Back in August, when we first began planning this issue’s compilation of the top science stories of 2013 (SN: 12/28/13, p. 18), there was no shoo-in for the No. 1 spot.
One contender was the creation of functional artificial kidneys and livers in the lab, as well as a kind of simple minibrain, all grown from scratch (SN: 12/28/13, p. 20). These were also among the most-read stories for the year on the sciencenews.org website (SN: 12/28/13, p. 38).
Another top candidate was the shuttering of the Planck spacecraft after its successful mission to spy on light that was created just after the Big Bang (Page 21). This ancient radiation, marked by events that took place