Top science stories of 2010 include UCSC research

In Science magazine, the Neanderthal genome was runner-up for "Breakthrough of the Year," while the analysis of ancient DNA was among the "Insights of the Decade."

Magazines of all kinds present round-ups of the year's top stories in their December issues, and science magazines are no exception. This year, two stories involving UCSC turned up on a wide array of lists of the top science stories of 2010.

The use of ancient DNA to determine the Neanderthal genome sequence, in which biomolecular engineer Richard Green played a prominent role, was one of those stories. Another was the discovery of a potentially habitable planet around a star 20 light-years away by astronomer Steven Vogt's team.

The Neanderthal genome earned the following recognition:

  • Science, Insights of the Decade and runner-up for Breakthrough of the Year
  • Scientific American, Top 10 Science Stories of 2010
  • Discover magazine, 100 Top Science Stories of 2010 (#72)

Vogt's discovery made the following lists:

  • Parade magazine, 2010's Most Amazing Discoveries
  • Esquire magazine, The Best of 2010
  • Nature, Quotes of the Year
  • National Geographic News, Best Space Discoveries of 2010
  •, Jargon Watch (for "Zarmina," the unofficial name Vogt gave the planet)
The Discover magazine top 100 list also included two other stories with UCSC connections: environmental studies researcher Winifred Frick was mentioned in an item on the deadly plague devastating bat populations; and the discovery of a superfast shift in Earth's magnetic field was made by two geologists who earned their Ph.D. degrees at UCSC, Scott Bogue and Jonathan Glen.