We are finally here – the last blog of the year. As we are going through another wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, I don’t want to share another devastating fact about Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR). Instead, I want to highlight a few of the exciting and positive findings (in my eyes) that happened in the scientific world in 2021. I also hope that seeing such good news will help motivate you and myself about research in these trying times.
First and foremost, we recently heard that Pfizer produced an oral antiviral treatment candidate for COVID-19 for high-risk adults. I am amazed daily at the advancement in research and technology. I hope that the new findings will make living with COVID-19 more manageable.
In early October, neuroscientists presented the first comprehensive atlas of brain cells. The researchers working together on the Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative are gradually mapping the entire brain to understand neural networks that control our body and mind. Having such an atlas will significantly help with the development of treatment for mental and physical brain health. This is a long-term project in its infancy, however it’s such an exciting development for the neuroscience field.
In July, the anatomy of Mars was revealed via marsquakes data outputted from several research groups. Knowing the planet’s crust, mantle, and core structures can help better study the planet’s evolution, and maybe even the entire solar system. I find space research very fascinating and humbling, and I hope to hear more about potential space exploration for the mass.
In May, it was published that sharks rely on magnetic fields to navigate long-distance migrations. Sharks are known to return to a target location year after year, which is an impressive feature. Our planet’s magnetic field varies predictably, and the bonnethead sharks can form a “magnetic map” based on such magnetic field patterns. Nature’s ability to adapt and work with its environment is always mind-blowing.
In March, a group of geologists showed that lightning strikes also played an important role in life’s origins on Earth. It was initially thought that meteorites delivered the perfect mineral cocktail for life on Earth, but now we see that lightning strikes carrying a minimal amount of minerals contributed as well.
I have just presented a handful of exciting discoveries in the STEM field, and there are so many more. Researchers are collaboratively and tirelessly working to make this world a better place daily. With the ongoing pandemic, it is challenging to see the positives. I hope that getting a glimpse into some of the great developments in the research world has reminded you that there are some cool things to look forward to. With that, I thank you for reading my content for the past 11 months and always remember to have an open discussion with your doctors about their antibiotic prescription choice!