2017 is nearing its end. While the year was marred with disasters, scandals and terrorist attacks around the world, we look at 10 good things that happened in 2017.
1. ISRO’s PSLV-C37 rockets put into orbit a record 104 satellites.
The 102 satellites launched by ISRO were international customer satellites from USA (96), The Netherlands (1), Switzerland (1), Israel (1), Kazakhstan (1) and UAE (1). Two satellites ISRO Nano Satellite-1 (INS-1) weighing 8.4 kg and INS-2 weighing 9.7 kg – are technology demonstration satellites from India.
2. Scientists develop Spray Gun to regrow burnt skins.
Dubbed as SkinGun, scientists at RenovaCare developed a device that shoot stem cells on burn victims to regrow the skin without leaving any scars. The stem cells are obtained from the victim. The device is awaiting FDA approval.
3. New habitable super-Earth LHS 1140b is discovered.
Jason Dittmann, a researcher at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, discovered LHS 1140b orbiting a red dwarf star 40-light years away from us. The planet is at right distance from the star for there to be liquid water on its surface.
4. Taiwan became first Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage.
The long-awaited ruling was greeted by cheers at an outdoor rally organized by the Taiwan LGBT Family Rights Advocacy, which live-streamed the announcement on a large video screen as well as on Facebook.
5. Drinking coffee reduces the risk of death by 64%
According to a study done in July, people who drank two to four cups of coffee per day had an 18% lower risk of death compared with people who did not drink coffee. The study also showed an inverse relationship with coffee consumption and a number of heart disease, respiratory disease, cancer and kidney disease.
6. Google launches tool to identify people with depression.
Now, whenever you type a depression related word into Google search box, it will display a question – “Are you depressed?” If you click yes, you will be redirected to questionnaire that clinicians may use to help diagnose depression.
7. Women are now allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia.
Until September of 2017, it was against the law for women to get a driver license or even drive for that matter. The king of Saudi Arabia, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, broke all the traditional barriers and decreed that women shall be allowed to drive.
8. Belarusian women wins first Miss Wheelchair World.
23-year old Belarusian student Aleksandra Chichikova became the first Miss Wheelchair World. South Africa and Poland were first and second runners up respectively. The first of its kind beauty pageant was organised by The Only One Foundation. Founded by by two disabled women, the foundation’s goal is to break down barriers that limit opportunities for people with disabilities.
9. LEGO’s ‘Women of NASA’ toys are hit.
The LEGO set featuring astronomer Nancy Grace Roman, computer scientist Margaret Hamilton, and astronauts Sally Ride and Mae Jemison were an instant hit on Amzon. It became one of the most popular toys on the online shopping site within 24 hours of its release.
10. Plastic eating wax worm accidentally discovered.
Spanish researcher Federica Bertocchini is a part-time beekeeper and is used to removing wax worms from hives. After leaving a troupe of wax worms in a plastic bag one day, Bertocchini found that the worms had munched their way to freedom. To confirm whether the worms were digesting the plastic, she made a paste of mashed wax worms and applied on a plastic film. To her surprise, the film slowly degraded. With help of a team of scientists, she is now determined to extract the enzyme from the worms responsible for this amazing feat.