The 17 December 2010 issue of Science includes special sections highlighting the Breakthrough of the Year and Insights of the Decade. Access to this content is FREE with a simple registration.

Insights of the Decade
Introduction

Stepping Away From the Trees For a Look at the Forest

Science's news staff takes a break from reporting to review some big ideas of the past 10 years and the technologies that made them possible.
Dark Genome

The Dark Genome

Since the publication of the human genome sequence in 2001, scientists have found that the so-called junk DNA that lies between genes actually carries out many important functions.
Precision Cosmology

Precision Cosmology

In the past decade, cosmologists have deduced a very precise recipe for the content of the universe, as well as instructions for putting it together, transforming cosmology from a largely qualitative endeavor to a precision science with a standard theory.
Ancient DNA

Ancient DNA

Scientists have been giving us new views of the prehistoric world in the past decade that hinge on the realization that "biomolecules" such as ancient DNA and collagen can survive for tens of thousands of years and give important information about long-dead plants, animals, and humans.
Water on Mars

Water on Mars

The past decade's half-dozen martian missions have made it clear that early in Mars history, liquid water on or just inside the planet did indeed persist long enough to alter rock and, possibly, sustain the origin of life.
Reprogramming Cells

Reprogramming Cells

By prompting a cell to overexpress a few genes, researchers have discovered in the past decade how to turn a skin or blood cell into a pluripotent cell: one that has regained the potential to become any number of cells in the body.
microbiome

The Microbiome

This past decade has seen a shift in how we see the microbes and viruses in and on our bodies, most of which are commensal and just call the human body home; collectively, they have come to be called the human microbiome.
Exoplanets

Exoplanets

Data on the 500-and-counting planets discovered outside of our solar system in the past decade are revolutionizing researchers' understanding of how planetary systems form and evolve.
Inflammation

Inflammation

Over the past decade, it has become widely accepted that inflammation is a driving force behind chronic diseases that will kill nearly all of us: cancer, diabetes and obesity, Alzheimer's disease, and atherosclerosis.
Metamaterials

Metamaterials

In the past decade, physicists and engineers pioneered new ways to guide and manipulate light, creating lenses that defy the fundamental limit on the resolution of an ordinary lens and even constructing "cloaks" that make an object invisible-sort of.
Climate Change Research

Climate Change Research

In the past few years, climate scientists finally agreed that the world is indeed warming, humans are behind it, and natural processes are unlikely to rein it in-just as they had suspected.
Science Talk
Science Talk

Readers' Picks: Your Breakthrough Nominations

Highlights from the Science Talk page.
Science Podcast
Science Podcast
The year's top scientific breakthrough and some of the big ideas from the past decade. Listen Now
 
Editorial

Is the Frontier Really Endless?

News Focus

Breakthrough of the Year

The First Quantum Machine

Scientists achieved the simplest quantum states of motion with a tiny vibrating device. Read the Full Article.

The Runners-Up

Nine achievements worthy of commendation.

Areas to Watch

Looking ahead to 2011.

Scorecard

Rating last year's areas to watch.

Diving Into the Oil Spill

How researchers dealt with the leaking well and assessing the extent of the spill.

Whiplash for Stem Cell Researchers

A legal tangle poses another setback for U.S. research on human embryonic stem cells.

The Year in News

2010 was a busy year for science and science policy.

Science Careers

Bridging the Quantum and the Classical Worlds

Ph.D. student Aaron O'Connell was able to induce and measure quantum effects in the motion of a micrometer-sized mechanical oscillator.

Top 10 ScienceNOWs of 2010

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