2008 in Science
One of the most important scientific events of 2008 was the completion of the Large Hadron Collider in September. However this joyful event was quickly overclouded by the malfunction in the collider which forced it to be shut down for lengthy repairs (currently scheduled to last until the summer of 2009).
We also covered the announcement of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Chemistry which was jointly given to Osamu Shimomura, Martin Chalfie and Roger Y. Tsien “for the discovery and development of the green fluorescent protein, GFP” – a remarkable brightly glowing green fluorescent protein first observed in the beautiful jellyfish, Aequorea Victoria, in 1962.
In May 2008 TFOT covered a research project conducted at Princeton University that uncovered part of the mechanism that transforms matter into a high-temperature superconductor – a medium that conducts electricity without resistance-related energy loss. This mechanism, which has eluded scientists for over 20 years, seems to contradict logic and its discovery may revolutionize the way we distribute electrical power, build electric cars, and construct super fast magnetic levitating trains.
2008 in Space
In 2008 we covered many space related news and PODs. We covered NASA’s four space shuttle missions to the ISS, including STS 122, STS 123, STS 124 and STS 126 (STS 125 will be the final servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope and is currently scheduled for May 2009). We also looked at several other NASA projects including the launch of the IBEX mission to the outer solar system, the test of a new Lunar rover in Arizona and the plans to develop a new nuclear generator for the Moon as well as the failed attempt to launch NASA’s solar sail mission, NanoSail-D, in August 2008.
2008 in Medicine
In 2008 TFOT covered numerous medical related news stories. We looked at several medical imaging related stories, including the world’s strongest MRI and the first low-intensity MRI scan of a human brain. We looked at many new advances in Alzheimer’s disease including a new treatment which might slow the progress of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease by 81%, and the first pivotal clinical trial of Dimebon in Alzheimer’s disease.
TFOT covered several advanced electronic pills including Philips’ smart pill that can deliver drugs to specific places as well as a special magnet controlled camera shaped like a pill. Another pill (not electronic this time) related story is the exercise pill which is currently under development by scientists from the Salk institute for Biological studies in California and could imitate the effect of exercise on the body.
2008 in Cancer Research
At TFOT we have always gave special attention to cancer research and 2008 was no exception. This year we covered many new treatments for cancer including microwave cancer therapy developed by researchers from MIT, ultrasound-activated microbubbles for treating cancer currently under development by Philips, a laser microscalpel that can target cancer cells individually and a new cancer vaccination tested by researchers from the Hadassah Medical Organization and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel.