Year in Review

  1. gif of a swarm of xenobots moving particles around
    Life

    Here are our favorite cool, funny and bizarre science stories of 2021

    These are some of the fun science stories from this year that we couldn’t wait to talk about with friends.

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  2. aerial image of the excavation at Oaklawn cemetery in Tulsa
    Science & Society

    How some of 2021’s major science stories evolved over time

    Tulsa massacre analysis and a genetically modified mosquito release are two important updates to 2021 stories.

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  3. The rover Perseverance sits in the foreground with the red, rocky landscape and red-tinted sky in the background
    Space

    Spacecraft in 2021 set their sights on Mars, asteroids and beyond

    This year, a bevy of new missions got under way on Mars and spacecraft prepared to visit asteroids.

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  4. a photo of workers in an automobile factory working on electric vehicles
    Climate

    How electric vehicles offered hope as climate challenges grew

    Amid daunting climate change challenges, electric vehicles swerved into the spotlight this year.

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  5. a map of the milky way with dots that might indicate anti-matter stars
    Space

    These discoveries from 2021, if true, could shake up science

    Discoveries in 2021, from hidden subatomic particles to the oldest animal fossils, could shake up science. But more evidence is needed to confirm them.

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  6. photo of a sea slug body next to its detached head
    Animals

    Here are 7 incredible things we learned this year that animals can do

    From wielding weapons to walking on the underside of water, these are the creature capabilities that most impressed us in 2021.

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  7. Illustration of a black hole
    Science & Society

    6 surprising records science set in 2021

    Ancient mammoth DNA and a new source of gravitational waves set new records this year.

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  8. an illustration of a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine
    Health & Medicine

    These are the viruses that mRNA vaccines may take on next

    Now that mRNA vaccines have proved effective against the coronavirus, scientists are taking aim at influenza, HIV and other viruses.

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  9. A device captures aerosols from the breath of a COVID patient
    Health & Medicine

    Why it matters that health agencies finally said the coronavirus is airborne

    Recognizing that the coronavirus spreads through the air reinforced the importance of wearing masks and altered public health recommendations.

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  10. illustration of the coronavirus lifecycle
    Health & Medicine

    Why the coronavirus’s delta variant dominated 2021

    Mapping delta’s unique group of mutations and how they enhance the virus’s life cycle show why the variant spread so easily and caused so much havoc.

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  11. illustration of a person climbing a mountain with vaccine syringes as poles
    Health & Medicine

    In 2021, COVID-19 vaccines were put to the test. Here’s what we learned

    Vaccines can’t single-handedly end the pandemic, but they are still essential in the fight against the coronavirus.

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  12. Brood X cicadas on a leaf
    Animals

    Cicada science heats up when Brood X emerges. 2021 was no exception

    Mating mobs of big, hapless, 17-year-old cicadas made for a memorable spring in the Eastern United States

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