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Up close with Pluto

Extraterrestrial water

Quantum entanglement loopholes closed

Glowing fingerprints

Animals thrive in Chernobyl

Ultrasound used to noninvasively treat Alzheimers

Paralysed man walks

The search for Nefertiti

New human found in Africa

Robot demonstrates self awareness

Google's Deep Dream

Scientists create lab-grown limb

Giant survey discovers thousands of new ocean microbe species

Hubble turns 25

Mysterious space signals turn out to be microwave noodles

The Great Bacon Cancer Debacle

How the brontosaurus got its genus back

Science unboils an egg

Human minds link to play 20 questions

Critically endangered ferret population increased

After nearly a decade in transit from Earth, Pluto probe New Horizons finally arrived at its destination in July of this year. The sensors on board collected information about the dwarf planet at the solar system's edge in one mission than had been found in all the decades prior.

Caption by / Photo by NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

2015 marked the year scientists confirmed the existence of liquid water outside of Earth. Saturn's moon Enceladus is home to a vast ocean underneath its icy crust, and researchers have found the best evidence yet that salty water still flows on Mars, even if nothing can examine it closely yet.

Caption by / Photo by NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Researchers have been conducting quantum entanglement experiments for 50 years. This year, researchers claim to have conducted these experiments while closing multiple loopholes, proving the phenomenon more conclusively than ever before.

Caption by / Photo by © VOLKER STEGER/Science Photo Library/Corbis

After being robbed, Australian scientist Kang Liant developed a liquid that makes fingerprints glow under blacklight, a forensic technique far more efficient and accurate than dusting.

Caption by / Photo by CSIRO

It's been nearly 30 years since the nuclear power plant disaster in Chernobyl Ukraine. A long-term study has found that animal populations are thriving in the human-free exclusion zone, with numbers increasing consistently since 1987, and animals adapting to radiation exposure.

Caption by / Photo by Tatyana Deryabina

A team of Australian researchers were able to restore memory function in mice by using ultrasound to break down the amyloid plaques responsible for the loss of cognitive function in Alzheimers syndrome. The excited scientists called the achievement a "breakthrough."

Caption by / Photo by Lab mouse image © George Steinmetz/Corbis

Unlike other brain interface mobility solutions, a new one tested by the University of California, Irvine doesn't use an exoskeleton, but instead transmits thoughts using an EEG cap via electrodes on the muscles. Using this system, a paralysed man walked 3.66 metres (12 feet) on his own legs.

Caption by / Photo by UCI Brain Computer Interface Lab

Work commenced on a new radar exploration of the tomb of ancient Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun after evidence pointed to a hidden chamber. Expert Nicholas Reeves believes that the hidden chamber, now all but confirmed, could be the lost resting place of queen Nefertiti, Tutankhamun's mother.

Caption by / Photo by © Jean-Pierre Lescourret/Corbis

The evolution of humanity is not a complete picture. In fact, it has a lot of gaps. The discovery of a new extinct hominid named Homo naledi in Africa appears to be an early member of the Homo genus, filling out the family tree.

Caption by / Photo by National Geographic video screenshot by Eric Mack/CNET

A big milestone for artificial intelligence will be a robot that can recognise itself as an individual, distinct from other units. Roboticists at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute AI and Reasoning Lab in New York were able to demonstrate a robot with self awareness by tasking three robots with a logic puzzle that required recognition of individuality in order to find a solution.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Michelle Starr/CNET

Google's image recognition software uses a form of artificial intelligence to recognise images. It turns out that when you tweak the setting to their most sensitive, the result is a series of really tripped out, surreal images containing lots and lots of dogs.

Caption by / Photo by Google Research

Using the vascular and nervous matrices of a rat, researchers were able to effectively grow an entire new limb. When tested, the cells functioned normally.

Caption by / Photo by Bernhard Jank, MD, Ott Laboratory, Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Regenerative Medicine

Three years of collecting ocean samples and 160 scientists around the globe combined to create the most comprehensive survey of microbial ocean life to date.

Caption by / Photo by J.Bastion/CNRS/Oceanomics/Tara Expéditions

In April of 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope commenced operations in orbit around Earth. This year, we celebrated 25 years of Hubble imagery helping to study space.

Caption by / Photo by NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), A. Nota (ESA/STScI), and the Westerlund 2 Science Team

At the Parkes Radio Telescope in Australia, a team of researchers found the source of a mysterious signal that had been puzzling them for years. As it turned out, it was not extraterrestrial at all, but microwave ovens on the facility being opened before the timer was finished.

Caption by / Photo by Robert Kerton/CSIRO

It's been known for some time that processed meats are on the carcinogenic side, but the western world erupted into a furore when the World Health Organisation weighed in on the debate, officially declaring a causal link between processed food and colorectal cancer.

Caption by / Photo by © Justin Paget/Corbis

Over 110 years ago, in 1903, the brontosaurus was officially cancelled and merged with similar species apatosaurus. This year, a team of researchers had announced, after studying 81 skeletons, that there were enough differences between the two for brontosaurus to stand on its own four legs once again.

Caption by / Photo by Image public domain

Announced in December, and awarded the Ig Nobel Chemistry Prize, was a technique developed in Australia to detangle the proteins of a cooked egg. This sounds silly, but it could provide a way to more cheaply manufacture cancer treatments.

Caption by / Photo by © IMAGEMORE M/Imagemore Co., Ltd./Corbis

The work of University of Washington's Andrea Stocco in noninvasive human brain-to-brain communication over distances has been moving forward in leaps and bounds. This year, participants played a modified game of 20 Questions with 72 percent accuracy, purely by thinking at each other using EEG caps.

Caption by / Photo by University of Washington

The black-footed ferret of North America, officially considered critically endangered, was successfully reproduced using sperm samples frozen over 20 years ago. This was the first time genetic material over 20 years old was successfully used in this way, introducing fresh genetic material into a declining population and providing greater hope for endangered species in the future.

Caption by / Photo by USFWS
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