Science in 2010
2010 was a year for exciting science news—think exoplanets, synthetic-life, arsenic-eating bacteria (or not!), earthquakes, volcanoes and of course, the Gulf oil spill. Many science news sites have their 2010 best lists posted—here are some of the highlights…
The Gulf oil spill—the number of gallons spilled and the controversy surrounding the damage seems to top many lists this year. Nature even named Jane Lubchenco, head of NOAA, its newsmaker of the year for how she handled the crisis.
Natural disasters often took the front page in 2010 with the Haitian earthquake and the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull topping many lists. The hard-to-pronounce Icelandic volcano also made many of the best science images of the year lists.
DiscoveryNews ends the year on a positive note with “How Humans Helped the Earth in 2010,” a slide show with text concerning recent strides in alternative energy, species and habitat conservation efforts and individual efforts to go green (electric cars, white roofs and saving energy).
Teeny, modified life stole the spotlight this year—the J. Craig Venter Institute’s so-called “synthetic cell” and GFAJ-1—the bacteria that incorporates arsenic into its DNA—or so NASA scientists claimed. Science writer Carl Zimmer discredited the arsenic bacteria paper on Slate; NASA author Felisa Wolfe-Simon defended herself in Science. Fun stuff!
Looking for something a little bigger and less controversial? New Scientist has “The coolest animals of 2010,” which includes a scorpion-eating bat and a fly thought to be extinct for over 160 years!
…over 500 research expeditions covering every ocean, over 2,500 scientists and the discovery of over 6,000 species new to science and published in over 2600 peer-reviewed papers.
Exoplanets, in part thanks to the Kepler mission, were all over the news this year—whether it had to do with size, atmosphere or number within a star system. Discover’s interview with local exoplanet hunter (and California Academy of Sciences Fellow) Geoff Marcy made number 11(!) on their 100 top stories list.
Universe Today also included SDO’s new views of the sun in their top stories list. Stunning!
The Large Hadron Collider was very busy this year, and topped many lists. Another machine at CERN made news (and also topped Nature’s readers’ choice list) when it was able to capture antimatter for a sixth of a second!
What was your favorite science story of the year? Share with us by adding it to the comment section below!
Image by Les Stone, International Bird Rescue Research Center/Wikipedia