The Biggest Scientific Discoveries Of 2013

Astronomers from the California institute of technology in Pasadena this year came to the conclusion that there are at least 100 billion planets in our galaxy. The study provided evidence that planetary systems in the galaxy are the norm by analyzing Planets orbiting the star called Kepler-32. Not all of the planets are habitable for life forms like ours though, in November NASA suggested that one in five stars have earth like planets in the habitable zone. Kepler-32 is a dwarf type star and is 1301.1 light years from us. Originally Kepler-32 was thought to have two planets orbiting around it, but in April 2013 it was confirmed that 3 other planets are in its system. In our galaxy there are about 200 billion stars and 40 to 50 billion of them are like our own sun. This means there would be at least 11 billion earth like planets that could potentially have intelligent life forms living on the surface.

scientists at the University of Rochester announced that they have discovered one of the main reasons we need to sleep. Science understood the negative effects associated with lack of sleep,but up until now has not been able to fully understand the reasons why we need to sleep. There study's show that when we sleep, our brain cleans out the waste that builds up during the time we are awake. According to the scientists when we are awake the cells in the brain produce waste products and when we are asleep the neurones in the brain shrink by half. This allows cerebrospinal fluid to be pumped around the brain cleaning the waste out and then transferring it to the liver for elimination.

Researchers at the Oregon Health and Science University have announced that they had cloned human embryos and collected stem cells from them. For more than a decade scientists have struggled to overcome the technical problems to create batches of the body's master cells, but it seems they have succeeded.The cloned embryos were also grown into specialised skin cells and heart cells, which is the first step towards transplant medicines. Scientists used the cloning technique that led to Dolly the sheep and according to the team caffeine turned out to be the addition to the cloning process.Dolly the sheep was born in 1996 after researchers created an embryo by fusing a cell from a sheep's udder with an egg that had its nucleus removed. Even though these study's can help people the discover will reignite the controversial subject that is cloning.

scientists have discovered the origin of cosmic rays, study's have shown that at least some of the harmful rays come from supernovas. Cosmic rays are high energy particles that shot through space at nearly the speed of light, the mystery of were they came from has baffled scientists for a hundred years. The cosmic rays do not affect us hear on earth because of the earths atmosphere, however they do crash in to air molecules high in the upper atmosphere creating showers of charged particles, some of which reach the ground.
The study found evidence from gamma rays that had come from the decay of a type of particle, called a neutral pion, which is created when cosmic rays interact with the material surrounding a supernova. The next question will be whether the majority of cosmic rays come from exploding stars or just some of them.

The human brain is an extremely complex system, this has made studying the brain and understanding how it works a difficult task in neuroscience. However scientists have succeeded in growing mini-human-like "organoids" in vitro. One of the organoids is a small brain and is created by culturing human pluripotent stem cells in a three dimensional rotational bioreactor. Other small organs have been grown as well including liver buds and kidneys providing better models for studying human disease than their animal equivalents like mice. By creating these mini organs scientists can study and try to understand what causes certain diseases.

Music by -Kevin McLeod
Three people enjoy the summer sky over the Delaware river, NJ, USA - Halfblue
Kepler-11 is a small, cool star around which six planets orbit - NASA Blueshift
This is artist's conception shows Kepler-34b-David A. Aguilar (CfA)
Image of a hypothetical ocean planet with a terrestrial atmosphere and two satellites-Lucianomendez
Alien Atlanta -patrickiron
The Mad Scientist Series-Mathia
It's time to sleep-Giacomo Carena
No Work-cell105
Ct-scan of the brain with hydrocephalus-Lucien Monfils
Images from a patient with normal pressure hydrocephalue-Nevit Dilmen
Syrongomyelia, 45F-Nevit Dilmen
The Blood Brain Barrier and Astrocytes type 1-Ben Brahim Mohammed
OSU Fermentation Science Pilot Plant-Sam Beebe
Human cell-line colony being cloned in vitro through use of cloning rings-Paphrag
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center-Solar Rays Hit Space Age High
Visualization of a DTI measurement of a human brain-Thomas Schultz
A chimpanzee brain at the Science Museum London-Gaetan Lee

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