Scientists around the world are working very hard in the year of 2018. Dozens of exciting, breakthrough studies have already made headlines and made a difference in peoples’ lives.
From cancer research to farming research, each and every study is seeking ways to improve the lives of many. And the scientists within this list of 5 Groundbreaking Scientific Studies of 2018 are on the very brink of doing just that.
These exciting studies are pushing the envelope and expanding the idea of what is possible. They are making a profound testament to the sheer power of science.
Interested in learning what these great thinkers and researchers are discovering? Keep reading to learn about these 5 groundbreaking scientific studies that are making a splash within the science community and beyond!
5 Groundbreaking Scientific Studies of 2018
1. Scientists Harvested Vegetables in an Antarctic Greenhouse
In a study to help astronauts cultivate fresh food on other planets, scientists in Berlin have now harvested their very first crop of vegetables grown without earth, daylight or pesticides.
The study took place at Germany’s Neumayer Station III in Antarctica and was coordinated by the German Aerospace Center DLR.
In April 2018, the researchers announced that they had yielded 8 pounds of salad greens, 18 cucumbers and 70 radishes all grown within a high-tech greenhouse. Outside the greenhouse, temperatures dropped before -4 degrees Fahrenheit.
The German Aerospace Center DLR reported that they hope to harvest 4-5 kilograms of fruit and vegetables every single week.
Although NASA has successfully grown greens on the International Space Station, this project raises hope that vegetables one day might be grown on Mars or the Moon.
2. Scientists Discovered the First Warm Blooded Fish
Up until this scientific discovery, zoologists believed that unlike mammals such as whales and seals, fish could not keep warm independently. However, competing evidence against that theory was swimming right under our noses.
The opah, or the moonfish, is a staple in fish markets and restaurants. It’s a large, round fish with grey scales and red fins.
Recently, an article published in the journal Science reported that scientists have discovered that the moonfish has a warm heart and maintains a high body temperature.
This is a tremendous advantage to fish. It allows the fish to move significantly faster, catch prey and even evade predators.
Mammals such as seals or whales take full advantage of this strength by taking deep breaths and diving down to catch fish, shrimp or squids. And up until now, scientists believed fish could not have this advantage because they extract oxygen from water through their gills instead of from the air.
However, the moonfish or opah have evolved and created a unique solution. A team from the NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center in California discovered that the fish maintain warm heart and high body temperature through an insulated network of blood vessels through the heart and gills.
This is truly a big breakthrough for zoology!
3. Scientists Found Innovative Stem Cell Treatment for MS Patients
More than 400,000 people in the United States have Multiple Sclerosis. About 200 new cases are diagnosed each and ever week in this country.
Multiple Sclerosis or MS is a chronic disease that affects the brain, spinal cord and immune system. It results in debilitating symptoms that can severely impact the lives of those with MS.
MS is very difficult to treat, but a new experimental study using stem cells is providing hope.
The study used chemotherapy on patients with MS to destroy the immune system. Afterwards, doctors used stem cells to reboot the blood and bone marrow within the immune system.
Over 100 people participated in the study from all over the world including Chicago, Sao Paolo, and Sweden. Only one person within the study relapsed. In the control group in which patients were treated with conventional methods, 39 people relapsed.
This is the largest study of its kind and shows immense promise for a future cure for MS. Further testing and studies are needed, but hope is high.
4. Scientists Classify An Entirely New Organ
Researchers at New York University School of medicine have no classified a new organ.
In March of 2018, the Scientific Reports journal wrote that this new organ could have a major impact on the way the scientific community thinks about the body.
This new organ is the interstitium, which was previously thought to be a dense layer of tissue, but researchers are now believing is a tiny channel that connects the lymphatic system.
Of course, this new study must be peer reviewed and further research needs to be completed in order for this organ to be officially classified.
This study could have a major impact on modern medicine. This new found organ could explain how cancer spreads through the body. The interstitium consists of fluid-filled channels in which cancer cells could move.
More research is needed, but this could definitely be a game changer!
5. Scientists Create Possible Cancer Vaccines with Stem Cells
In February of 2018, scientists at Stanford University were performing a significant new study that could lead to a potential future cancer vaccine.
The experiment consisted of researchers injecting mice with inactivated induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). These stem cells displayed a significant immune system response to a variety of different cancers.
The study has not yet been replicated in human, but if it did, it could certain make inroads towards a breakthrough personalized cancer treatment, which would essentially look like a vaccination.
This experiment was conducted after researchers realized that iPSCs look very similar to tumor cells. This means that the researchers hoped the healthy cells could train the immune system to better attack and remove cancer. 70% of the mice within this study had significant reductions in the size of their tumors.
Hope is definitely high with the success of this study, but only time and more research will tell if this can change our understanding of cancer treatment as we know it.