Scientists had plenty of reasons to celebrate in 2008.
The Large Hadron Collider fired up for the first time, a temple of science opened its doors, several companies promised cheap genome sequencing and President-elect Obama hired a fantastic team of science advisers.
After decades of work, researchers made rat stem cells, built the first memristor and watched a language evolve like an organism. But none of those accomplishments impressed us as much as the breakthroughs on this list.
10. Troubleshooting stem cell therapy
9. Turning water into fuel
8. Marking greenhouse gas levels — 800,000-year high
7. Building loudspeakers from carbon nanotubes
6. Sequencing entire genome of a cancer patient, including tumor
5. Breaking the petaflop barrier
4. Curing HIV in Germany
3. Finding another building block of life in our galaxy
2. Growing a new organ from a patient’s own stem cells
1. Finding ice on Mars