Evolution takes science honours

December 25, 2005 | Source: BBC News

Research into how evolution works has been named by Science Magazine as top science achievement of 2005, a year that also saw fierce debate erupt over “intelligent design.”

Science magazine’s breakthroughs of 2005:

Winner: Evolution in action. Genome sequencing and painstaking field observations shed light on the intricacies of how evolution works.

Runner up: Planetary blitz. Europe’s Huygens probe touched down on Saturn’s moon Titan in January. It was joined by a fleet of other explorers, including Nasa’s Deep Impact, which smashed a hole in a comet.

In bloom. Molecular biologists pinned down several of the molecular cues responsible for spring’s vibrant burst of colour.

Neutron stars. Satellites and ground telescopes shed light on the violent behaviour of neutron stars; city-sized corpses of stars that pack matter into an extreme state.

Miswiring the brain. Researchers gained clues about the mechanisms of disorders such as schizophrenia, dyslexia and Tourrete’s syndrome.

Complicated Earth. Comparisons of rocks from Earth and outer space forced scientists to scrap long-held views of how our planet formed.
Protein portrait. Scientists got their best look yet at the molecular structure of a voltage-gated potassium channel.

Change of climate. More evidence implicating human activities in global warming was presented, the magazine said.

Systems biology. Molecular biologists are looking to engineering in order to understand the behaviour of complex systems.

Bienvenue Iter. After 18 months of wrangling, the $12bn International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (Iter) got a home: Cadarache in France.