Tuesday, January 03, 2006

2005: The Year in Science and Technology

I already posted about Science magazine's breakthrough of the year: Evolution in Action. The other science and technology mags have their own end of the year round-ups:

• The first is a story in Science Daily that hangover cures doen't really work. The only glimmer of hope:
Most trials reported no beneficial effects, although encouraging findings existed for borage, a yeast based preparation, and tolfenamic acid.
File that for next New Year's Eve.

New Scientist has a great overview of the top news stories of 2005 in the fields of biology and medicine, the environment (which struck back with a vengance this year), spaceflight and technology. Their list of the overall top 10 news stories included a few I missed the first time around, such as "11 steps to a better brain", a report from NASA that "Out-of-this-world sex could jeopardise missions" and "13 things that do not make sense" (or unanswered questions in science).

Scientific American listed their own top 25 science stories of 2005. The overview isn't as interesting as the one in New Scientist, but the articles cover a few different topics.

Popular Mechanics takes the long-term view, and lists the top 50 inventions of the last 50 years. Some of the items are hard to imagine the world without (microwave ovens, birth control pills, TV remotes, velcro, pCR). Others, I wasn't familiar with (float glass, high yield rice). It's an interesting overview of the last 50 years of technology.

• Lifehacker lists the best computer applications of 2005. Most of them are free and will work on either Windows or Mac based computers. I personally use Firefox, iTunes, Quicksilver and del.icio.us every day. If you aren't familiar with those apps, maybe you should check them out in 2006.

I hope you used your extra leap second to do something fun and have an excellent 2006.

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