Saturday, January 02, 2010

MC2 Post 1: Wired's Top Scientific Breakthroughs of 2009

My Picks of the 10.


Image: The backside of the 88-inch cyclotron
at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory./LBNL

No. 10 Element 114 Confirmed

In a cyclotron at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 

a beam of calcium atoms slammed into a plutonium target, 

producing a pair of element 114 atoms for the 

second time in human history. 

Years earlier, a Russian team made similar claims, 

but their accomplishment remained in doubt.

It turns out that the
Russians were right

But their results were somewhat disappointing. 

Each atom lasted for only tenths of a second.


An older generation of scientists had hoped that humanity 

would someday find a way to make extremely heavy elements 

that last a long time. 

That search continues.


Just recently, I started reading (a Book), about

FlashForward, the novel that was adapted into the TV Hit for ABC 7.


No. 6 Jellyfish Stir Oceans

Until recently, marine animals were thought to play but a small part in stirring Earth’s waters. Scientists thought that hydrological

friction would absorb the forces of flippers and fins, just as desk fans can’t stir air in buildings across the street.

Link to Number 6:


No. 5 Bisphenol A in Plastics Harms Humans


No. 3 Schizophrenia in the Genome

No. 2 Ardi Usurps Lucy

Ever since a 3.2 million-year-old Australopithecus afarensis skeleton 

named Lucy was unearthed from an Ethiopian riverbed in 1974,

humanity imagined that its first bipedal steps were taken on the savanna.


To Be Sure, many, many Scientific Breakthroughs took place in the 


Decade of Wild Discovery.

We stand, once again, on the Shoulders of Giants and Wonder 

at the Great Discoveries

Awaiting Us.

Wingman, 2010.


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