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Breakthrough Prizes return to Silicon Valley

Tech titans, celebrities and some of the world's great scientific minds gathered at NASA Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley on Sunday night for the seventh annual Breakthrough Prize ceremony. The award winners in the fields of life sciences, fundamental physics and mathematics received a total of $22 million in prize money.

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Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan

The Breakthrough Prize is sponsored by some of the most powerful and influential technology leaders, including Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan.

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A trio of powerful sisters

Area natives Anne Wojcicki (left), co-founder and CEO of genetics company 23andME, and sisters Janet (center) -- an anthropologist, epidemiologist and associate professor -- and Susan Wojcicki (right), CEO of YouTube, stroll the red carpet at the Breakthrough Prize event. Anne is a sponsor of the awards. 

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Angelika Amon

A biology professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Angelika Amon determined the process that causes abnormal chromosome numbers resulting in Down Syndrome, miscarriage and cancer.

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23andMe's Anne Wojcicki

Anne Wojcicki is a co-sponsor of the Breakthrough Prize.

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Brian Armstrong

Brian Armstrong, here with a guest, is co-founder and CEO of Coinbase.

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Dan Schulman

Dan Schulman, president and CEO of PayPal, strikes a casual pose. He was No. 8 on Fortune Magazine's Business Person of the Year list in 2017.

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Music producer David Foster

David Foster -- music producer, songwriter and recording artist -- ended his birthday weekend (he turned 69 on Nov. 1) at the Breakthrough Prize ceremony. Actress and girlfriend Katharine McPhee attended in a white, metal-accented form-fitting halter dress, but she didn't stop for photos.

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Physicists Eugene Mele and Charles Kane

Eugene Mele and Charles Kane, physicists at the University of Pennsylvania, will split $3 million for their prediction of a new class of materials that conduct electricity only on their surface.

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G.E.M.

Before her performance at the Breakthrough Prize, Chinese singer, songwriter and actress Gloria Tang Tsz-kei, known by her stage name G.E.M., graced the red carpet.

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Jocelyn Bell Burnell

For her 50 years of work in fundamental physics and her discovery of pulsars — first announced in February 1968 — a Special Breakthrough Prize was awarded to British astrophysicist Jocelyn Bell Burnell. The scientist told CNET she plans to donate her $3 million to fund research grants for women and underrepresented minorities in Britain, including refugees. 

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Joseph Lacob

Love the Golden State Warriors? Then thank Joseph Lacob, a partner at Kleiner Perkins and majority owner of the reigning NBA champions.

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Julia and Yuri Milner

Influential technology venture capitalist Yuri Milner, here with his wife, Julia, is another sponsor of the Breakthrough Prize. Milner was an early investor in Facebook, Twitter, Spotify and Airbnb.

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Julianne Moore

Julianne Moore, winner of a best actress Oscar for Still Alice, has also walked the red carpet in Hollywood. Moore was in Silicon Valley to present an award. 

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Karolina Kurkova

The supermodel Karolina Kurkova works the red carpet.

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Pierce Brosnan and Keely Shaye Smith

Pierce Brosnan, actor and producer, hosted the 7th Breakthrough Prize. He attended with his wife, Keely Shaye Smith. 

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Lana Del Rey

Lana Del Rey sang at Apple's iPad and Mac event in Brooklyn, New York, last week. On Sunday, she was a little bit closer to Cupertino while at the Breakthrough Prize at NASA Ames Research Center. 

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Lucy Hawking

Lucy Hawking, daughter of the late astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, joined actor Eddie Redmayne, who portrayed Hawking in the film The Theory of Everything, on stage to honor her dad with a tribute.

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Lupita Nyong'o

Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o got some time off from her Star Wars: Episode IX shooting schedule to help present at the Breakthrough Prize event.

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Nathan Blecharczyk

Nathan Blecharczyk, co-founder of Airbnb as well as its chief strategy officer, attended the Breakthrough Prize with his wife, Elizabeth Morey Blecharczyk.

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Sergey Brin

A Google co-founder and president of Alphabet, Sergey Brin swings by the Breakthrough Prize with girlfriend Nicole Shanahan, who's expecting the couple's first child. 

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Orlando Bloom

Actor Orlando Bloom was one of the presenters at the Breakthrough Prize.

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Rachel McAdams

Another visitor from Hollywood, Rachel McAdams, also was a presenter.

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Ron Howard

Ron Howard, the Apollo 13 and Beautiful Mind director, recently worked on Solo: A Star Wars Story and the Albert Einstein biopic Genius. 

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Sam Altman

Sam Altman (right) is president of Y Combinator.

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Breakthrough Junior Challenge winner Samay Godika

A winner of the Breakthrough Junior Challenge, Samay Godika, a 16-year-old Boston native now living in Bangalore, India, nabbed $400,000 in educational prizes for himself and his school. He beat out thousands of applicants with his video explaining circadian rhythms.

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Sebastian Thrun

The CEO of Kitty Hawk Corp., Stanford professor Sebastian Thrun stopped by the Breakthrough Prize event. He's also the founder of Udacity and was leader of Google's self-driving car team (now known as Waymo).

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Marissa Mayer

Former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, here with husband Zachary Bogue,  now runs technology incubator Lumi Labs down the street from NASA Ames in Palo Alto. 

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