2009 in science
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Events, discoveries and inventions
- 1 January – In DNA nanotechnology, Arizona State University researchers Hao Yan and Yan Liu use nanoparticles to make 3D DNA nanotubes.
- 3 January – The Bitcoin cryptocurrency network is created when the developer known as Satoshi Nakamoto mines the genesis block of its blockchain.
- 6 January – NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope discovers 12 new gamma-ray-only pulsars, and has detected gamma-ray pulses from 18 others.
- 26 January – An annular solar eclipse takes place.
- January – The first animal from an extinct species to be recreated by cloning, a Pyrenean Ibex, is born alive, but dies seven minutes later due to physical defects in its lungs.
- 1 February – The Cospas-Sarsat satellite search-and-rescue system stops monitoring for outdated 121.5 MHz and 243 MHz (Class B) distress signals from EPIRBs and other emergency beacons.
- 5 February – 28 individual fossils of the giant prehistoric snake T. cerrejonensis are discovered in the coal mines of Cerrejón, La Guajira, Colombia.
- 10 February – 2009 satellite collision: The first accidental hypervelocity collision between two intact satellites in low Earth orbit takes place when Iridium 33 and Kosmos 2251 collide and destroy each other over Siberia.
- 24 February – Comet Lulin, a non-periodic comet, makes its closest approach to Earth, peaking in brightness between magnitude +4 and magnitude +6.
- Iranian scientists find that the way in which traditional timber-framed constructions are built makes them earthquake-resistant.
- 7 March – The Kepler space observatory is successfully launched, and begins its search for exoplanets.
- 12 March – Dartmouth researchers have found a way to develop more robust “quantum gates,” which are the elementary building blocks of quantum circuits. (Phys.org)
- 27 March – Iranian researches found that drinking hot tea causes oesophageal cancer.
- 3 April – Dr. Yinfa Ma develops a method for pre-cancer screening that uses urine samples for detection. Ma hopes to be able to predict types of cancer as well as severity. (Phys.org)
- 4 April – A new method developed by Cornell biological engineers offers an efficient way to make proteins for use in medicine or industry without the use of live cells. (Phys.org)
- 5 April – Japanese engineers build a childlike robot, the Child-robot with Biomimetic Body, or CB2, and report that it is slowly developing social skills by interacting with humans and watching their facial expressions, mimicking a mother-baby relationship. (Phys.org)
- 11–24 May – STS-125, the last Space Shuttle mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope, takes place.
- 19 May – Paleontologists announce the discovery of Darwinius masillae, an evolutionary "missing link" with features similar to lemurs, monkeys, and humans.
- 22 July – A total solar eclipse – the longest-lasting total eclipse of the 21st century – takes place.
- 23 July – Two teams of Chinese researchers create live mice from induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells.
- 3 September – Saturn's rings cross the plane of the Earth's orbit. This was the first such crossing since May 22, 1995, and another will not occur until March 23, 2025.
- 29 September – NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft makes its final flyby of Mercury, decreasing velocity enough for its orbital capture in 2011.
- 1 October – Paleontologists announce the discovery of an Ardipithecus ramidus fossil skeleton, deeming it the oldest fossil skeleton of a human ancestor yet found.
- 20 October – European astronomers discover 32 new exoplanets.
- 31 December
- A partial lunar eclipse is visible from most of Africa, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
- The SB ("Sleeping Beauty") 100X is announced as the Molecule of the Year 2009 by Isidro A. T. Savillo, President of the International Society for Molecular and Cell Biology and Biotechnology Protocols and Researches (ISMCBBPR). (Scientist Solutions) (MDC Berlin-Buch)
- 2009 Abel Prize: Mikhail Gromov
- 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine: Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Carol W. Greider and Jack W. Szostak
- 2009 Nobel Prize in Physics: Charles K. Kao, Willard Boyle and George E. Smith
- 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry: Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, Thomas A. Steitz and Ada E. Yonath
- 2 January – Olgierd Zienkiewicz, Polish-British civil engineer (b. 1921).
- 11 January – Frederic Richards, American biochemist and biophysicist known for solving the crystal structure of the ribonuclease S enzyme in 1967 and for defining the concept of solvent-accessible surface (b. 1925).
- 14 January – Aron Arthur Moscona, American developmental biologist (b. 1921).
- 26 January – Nina L. Etkin, American anthropologist and biologist (b. 1948).
- 30 January – Rudolf Trümpy, Swiss geologist (b. 1921).
- 11 February – Willem Johan Kolff, American physician, inventor of artificial organs (b. 1911).
- 2 March – Jacob T. Schwartz, American mathematician, and professor of computer science at the New York University Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences (b. 1930).
- 11 March – David Medved, American physicist (b. 1926).
- 22 March – John L. Harper, British biologist, specializing in ecology and plant population biology (b. 1925).
- 9 April – Carl Rettenmeyer, American biologist who specialised in army ants (b. 1931).
- 2 May – Léopold Reichling, Luxembourg biologist and naturalist (b. 1921).
- 19 May – Robert F. Furchgott, American biochemist and Nobel laureate (b. 1916).
- 31 May – Emil L. Smith, American biochemist who studied protein structure and function as well as biochemical evolution (b. 1911).
- 6 June – Jean Dausset, French immunologist and Nobel laureate (b. 1916).
- 8 June – Howard McKern, Australian analytical and organic chemist (b. 1917).
- 10 June – John A. Eddy, American astronomer (b. 1931).
- 20 June – Ralph F. Hirschmann, German American biochemist who led a team that was responsible for the first organic synthesis of an enzyme, a ribonuclease (b. 1922).
- 13 August – Laurel van der Wal, American aeronautical engineer (b. 1924).
