This year saw tremendous gains in science ranging from evolutionary discoveries to space exploration. Every year science makes more advancements and innovations in technology, medicine, and the origins of our universe, so we rounded up some of the biggest advancements in science this year:

China opens the floodgates for Genetic Engineering

In search of creating ‘the perfect human,’ scientist He Jiankui, claimed that he had successfully altered the genes of an embryo. Using Crispr, a gene-editing tool, Jiankui claims he was able to make two twin girls HIV resistant by altering their genetic makeup. His claims are yet to be verified by an authoritative body, but nonetheless, such a claim carries vast ramifications both for the scientific community and the Chinese government. Genetic engineering could have a multitude of possibilities and may be key to curing some diseases.

Cloning monkeys

Also in China, a highly controversial experiment took place year when scientists, using the same technology that cloned Dolly the lamb, successfully cloned a monkey. Going forward, the intent of the technology will be geared toward medical research into brain disorders. Others, however, fear it will lead to human test experiments.

Water found on Mars

This summer the Mars Express orbiter discovered a large lake underneath the surface of the red planet. What made this discovery special, unlike other small samples of water previously found is that it’s not apparent that water exists on Mars not as a few drops here and there but as a part of a vast body of water. The other major implication of this finding suggests that Mars may be suitable for life.

Robo-sperm can carry medicine

This year UK scientists began developing robotic drones to carry lifesaving drugs into parts of the body. Modeled after sperm, the developers behind the technology hope to one day make it so that the ‘swimmers’ will be able to direct drugs to the right area of the body moving through blood vessels. This innovation could radically transform the way medicine is distributed.

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