of new planets to arriving at a cost-efficient treatment for cancer, here are some major scientific breakthroughs that took the 2010s by storm –
- 2012: Evidence found by NASA’s Curiosity rover that Mars was habitable (Yes, we can finally say there was water on Mars!)
- 2009: Kepler mission’s identification of exoplanets (planets outside of our solar system)
- 2015: The verified detection, for the first time, of gravitational waves, by LIGO ( Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory)
- Identification of the CRISPR–Cas9 system which can be used as a powerful gene-editing tool
- Mid-2010s: Rise of Immunotherapy as a potentially powerful, cost-effective way to treat cancer
- The addition of a new species called ‘Denisovans’ to the human family tree
- Rise of Machine learning or ‘deep-learning’ (the technology that powered Google’s AlphaGo)– “the discovery that artificial neural networks can be scaled up to many real-world tasks” Aka Artificial Intelligence
While awards have been won, and celebrations had, the most exciting aspect of these achievements is the enormous potential each one holds to create and shape a future that stretches farther than the everyday spaces we live in. Imagine a home on the red planet! Surreal, isn’t it?