- 29 August – Nicole Grasset, Swiss-French medical virologist, microbiologist and epidemiologist (b. 1927).
- 9 September
- 12 September – Norman Borlaug, American agronomist, humanitarian and Nobel laureate (b. 1914).
- 18 September – Mahlon Hoagland, American biochemist who discovered transfer RNA (tRNA) (b. 1921).
- 6 October – Ruth L. Kirschstein, American pathologist and science administrator at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) (b. 1926).
- 14 October – Francis Muguet, French chemist who advocated open access to information (b. 1955).
- 18 October – Ignacio Ponseti, Menorcan-born pediatric orthopedist (b. 1914).
- 27 October – Paul Zamecnik, American scientist who played a central role in the early history of molecular biology (b. 1912).
- 29 October – Bei Shizhang, Chinese biologist and founder of the Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences (b. 1903).
- 8 November – Vitaly Ginzburg, Soviet and Russian theoretical physicist, astrophysicist, Nobel laureate, a member of the Soviet and Russian Academies of Sciences and one of the developers of the Soviet hydrogen bomb.
- 3 November – Warren Lyford DeLano, American bioinformatician and open source advocate (b. 1972).
- 9 November – Don Beaven, New Zealand medical researcher in the area of diabetes treatment and prevention (b. 1924).
- 29 November – Andrew Donald Booth, British physicist and computer scientist (b. 1918).
- 3 December – Brian Harold Mason, New Zealand-born geochemist and mineralogist, pioneer in the study of meteorites (b. 1917).
- 8 December – Remy Chauvin, French biologist and entomologist (b. 1913).
- 17 December – Samuel Victor Perry, English biochemist who was a pioneer in the field of muscle biochemistry (b. 1918).
- 21 December – Edwin G. Krebs, American biochemist and Nobel laureate (b. 1918).
- "2009 to be International Year of Astronomy, UN declares". CBC News. December 21, 2007. Archived from the original on 9 July 2010. Retrieved 9 July 2010.
- Davis, Joshua (2011-10-11). "The Crypto-Currency: Bitcoin and its mysterious inventor". The New Yorker. Archived from the original on 2013-08-23. Retrieved 2019-01-03.
- "Annular Solar Eclipse of 2009 Jan 26" (PDF). NASA. Retrieved 9 July 2010.
- Gray, Richard; Dobson, Roger (January 31, 2009). "Extinct ibex is resurrected by cloning". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2011-11-02.
- "121.5 Phase-Out". COSPAS SARSAT. Archived from the original on 2010-11-21. Retrieved 2010-07-09.
- Kwok, Roberta (2009-02-04). "Scientists find world's biggest snake". Nature. doi:10.1038/news.2009.80. Retrieved 2009-02-04.
- Head, Jason J.; Bloch, Jonathan I.; Hastings, Alexander K.; Bourque, Jason R.; Cadena, Edwin A.; Herrera, Fabiany A.; Polly, P. David; Jaramillo, Carlos A. (2009-02-05). "Giant boid snake from the paleocene neotropics reveals hotter past equatorial temperatures". Nature. 457 (7230): 715–718. Bibcode:2009Natur.457..715H. doi:10.1038/nature07671. PMID 19194448.
- Iannotta, Becky; Malik, Tariq (2009-02-11). "U.S. Satellite Destroyed in Space Collision". Space.com. Archived from the original on 2009-02-13. Retrieved 2016-02-10.
- "JPL Close-Approach Data: C/2007 N3 (Lulin)". 2010-03-11. Retrieved 2010-03-23.
- Earthquake-Resistant Housing for Developing Countries humboldt-foundation.de __ 2/2009
- "KASC News and Schedule". Department of Physics and Astronomy, Aarhus University. Archived from the original on 9 July 2010. Retrieved 9 July 2010.
- "Milky Tea Really *is* a Lifesaver". -. .theothertomelliott.com. 2009-03-27. Retrieved 27 March 2009.
- "Shuttle Atlantis blasts off on last Hubble mission". Guardian. 11 May 2009. Retrieved 9 July 2010.
- Franzen, Jens L.; et al. (2009). Hawks, John (ed.). "Complete Primate Skeleton from the Middle Eocene of Messel in Germany: Morphology and Paleobiology". PLoS ONE. 4 (5): e5723. Bibcode:2009PLoSO...4.5723F. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0005723. PMC 2683573. PMID 19492084.
- "Catalog of Long Total Solar Eclipses: 2001 to 3000". NASA. Retrieved 9 July 2010.
- Cyranoski, David (2009). "Mice made from induced stem cells". Nature. 460 (7255): 560. doi:10.1038/460560a.
- "Frequently Asked Questions About Saturn's Rings". NASA. Retrieved 8 November 2011.
- "MESSENGER Gains Critical Gravity Assist for Mercury Orbital Observations". MESSENGER Mission News. September 30, 2009. Archived from the original on 10 May 2013. Retrieved 9 July 2010.
- Gibbons, Ann (2009). "A New Kind of Ancestor: Ardipithecus Unveiled" (PDF). Science. 326 (5949): 36–40. Bibcode:2009Sci...326...36G. doi:10.1126/science.326_36. PMID 19797636.
- Fox, Maggie; Frank, Jackie (2009-10-19). "European scientists find trawl of 32 new planets". Reuters. Archived from the original on 22 October 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-20.
- Espenak, F. "Partial Lunar Eclipse of 2009 Dec 31" (PDF). NASA. Retrieved 9 July 2010.
- Moore, Carrie A. (2009-02-11). "Kolff, 'father of artificial organs,' dies at 97". Deseret News. Archived from the original on 2009-02-17. Retrieved 2009-02-11.