EDITORIAL

The Breakthroughs of 2012

Science  21 Dec 2012:
Vol. 338, Issue 6114, pp. 1511
DOI: 10.1126/science.1234108

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Summary

We at Science have once again had the challenge of choosing 10 scientific accomplishments to highlight in this final issue of the year. Our 10 choices reveal that 2012 has been a remarkable one for the physics of particles (the Higgs boson, neutrinos, and Majorana “quasiparticles”), as well as for biological discovery (the production of eggs from stem cells, the derivation of some modern human genes from Denisovan ancestors, and the greatly enhanced cataloging of human genetic regulation). Three technological breakthroughs also appear on our list: functional brain/machine interfaces, TALENS as a tool for genetic engineering, and the x-ray laser determination of a protein structure. And finally, there is one feat of physics and engineering virtuosity: the Curiosity rover's remarkably precise, gentle, “sky crane” landing on Mars.