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2000s.

2000 | Mars view

Analyses of images taken by NASA's Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft suggest that water may have recently gushed up from below the surface (7/1/00, p. 5).

2000 | Tau neutrino

Physicists provide the first direct evidence of the tau neutrino (7/29/00, p. 68).

2001 | Human genome

Two projects report deciphering the genetic blueprints of humans; although scientists had expected to find 100,000 genes, the efforts turn up only about one-third that many (2/17/01, p. 100).

2001 | Photon fixative

Physicists report getting light pulses to stand still, without destroying the photons (1/27/01, p. 52).

2002 | Early ancestor

Anthropologists working in Chad describe a fossil skull more than 6 million years old of Sahelanthropus tchadensis, which maybe the oldest known human ancestral species (7/13/02,p. 19).

2002 | RNA rise

Researchers find increasing numbers of genes that contain instructions to make RNA rather than proteins (1/12/02, p. 24).

2002 | Age of universe

Astronomers put the age range of the universe at between 13 billion and 14 billion years (5/4/02, p. 277).

2003 | SARS fears

A deadly viral pneumonia that emerged in China (left), called SARS for severe acute respiratory syndrome, begins spreading around the globe (3/29/03, p. 198; 4/26/03, p. 262).

2004 | Hobbits

Remains of a small humanlike species that lived as late as 18,000 years ago, nicknamed hobbits, are reported on the Indonesian island of Flores (10/30/04, p. 275).

2005 | Quark-gluon plasma

Physicists create a quark-gluon plasma, the primordial matter of the young universe; surprisingly, it is a liquid, not a gas (4/23/05, p. 259).

2006 | Pluto demoted

After a rancorous debate, astronomers vote to take away Pluto's planetary status (8/19/06, p. 115; 9/2/06, p. 149).

2006 | Dark matter

Researchers report direct detection of dark matter's presence in space (8/26/06, p.131).

2007 | Cell switcheroo

Biologists turn human skin cells into stem cells, without embryos (11/24/07, p. 323).

2008 | Mars water

A Mars lander (tracks below) definitively confirms the presence of water on Mars, after the rover "touched and tasted ice" (8/30/08, p. 11).

2009 | MicroRNAs

A tumor suppressor protein turns out to have a previously unrecognized function: helping to slice stretches of RNA into regulatory molecules called microRNAs (8/15/09, p. 8).

2009 | All about Ardi

A 4.4-million-year-old partial female skeleton found in Africa offers the closest look yet at Ardipitbecus ramidus, right (10/24/09, p. 9).

2010 | BP oil spill

The biggest oil spill in the history of the United States dumps a mixture of crude oil and natural gas into the Gulf of Mexico for five months (7/3/10, p. 5; 9/11/10, p. 5; 10/9/10, p. 10).

2010 | Neandertal liaisons

A project sequencing the Neandertal genetic instruction book turns up evidence of prehistoric interbreeding between that species and humans (6/5/10, p. 5).

2011 | Tohoku-oki quake

A magnitude 9.0 earthquake in Japan and the tsunami it spawned kill more than 15,000 people and trigger the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl (4/9/11, p. 5).

2011 | Sea level rise

North Carolina sediment cores reveal that sea levels began rising precipitously in the late 19th century, a trend attributed to climate change (7/16/11, p. 13).

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Title Annotation:90TH ANNIVERSARY ISSUE: 1996-2011; scientific and technological breakthroughs
Publication:Science News
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 24, 2012
Words:574
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