The year got off to a great start. That didn't happen. The movie Don't Look Up, in which a comet is found to be on a collision course with Earth, was released just before Christmas. The news media was chasing any and every story about asteroids to cheer us up in the dark. The Earth was to be passed by five asteroids in January. No one was predicted to hit the planet in a very short time. The globe is covered in craters from previous impacts, and it is well known that dinosaurs became extinct following the impact of an asteroid about 10 km across. Is it possible to save us from this threat? The risk of an asteroid catching us unawares has been reduced by the international space community. The Double Asteroid Re-Direction Test was an ambitious attempt to alter the trajectory of a small asteroid as it passed by a larger one. In October, we learned that the mission had been even more successful than we had thought, and that we could alter the path of an asteroid if it were to hit Earth.

Our moon has been in the news as a destination for new astronauts. The last time a human walked on the moon was 50 years ago. Artemis, a joint Nasa-Esa programme, has begun its operations to return people to the moon. The capsule returned to Earth last week after being launched in November. There were no astronauts on the first flight around the moon. A crew of astronauts will land on the moon as soon as 25 years from now.

Monica was named Monica.

Monica is a professor at the university.

a man gets his covid booster in nice, october this year

A man gets his Covid booster in Nice, October this year. The coronavirus has spurred huge advances in the fields of vaccine development and administration. Photograph: Syspeo/Sipa/Rex/Shutterstock

Vaccine technology has seen a rapid increase in innovation that could benefit us in a number of ways. The vaccine works by sending a signal to the immune system and waking it up. Our ability to innovate in the vaccines that deliver those signals has increased as our knowledge of immunology has increased. During the Pandemic, the design of a new vaccine took a long time, significant investment and a lot of eager volunteers, all of which resulted in a host of novel developments.

One example is the autumn Covid-19 booster shots, which target the original strain of the Sars-coV-2 virus, which causes Covid-19. Bivalent vaccines have advantages over the original vaccines, as they both top up and broaden our immunity. What if you could expand your immunity to include more than one strain of virus? Multivalent vaccines for Covid-19 and flu are very promising. Sniffable or inhalable vaccines could soon be used. These are already used in China to fight Covid-19. Those of us who are needle-averse are more attracted to them. One day the calls for annual shots could be a thing of the past if the new developments deliver on their promises. Sheena was the one who wrote the book.

At the University of Manchester, she is a professor.

antibiotic susceptibility testing in the lab

Antibiotic susceptibility testing in the lab. This year for the first time, several groups have reported using AI to create novel antibiotic drugs. Photograph: jarun011/Getty/iStockphoto

Artificial intelligence has changed the field of biology. The revolution started with the AlphaFold algorithm, which rapidly predicts the complex three-dimensional structures of proteins. The first successful applications of artificial intelligence to identify novel antibiotics have been reported by several groups.

There is a major threat to the world. According to the global research on antimicrobial resistance report published in the Lancet, 4.95 million deaths were associated with drug-resistantbacteria in 2019.

There is a constant struggle to develop new drugs that can overcome resistance. That is where artificial intelligence is starting to make a difference. Machine-learning techniques originally developed for natural language processing were used to identify antimicrobial peptides in the human gut. There are 2,349 potential antimicrobial peptide sequences. More than 200 of them were synthesised using chemical methods, and many of them had antimicrobial activity. The success rate would not have been possible without the help of artificial intelligence.

Almost half of the peptides discovered were completely new, without obvious sequence similarity to known antimicrobials, which increases the chances of circumventing existing resistance mechanisms. Three of the new peptides were shown to be safe and effective for the treatment of pneumonia in mice. It is good news that studies such as this promise an unprecedented rapid route towards novel treatment options for some of the scariest threats we face. There is a person named Takano.

Takano is a professor at the institute.

displaced people carry belongings along a flooded road in jaffarabad, south-eastern pakistan, in august this year

Displaced people carry belongings along a flooded road in Jaffarabad, south-eastern Pakistan, in August this year. Photograph: Zahid Hussain/AP

Science was able to see a Hurricane hitting the coast of the US before it formed. The river could be seen in Australian homes before the rain fell. Firefighters were put on action stations before the fire started. Technology allows us to see many of the natural hazard days in advance.

There have been many lethal events in this year. In Europe, more than 20,000 people died from heatstroke this summer, hitting more than 40C in England for the first time. A monster monsoon season killed 1,700 people in Pakistan in August. These disasters are getting worse because of global heating.

The UN secretary general's push for equal access to early warnings is the main scientific story from the past year. It's best to alert people to danger so they can act. Skills and systems that were pioneered a long time ago are needed for equal access. The leadership must act on the warnings that occur. There is a person named Hannah Clo.

She is a professor at Reading University.

a scanning electron microscope image of red blood cells affected by sickle cell disease

A scanning electron microscope image of red blood cells affected by sickle cell disease. A new treatment for the condition may soon be available. Photograph: Science History Images/Alamy

There was an important advancement in the treatment of sickle cell disease this year, a group of inherited disorders that cause red blood cells to become sickle shaped and can lead to anaemia. The drug was found to improve anaemia and reduce pain in patients with the disease. The researchers point out that their breakthrough came from looking at the characteristics of people with the disease rather than focusing on their red blood cells. It has been found to benefit people with other conditions and bring hope to millions of people around the world, but mostly in Africa, the Indian subcontinent and South America.

The Artemis mission, which aims to land the first woman and first person of colour on the moon by 2025, put female torsos Helga and Zohar into space to test the effects of radiation. A crash test dummy that is the size of a 12-year-old girl was designed by a Swedish research team in order to represent an average woman.

