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Science News

Top 10 science stories of 2016

December 16, 2016

Gravitational waves, Zika, Proxima b and more — what do these have in common? They're included in Science News' list of the top 10 science stories of 2016.

The top science stories include:

  1. The detection of gravitational waves, which introduced a new era in astronomy. 
  2. The Zika virus, which brought devastation to families in Brazil, where cases of microcephaly surged.
  3. The discovery of Proxima b, a planet around the closest star to the sun.
  4. The three-parent baby boy born this year has DNA from mom and dad, plus donor mitochondria.
  5. Researchers are studying the complex biological consequences of Arctic sea ice loss.
  6. DNA studies put new twists on the timing of ancient human migrations out of Africa – but genetics alone are not enough to tell the full story.
  7. The minimal genome is a synthetic cell that discards unnecessary genes and embraces human design principles.
  8. In this Alzheimer's treatment, a drug that got rid of amyloid brain plaques in people with the disease will undergo new tests to see if it also improves cognitive performance.
  9. Research this year confirms that the Antarctic ozone hole is healing, attributed to international cooperation and new technologies
  10. AlphaGo’s triumph over its human opponent in the board game Go provides a glimpse into the future of artificial intelligence.

See the full list of this year's top 10 science stories.