Special Online Collection: Breakthrough of the Year 2008

Breakthrough of the Year 2008

In the 19 December 2008 issue, the editors and news staff of Science once again look back at the big science stories of the past 12 months and dub one of them the Breakthrough of the Year. A special section showcases the top breakthrough and nine runners-up, laments the year's biggest breakdown, reviews last year's predictions, and forecasts areas to watch in 2009. Online extras include an online video presentation and a special Breakthrough edition of the Science Podcast.

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In Science

Video Presentation

Watch a video presentation on this year's discoveries in cell reprogramming, featuring Shinya Yamanaka, George Daley, and Science contributing correspondent Gretchen Vogel.

Special "Breakthrough" Podcast

In a special edition of the Science Podcast, the journal's news staff reviews some of the biggest and most discussed scientific stories of 2008. [More podcasts]

Plus: On Science Careers . . .

A Young Scientist at the Forefront of Cell Reprogramming
Curiosity, boldness, and single-mindedness won Austrian scientist Konrad Hochedlinger a place in cell reprogramming, Science's breakthrough of the year for 2008.

Editorial: Celebrating a Year of Science>
Science Editor-in-Chief Bruce Alberts overviews the big stories from 2008 covered in this year's Breakthrough issue.
Breakthrough of the Year: Reprogramming Cells >
By inserting genes that turn back a cell's developmental clock, researchers are gaining insights into disease and the biology of how a cell decides its fate.
Online ExtraVideo: Reprogramming Cells >
A video introduction to the year's top science story, featuring scientists Shinya Yamanaka and George Daley, and Science contributing correspondent Gretchen Vogel.
The Runners-Up >
The first direct detections of exoplanets topped the list of this year's runners-up for Breakthrough of the Year. Other notable discoveries included cancer genes, new high-temperature superconductors, and a new water-splitting catalyst.
Phenomenon of the Year: European Big Science >
By most objective measures, U.S. research still leads the world, but in their ability to pool resources in the pursuit of "big science," European nations are showing increasing ambition and success.
Scorecard >
The Large Hadron Collider came on smoothly in just a few hours, in keeping with last year's prediction; unfortunately, our warning that a mishap would take it out of action for months also came true. Last year's other predictions were a mixed bag.
Breakdown of the Year: Financial Meltdown >
Luckily, scientific research did not take a direct hit from this fall's global economic crisis, but scientists are feeling the consequences like everyone else, and research budgets could get caught in the fallout next year.
Areas to Watch >
In 2009, Science's editors will be watching plant genomics, ocean acidification, neuroscience in court, the next international climate summit, dark-matter annihilations, "speciation genes," and the Tevatron.