New scientific records are set every year and 2022 was no exception. Bacterial behemoths, insanely fast supercomputers and narrow black holes are among the best-known superlatives of the year.
The first surgery
The first known surgical operation was the amputation of the leg (SN: 10/8/22 & 10/22/22, p. 5). The researchers came to this conclusion after studying the skeleton of a man who lived on the Indonesian island of Borneo 31,000 years ago. Healed bone, where the lower left leg was removed, the individual survived for several years after the procedure. The discovery of surgery pushes the origin back by some 20,000 years.
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Largest single-celled bacterium
Bacteria normally live in the microscopic world. Not Thiomargarita Magnifica. About a centimeter long, this newly discovered bacterium is visible to the naked eye.SN: 7/16/22 & 7/30/22, p. 17). T. magnificawhich lives in the mangrove forests of the Caribbean Lesser Antilles, is about 50 times larger than other species of large bacteria and about 5,000 times larger than typical bacteria. Why this species evolved into such a giant is unknown.
The fastest supercomputer
The supercomputer named Limits and sets numbers with mind-blowing speed this year: 1.1 quintillion operations per second (SN Online: 6/1/22). That makes the machine, run by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, the first exascale computer – a computer that can perform at least 1018 the second thing The next fastest computer heads are at 442 quadrillion (that’s 1015) secondary operations. Exascale computing is expected to be used in everything from climate science to healthcare to particle physics.
The largest colony of fish
Deep on the edge of the Antarctic ice, the fish are breeding in a colony as large as Orlando, Fla.Neopagetopsis ionah) extend at least 240 square kilometers of seafloor (SN: 2/12/22, p. 12). Previously, only hundreds of species of nesting fish were known to gather. Food supply and access to a warm water zone are usually exceptionally abundant.
The closest black hole
Astrophysicists have been probing a black hole that has been ejected from Earth for 1,560 years (for 1,560 years).SN Online: 11/4/22). Called Gaia BH1, it is about twice as close as previously known black holes. But this evidence cannot stand. There are predicted to be about 100 million black holes in the Milky Way. Since most of them are invisible, they are difficult to find. But when Gaia, which is designed for billions of stars, emits its next batch of data in a few years, black holes may come even closer.
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