NewsBreakthrough of the Year 2016

Breakdowns of the year

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Science  23 Dec 2016:
Vol. 354, Issue 6319, pp. 1525
DOI: 10.1126/science.354.6319.1525

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Scientists caught in political crossfires and the failure of a blood-testing technology to live up to commercial hype achieved the dubious distinction of Science's 2016 breakdowns of the year. In Turkey, a crackdown following a failed coup attempt on 15 July resulted in the arrest or firing of tens of thousands of public employees suspected of supporting the coup—including thousands of higher education faculty and administrators. In the United States, two congressional committees issued subpoenas demanding records—including unpublished data, emails, and bank accounts—from scientists and organizations conducting research involving fetal tissue and climate change. And a U.S. biotech company once valued at $9 billion began to unravel when doubts were raised about its proprietary technology.