Top 10 Scientific Advancements & Discoveries of 2022

Here are some significant scientific advancements, discoveries, and other highlights so far in 2022.
The Top Ten
1 The First Xenogeneic Heart Transplant

Organ shortage continues to be one of most important issues in America, and xenotransplantation might be the answer to this shortage problem despite numerous hiccups, risks, and ethical concerns over the course of history. While there are similar accomplishments regarding xenotransplantation within the recent years, this heart transplant from a genetically-engineered pig's heart managed to operate well without any signs of rejection in a 57 year old man, despite being denied for a regular transplant.

The heart of a pig is known to share plenty of similarities compared to the human heart in an anatomical sense. Although the pig heart and the human heart are not exactly identical, this brings this kind of transplantation a problem, and that is rejection between the foreign organ and the human body. To counter this, some of the genes that initiate the process of rejection have to be "knocked out", and certain human genes designed for "immune acceptance" were applied in the genome. Although it's not guaranteed how this treatment would either prolong or handicap the patient in the future, this kind of method enables this transplantation to succeed without the rejection of the body.

2 Alzheimer's-Slowing Drug

Would 2022 finally shed a promising light to those who have alzheimer's disease? Well, pretty close. While it's not a permanent treatment, 2022 marked a recent breakthrough with a drug called lecanemab, specially designed to target beta-amyloid plaques widely thought to be the cause of alzheimer's disease. According to the study, the drug slowed the process of alzheimer symptoms by 27% among early disease patients in the span of 18 months. However, this drug comes with a consequence with side effects including brain swelling, though the positives usually outweigh the negatives and severe side effects are rare. Although considered a significant breakthrough, it's important to note that this drug isn't specifically designed for other forms of dementia.

3 DART Crashes into Dimorphos

After almost a year on its launch, the landing of the asteroid Dimorphos has came into a success and would attempt to move the asteriod using a method called "kinetic impact" thanks to its advanced technology. After a few weeks later, it's recently confirmed that Dimorphos' orbit has been successfully affected by the landing. According to NASA, the asteroid would need 11 hours and 55 minutes to orbit Didymos, which Dimorphos orbits. After DART's collision with Dimorphos, its orbit was shortened by 32 minutes. As of October 2022, the investigation is still ongoing, with the team focusing on the surface composition of the asteroid, including its impact and recoil from the collision. While the effect of the collision may seem small, this is the first yet major baby step to defending our own planet, as asteroids have long been a major concern as a world threat.

4 Lab-Grown Wood

Deforestation is among one of the main issues when dealing with climate change. With that in mind, researchers have developed 3D printed wood grown from a lab in order to counter the issue and effects against deforestation. The process started with the researchers applying "stem cell-like properties" to plant cells, then they applied the cells from a common zinnia plant and kept them in a liquid storage in order to cultivate. This was then followed by administering a gel substance rich in hormones and other nutrients. These chemicals, when manipulated, are capable of changing the structure of the modified wood depending on the concentration of the hormones. With 3D bioprinting, the researchers were able to control the cells using a structure from the printer. When the cells were left out to grow in the dark, they were surprised to see that the growth process was twice as fast than expected during the 3-month incubation timeframe. While this kind of discovery is still at its infancy stage, it's a significant step to creating wood without the concern of waste.

5 The Discovery of Candidate Farthest Galaxies

2022 also marks multiple new discoveries of some of the farthest galaxy candidates in the universe - one of the earliest candidates being HD1 which is currently thought to be the one of the farthest galaxies in the universe. Reported to have a high redshift of 13.27, indicating that it's seen in a much earlier timeframe of the big bang - which is approximately 324 million years after the big bang, out of 13.7 billion years of the age of the universe. It's said to be 13.46 billion light years away from earth in light-travel distance, with a present proper distance exceeding 33.2 billion light years.

The most recent discovery of what would be the farthest galaxy is CEERS-93316, with a higher redshift of 16.7, indicating that this galaxy is observed in a whopping 235.8 million years after the big bang. It was discovered by the James Webb Space Telescope, which is already breaking records of what would be the farthest galaxy ever seen. The discovery of such galaxies is not just a race to discover what's the farthest, but it also changes our perspectives on how we know the origin of the universe and its first stars and galaxies.

6 The First Exascale Computer

As our timeline progresses the more powerful supercomputers have become. This is true with the most recent supercomputer Frontier being developed, and it's the first supercomputer to operate with 1.1 exaflops in average. This means that Frontier is capable of computing a whopping quintillion calculations within a matter of a second! In its peak, it can operate twice its speed which is equivalent to 2 quintillion calculations per second. What's even more mindblowing that it only costed $600 million dollars to create the project compared to the previous fastest supercomputer - Fugaku, which costed over a billion. Frontier shouldn't not be only known for its sheer speed, but it is also capable of using its energy efficiently due to its cooling systems, and the fact it's able to operate at 62.68 gigaflops per watt.


