ResearchRanking the top 3 most significant research discoveries of...

Ranking the top 3 most significant research discoveries of the decade


For the science world, the 2010s decade was a period of excitement and wonder, as acclaimed researchers and scientists around the globe explored new theories and hypotheses. Whether it be in the field of subatomic particles, genetic engineering or medicine, research is essential to the success and development of solutions to real-world issues. Here are the most seminal discoveries of the 2010s.

#1 Higgs boson

Peter Higgs
Peter Higgs

Thanks to the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland, the standard model of particle physics was completed. In the 1960s, Peter Higgs, along with other well-known physicists at the time, predicted the existence of a new particle that would be able to explain mass generation.

However, it wasn’t until 2012 that CERN was able to announce their discovery formally and thereby support Higgs’ thesis from 50 years earlier. Higgs, along with Francois Englert, were both awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics for their efforts.


It wasn’t until the early 2010s that the world saw the full potential of genetic engineering. CRISPR technology can be used to edit genomes, allowing researchers to alter DNA sequences. It’s primarily been used in the agricultural sector to prevent the spread and reproduction of diseases crops; however, the technology generated controversy in 2018 when a Chinese scientist genetically altered two baby girls to be immune to HIV.

#3 Face transplant

In 2010, the first-ever full-face transplant was successfully administered. While partial face transplants had been carried out since around 2005, a group of Spanish doctors conducted a complete face transplant on a man who had injured himself while shooting.

A year later, a team of doctors in Massachusetts operated on Dallas Wiens, who had been injured in a power line accident that left him without lips, eyebrows or nose, and even blind. The surgery saw Wiens recover his sense of smell and speech; however, his sight could not be restored.

Emily Dash
Emily Dash is a columnist for Quilter. She is a seven-time winner of the Loeb Award, business journalism's highest honor. She is a graduate of the University of Sydney.

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