New scientific discoveries are made every day. From medical breakthroughs to the discovery of new species here on earth and new planets in our solar system, all these discoveries contribute towards advancing our understanding of the world and the universe we live in.
Actually, you only have to look at the number of scientific articles published every year to see just how much more we know about our world now, than we did ten years ago. To prove this, estimates suggest that 2.5 million new scientific research papers are published every year in over 28,000 peer-reviewed scientific journals.
Not all of these scientific discoveries will be as ground-breaking as E=mc2 or Alexander Fleming finding penicillin, but they will all have some implications for the future of life on earth – for good or for bad. They may also have implications for life on other planets in the universe too…
Of course, there are some scientific breakthroughs that sound more like something out of a sci-fi movie, and others whose potential implications might keep you awake at night! So, let’s look at the following list of some of the most disturbing scientific discoveries made in the last ten years. Which one gives you the most cause for concern?View article on one page
153D Printed Human Skin
3D printers have been one of the most intriguing inventions of recent times, and can be used to “print” everything from machine parts to working guns. In 2017, a Spanish university went a step further and created a 3D bioprinter than can print working human skin, complete with epidermis, dermis and collagen, which replicates the elasticity of real skin. Although this has the potential to have some very positive uses, such as in skin transplants or in cosmetic testing in place of animals, the idea of human parts being mechanically created by machines will seem disturbing to many people.
In 2007, a new mineral was discovered in a mine in Serbia. Scientists were intrigued to discover that its chemical formula - sodium lithium boron silicate hydroxide - was almost identical to that of Kryptonite, the fictitious material which saps Superman’s strength. In the film Superman Returns, arch villain Lex Luthor describes the chemical composition of Kryptonite in great detail, and the new mineral, called Jadarite after the town where it was discovered, matches it almost perfectly, aside from the absence of fluorine and the fact that it doesn’t have a mysterious green glow. While this may not be disturbing to most of us, it will no doubt cause you concern if you are a superhero from Krypton living an incognito life in Metropolis.
13Self-Replicating Synthetic Organisms
California researchers announced in 2014 that they had created the first self-replicating synthetic organism, which contained not just the DNA found in all life on earth, but also laboratory-made “alien” DNA. The team used E.coli bacteria and inserted their alien DNA. When the bacteria self-replicated, scientists found that the alien DNA had replicated along with the more conventional DNA normally found in E.coli. While the research was carried out with the honourable intention of creating new types of medical treatments, there are those who are also concerned about the prospect of augmented bacteria escaping the lab, and the diseases it could end up causing.
12Micromotors Inserted In Humans
The idea of tiny machines moving about inside humans has been a favourite of science fiction movies for years, but in 2015 a team of researchers from San Diego announced that they had created nanotechnology which had successfully been fed to mice, and which could be developed in the future to be used to deliver medication to animal or human patients. The micromotors developed in their research were just 20 micrometres long and were no thicker than a human hair. Although these particular microscopic machines are being developed to do good, there is nothing to stop science fiction becoming science fact, if those with more evil intentions get a hold of the technology.