10 times science made a sucky year suck less

With a novel coronavirus devastating the world since the spring, the year 2020 has been difficult. Still, even in these hard times, some moments of joy crept through  — and some of them were sparked by awe-inspiring scientific discoveries and phenomena. From the incredible efforts of scientists to develop a COVID-19 vaccine in record time to clapping seals and swimming dinosaurs, here are 10 ways that science made a sucky year suck less. 

COVID-19 vaccines

(Image credit: Photo By BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

This year, scientists across the globe undertook a massive and unprecedented effort to develop vaccines to fight the novel coronavirus; and they did so on unprecedented timescales. Less than a year after the mysterious cluster of pneumonia-like illnesses in Wuhan, China were identified, scientists have developed 223 candidate coronavirus vaccines to fight the virus that caused it; 57 of these vaccines are already being tested on humans, according to the WHO. Two of the  vaccines are already being deployed in the U.S.; those harness a relatively new technology based on a synthetic strand of genetic code called messenger RNA that primes the immune system to fight the novel coronavirus. The COVID-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna, are 95% and 94.1% effective, respectively. What’s more, experts say this technology could be a game changer for vaccine development in the future. 

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