Most Important Science Stories of 2006
Humans controlled computers with the power of thought, built an invisibility cloak, cracked the mystery of a 3,000-year-old computer, discovered a new element, unearthed a missing link and kicked Pluto out of the planet club--and those are just the highlights.
Scientists are perfecting a new method for transmitting electrical energy from a base station using a technique that resembles a wireless Internet
connection. Alas, it's still only theory and has yet to be demonstrated.
Element 118 is an elusive beast; it had to be dropped from the periodic table in 2002 on account of its not existing
, but now it's back, and this time for good. (Also worth checking out: How do scientists detect new elements, such as element-118, if they only last milliseconds before disintegrating?
Someday we'll all be controlling computers with mere thought; until then this nascent technology is the sole domain of people who have lost the use of their limbs.
A vaccine for a disease that strikes more than 10,000 women every year, indiscriminately killing more than a third of them? If only it weren't now mired in a debate about whether or not such a vaccine will encourage promiscuity in the young.
At long last researchers have teleported the information stored in a beam of light into a cloud of atoms, which is about as close to getting beamed up by Scotty as we're likely to come in the foreseeable future.
Unmatched in complexity for 1,000 years, the device counted down the months until eclipses and might once have shown the positions of the planets.
And there probably isn't a difference, nutritionally, between organic and conventional wheat
. Rice got a boost, too--New Gene Allows Rice to Survive Submersion
In a finding sadly neglected by the mainstream press, two researchers at Georgia State University discovered that, just like in mammals, dominance in crayfish can be reinforced through same-sex copulation. As the editors of Science
put it, this is "an intriguing example of the convergent evolution of social behavior."