(STACKER) – The year 2022 was an exciting one for science. NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope yielded two major breakthroughs: new infrared images of the universe and the first evidence of carbon dioxide outside of the solar system. The ongoing pandemic spurred the innovative development of a nasal vaccine for the latest variants of the coronavirus and a renewed urgency in finding a universal vaccine for the flu.
What’s more, many feats not entirely new to the past year received either validation from the scientific community, such as the FDA’s first approval of lab-grown or “cultivated” meat, or represented signs of important progress in a specific field, as evidenced by the historic procedure that provided a human man with a heart transplant from a pig, marking a new level of possibility in xenotransplantation. And as to the enrichment of the collective knowledge about the development of the human race, human footprints dating back to the ice age were discovered in Utah.
To outline some of the most impressive scientific gains over the past year, Stacker consulted scientific journals and the latest news reports to compile a list of 22 major scientific discoveries and innovations that happened in 2022. The fields outlined here range from biology to geology, engineering to paleontology, and genetics to artificial intelligence, among others.
Read on to learn more about some of this year’s most significant discoveries and what they mean for the future of health care, technology, climate, and more.
- Tonga’s January volcano was the biggest eruption ever recorded
- Ameca debuts at Consumer Electronics Show 2022
- Discovery of a 30,000-year-old preserved baby mammoth
- Breakthroughs in fungus communication
- James Webb space telescope captures new images of cosmos
- Dead pigs’ organs were revived
- Ice volcanoes on Pluto
- Recovery of Endurance ship off the coast of Antarctica
- NASA’s DART mission destroys Dimorphos asteroid
- First complete sequence of the human genome
- Hydrogen-powered trains debut in Germany
- Oldest DNA ever found in Greenland
- Human brain cells were successfully implanted into rats
- Some people in comas are discovered to be conscious
- Lab-grown brain cells learned to play Pong
- Microplastics were found in human lung tissue
- COVID-19 nasal vaccine
- AI systems reach new bounds
- Progress toward a universal flu vaccine
- Major population declines of Alaskan crabs
- Carbon dioxide discovered in exoplanet’s atmosphere
- New milestone in nuclear fusion technology