The main anticipated events of 2013 in science

In the coming year, scientists may be able to see for the first time a black hole or even a "wormhole" to get crucial information about the possible existence of microorganisms on Mars and in the Antarctic Lake Vostok, learn to decipher the genome of a single cell, create a map "lines" in the brain, and will bring number of open exoplanets thousand.


"Radioastron" look into the wormhole

Participants of the Russian astrophysical project "Radioastron" in the first half of 2013, try to see a black hole, or rather its "shadow," and possibly "wormholes" — going beyond our space-time.

Russian space telescope "Radioastron" is designed to work in conjunction with a global network of ground-based radio telescopes. Together forming a single ground-space Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) is very high angular resolution — up to seven microseconds.

In 2013, members of the project plan to conduct joint observations with the largest ground-based astronomy observatory VLA (Very Large Array). Their goal is to galaxy M87 in the constellation Virgo. In its center is a supermassive black hole, the angular size of which is about 30 microseconds. High resolution "bundles" VLA — "Radioastron" provide the first look at the "shadow" of the black hole, the shape of its "event horizon."

The genome of a single cell

Genetics get into the hands of genome sequencing technology, and all the variations of RNA copies of genes (transcripts) in a single cell. This means, in particular, for the first time that scientists can detect the primary genetic damage that leads to cancer and severe genetic disorders.

As expected, some experts, 2013 will be received the first data on how to operate the single cells, particularly brain cells by studying RNA molecules. Expected to obtain new data on the genetic apparatus by studying RNA molecules that transmit genetic instructions to the factories of proteins in cells.

In addition, in 2013, completed the pilot phase of the project "Human Proteome" from the description of all the proteins of the human body.

Map of the brain …

The 2013 will operate at full capacity the project to map the connections between neurons in the human brain — Human Connectome Project. In this project, a total budget of 38.5 million dollars, scientists study the brain 1,2 thousand adult volunteers, including — 300 pairs of twins.

Researchers will capture individual differences in the neural connections between different areas of the brain to figure out how they can affect the mental activity and behavior.

Also, as expected, several other projects will investigate neural connections in the brain at the cellular level.

Echo … and the Big Bang

European space telescope "Planck" will be the most accurate map of the cosmic microwave background radiation — the cosmic microwave background radiation left over from the Big Bang. Earlier measurements of variations in the properties of this background will confirm the inflationary theory of the universe. A new data obtained in 2003, helped to clarify information on the composition of the Universe — 5% ordinary matter, 22% — the invisible dark matter, and 73% — dark energy.

These "bar" will clarify the details of this model, and possibly find evidence that there are traces of her new, as yet unknown phenomena.

Traces of microbes on Mars …

Curiosity rover next year could find traces of ancient or modern Martian microorganisms. Already this year, the chemical laboratory in the "womb" rover found organic molecules — compounds containing chlorine, carbon and hydrogen, called perchlorate.

However, while scientists can not say with certainty that it is "local" organic compounds, rather than imported rover from Earth.

In addition, on their own organic substances — compounds of carbon and hydrogen — is not always indicate the presence of living organisms. In interstellar dust clouds, scientists repeatedly found complex organic molecules, such as alcohol molecules or formic acid.

Scientists expect that in 2013 they will be able to find on Mars not only organic, but organic, bearing traces of biological treatment.

… And Antarkticheskoi Lake

Russian polar explorers, who will travel to Antarctica in this Friday, will receive the first sample of water from the relic of the Antarctic Lake Vostok, which over millions of years has been isolated from the outside world chetyrehkilometrovoy thick ice.

In the past, scientists, after decades of work, it was possible to drill a hole to Lake Vostok. As expected, at the time of entry into the lake of its water rushed up the borehole, and then freeze.

Now Russian scientists are going to re-drill svezhezamerzshy lake ice and get the data about his "population" — the micro-organisms. According to available data, the water of Lake Vostok has extremely high concentrations of oxygen. None of the known microorganisms can exist in such conditions.

Some researchers believe that Lake Vostok may exist previously unseen organisms — oksigenofily capable of surviving such highly unusual circumstances. In addition, it is possible that bacteria can exist in the sediments of the lake.

However, the analysis of the first samples of water of Lake Vostok (which spilled out of the well during drilling) showed that they are essentially free of microorganisms, and thus, the upper layers of the water in the lake is likely to be sterile. In addition, in the coming year to another Antarctic lake — Ellsworth — are planning to enter the British explorers.

Thousand exoplanets

Astronomers in the coming year, it is possible, carry through open exoplanets thousand. It is currently known 854 exoplanets in 673 planetary systems.

This year, NASA's orbiting telescope, "Kepler", launched in March 2009, completed its primary scientific mission and began further studies that can last for at least another four years.

3.5 years of "Kepler" has found more than 2.3 thousand "candidates" in the exoplanets, and confirmed the existence of more than 100 planets outside our solar system. Among them there is a planet, comparable in size to Earth, and the planets that are in the so-called "zone of life" — the region around a star where the surface of Earth-like planets may be liquid water.

Interstellar "Voyager"

Probe "Voyager", launched 30 years ago, the new year is likely to penetrate into space and will give out the first data.

In early December, NASA announced that "Voyager" has entered a new region — magnetic "highway speed" of charged particles at the edge of the solar system. According to experts, this is the last part of the journey to interstellar space probe, which can take from several months to a few years.

New Cancer Immunotherapy

It is expected that 2013 will be announced the first results of clinical trials of a new generation of molecules created by genetic engineering and "targeted" against cancer. It is a bispecific antibody BiTE (Bispecific T-cell Engager), bind simultaneously to cancer cells and T-lymphocytes.

According to scientists, using bispecific antibodies can be precisely delivered to the tumor cells to toxins, chemotherapy and radioactive isotopes, which will reduce the side effects from the use of these funds.

What is found boson?

Topic of the Higgs boson will remain in the world's scientific and trends for next year.

While the Large Hadron Collider will take to long "vacation", physics, using the accumulated results, expect to get more accurate data on the particle was found on him. Scientists will be able to find out whether she expected "part of God", or the properties of the particles differ from the theoretically predicted.

According to the tentative schedule of the accelerator after the Christmas break on it for almost a month would be held another session collisions of protons and lead nuclei. Next LHC will shut down for 20 months, and then begin to work on the total energy, almost double the current.

Category: Scientists, experts, science

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