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