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Genetics

  • The Runners-Up

    The Runners-Up

    A remarkable new method to prepare single strands of ancient DNA and view their genomes topped the list of this year's runners-up for Breakthrough of the Year, along with important discoveries into transcription activator–like effector nucleases, neutrino physics, Majorana fermions, the production of eggs cells from stem cells, and brain-machine interfaces. Other notable advances involve the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements, the Mars Curiosity rover, and the use of x-ray lasers to determine protein structure.

  • Areas to Watch

    In 2013, Science's editors will be watching single-cell sequencing, the European Space Agency's Planck satellite, the Human Connectome Project, expeditions to study subglacial Antarctic waters, cancer immunotherapy, and basic plant research.

  • Scorecard: Rating Last Year's Areas to Watch

    The predictions of Science's editors were spot on for this year, involving the long-sought Higgs boson, faster-than-light neutrinos, how metabolism influences the reprogramming of mature cells, whole-genome sequencing, potential targets for reversing cognitive and behavioral symptoms, and the Mars Science Laboratory.

  • Turing Pattern Fingered for Digit Formation

    The suite of genes that governs limb development includes some of the best-studied in the field, but explaining why a hand has five fingers—and why some mutations cause more or fewer to form—has left developmental biologists perplexed. Now, scientists may have an answer from a set of equations noted mathematician Alan Turing developed 60 years ago.

  • Beyond TALENs

    Zinc finger nucleases and TALENS are not the only up-and-coming genome engineering tools. There are meganucleases that are DNA-cutting enzymes encoded by certain mobile elements, nucleases that might do the job solo, and a potential bacterial defense system.

  • Around the World

    In science news around the world this week, the U.S. Supreme Court is pondering if human genes are patentable, Italy scrapped plans for the SuperB accelerator, the U.S. Department of Energy announced a "hub" to focus on batteries and energy storage, and a new chair of the U.S. House of Representatives science committee has been chosen.

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