Areas to watch in 2016

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Science  18 Dec 2015:
Vol. 350, Issue 6267, pp. 1464
DOI: 10.1126/science.350.6267.1464-a

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Every year, the Breakthrough staff scans the horizon for the hottest topics in science likely to make news in coming months. On the watch list for 2016: a physics satellite, dog evolution, and gravitational waves. The satellite, called MicroSCOPE, will test whether gravitational mass really equals inertial mass—a basic identity that lies at the heart of Einstein's relativity. As for dogs, it's clear that they evolved from wolves, but scientists aren't sure exactly where or when it happened. Work on track to be published next year could make things a lot clearer. Finally, big detectors in the U.S. and Europe will be watching for minute ripples in space and time triggered by cosmic cataclysms. Such gravitational waves are almost sure to turn up within a few years and could well make their appearance in 2016.