Politics can’t solve this problem this time around.
Science has always played a fundamental role in our everyday lives, but its value has truly been appreciated in the past few months. With nowhere else to turn but science in handling the coronavirus, scientists have their work cut out for them.
Until the Coronavirus pandemic, I hadn’t seriously considered the effects science has on man-kind’s everyday. For me the absence of science would leave a considerable hole or gap in my life because of my affinity with the subject. But I never wondered how other’s found a way to appreciate science until the pandemic. Guidelines, safety protocols, decisions, progress; these are all being given to us by science. Now, it seems we have all become linked to science in one way or another. After all, it is working to minimizing our risk of getting sick, is trying to keep us safe, and is working to save lives. That’s a pretty tremendous feat for science.
Aside from the pandemic, science has always played its part in the world. Without the Coronavirus, the scientific community has been working to push the borders of our knowledge. From images of black hole to the revealing of a computer-chip inside a pig’s brain, discoveries are being made everyday (they rarely make headlines, which is a given since there are too many discoveries)
Ongoing research, the desire for answers and a commitment to results like this can drive the world forward. An example of these attributes at work can be found in antibiotic resistance research. During study, scientists found that certain specimens of bacteria release “toxins that disarm the mitochondria of immune cells”. This process inevitably leads to apoptosis, or the dying of the cell. A team of scientists at Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute are leading the way to target the automated cell response of apoptosis to increase the ability of the body to fight infectious bacteria. Although three specimens of bacteria were tested in the studies, the potential for this technology to be implemented towards other pathogens is promising.
In the world of space exploration, astronauts recently launched a mission to search for ancient life on Mars. The Mars rover Perseverance was launched on July 30th 2020, and is estimated to arrive on Mars on February 18th, 2021 to begin its search. Following two of the most longstanding Mars’ exploration missions, Perseverance will hopefully provide data that will help us better understand Mars’ current and previous climate, give evidence of previous life forms on the planet and its composition. The twin rovers Opportunity and Spirit, who launched in 2003, were able to collect significant evidence pointing to previous water bodies and habitable land.
And how could we pour over strides in the scientific community without mentioning the world’s work to develop a Coronavirus vaccine in the past six months? More than 170 teams of researchers are racing to develop an effective and safe vaccine to prevent the longevity of the Coronavirus pandemic, lockdown and its effects. As of today, this global effort is a landmark for being the fastest effort to create such a drug in human history. With seven potential drugs in Phase Three of clinical trails, the chance that a successful vaccine is found is bringing optimism in a time of fear.
Just the other day, when my mom told me about the progress of the mission Neuralink and its potential to prevent neurodegenerative diseases, I marvelled at just how much power science has to bring together communities of people. My mother is not a scientist, yet she is as captivated by certain areas of science as my father, a biology professor. Science can not only unite the world as we have seen during this pandemic, but it can capture the attention of anyone who is fascinated by pure discovery.
In science, we are left to rely upon skill, patience, hope and time to see results. Although it is quick to note the discoveries in science we have seen in the past year, the face of the discovery masks the months or years worth of work that it took to achieve that goal. However, when the world looks back on the Coronavirus pandemic years in the future and how we combatted it: through science.