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The following is the World’s top 10 scientific discoveries in 2020 From Nature recommended by And this article belongs to the classification: Life data.

It was reported on December 17, Beijing time that at the end of 2020, nature reviewed the scientific news and research views published this year, and selected ten of the most important scientific discoveries, including research on new coronavirus, medical research on how stress leads to white hair and HIV treatment, astronomical discoveries such as rapid radio storms in the galaxy, and even One study found evidence of incest in ancient tombs.

The ten scientific discoveries involved 14 research papers, 12 of which were published in nature and two in science.

1。 Breaking the mirror symmetry of matter Antimatter

In the t2k experiment, an underground detector at the Japanese shenoka Observatory detected neutrinos (or antineutrinos) passing through 295 kilometers of the earth

Published in the April 15 issue of the journal Nature, the study by Japan’s t2k neutrino cooperation reported the possible discovery of leptons breaking the particle antiparticle mirror symmetry (also known as CP symmetry). The CP break of leptons is difficult to observe, but neutrinos can be used to search. Neutrinos have three “flavors”, which are determined by the charged leptons (electron, muon or tau) associated with them, and can change from one flavor to another in the process of motion. If CP symmetry is conserved, the oscillation probability of μ neutrino to electric neutrino transition will be the same as that of anti μ neutrino to anti electron neutrino conversion. In the t2k experiment, the underground detector at the Japanese shenoka Observatory detected neutrinos (or antineutrinos) passing through 295 kilometers of the earth. The oscillation probability of the transition from μ neutrino to electric neutrino is measured. The result shows that CP conservation is excluded at 95% confidence level, which may be the earliest sign of the origin of matter antimatter asymmetry in the universe.

Original paper: nature 580339-344 (2020).

2。 The restoration of the ozone layer over Antarctica stops the drift of high-speed air flow

In the mid-1980s, scientists discovered a spring ozone hole over Antarctica, which revealed the threat of man-made ozone depleting substances (ODSS) to the atmosphere. The Antarctic ozone hole at an altitude of 10-20 km also affects the atmospheric circulation in the southern hemisphere, and then affects the surface climate. The most obvious trend is that the high-speed airflow in summer begins to move toward the polar regions. High speed airflow is a planetary scale atmospheric circulation phenomenon. There are several high-speed airflow belts around the earth. The 1987 Montreal Protocol and its subsequent amendments prohibit the production and use of ozone depleting substances. Therefore, the concentration of ozone depleting substances in the atmosphere is declining, and the ozone layer has shown preliminary signs of recovery. Banerjee et al. Pointed out that since the recovery of the ozone layer, the circulation effect related to the hole has stopped. It has been noticed that this circulation effect will stop before, but Banerjee et al. Formally attributed it to the influence of Montreal Protocol for the first time.

Original paper: nature 579544-548 (2020).

3。 Evidence of incest in prehistoric Irish aristocratic tombs

Newgrange is one of the most famous stone tunnel tombs in Ireland and one of the most famous prehistoric cemeteries in Ireland. It is constructed by complicated engineering technology

Cassidy et al. Of Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, studied the social structure of farming society, focusing on the ancient nobles buried in stone tunnel tombs (a kind of passageway stone tomb building in Europe). Newgrange is the most famous stone tunnel tomb in Ireland and one of the most famous prehistoric cemeteries in the country. It is constructed by complicated engineering technology, and the tomb chamber is at the end of a long stone passage. There is a window like opening above the entrance to the tomb, which allows sunlight to enter the tomb on the shortest day of the year (winter solstice). DNA analysis of ancient human remains found in the tomb revealed a rare and unexpected case of incest. A man buried in new Grange’s tomb about 5000 years ago is the offspring of a incest marriage: his parents are either brothers and sisters, or parents and children. The discovery led the team to speculate that the nobles associated with the magnificent mausoleum may have maintained their lineage through incest.

Original paper: nature 582384 – 388 (2020).

4。 Mapping the earth’s trees with satellite images

Brandt et al. Reported their analysis of high-resolution satellite images covering more than 1.3 million square kilometers of Western Sahara and the Sahel in West Africa, mapping the location and size of about 1.8 billion trees. Before that, scientists had never produced such a fine map of trees in such a large area. Commercial satellites have begun to collect data, capable of capturing objects on the ground that are 1 square meter or less in size. Therefore, the field of land remote sensing is about to usher in a fundamental leap: from focusing on the measurement of integrated landscape scale to the possibility of mapping the location and crown size of each tree on a large scale or global scale. This progress will undoubtedly also fundamentally change the way we think, monitor, model and manage global terrestrial ecosystems.

Original paper: nature 587, 78 – 82 (2020).

5。 Kill latent HIV

HIV, which causes AIDS, can be “latent” in the host cells for a long time, hardly transcribed, so it will not be detected by the immune system. In two studies published in the same period in the journal Nature in January, we reported a treatment strategy called “shock and kill”, which aims to reverse this incubation period and make infected cells more easily destroyed (killed) by the immune system by increasing the expression (activation) of viral genes. Both groups described interventions in animal models, which may be the most effective activation method reported so far and repeatable. Nixon and his colleagues used a drug called azd5582 to activate the transcription factor NF – κ B, the main stimulator of HIV-1 gene expression. McBrien et al. Combined the two immune interventions. First, CD8 + T cells (immune cells that reduce the viral transcription level) were depleted by antibody therapy, and then treated with n-803, which can activate HIV-1 transcription. In addition to these advances, the two studies also demonstrate the conceptual and technical challenges associated with drug reversal of viral latency.

Original papers: nature 578154-159 (2020); nature 578160 – 165 (2020).

