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Science’s good, bad, ugly year

Ebola, gravitational waves, ancient DNA and more top Science Stories of 2014

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12:30pm, December 17, 2014
BICEP2 telescope

GOOD OR BAD  The BICEP2 telescope (foreground) may or may not have snared signals of gravitational waves, making it one of a handful of stories in the top 25 science stories of 2014 that had some hiccups this year.

In the race for Top Science Story of 2014, some of the contenders stumbled before reaching the finish line.

A South Pole–based experiment called BICEP2 appeared to hit a Nobel-winning home run in March, with researchers proclaiming the detection of gravitational wave imprints in radiation left over from the Big Bang. But upon further review, galactic dust may have been responsible for the signal instead. In November, the Rosetta mission’s robotic comet lander Philae appeared to score a touchdown, but there was a flag on the play. Rather than anchoring itself securely on the comet’s surface, Philae bounced twice, ending up in the shade of a cliff. Without the sunshine needed to recharge its batteries, Philae’s mission was drastically shortened. And a supposed

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