Top 2013 Inventions of the World Science World in 10… METU URAP President and METU Chemistry Department Lecturer Prof. Dr. Ural Akbulut compiled important developments in the world of science in 2013 from scientific sources such as Science and Nature.
Accordingly, among the most important discoveries of 2013 was CERN's announcement that the existence of the Higgs boson was confirmed. After British scientist Peter Higgs suggested in 1964 that there must be a particle and field that gives matter mass, other physicists have expressed a parallel view.
After many years of work, 103 thousand people, consisting of researchers from 9 countries at CERN, proved the existence of the Higgs boson in 2012, which they found traces of in 2013. There were scientists from Turkey among those who contributed to this invention at CERN. Peter Higgs and Francois Englert received the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics for proposing the Higgs mechanism.
Protein found to prevent brain cells from dying
It is known that as a result of the occlusion of the vessels leading to the brain, the brain cells that are deprived of oxygen begin to die in a short time, which causes paralysis. Oxford University researchers found that cells in a specific part of the brain can live without oxygen for long periods of time by producing a protein called hamartin.
Professor A. Buchan found out how cells in the hippocampus, which plays an important role in memory and navigation, live for a long time by producing hamartin when the brain is deprived of oxygen. He explained that the hamartin produced by these cells forces the cells to conserve energy and stops the activities of the cells.
It was understood that brain cells stopped producing proteins under the influence of hamartin and used them for themselves by breaking down existing ones. Buchan emphasized that if a method is found that will enable other parts of the brain to produce hamartin when bloodless, deaths caused by stroke will be prevented. The article detailing the study was published in the journal Nature Medicine.
-Harvard's flapping micro robot
Professor RJ Wood and his team, who have been researching to develop micro robots at Harvard for 12 years, produced all the parts of the robot themselves. The technical details of the developed micro motor, blade and control systems were published in the journal Science. Wood and his team filmed and analyzed the flapping of wings of bees and flies and made wings and micromotors from lightweight materials. Micro robots that flap their wings 120 times per second have a length of 3 centimeters and a weight of 0,080 grams. Thin ceramic rods, which contracted when an electric field was applied, were used to make the wings flap at an invisible speed.
- Made of artificial leather, as delicate as fingertips
Professor ZL Wang at the Georgia Institute of Technology in the USA produced smart artificial leather. Artificial leather contains 8 transistors. Transistors produce electricity independently of each other under pressure. Each transistor feels 10 kilos of pascal pressure, like a human fingertip. Details of the study will be published in the journal Science. With this skin, robots will be able to do delicate work. The robot hands of those who have lost their hands will be covered with this skin to make them feel.
-Surgical blade that can separate cancerous and healthy tissue
Hungarian chemist Z. Takats, a lecturer at Imperial College London in England, developed the iBisturi. Takatz found that when surgeons cut the patient's tissues with a surgical knife called electrocautery, the structures of the gas in the fumes emitted by cancerous and healthy tissues are different. Thus, surgeons will learn in a few seconds whether the tissue they cut during the operation is cancerous or healthy. It may take 30 minutes for the analysis to be done in the pathology laboratory. The device, which will be available soon, will eliminate the risks of cancerous tissues remaining inside the surgery or unintentional removal of healthy tissues.
- Bendable and flexible battery made
In the USA, a flexible and bending battery was produced with the joint work of Northwestern and the University of Illinois. 100 very small lithium-ion batteries are connected by flexible wires. The battery, which is placed on a flexible plastic material, is charged remotely, so there is no need for a wired charger. The remote charging of this battery, which is required for bendable computers and televisions, is considered an important development.
-Cheap hydrogen production with iron rust and sunlight
Professor at the University of Lausanne. Dr. M. Gratzel and A. Rothschild, professor at the Technion Institute of Technology, developed a new technique with inexpensive materials. Gratzel, through his work with his team, provided the practical use of the combined batteries he developed in the 90s to increase the efficiency of solar cells. The study was published in the journal Nature Materials. Efforts to increase the efficiency of the battery continue.
-Australians built a quantum microscope
With the collaboration of the University of Queensland and the Australian National University in Australia, the microscope was made using the principle of quantum mechanics. This work was published in Nature Photonics. The microscope will give the opportunity to examine the internal structures of living cells without damaging the cell. Assoc. Dr. W. Bowen emphasized that with this study, they proved that quantum physics can be applied to technology. The life cycle of cells can be observed with a microscope.
-Molecules were moved to make the world's smallest cartoon
IBM's researchers have made the world's smallest cartoon by moving carbon monoxide molecules with a Scanning Tunneling Microscope. IBM researcher Prof. Dr. H. Rohrer and G. Binnig developed this microscope in 1981 and received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1986. With this microscope, the surface of materials is viewed at the atomic level. While IBM researchers were doing research at the atomic level, he prepared a cartoon called "The Child and His Atom". The shape of the boy and his ball was created with carbon monoxide molecules placed on a copper plate. Under the microscope, the oxygen atom in the carbon monoxide molecule appears as a dot. With this method, 242 different pictures were produced and a 94-second cartoon was made.
-The kidney produced in the laboratory in the USA worked when attached to a mouse
A mouse kidney, which was regenerated in the laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital in the USA, started producing urine when attached to a mouse.
Dr. Harald Ott created the kidney using the technique in which vessels were regenerated earlier, and for the first time a complete organ has been regenerated. First, the kidney of a dead mouse was taken and placed in a washing machine containing a special liquid. The enzymes and disintegrants in the liquid lysed the dead mouse cells in the kidney and cleared them. What remains is the matrix, which is the skeleton of the kidney and resembles a honeycomb. Kidney cells from a newborn mouse were then grafted into this kidney matrix in a special environment to form kidney tissues.