Myth-Busting Two Sci-Fi Discoveries of 2019

Published in Culture, Life & Style on Mar 18, 2019 by Tim Marner™

Myth-busting Two Sci-Fi Discoveries of 2019

Time being turned back and Wooly Mammoths being brought back to life. Sounds like a bad Sci-Fi movie but it’s actually just 2019’s latest scientific discoveries. With all the fake news floating around at the minute we decided to investigate and see if they’re the hype they’re made out to be.

Time Being Turned Back

OK This one was a slight exaggeration. People are wearing vintage again but nobodies turned back time and we haven’t gone back to the 90ties just yet. Although if you walked through the Northern Quarter you’d be forgiven for thinking we have.

Scientists in Moscow though have managed to reverse time on a qubit level though using a quantum computer. The breakthrough study seems to contradict basic laws of physics and could alter our understanding of the processes governing the universe.

In a development that also represents a major advance in our understanding of quantum computers, by using electrons and the strange world of quantum mechanics researchers were able to turn back time in an experiment that can be likened to causing a broken rack of pool balls to go back into place.

Most laws of physics make no distinction between the future and the past. If an equation is used to describe the collision and rebound of two identical billiard balls and a close-up of the event is recorded with a camera and then played in reverse, the event can still be represented by the same equation. It would also be impossible to distinguish between which is the real-life scenario and which is the reverse playback. But, the universe does have one rule that goes only one way, the second law of thermodynamics, which describes the progression of order to disorder. 

So, if a recording is made of a cue ball breaking a pyramid, with billiard balls scattering in all directions, it would be easy to distinguish the real life scenario from the reverse playback. The new experiment is like giving the table a perfectly calculated kick so the balls rolled back into an orderly pyramid. To an outside observer of the experiment, it looks as if time is running backwards. The researchers – from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT) and helped by colleagues in Switzerland and the US – expect the technique to improve, becoming more reliable and precise with time.

Lead researcher Dr Gordey Lesovik, who heads the Laboratory of the Physics of Quantum Information at the MIPT, said: “We have artificially created a state that evolves in a direction opposite to that of the thermodynamic arrow of time.”

Verdict = Impressive but not time travel. MYTH

Wooly Mammoths Being Brought Back To Life

This one sounds slightly more believable than the last myth but also unrealistic. Like the last one our story starts in snowy Russia, Siberia to be more precise. Where a 28,000 year old wooly mammoth was found in Permafrost. For those of us who aren’t up on the scientific lingo permafrost apparently basically mummifies the tissues, which meant this mammoth was in good enough condition for scientists in Japan to extracted tissue samples from the animal’s bone marrow and muscle.

They then began searching for cell nuclei remains. In total, 88 nucleus-like structures were collected from the muscle sample. The structures were then injected into mouse oocytes – a cell in an ovary which can undergo genetic division to form an egg cell. The team said following the procedure a “pronucleus-like structure budded from the injected … mammoth nucleus”. They also found possible signs of repair to damaged mammoth DNA.

“These results indicate that a part of mammoth nuclei possesses the potential for nuclear reconstitution,” the scientists said, in a paper published in the journal. 

Despite the successes, the scientists did not observe the further cell division necessary to create a viable egg, “possibly due to the extensive DNA damage in the transferred nuclei”. This marks a “significant step toward bringing mammoths back from the dead”, researcher Kei Miyamoto, one of the study’s authors told Japan’s Nikkei news outlet.

“We want to move our study forward to the stage of cell division,” he added, but acknowledged “we still have a long way to go”.

Verdict = Brought back cells to life not a Wooly Mammoth. MYTH

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