From Seed Magazine:
Cosmology and Particle Physics
On the theoretical side, particle phenomenologists will continue to develop physics beyond the Standard Model; string theorists are connecting more strongly to cosmology and astrophysics; and cosmologists are investigating models of dark matter, dark energy, and modified gravity. On the experimental side, however, the Large Hadron Collider at CERN will turn on! While the machine won’t have enough time to reach any definitive conclusions about new physics in the next year, the LHC will represent a milestone in fundamental physics. We will be pushing the energy frontier into a new regime, past the scale at which electromagnetism and the weak interactions combine into the electroweak force, and possibly into a realm of supersymmetry and extra dimensions. This is a can’t-miss event that will transform how we think about the universe. Other experimental results that could potentially surprise us: we could find gravitational waves, directly detect dark matter, or learn something new about gravity.
—Sean Carroll, Caltech
Human Evolution and Infectious Disease
With the recent advent of whole-genome sequencing and increasingly complete surveys of genetic variation, we are now routinely studying 500 thousand variations (and the number is quickly rising) at a time, enabling complete genome-wide surveys in many human populations and in specific disease populations. Our field is about to be turned on its head—many mysteries of the genome will be uncovered, and some previously held views debunked in the face of this new global perspective. Each day will bring new findings of the genetic variations that underlie macular degeneration, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and a host of other diseases, and of the key changes that shaped our evolution. And in the years ahead, we will work towards integrating this knowledge with the fields of proteomics and chemical biology to better understand underlying biology and develop therapies.
—Pardis Sabeti, MIT