Year in Review

  1. illustration of neutron star collision

    This year’s neutron star collision unlocks cosmic mysteries

    A rare and long-awaited astronomical event united thousands of astronomers in a frenzy of observations.

  2. single cell embryo

    CRISPR gene editing moved into new territory in 2017

    Scientists edited viable human embryos with CRISPR/Cas9 this year.

  3. Larsen C ice shelf break

    The Larsen C ice shelf break has sparked groundbreaking research

    The hubbub over the iceberg that broke off Larsen C may have died down, but scientists are just getting warmed up to study the aftermath.

  4. CT scans of Homo sapiens fossils

    The story of humans’ origins got a revision in 2017

    Human evolution may have involved the gradual assembly of scattered skeletal traits, fossils of Homo naledi and other species show.

  5. illustration of TRAPPIST-1

    Seven Earth-sized planets entered the spotlight this year

    The discovery of seven Earth-sized planets orbiting a single cool star fuels a debate over what counts as good news in the search for life outside the solar system.

  6. satellite beaming light down to telescope in China
    Quantum Physics

    A quantum communications satellite proved its potential in 2017

    Quantum communication through space is now possible, putting the quantum internet within closer reach.

  7. researchers measuring wheat
    Health & Medicine

    Worries grow that climate change will quietly steal nutrients from major food crops

    Studies show that rice, wheat and other staples could lose proteins and minerals, putting more people at risk of hunger worldwide.

  8. CAR-T cells
    Health & Medicine

    Approval of gene therapies for two blood cancers led to an ‘explosion of interest’ in 2017

    The first gene therapies approved in the United States are treating patients with certain types of leukemia and lymphoma.

  9. football players colliding

    Brains of former football players showed how common traumatic brain injuries might be

    Examinations of NFL players’ postmortem brains turned up chronic traumatic encephalopathy in 99 percent of samples in large dataset.

  10. 1-month-old baby with microcephaly
    Health & Medicine

    Zika cases are down, but researchers prepare for the virus’s return

    The number of Zika cases in the Western Hemisphere have dropped this year, but the need for basic scientific and public health research of the virus remains strong.