Year in Review

  1. Jiankui He

    News of the first gene-edited babies ignited a firestorm

    A researcher in China announced he created two babies using CRISPR. Many scientists questioned the study’s ethics and medical necessity.

  2. Sacramento sheriff and Golden State killer

    Crime solvers embraced genetic genealogy

    DNA searches of a public genealogy database are closing cases and opening privacy concerns.

  3. IceCube detector
    Particle Physics

    Neutrino discovery launched a new type of astronomy

    Particles associated with a blazar kick-start the field of neutrino astronomy.

  4. Greenland crater illustration

    Greenland crater renewed the debate over an ancient climate mystery

    Scientists disagree on what a possible crater found under Greenland’s ice means for the Younger Dryas impact hypothesis.

  5. Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes

    Humans wiped out mosquitoes (in one small lab test)

    An early lab test of exterminating a much-hated mosquito raises hopes, but is it really such a great idea?

  6. person covering wine glass
    Health & Medicine

    Drinking studies muddied the waters around the safety of alcohol use

    Studies claiming that alcohol in even small amounts is dangerous weren’t designed to address risks of moderate drinking.

  7. Mars south pole
    Planetary Science

    A buried lake on Mars excited and baffled scientists

    Planetary scientists are still trying to explain how a lake could have formed beneath a kilometer and a half of Martian ice.

  8. Gert-Jan Oskam walking with crutches

    Zapping the spinal cord helped paralyzed people learn to move again

    A handful of people paralyzed from spinal cord injuries have learned to walk again.

  9. painting on cave walls in Spain

    Human smarts got a surprisingly early start

    Human ingenuity began on treks across Asia and in fluctuating African habitats.

  10. frog video screenshot
    Science & Society

    Watch our most-viewed videos of 2017

    Cassini’s demise, cuttlefish and the Curiosity rover topped our list of most popular videos of 2017.

  11. tardigrade

    2017 delivered amazing biology finds from organisms large and small

    From giant African elephants to tiny tardigrades, scientists discovered some surprising biology this year.

  12. Jupiter
    Planetary Science

    Here’s what you might have missed in space this year

    Missions to Jupiter and Saturn made big headlines, and 2017 also saw exciting updates from missions of years past.