In those years, you may have “missed the heavy rain and missed the love”, but you can’t fail to change the times brought about by the advancement of science and technology.
In a few more days, humans will enter the 2020s. Looking back over the past 10 years, international science and technology development has changed rapidly, and human beings have an unprecedented deep understanding of the physical world, biological mysteries, and cosmic space. As time goes by, once the news has become history, facing the future, we still need to remember the highlight moments that occurred in the history of science and technology in the early 21st century, and remember the courage and effort of humans to explore the unknown.
Three breakthroughs shake the physical world
In July 2012, CERN announced that researchers suspected of discovering the “God particle”-the Higgs boson-through the Large Hadron Collider. In March 2013, CERN announced that the new particle detected was the Higgs boson. At this point, humans have completed the last short board of the “Four Elementary Particles” and verified a “standard model” of unified strong, weak and electromagnetic forces. In September 2015, the gravitational wave was first detected by the Laser Interferometric Gravitational Wave Observer (LIGO) in the United States, which verified the “hundred-year conjecture” proposed by Einstein. In 2017, LIGO and the Italian Virgo probe simultaneously captured the gravitational waves of the double neutron star merger, and the astronomical telescope “see” this wonder, and human exploration of gravity has never been deeper. In April 2019, the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) unveiled the mystery of the black hole with a photo. For the first time, humans had a visual understanding of the black hole. At the same time, “Black Hole Photos” strongly verified Einstein’s general theory of relativity, and the distortion of time and space suddenly appeared on the paper.
A huge leap forward in biomedicine
In 2012, Dudna of the University of California and Carpentier of the Hanover Medical School in Germany demonstrated for the first time that “Crispr-Cas9” technology can be used as a transformative gene editing tool. Subsequently, Zhang Feng of MIT and others used it to precisely edit human DNA. Since then, the global application of gene editing technology in agriculture and medicine has set off.
At the beginning of the 21st century, it not only witnessed the huge leap of gene technology, but also witnessed the courageous courage of mankind to declare war on the sick.
In 2011, UNAIDS and the World Health Organization jointly announced that medical research shows that taking antiretroviral drugs can greatly reduce the chance of getting HIV. Human beings have taken an important step towards preventing and curing AIDS. In 2012, gene therapy based on “CAR-T” technology successfully defeated 6-year-old Emily’s blood cancer disease. In 2017, the first gene therapy for the treatment of blood cancer was approved for marketing, marking a milestone in the history of human anti-cancer research. In 2015, the first Ebola vaccine “rVSV ZEBOV” was launched and showed high clinical efficacy. In November 2019, the EU officially approved the marketing of this vaccine. The dawn before dawn overcoming “Ebola”.
Space exploration broadens human horizons
At the beginning of the 21st century, the development of space science and technology made mankind really start to look at the universe.
Before 2010, fewer than 500 exoplanets were discovered by humans. At present, this number has exceeded 4,000. Space telescopes such as “Kepler” and “Tess” have made it easier for humans to find similar species on Earth.
In 2013, the European Space Agency (ESA) launched the Gaia probe, which collects data on the position of the Milky Way’s 1 billion stars and the speed of 150 million stars. Humans can observe the formation and changes of galaxies like never before.
In 2014, the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced that “Voyager 1” had flew away from the solar system, and humans finally extended their antennae beyond the gravitational pull of the sun.
On January 1, 2019, the New Horizons US spacecraft flew close-range small objects on the edge of the solar system, nicknamed “The End of the World”, completing the most distant interstellar “Encounter” in the history of human spaceflight.
While the field of vision is wider and farther, the exploration of extraterrestrial life is also deepened.
NASA’s Curiosity probe first discovered a large amount of water on the surface of Mars in 2013, and then confirmed the presence of methane there in 2015. In 2018, it captured organic molecules in Martian rocks again. Scientists have finally proven that Mars does have “the cornerstones of life.” In November 2018, the “Insight” probe landed on Mars, and humans began to explore the mystery of Mars underground.
Artificial intelligence leads the change of the times
At the beginning of the 21st century, we have all witnessed an era of change led by artificial intelligence technology. In 2012, the research team of the University of Toronto won the imagenet visual recognition challenge with “deep convolutional neural network algorithm”. “Deep learning” has become a global research hotspot. In the same year, the neural network launched by Wu Enda and others was able to separate images from manual intervention and learn autonomously, and machine-independent reinforcement learning became a reality.
From 2016 to 2017, Google ’s artificial intelligence program “AlphaGo” defeated Go world champions Li Shishi and Ke Jie with deep learning as a weapon. In October 2017, “AlphaGo Zero”, which can be “autonomous reinforcement learning”, was born, and “Learning” defeated “AlphaGo” by 100: 0 in 3 days. Through “failure”, human beings can most intuitively feel the great power of artificial intelligence.
At present, artificial intelligence is fully integrated into various fields such as industrial production, transportation, education and medical treatment, and military security. Dozens of countries around the world have issued national-level strategies to promote the development of artificial intelligence technology and usher in the future intelligent era.