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5 Important Scientific Discoveries That Changed The World

1453 marks the start of arguably the most significant revolution of mankind, the scientific revolution.

Genetic research continues to grow and the more we learn; the more programmable life seems to be. We may be heading towards a path where babies can be programmed long before birth.

This started in early Europe decided to focus on understanding the world better through mathematics, biology and chemistry.

The early years brought up important people such as Pythagoras, Newton, and Darwin. Even as advanced as we are now, the names of these great scientists will be immortalised in formulas and theories for the rest of our time as a species.

Thanks to these discoveries, the great minds of the modern world can extend further and discover ideas and concepts that have changed the entire planet. Here are the 5 most influential discoveries of science.

1. The Microscope

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Invented first by Zaccharias Janssen and his father Hans in the 1950s, these 2 decided to take the magnifying glass to the next level by combining several lenses in a tube. After several trials they were able to magnify objects that the naked eye could not see.

This was further experimented by Antony Van Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723) who was the first man to ever observe the cellular world.

He was able to see blood cells, yeast, bacteria and other single cell organisms. This provided an entire new aspect of learning that was previously unknown.

We were finally able to see fermentation of sex cells into a zygote, how cells divide by mitosis and other aspects of cellular life previously unimagined before the microscope.

2. Vaccines

Throughout history, several human populations had to suffer through numerous disease epidemics such as measles, smallpox, and cholera.

Prevention was the number 1 priority for dealing these epidemics as preventing a single person from getting infected will also prevent the dozens of people he/she will potentially infect.

This is where the development of vaccines is beneficial. By exploiting the human secondary immune response, we can introduce a safe version of the bacteria to the immune system so it can recognise the actual bacteria when infected.

The first example of vaccines was during the smallpox eradication. The World Health Organisation launched a massive scale vaccination program in 1967, within 10 years of large-scale worldwide immunisation, there were no more smallpox epidemics. Still, the US government keeps a large stock of vaccines for safety measures.

3. Artificial Intelligence

From phones to fridges to even talking robots, AI has become the most impactful discovery to the industrial world. With the ability to harness big data and compute faster than any human mind, various jobs can be replaced by these machines.

You may be thinking about the new touch screens taking your orders in fast-food restaurants, but even doctors are slowly being replaced by AI.

Nowadays, you don’t need an expert to look at your blood biopsy to diagnose your illness. All you need is a nurse who can take your blood and puts it in a machine who will read your blood content and make a decision of your health status based on individual data from millions.

Even further, in 2017 scientists have created tiny robots that can be inserted into the human body and target cancer cells and administer cancer-killing drugs.

However, there is an eerie side to the speed of this development. Many experts including Elon Musk fear the future of AI and advise that AI safety programs should be developed. AI has helped mankind in every aspect of life.

However, it has also helped in ending it. It is relatively simple for experts to create a drone that can detect human faces and fire on its own. If such technology goes to the wrong hands it can lead to the death of millions.

AI also questions the very meaning of our existence. Elon Musk believes that we are merely just part of a simulation and brings a rather compelling argument to the table.

Imagine a single civilization advanced enough to that it could create a civilization as a simulation. It could create endless civilizations that the chance of us being the “original” civilization is basically zero.

4. DNA

Interestingly, the discovery of DNA was by accident. In 1869 Friedrich Miescher wanted to isolate a specific protein in white blood cells, but instead found a different substance in the nuclei that was not a protein at all. This substance was DNA and marked the start of genetic research.

Little did Miescher know, his discovery was the “blueprint” of life. Relating to the AI, it is the first time we realised that life is technically a program, coded by specific repeats of 4 nucleotides (guanine, thymine, adenine and cytosine).

This brought a new thought for research; as DNA is essentially a code written organically, is it possible to reprogram them as we would an electronic code?

Years of research afterwards we know have a clear understanding of how DNA works and have used it for medical purposes.

We have been able to chop out DNA that codes for bacterial recognition in order to create vaccines. We have harnessed the fluorescent green coding DNA in jellyfish to identify specific DNA expressions.

Genetic research continues to grow and the more we learn; the more programmable life seems to be. We may be heading towards a path where babies can be programmed long before birth.

5. Electricity

Benjamin Franklin was the first to discover electricity with his famous kite-thunder experiment in 1752. However, it was Michael Faraday who made further discoveries that benefitted mankind.

In 1821, he found that when a wire carrying a current is placed next to a magnet, the wire will rotate. This led to the invention of the electric motor.

In 1831, he reversed the experiment and created electricity by moving magnets looped in a wire causing current to flow in the wire.

Both these discoveries have contributed to the invention of generators that power our homes and buildings.

The race of the research of this technology produced an electrifying rivalry between 2 scientific giants; Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison.

Many impactful inventions were created from the rivalry of these 2. Thomas Edison created the lightbulb, the phonograph and moving pictures while Nikola Tesla invented alternating current, X-rays, and radio remote controls.

To this day people are still arguing which was the better scientist. Still, which ever way you side it is clear that both of them have impacted the world greatly through electricity.