6。 Gene editing to solve the mystery of picky eating

Drosophila sechellia, a fruit fly, feeds on the toxic Morinda citrifolia. What makes this species so picky?

Drosophila sechellia, a fruit fly, feeds only on the toxic Morinda citrifolia. What makes this species so picky compared to other fruit loving flies? Auer et al. Solved this puzzle using the genome editing tool crispr-cas9. They found that, compared with other fruit flies, D. The sensory neurons expressing odorant receptor 22a protein (Or22a) are abundant in sechellia, and the slight change in the amino acid sequence of Or22a is just Drosophila D. The key reason for sechellia’s preference for Noriko. They also found several other evolutionary changes that could lead to this simple behavioral shift. Even the tiny fruit fly, which loves smelly fruit, can powerfully reveal how the brain evolves complex behaviors.

Original paper: nature 579402-408 (2020).

7。 Fast radio bursts in the Milky way

Three papers published in the November issue of Nature reported the detection of a fast radio storm (FRB) phenomenon, indicating that it originated in the Milky way. Interestingly, rapid radio bursts are accompanied by X-ray bursts. The discovery is based on a combination of observations from several space telescopes and ground-based telescopes. As the name suggests, “rapid radio bursts” are transient bright pulses of radio waves that last about millisecond. Researchers first discovered this phenomenon in 2007, making it extremely difficult to detect them and locate them in the sky due to their short existence time. This is the first time that a rapid radio storm with radiation other than radio waves has been detected, and it is the first time that the phenomenon has been found in the galaxy. These three observations also confirm for the first time that magnetos are one of the sources of rapid radio storms, and that they are the only celestial body that can produce fast radio storms. It is worth mentioning that one of the papers is from the Chinese research team, the first author is Dr. Lin Lin of Beijing Normal University, and the observation results are from China’s “sky eye” – 500 meter aperture spherical radio telescope (fast).

Original papers: nature 587, 54 – 58 (2020); nature 587, 59 – 62 (2020); nature 587, 63 – 65 (2020).

8。 The cryoelectron microscope achieves atomic resolution

Yip et al. And Nakane et al. Reported the clearest image obtained so far by using single particle freezing electron microscopy (cryo EM), and for the first time determined the location of a single atom in a protein

One of the basic principles of structural biology is that once researchers can directly observe macromolecules with sufficient resolution, it is possible to understand the relationship between their three-dimensional structure and biological function. In two studies published in the same period in nature in October this year, Yip et al. And Nakane et al. Reported the clearest images obtained by single particle cryo electron microscopy (cryo EM), and determined the position of single atom in protein for the first time. The hardware used by the two teams has been improved, breaking through the limitation of resolution of cryo EM imaging in the past. With the development of these technologies, the improvement of cryo EM image signal-to-noise ratio will expand the applicability of cryo EM technology. Perhaps the combination of these technologies will enable cryo em to achieve or even exceed 1 angstrom (0.1 nm) resolution, which was almost impossible in the past.

Original papers: nature 587157 – 161 (2020); nature 587152 – 156 (2020).

9。 Interferon deficiency can lead to severe new crown

In two papers published online in Science in September, Zhang et al. And bastard et al. Elucidated the lack of interferon, especially type I interferon (IFN-I), which is a key factor affecting the development of severe disease after infection with new coronavirus. This deficiency may be caused by a variety of reasons, such as genetic mutations in genes encoding key antiviral signaling molecules, or by antibody binding to type I interferon and neutralizing it. How does type I interferon deficiency lead to severe life-threatening covid-19? The most direct explanation is that this lack leads to uncontrolled replication and spread of the virus. On the other hand, type I interferon deficiency may also have other effects on immune system function. Individuals with mutations in the IFN-I induction pathway will benefit from interferon therapy. In addition, those who have neutralizing antibodies to IFN – α and IFN – ω may also benefit from other types of interferons provided in treatment, such as IFN – β and IFN – λ.

Original papers: Science 370, eabd4570 (2020); science 370, eabd4585 (2020).

10。 Why does stress make hair gray?

This is one of the most visited research reports in the news and views section of Nature magazine in 2020. At present, the relative effect of stress on hair whitening is not fully understood. Hair color is determined by melanocytes, which come from melanin stem cells (mESCs) in the bulge of the hair follicle. The paper, published in January in nature, is the result of a team led by Xu Yajie of Harvard University. The first author is Dr. Zhang Bing. The research report said that in the “fight or escape” reaction caused by pressure, neurons in the sympathetic nervous system will release the neurotransmitter norepinephrine; under extreme stress or high level of norepinephrine exposure, the proliferation and differentiation of melanocytes are significantly increased, leading to a large number of melanocytes migrating away from the hair follicle bulge area, but there is no substitute stem cell This causes the hair to turn white. This study will help to understand how stress affects other stem cells and provide clues for finding ways to prevent and reverse stress.

Original paper: nature 577676-681 (2020).

More reading: Nature: China’s top science star in 2016 Nature: research shows that young researchers have poor mental health. Nature: five key words in the world in the first decade of the 21st century. Nature: research found that excessive drinking is more likely to lead to cancer. Nature: the study said that the sixth global extinction may come. Nature: the survey showed that 36% of the respondents had anxiety and depression due to their doctoral degree 》China’s Mars exploration has attracted much attention in 2020. Nature: Top 10 biomedical papers in 2019. Nature: the lowest risk of death from infection in children aged 5-9 years old. Nature: global mortality rate of new crown is declining Why? Nature: global outlook for science and technology in 2017 nature: papers published by female scientists are less cited and less natural: top 200 universities in mainland China in 2018 nature: Top 10 Chinese scientists in 2016

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