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TRENDING SCIENCE: From talking mummies to mind-reading computers, the year that was in CORDIS science

COVID-19 dominated the science landscape, but several awe-inspiring discoveries and world firsts also made the headlines.

Fundamental Research

Space is a perennial favourite, and 2020 was no exception. Arrokoth, an object that looks like a red snowman over 6.6 billion km from Earth, provided clues about how planets form. Scientists discovered the biggest explosion in the universe’s history since the Big Bang. Perhaps we’re not alone. There may be up to 6 billion Earth-like planets in our galaxy.

Sun, dinosaurs, women warriors, mummies, Stonehenge, computers

We got up close and personal with the Sun like never before. A powerful new solar telescope revealed the most detailed images ever taken of its surface. An EU-United States mission also sent back the closest pictures and videos ever recorded. Several long-held beliefs were turned upside down. It was an asteroid, not volcanoes, that wiped out the dinosaurs. A woman’s place wasn’t always in the home, as evidence revealed the existence of ancient women hunters. This is what it sounds like when… a mummy talks. Scientists recreated the voice of a 3 000-year-old Egyptian mummy. Stonehenge is one of the most famous and mysterious monuments in the world. Researchers solved its biggest mystery by identifying the origin of the giant sandstone slabs. Computers can do many things, but read minds – really? A new computer interface monitors brain signals to generate images of thoughts.

Superconductors, proteins, stuff made by humans

The 100-year wait is over. The first superconductor that operates at room temperature is now a reality. Another long wait is over. AI helped solve a 50-year-old biology mystery involving protein structure and behaviour. Did you know that as the clock turns to 2021, the amount of human-made materials will be heavier than all of the Earth’s living organisms combined? Congratulations Earth, you are now home to more materials made by man than all life!

Keywords

science, space, mummy, computer, Sun, dinosaur, Stonehenge, asteroid, superconductor, protein