Recently, Science magazine selected the annual Top 10 Science Breakthrough technology. It is understood that the 2018 annual breakthrough of the crown is “single cell level cell lineage tracking technology.”
1. Track single cell developmental lineage
From the era of Hippocrates (the father of ancient Greek medicine), biologists have been puzzled by how single-cell embryos develop into adults with multiple organs and billions of cells.
Now, by combining multiple techniques, biologists can reveal when individual genes start and induce cell differentiation on a single cell scale. First, the researchers isolated thousands of intact cells from the living body; then, using sequencing technology to obtain gene expression of each cell; finally, using computer or cell tags to reconstruct the temporal and spatial relationship of these cells. These techniques are able to show us how organisms and organs develop incomparably.
Nikolaus Rajewsky, a systems biologist at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin, Germany, said the “trilogy” technology “will change the next ten.” Year of research.” Today, research teams around the world are applying these techniques to study how human cells mature during development, how tissue regenerates, and what changes occur in cells.
2. Large-scale “shock” events during the Ice Age
Scientists have recently shown that during the Ice Age, an asteroid was hit like a serial nuclear bomb in the northwestern part of Greenland today. The meteorite instantly evaporates and triggers a shock wave throughout the Arctic. Today, it leaves a distinct scar – a 31-kilometer diameter. Chiavasa “clashes into the crater, which is larger than the Washington area. In November 2018, scientists used aircraft radar to find craters hidden beneath the ice of this kilometer.
The “Chiavasa” crater is one of the 25 largest craters on Earth. Although it is not as catastrophic as the annihilation of dinosaurs in Mexico 0.66 billion years ago, the meteorite collision has produced a global climate. Significantly affected. The influx of ice melt water into the North Atlantic after the collision may have prevented the warm ocean currents from northwestern Europe, causing a sudden drop in climate after the Ice Age. The incident may help explain the “New Fairy Wood” incident, a cooling event that lasted for a thousand years after the Ice Age.
3. “Hybrids” of ancient humans
A piece of bone from a woman who lived more than 50,000 years ago reveals an astonishing connection between two extinct races: in a cave in Siberia, researchers extract ancient DNA from the bones found, showing the woman Her mother is a Neanderthal, and her father is a Denisova. Previously, the researchers knew that Neanderthals, Denisovars and modern humans, at least occasionally crossing in Europe and Asia during the Ice Age, the latest discoveries were Neanderthals and Denisova. An intimate witness between people.
4. How do cells organize the contents?
How are the components within the cell coordinated so that they can function at the right time and place? Scientists have come to realize that the key to this problem is the liquid droplet. Beginning in 2009, researchers have discovered that many proteins can be separated or concentrated into discrete droplets, especially when cells respond to stress. Previous studies have shown that protein droplets in the nucleus can silence specific chromosomal regions. In 2018, three papers in the journal Science pointed out the greater role of this liquid phase separation: proteins that drive DNA transcription into RNA, which can be concentrated into droplets attached to DNA, revealing a fundamental life. The mystery of activity: the selective expression of genes. When an error occurs in the phase separation process, the protein droplets can become a solidified gel, forming various aggregates that appear in neurodegenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
5. forensic genealogy is maturing
In April 2018, the US police announced that they had arrested one of the most confusing suspects in history. The Golden State Killer was a series of rapes and murders in California in the 1970s and 1980s. The police used the DNA recovered from the crime scene to lock the relatives of the Golden State killer through the public genealogy DNA database.
Since then, the police have used this strategy to crack more than 20 other outstanding cases, opening up a new field: Forensic genealogy. In the Golden State homicide case, the authorities used a public, concise online DNA database: GED Match. It is run by two amateur pedigrees in Texas and Florida, and anyone can submit DNA test results. After investigating the DNA map of the crime scene to the database, the investigators found several distant relatives of the suspect. So they worked with a genealogist to build a large family tree using public records and eventually directed the evidence to 73-year-old Joseph James DeAngelo. His age and location matched some of the crimes, and sequencing showed that the crime scene DNA matched the DNA of De Angelo’s door handle.
Some scholars say that about 60% of Americans with European descent have a cousin or a closer relative in the database. Once the database has 3 million user profiles, even if they have never tested DNA, a similar approach can be used to find more than 90% of whites.
6. the molecular window of the original world
In September 2018, researchers from the Australian National University used gas chromatography and mass spectrometry in the Dickinsonia fossils of the Sinian (aka Ediacaran, 6.35-541 million years ago). Traces of cholesterol-like molecules were found, a sign of animal life, indicating that at least some of the Sinian creatures were among the earliest animals on Earth. In October, another research team discovered a sponge-only molecule in rocks from 660 million to 635 million years ago, suggesting that sponges of this form may have evolved earlier than the oldest fossils billion years
7. Gene silencing drugs approved
A drug based on RNA interference (RNAi) technology that allows gene silencing mechanisms was approved by the US FDA in 2018. RNAi technology was invented more than 20 years ago, but RNA molecules are too fragile and difficult to direct them into the right tissues, making them difficult to convert into drugs. Until 2008, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, based in Cambridge, Mass., proposed a solution: a lipid nanoparticle that protects gene-silenced RNA and transports it to the liver. They hope that it can treat a rare disease called hereditary transthyretin amyloidosis by preventing protein folding errors, which can lead to heart and nerve damage. The improved formula played a role in human trials and became the intravenous drug Onpattro, which was approved by US and EU regulators in 2018 and entered the market at an annual price of $450,000.
8. new technology can quickly determine the molecular structure
In October 2018, two research groups published a paper claiming that a new method could determine the molecular structure of small organic compounds in just a few minutes, rather than traditional techniques requiring days, weeks, or even months. time. For decades, the gold standard for molecular mapping has been X-ray crystal technology, which directs a beam of X-rays to crystals containing millions of molecules arranged in a common orientation. However, the researchers track how X-rays bounce on the crystal to identify individual atoms and assign their positions in the molecule. Molecular structure is very important for scientists to understand the behavior of biomolecules and how drugs interact with molecules. But this technology requires a grain of sand, which is a big technical obstacle for scientists.
9. The “messenger” of distant galaxies
In recent years, multi-message astronomy began to observe the universe using high-speed particles called cosmic rays and gravitational waves. This year, another “messenger” joined the ranks: neutrinos, a tiny, almost massless particle, are very difficult to observe. To capture this extra-particle, the researchers made a cubic kilometer of ice under the Antarctic, decorated with a light detector to record the faint flash caused by the neutrino. This huge detector is called the Ice-Cube, and many neutrinos have been recorded before. On September 22, 2017, the neutrino collided with the nucleus in the ice, and the light sensor well defined the direction from which it came. In July 2018, researchers reported that NASA’s Fermi Gamma Ray Space Telescope discovered a very bright flare after a few days of detecting neutrinos. This is the first source of galaxies to detect neutrinos in the neutrino telescope.
10. The phenomenon of female sexual harassment that has been neglected has improved.
Until recently, the scientific community reported very little about sexual harassment and it was largely ignored, but this phenomenon has shown signs of improvement since this year. In June of this year, the National Institute of Science, Engineering and Medicine published a landmark study that analyzed sexual harassment in women in science, engineering, and medicine. The report showed that more than 50% of female teachers and staff and 20 -50% of female students have experienced sexual harassment, including the most common form – linguistic and non-verbal gender discrimination. However, some institutions took action in 2018 and the phenomenon was reversed. In September 2018, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) adopted a policy that would be deprived of its lifetime honor once a researcher of the Association for the Advancement of Science was identified as a sexual harassment