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Top Science Stories of 2005

top science stories


2005 has been a year of tempests both literal and figurative. Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma led a record pack of devastating storms; the issue of whether to teach intelligent design in the classroom went to trial; the decision about whether to make "Plan B" emergency contraception available over the counter was postponed; a celebrated stem cell researcher was revealed as a fraud; and the threat of avian flu loomed large.

But there were exhilarating developments as well. Long believed extinct, the ivory-billed woodpecker was detected in the Big Woods of Arkansas; astronomers discovered a tenth planet in our solar system--complete with its own moon; physicists created a new state of matter using quarks and gluons; and the genome of our closest living relative, the chimpanzee, was sequenced.

These are just some of the biggest science stories of 2005. We've listed our top 25 picks below, in no particular order. But there were, of course, many more findings of note. So consider this list a jumping off point for a fuller exploration of our site as you look back at the year in science. --The Editors


Dover Intelligent Design Trial

Preparing for a Pandemic

Plan B Blocked

Reading the Oxyrhynchus Papyri

Chimp Genome--and First Fossils--Unveiled

Ice Core Extends Climate Record Back 650,000 Years

Brain Scans Helps Scientists "Read" Minds

Tenth Planet Discovered

Stem Cell Meltdown

Hurricane Katrina

Scientists Find Soft Tissue in T. rex Fossil

Gamma-Ray Mystery Solved

Live Giant Squid Photographed for First Time

Chunk of Universe's Missing Matter Found

Genetic Analysis Suggests Human Brain Is a Work-in-Progress

Conservationist Plan Would Give Lions, Elephants a Home on the Range

Flexible 'E-skin' Could Endow Robots with Humanlike Sense of Touch

Cave Bear DNA Sequencing Could Be Boon for Human Evolution Studies

New State of Matter Is 'Nearly Perfect' Liquid

Hormone Spray Elicits Trust in Humans

"Extinct" Woodpecker Flies Back from the Beyond

Starless Galaxy Said Found

Early Mammal Dined on Dinosaurs

Piercing the haze, Huygens gets a view of Titan's surface

Making Light of Silicon

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