Positive advances in scientific research you may not yet know about

   During this so-called “dumpster fire” of a year, people tend to think about the scientific occurrences that scientists cannot explain or fully understand. But what about the amazing things in research that are going to make people’s lives much better in the future?  Scientists are seeking a better future in things such as pollution reduction, fighting against antibiotic resistance, eradicating diseases, and looking for an improved nuclear energy source.  

   To preface, nuclear fusion involves the fusion of a deuterium atom with a tritium atom. Energy is released as the result of the difference in mass between the products and reactants.  As stated by the Princeton laboratory by Physicist Masa Ono, Nuclear fusion is regarded by many as an environmentally-friendly and catastrophe-free option for the future. However, realizing this has remained out-of-reach. New funding aims to deliver electricity from a fusion reactor by 2040.” This may seem very far away, but this has never been done before and was stated as “somewhat impossible on Earth,” but now can be used as a safer, cleaner, and stronger energy source for the planet.  

    The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a huge drop in air pollution.  Though staying inside and not seeing many people seems like the worst possible thing, this isolation has actually given time for the ozone layer to start healing itself, and the “levels of air pollutants and warming gases are down almost 50% compared to this time last year.” Says, Paul Monks, professor of air pollution at the University of Leicester.

   Scientists are discovering new ways to fight against antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria acquire one or several genes that allow them to either destroy or avoid an antibiotic’s effects. Bacteria do this by taking genes from another microbe or developing mutations. While antibiotics can be helpful, doctors have a tendency to over-prescribe them and give the bacteria time to assimilate with these conditions and just change so they will not be affected. 

   The new groundbreaking way scientists are going to diminish antibiotic resistance is explained by Professor Jean-François Collet, of the Université Catholique de Louvain, who co-authored the study in the PLOS biology journal explaining, ”If you increase the distance between the two walls, the protein will turn inside and try to reach its friends on the inner wall, but it will not be able to reach them.” 

   When the bacteria try to communicate with each other, they can touch cell walls with another bacteria to communicate and therefore take mutation genes for survival, and not that will no longer be possible with the usage of protein molecules injected inside the membranes. If this process becomes mainstream, it could eradicate diseases 3x faster as well as heal peoples bodies to fight off the flu every year with more ease and less stress. 

    “About 71 percent of the Earth’s surface is water-covered, and the oceans hold about 96.5 percent of all Earth’s water,” explains United States Geological Survey(USGS), a company whose motto is, science for changing the world. And that’s exactly what this product scientists have created will do. Scientists are working on an easy way to turn seawater into drinking water. So many people on this planet, especially in more impoverished countries don’t have access to clean water. Unclean drinking water is detrimental to their body and their life. Professor Anna Boyle from the University of Carnegie Mellon states, “Researchers are working on a honeycombed-patterned membrane, only a few atoms thick, that can desalinate water using less energy than existing methods.” This research will make it easier to make clean drinking water more accessible to people around the world.