The British newspaper "The Guardian" polled the views of a number of scientists to determine the most important and prominent 10 scientific events that occurred in 2021. In the following, Al Jazeera Net provides a summary of these events, as stated in the newspaper's report:

Billionaires race into space

Space made headlines on many occasions in 2021, with events such as the landing of a space probe or rover Perseverance on Mars, a rare meteorite fall in the UK, the launch of a spacecraft on a mission to change the course of an asteroid, and the discovery of about 200 A new planet outside the solar system.

Professor of planetary and space sciences at The Open University in Britain, Monica Grady, says that the largest news coverage of an event was perhaps the first trip by a spacecraft of the "Blue Origin" company to the edge of the Earth's atmosphere, and it took 11 A minute in October 2021, and it was carrying actor William Shatner (90 years).

That flight was the second by the New Shepard rocket vehicle, named in honor of the late Alan Shepard, the first American astronaut, and was launched by the company "Blue Origin" owned by American billionaire Jeff Bezos.

The first manned flight of the "New Shepard" spacecraft took off in July 2021, with Bezos and 3 other passengers on board, but Briton Richard Bronson became the first billionaire to make a trip to the edge of space aboard the Unity spacecraft designed by his company, Virgin Galactic. (Virgin Galactic) 9 days before Bezos' trip.

However, Bronson's flight reached an altitude of 88 km above the surface of the earth, and did not cross the Kerman Line, a line located 100 km above the earth from sea level and usually used to differentiate between the Earth's atmosphere and outer space.

By comparison, Jeff Bezos has crossed that line on his journey.

The scientist Monica Grady describes these trips as technological achievements because of their scientific importance in the future.

Pulse oximetry devices misread the oxygen level in people with dark skin (social networking sites)

Racial bias in the health care system

2021, according to Ann Phoenix, Professor of Psychological and Social Studies at University College London (UCL), marked the year when there were widely known imbalances in health outcomes for black and Asian people.

The British psychologist sees these imbalances, or in other words, inequalities, in part as the result of what she calls a mixture of professional, methodological and technical biases that produce "established racism".

It is the year - she says - in which many people bought pulse oximetry devices (which indirectly monitor the oxygen saturation of the patient's blood), believing that it might alert them to seek medical help when they are infected with the Corona virus “Covid-19”.

Black and Asian individuals learned that dark-skinned people with pulse oximetry were three times more likely to misread low oxygen.

Phoenix stated that British Health Minister Sajid Javid - who himself comes from a Pakistani family - conducted an investigation into the matter in November.

And the British scientist indicated that this happens in light of a pandemic in which the reality of the situation becomes “we are all in the face of one storm, but we are not in one boat”, as it has become clear that blacks and Asians are likely to die from the “Covid-19” epidemic at much more rates than whites. It turns out that technical biases don't work, as she puts it.

Unless we're all in the same boat, no one can be sure they're safe, the pandemic has shown, says Phoenix, who adds that confidence is built on the assertion that vaccines are made for blacks and whites alike.

She concludes by expressing the hope that 2021 will be a historic year in which enough people will realize the importance of real equity in Britain's healthcare system.

Media attention focused on COP climate rather than climate science (European)

COP 26

Last August, the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published the first part of its sixth report, looking at our understanding of the climate system and what science tells us about what will happen in the future.

The Sixth Assessment Report agreed with the general content stated in the Fifth Report issued in 2014, but it was clearer and stronger than the previous one, as it indicated that matters had reached a degree of badness that required strict action to avoid the worst consequences, according to Helen Chersky, a British physicist and specialist. Oceanography, University College London.

The British scientist believed that the media's attention was focused on the COP on climate rather than on climate science per se, adding that although more science is always gaining importance, we already have enough science to help us take action. from conducting.

Symptoms of fibromyalgia include pain in a number of muscle areas in the body, a feeling of extreme exhaustion and emotional distress (Shutterstock)

Fibromyalgia: New understanding may lead to treatment of chronic pain

Fibromyalgia is a type of disease called fibromyalgia in Arabic.

Among the symptoms of fibromyalgia are pain in a number of muscle areas in the body, a feeling of extreme exhaustion, and emotional disturbance, and it affects one in 40 people, mostly women.

The cause of the disease is not known and there is no cure for it, according to Francesca Happe, professor of cognitive neuroscience at University College London.

A breakthrough in the ability of artificial intelligence to predict the precise structure of a protein

By 2020, a series of robust experimental technical methods have resulted in a structural interpretation of more than a third of the proteins encoded by the human genome.

However, says Eriko Takano, professor of synthetic biology at the University of Manchester, proteins have remained elusive to traditional laboratory techniques, leaving a major gap in understanding information about protein-coding genome sequences.

The year 2021 witnessed significant progress in overcoming this dilemma based on methods for predicting the algorithmic structure supported by artificial intelligence with an unprecedented degree of accuracy, as described by Takano.

The factors of nature are unexpected and governments have failed to prepare for them properly (Getty Images)

Severe weather conditions are becoming more severe

The past year has been marked by the postponement of COP26 and the eventual issuance of its report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

But Hannah Klok, professor of hydrology at the University of Reading, believes that it was unexpected natural factors, combined with governments' inability to prepare for them, that made it possible to ascertain climate risks.

Record numbers of obese children

Teresa Marto, director of the Behavioral and Health Research Unit at the University of Cambridge, says that the most important event of this year was not - in her view - a scientific breakthrough, but rather a setback.

The National Pediatric Measurement Program has revealed a shocking increase in the number of obese schoolchildren in England, rising from a third to a fifth of children aged 10 to 11 years.

Perhaps the most shocking thing is the widening disparity between children in high-end neighborhoods and those in the most deprived neighborhoods, as it was found that 14% of children in high-income neighborhoods suffer from obesity, compared to 34% of their peers in poor neighborhoods.

Marto points out that the "Covid-19" pandemic has exacerbated the situation, as poverty leads to obesity, just as environments make healthy eating and physical activity more difficult.

The Winchkam meteorite from the early remnants of our solar system (Natural History Museum)

Winchcam meteorite gift from space

On February 28, 2021, local residents in Britain found a meteorite that fell from a ball that lit up the sky over Winchham in Gloucestershire.

The meteorite known as the "Winchcombe Meteorite" is one of the earliest remnants of our solar system, according to Emma Banes, a physicist and astronomer at the University of Leicester, and it is a rare type of "carbon chondrite" that contains materials that have not changed since The solar system formed about 4.5 billion years ago.

RNA particles save at least some

Although the first gene-made vaccine was approved in December of last year, it wasn't until 2021 that humans became aware of Pfizer's efficacy in practice, says Ijima Ochigbo, professor of pharmaceutical nanosciences at University College London.

Ochigbo says that RNA vaccines can theoretically be modified to be able to respond to new mutants of the "Covid-19" virus.

RNA vaccines can be modified to be able to counter the “Covid-19” virus mutants (Reuters)

Finally recognizing the role of nature in addressing global warming

Julia J.B. Jones, a professor of environmental protection at Bangor University in Wales, says the huge scientific efforts of the past several decades have finally paid off this year.

She adds that the climate conference organized by the United Nations in Glasgow, Scotland, was called the "Conference of the Parties to Nature" due to the great importance attached to preserving and restoring ecosystems, especially forests, as a means of addressing global warming.