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Sunday 23.10.2016 | Name days: Daina, Dainida, Dainis

Ten of the most exciting discoveries of the 21st century

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUAlthough we have spent a mere 15 years in the new century, many baffling discoveries have already been made by scientists from all over the world. This means that it does not matter how developed society is – the human curiosity continues exploring new frontiers of the unknown.

National Geographic has compiled a list of ten most impressive inventions of the early 21st century:

Signs of water on Mars

In 2008, NASA sent Mars Phoenix space craft on Mars to find out if there was ever water on the surface of this planet. Samples of white powder found on the surface of the planet were analysed. Results of laboratory tests proved the white powder was frozen water. This discovery not only proves that there is water on Mars but also allows scientists to assume that there are microbes on Mars that use water for sustenance.

Artificial memory

Japanese science institute RAIKEN BSI and American Picower Institute for Learning and Memory have found a way to implant artificial memories in brains of lab rats. This discovery expands our understanding of memory and deepens the horizons of psychiatry, opening new roads for treating post-traumatic stress, depression and other mental disorders.

Acquiring power from stopping trains

In order to reduce CO2 emissions and reduce costs, London metro has begun testing a special invertor system on one of its metro lines. This regenerative breaking model sends electricity back into the system thereby reducing the need for energy. It is expected that this new model will reduce heat in the system and reduce the need for additional electricity. If this model is successful, it will be adopted in the entire London metro system.

Genome deciphering in 26 hours

When a child is born unhealthy and traditional methods of diagnosis yield no results, every second is vital. Children’s Hospital of Kansas City and bio-informatics company in California have developed a new, faster and more accurate genetic test that allows Genome deciphering within 26 hours. Although this new method can be applied to any patient, it is especially valuable for newborns.


Video uploading website and social network YouTube first appeared in 2005. Since then, it has changed the lives of many people around the world. Every minute of every day 72 hours of videos are uploaded to YouTube.

Next-generation micro-chips to use light instead of electricity

Hopping to make data transfer faster, computer manufacturers have begun transferring data using light, not electricity. A group of scientists from Oxford University and Münster University has found a way to put information on a micro-chip using light and make sure the micro-chip functions even after power is turned off. Photon-based micro-chips had been tested in the past, but they required constant supplies of energy to power them. This discovery could potentially change the effectiveness of data centres and create a revolution in the practical application of cloud services.


If you are a nostalgic person who misses the parties of the ‘80s and ‘90s, you have every right to hate Facebook and how this website makes people spend enormous amounts of time sitting at the computer. On the other hand, if you enjoy the virtual world and going to places with a push of a button, Facebook will be your favourite thing in the world.

Capsule camera

People who have experienced the unpleasant feelings brought about by in-depth gastroscopy will no doubt be overjoyed with this invention. Instead of crude invasive examination using complicated and devices, patients of the 21st century suffering from stomach ulcers and similar illnesses are only required to swallow a small capsule that contains a microscopic camera.

Cancer genome discovery

In 2006, doctors were able to determine a cancer patient’s genome and find the genetic code of the affected cells. This allowed scientists to determine specific mutations responsible for the illness. This provided cancer researchers better understanding of the illness. For doctors, this was a major step forward in providing personalized treatment to every patient. Cancer is a difficult illness to combat. This is largely because almost every case is unique. Doctors, on the other hand are only able to provide universal cancer treatment.

Confirmation of the existence of dark matter

In 2006, astronomers confirmed the existence of dark matter by observing a collision of galaxies in the so-called Bullet Cluster. Nevertheless, scientists are unable to determine what the dark matter is exactly. According to astrologists, dark matter covers 20% of the Universe.


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