2022 SU General Election Full Supplement

Photo by Sylvia Lopez

Best of 2022 science discoveries

By Ramiro Bustamante Torres, January 31 2023

There have been many scientific discoveries and advances in 2022, mainly filled with the JWST and Artemis I from NASA and other space agencies. While there have been major space advancements, there are many other areas in science that may have not gotten the attention they deserved or mostly could have been missed amongst everything. The following is an inexhaustive list of some important advancements and discoveries from 2022. 

Sea Urchin Hat Party

Not quite like the jellyfish party from that Spongebob episode, but during a ridge expedition over the summer from the NOAA, a crowd of sea urchins was found on the sea floor. The sea urchins (C. sigsbei) were in a group of about 35 individuals and appeared to be wearing an equivalent of hats for their mating season. While it would be exciting to say that the hats are part of sea urchin fashion, a paper published in 2013 explains that this is called covering behaviour. Since this type of event is rarely found and documented, the purpose of the debris on the sea urchins is not completely clear but this is a step closer to understanding deep sea creatures. 

Fighting HIV/AIDS

To preface, there is no cure for HIV/AIDS as of now. However, there has been advancement from using mRNA technology to prevention and treatment via broadly neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs). Published at the end of 2022, a paper reported results from phase one trials on the effectiveness of using bnAbs to neutralize most strains of HIV after being administered to patients which offers estimated months of protection. This is a step toward potential immunization which would lead to life-saving results. While the existence of PrEP and PEP for prevention and post-infection treatment is available, efforts are directed toward long-lasting immunization. 

Jaguar’s best friends

Did you ever think the word bromance would be used to refer to jaguars? Not technically the word to use but how about wingman or best friend? A study published in 2022 challenges the view of jaguars being solitary creatures. Unlike a lion’s pride, jaguars tend to keep separate from each other and were previously believed to hunt alone. Male jaguars were the focus of the study to determine the probability of working together and a few jaguars displayed that behaviour. A particular “friendship” of eight years between two male jaguars where they would share prey and rest together. Two male jaguars would also be found together if there were a high concentration of female jaguars in the area to increase their chances of mating, effectively acting as wingmen for each other in a way. While jaguars are more friendly than previously thought, they are still dangerous predators and not your neighbourhood stray cat.

These three discoveries and developments in different areas of science showcase a glimpse of how there are many things occurring in the scientific community. With what is learned there are new questions that are posed and left to explore. There are many more answers that were found in 2022, and this year already, new announcements have been released within the first month of the year. 

Hiring | Staff | Advertising | Contact | PDF version | Archive | Volunteer | SU

The Gauntlet