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Portal:Science

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Science portal

Colbert Presenting the Members of the Royal Academy of Sciences to Louis XIV in 1667.PNG

Members of the Academy in 1667 with Louis XIV

Science (from Latin scientia 'knowledge') is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe and the world.

The earliest roots of science can be traced to Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia in around 3000 to 1200 BCE. Their contributions to mathematics, astronomy, and medicine entered and shaped Greek natural philosophy of classical antiquity, whereby formal attempts were made to provide explanations of events in the physical world based on natural causes. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, knowledge of Greek conceptions of the world deteriorated in Western Europe during the early centuries (400 to 1000 CE) of the Middle Ages, but was preserved in the Muslim world during the Islamic Golden Age. The recovery and assimilation of Greek works and Islamic inquiries into Western Europe from the 10th to 13th century revived "natural philosophy", which was later transformed by the Scientific Revolution that began in the 16th century as new ideas and discoveries departed from previous Greek conceptions and traditions. The scientific method soon played a greater role in knowledge creation and it was not until the 19th century that many of the institutional and professional features of science began to take shape; along with the changing of "natural philosophy" to "natural science."

Modern science is typically divided into three major branches that consist of the natural sciences (e.g., biology, chemistry, and physics), which study nature in the broadest sense; the social sciences (e.g., economics, psychology, and sociology), which study individuals and societies; and the formal sciences (e.g., logic, mathematics, and theoretical computer science), which deal with symbols governed by rules. There is disagreement, however, on whether the formal sciences constitute a science as they do not rely on empirical evidence. Disciplines that use existing scientific knowledge for practical purposes, such as engineering and medicine, are described as applied sciences.

New knowledge in science is advanced by research from scientists who are motivated by curiosity about the world and a desire to solve problems. Contemporary scientific research is highly collaborative and is usually done by teams in academic and research institutions, government agencies, and companies. The practical impact of their work has led to the emergence of science policies that seek to influence the scientific enterprise by prioritizing the development of commercial products, armaments, health care, public infrastructure, and environmental protection. (Full article...)

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Gallium melts in your hand.
Credit: Foobar
Gallium (IPA: /ˈgaliəm/) is a chemical element that has the symbol Ga and atomic number 31. A rare, soft silvery metallic poor metal, gallium is a brittle solid at low temperatures but liquefies slightly above room temperature and will melt in the hand. It occurs in trace amounts in bauxite and zinc ores. An important application is in the compound gallium arsenide, used as a semiconductor, most notably in light-emitting diodes (LEDs).

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Barbara McClintock (June 16, 1902 – September 2, 1992) was a pioneering American scientist and one of the world's most distinguished cytogeneticists. McClintock received her PhD in botany from Cornell University in 1927, where she was a leader in the development of maize cytogenetics. The field remained the focus of her research for the rest of her career. From the late 1920s, McClintock studied chromosomes and how they change during reproduction in maize. She developed the technique to visualize maize chromosomes and demonstrate genetic recombination by crossing-over during meiosis—a mechanism by which chromosomes exchange information. She produced the first genetic map for maize, and she demonstrated the role of the telomere and centromere. She was awarded prestigious fellowships and elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 1944.

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Science News

12 May 2022 –
A team of scientists at the Event Horizon Telescope release the first ever image of [[Sagittarius A;12 May 2022 –
]], the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy. (BBC News)
Researchers from the University of Florida announce that plants have been grown on lunar soil, collected by Apollo missions, for the first time ever. (AP)
16 April 2022 – Chinese space program
Chinese astronauts Ye Guangfu, Wang Yaping and Zhai Zhigang of the Shenzhou 13 spacecraft land successfully in Inner Mongolia after spending 183 days in space. During the spaceflight, Wang Yaping became the first Chinese woman to perform a spacewalk. (Al Jazeera)
7 April 2022 –
It is announced that over 5,000 new species of previously undiscovered RNA viruses were found in ocean-living organisms and proposed to group them into five new phyla, according to a paper published in Science. (The Independent)
4 April 2022 – Discoveries of exoplanets
Astronomers announce the discovery of K2-2016-BLG-0005Lb, an exoplanet that is said to resemble Jupiter. The discovery was made using the now-retired Kepler space telescope. (ScienceAlert)
31 March 2022 –
Scientists sequence the complete human genome for the first time, more than three decades after the Human Genome Project was first commenced. (CNN)

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