Over the years cancer is becoming much easier to treat. Although treatments like chemotherapy can destroy normal cells along the way. However, there is good news. The most recent treatment called CINDELA developed in February 21, is designed to destroy cancerous cells without causing damage to normal cells using CRISPR-Cas9 technology genetic scissors to remove the double helices that are mutated. What's special about this treatment is that it effectively applies to all types of cancers due to it being capable for treating most tumors.

8 Changesite Discovered

2022 also marked a new significant discovery of a transparent columnar crystal named after the Chinese goddess of the moon, consisting of a size of approximately ten microns. What is so important about its discovery, is that the traces of helium-3 are concentrated in its samples, which makes it a viable component for nuclear fusion due to it being a stable isotope despite having more protons than neutrons. A downside is that helium-3 is considered very rare in Earth, but its rarity says otherwise in the moon, which makes it a very promising source for nuclear fusion. Overall, changesite could be a solid candidate for the development of fusion power.

9 LHC Particle Discoveries

The Large Hadron Collider has undergone a breakthrough discovery as it detected three particles that have never been seen before. A new version of a pentaquark along with a tetraquark - exotic particles that are comprised with five quarks and four quarks respectively. In the recent decades, most discoveries tend to have tetraquarks and pentaquarks which contain either a charm quark or the antiquark variant, but in this case, this recent discovery consists of a pentaquark - comprised of a strange antiquark, a charm quark, a down quark, and an up quark, making this the first pentaquark to consist of a strange quark. Another notable discovery is an open-charm tetraquark which consists of a strange anti-quark, an up and down quark, and a charm quark, considered to be double electric charged. With this breakthrough, the discovery of these exotic particles would be a puzzle piece on clarifying how exactly these particles are made, and be a puzzle piece regarding the theory of other conventional particles such as protons and neurons according to Professor Chris Parkes.

10 Bioengineered Corneas

Developed by Swedish researchers, bioengineered corneas is considered to be a major breakthrough for blind people, with one notable characteristic being its longevity. Compared to donated human corneas which last for only a few weeks, bioengineered corneas can last up to two years in storage. Since pig skin is a common resource, this means that bioengineered corneas would promise wide use unlike human corneas which are often in short supply.

The Contenders
11 Mercury's Surface is Covered in Diamond Dust

Researchers revealed an interesting discovery that Mercury might be a much more precious planet. Since the planet is covered in graphite, what's interesting is that they are capable of forming into diamonds whenever an asteroid strikes the surface. Since Mercury consists of craters, this means that Mercury's surface is covered by an abundance of diamonds up to a whopping 16 quadrillion tons. Such a big number can disrupt the economy. However, these diamonds are not the same as we usually see from earth, but it's more of a mixture of minerals

12 Cancer Sniffing Worms

2022 marks an interesting discovery that worms can be attracted to cancerous cells. The researchers took advantage of this by integrating a device composed of worms. By this discovery, researchers situated the two types of cells - cancer and normal in a petri dish, and it's discovered that worms are more attracted to the cancer cells than the normal cells. This could be another reliable method of diagnosing cancer cells and other tumors.

13 Discovery of the Endurance Shipwreck

Endurance was a ship built in 1912 that was set on a mission to sail through Antarctica in the Imperial-Trans-Antarctic expedition, but the mission failed as it was surrounded by ice and finally sunk at November 21, 1915. Over a century later, the Endurance ship was finally founded in March 5, 2022. The shipwreck is peppered by a diverse group of sea life, but more surprisingly, the ship managed to stay in excellent condition, and was reserved as a historical site for the extensive study of marine life.

14 The Center of The Milky Way Galaxy Imaged

Ever since the 2019 imaging of the black hole, this black hole image marks another significant advancement providing the evidence of Sagittarius A existing in the milky way. Most notably, the black hole aligned with Einstein's theory of general relativity. Given this discovery this will give scientists a more in-depth understanding of how these phenomenal black holes operate, such as the behavioral patterns of gas surrounding supermassive black holes - which may potentially play a role on forming galaxies.

15 Moon Soil Used for Growing Plants

May 12, 2022 also marked a significant discovery that plants are also able to be grown in lunar soil, which could be viable for nourishing crew members in a sustainable manner. Although one downside is that the growth of these plants are slower thus they are not the same as planted on Earth.

16 Malaria Vaccine

While the malaria vaccine was approved in 2021, researchers from Harvard were able to create a highly efficient malaria vaccine that is 80% effective against the disease.

17 Discovery of the Moon Formed Within Hours

It's commonly believed that the moon has formed in a matter of months or years.

18 Osprey Quantum Processor

This is a 433-qubit computer which heavily surpasses its previous project Eagle, which is a 127-qubit computer. A relatively big step of reaching the goal of developing a 4,000+ qubit computer in 2025.

19 Discovery of Gaia BH1

As of November 2022, this is the closest black hole that's about 1,560 ly away from our solar system so far.

20 Transfusion of Lab-Grown Red Blood Cells
21 Artemis 1 Launched

The first uncrewed flight in history makes its mark in november 16.

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