New scientific records are set every year, and 2022 will be no exception. Bacterial behemoths, blazingly fast supercomputers and nearby black holes are among the most notable superlative events of the year.
this The first known surgical procedure was amputation (SN: 10/8/22 & 10/22/22, p. 5). That’s the conclusion researchers came to after examining the skeleton of a man who lived on the Indonesian island of Borneo around 31,000 years ago. Healed bone from the amputated left calf suggested the man survived years after the operation. This discovery pushes the origin of surgery back by about 20,000 years.
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largest single-celled bacteria
Bacteria usually live in a microcosm.no margarita. The average length is about one centimeter, This newly discovered bacterium is visible to the naked eye (SN: 7/16/22 & 7/30/22, p. 17). T. magnificaBacteria that live in the mangrove forests of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean are about 50 times larger than other large bacterial species and about 5,000 times larger than typical bacteria. Why this species evolved into such giants is unknown.
This year, a supercomputer called Frontier crunched numbers at breakneck speed: 1.1 quintillion operations per second (SN Online: 6/1/22). This makes the machine, run by Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, the first exascale computer — a computer that can perform at least 10 calculations18 operations per second. The next fastest computer can reach up to 442 quadrillion (or 1015) operations per second. Exascale computing promises breakthroughs in everything from climate science to health to particle physics.
largest school of fish
Deep off the coast of Antarctica, icefish congregate in a breeding colony the size of Orlando, Florida.Some The 60 million lairs of the Jonah icefish (new guava) spanning at least 240 square kilometers of seabed (SN: 2/12/22, p. 12). Previously, only a few hundred species of nesting fish were known. An abundant food supply and unusually warm waters may explain the unusually large groups.
nearest black hole
Sifting through data released by the Gaia spacecraft, astrophysicists find A black hole more than 1,560 light-years from Earth (SN Online: 11/4/22). It’s called Gaia BH1, and it’s about twice as big as the closest previously known black hole. But that record may not hold water. It is predicted that there are approximately 100 million black holes in the Milky Way. Since most are invisible, they are difficult to find. But when Gaia, which precisely maps a billion stars, releases its next batch of data in a few years’ time, a much closer black hole may be on the way.