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Top 10 Scientific Breakthroughs in 2013

12-26-2013 23:58

Each year, the editors of Science would select an outstanding scientific achievement as the Breakthrough of the Year from thousands of research works. Now let’s see what the top 10 scientific breakthroughs are in this year.

CANCER IMMUNOTHERAPY is this year’s winner. This year is though as a turning point in cancer. The concept of harnessing immune system to battle tumors has existed for decades, however it is very difficult to achieve. Two different techniques maybe help oncologists to cure their patients completely. One involves antibodies (cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4 (CTLA-4), and programmed death 1 (PD-1)), which act as a brake on T cells, setting the immune system free to destroy cancer. Another involves genetically modifying a patient's T cells to make them target tumor cells, so-called chimeric antigen receptor therapy.

The run-ups of year’s scientific breakthrough are listed below:
Genetic Microsurgery for the Masses: Talking about a gene-editing technique called CRISPR, based on a protein named Cas9, which bacteria wield as a weapon to slice up the DNA of predatory viruses.
Human Cloning at Last: Talking about the solution of human stem cells to develop into any of the body's cell types.
Cosmic Particle Accelerators Identified: Talking about the tracing of high-energy particles called cosmic rays back to their birthplaces in the debris clouds of supernovae.
To Sleep, Perchance to Clean: Talking about the experimental evidence that sleep helps to restore and repair the brain.
In Vaccine Design, Looks Do Matter: Talking about the using of structural biology—the study of the molecules of life—to design the key ingredient of a vaccine against a dangerous childhood disease, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
CLARITY Makes It Perfectly Clear: Talking about a new brain-imaging technique that turns brain tissue transparent by replacing lipids with molecules of a clear gel and leaving nerve cells and other structures visible.
Dishing Up Mini-Organs: Talking about pluripotent stem cells, which grow into tiny "organoids", including liver buds, mini-kidneys and even rudimentary human brains in the lab.
Newcomer Juices Up the Race to Harness Sunlight: Talking about the up-and-coming solar cell materials called perovskites, which convert 15% of the energy in sunlight into electricity, still behind commercial silicon solar cells, but gaining fast.
Your Microbes, Your Health: Talking about the roles of trillions of bacteria living inside the human body to determine how the body responds to challenges as different as malnutrition and cancer, which is helpful for the design of personalized medicine treatments.

For detailed information, please refer to: http://news.sciencemag.org/breakthrough-of-the-year-2013


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