There is hope of inclusive science where gender, ethnicity and location are not excluded. A woman named Ann Phoenix.

Ann Phoenix is a professor at the University College London.

fields medal winners maryna viazovska and james maynard at the awards ceremony in helsinki

Fields medal winners Maryna Viazovska and James Maynard during the awards ceremony at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Helsinki, Finland, July this year. Photograph: Vesa Moilanen/Lehtikuva/AFP/Getty

Outstanding mathematical achievements are recognised by the Fields medal. The prize is given every four years to people under 40.

Prof James Maynard received a Fields medal this year for his "spectacular contributions" to analytic number theory, which have led to major advances in the understanding of the structure of prime numbers.

There are infinitely many prime numbers whose decimal representation does not correspond to the number 7.

It's a simple statement, but it's hard to prove. Maynard is a mathematician who has won the medal.

Maryna Viazovska is the second woman to win the Fields medal. Many people tried and failed to do things thatViazovska did. Her proof that the E8 lattice is the densest packing of spheres in eight dimensions was cited many times. There is a person named NiraChamberlain.

The Institute of Mathematics and its Applications has a President.

We often think of biological or chemical factors when we think about the development of our bodies. The mechanical environment can be just as important as the physical environment. The ability of cells to sense and respond to their environment has been known for a long time.

Brillouin microscopy is non-damaging, allowing you to ‘see’ the stiffness of cells without touching them 

Changes in cell rigidity are a sign of diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer's. It has been difficult to understand how cells and organs change during development and disease. Applying force to the cell has been used to measure cell mechanical properties. It isn't easy to perform this on living cells or organs in humans.

Two research groups from Germany and the US published separate studies demonstrating improvements in a method to measure cell-stiffness. It's possible to see the rigidity of a material without touching it. The method is now widely used for observing changes in cell mechanical properties in living animals because of the advanced techniques this year.

This method will allow for the early detection of diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer's. It will improve our understanding of the importance of mechanical forces in biology and how scientists can measure and track the mechanical changes of our cells. There is a person namedYanlan Mao.

Professor Mao is at University College London.

john f clauser receives the nobel prize in physics from king carl xvi gustaf of sweden

John F Clauser (above, left) receives the Nobel prize in physics from King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden (right). He was honoured for his work on quantum entanglement, along with fellow pioneers Alain Aspect and Anton Zeilinger. Photograph: Jonas Ekströmer/TT/Rex/Shutterstock

At a distance, it was spooky action. Albert Einstein called it quantumentanglement, which is when two quantum particles have to be considered as a single entity since influencing one of them affects the other.

The three pioneers of quantum information science, John Clauser of JF Clauser & ASSOCIATES, and the University of Vienna, were awarded the prize for their contributions to understanding quantum entanglement.

There are a lot of reasons to like this award. Providing new insights into an exciting area of fundamental phenomena is a beautiful thing. It was necessary to lay the groundwork for quantum computers to carry out complex calculations that would be impossible on a conventional computer. One of the greatest questions of science is how to reconcile quantum mechanics with Einstein's general theory of relativity.

Another example of the importance of curiosity-driven basic science leads to real world applications that could change the way we live and work. It's Saiful Islam.

Islam is a professor at Oxford University.

greenpeace activists hold up banners at cop15, the un biodiversity conference, in montreal, canada, earlier this month

Greenpeace activists hold up banners at Cop15, the UN biodiversity conference, in Montreal, Canada, earlier this month. Photograph: Canadian Press/Rex/Shutterstock

The 15th meeting of the parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Montreal will set a course for nature recovery from now until the year 2050. The UK has an Environment Act. Companies are making bold commitments to become nature positive in order to lead to nature being in a better state.

Recovering nature is dependent on nature- positive commitments. Many products have supply chains that make it difficult for companies to know the impact of their activities on the environment. nickel is used in the production of STAINLESS STEEL, a crucial component of our daily lives How often do we think about where the nickel in our electric car batteries comes from and how it affects the environment?

The clearance of forests is one impact. A growing number of businesses are leaving nature in no worse state as a result of their operations. Measures were put in place to stop clearance of forest by local people for other purposes. The researchers used sophisticated methods to separate out the effects of the mine's activities from other factors that led to forest loss. The study is a good example of how scientists can carry out thorough and independent evaluations of companies' environmental commitments.

This study links the world of high-level policy-making to realities on the ground, in all sectors from mining to food, to transport and infrastructure. We will be able to hold our governments and companies to account and reverse the loss of nature. There are two people, one is a man and the other is a woman.

At Oxford University, there is a professor who is a professor of flora and fauna.

lithium extraction at bristol lake in the mojave desert, california

Lithium extraction at Bristol Lake in the Mojave Desert, California. This year researchers have made progress in building sodium-based batteries, which could reduce the need for destructive mining methods. Photograph: David McNew/Getty

It is one of the most overlooked stories of our time, the rapid improvements in battery technology that will form the foundation of an electric world.

There are questions that need to be answered. How about the costs? Will batteries be able to power a large plane? We don't know where to get all the rare metals.

The October Nature paper by Chao-Yang Wang and co-authors describes a way to charge batteries in a few minutes. The speed at which battery chemists, engineers and technologists are rising to the challenge is highlighted in this picture. If you can charge a car battery in a short period of time, it will allow for smaller batteries that are cheaper and less resource intensive to make.

Huge progress is being made in battery technologies based on cheap, abundantsodium instead of expensive and rarelithium, as well as methods to make it easier to recycle batteries.

The basic principles of a battery have not changed but the newer versions are getting better and better. Helen Czerski is related to the person.

Helen Czerski is a researcher at University College London.