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Top Ten Scientific Discoveries of 2007

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the flux-capacitor-is-what-makes-time-travel-possible dept.

Science 179

Josh Fink writes "Time Magazine has a piece about the top 10 scientific discoveries of 2007. '#1. Stem Cell Breakthroughs - In November, Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University and molecular biologist James Thomson of the University of Wisconsin reported that they had reprogrammed regular skin cells to behave just like embryonic stem cells. The breakthrough may someday allow scientists to create stem cells without destroying embryos -- sidestepping the sticky ethical issues and opposition from the U.S. government that surround embryonic stem-cell research -- but that day is still a ways off. ' Also included in the top 10 editorial are pieces on the top 10 medical breakthroughs, the top 10 man made disasters and the top 10 green 'ideas'."

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179 comments

And on Slashdot (4, Funny)

Facetious (710885) | more than 6 years ago | (#21659331)

Top 10 most duped articles.

Re:And on Slashdot (4, Funny)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 6 years ago | (#21659477)

Who modded the first post "redundant"?

Re:And on Slashdot (1, Insightful)

Facetious (710885) | more than 6 years ago | (#21659611)

There are some seriously angry people with mod points today. I expect this one will get "-1: Flamebait"

I see how this works (0, Troll)

spun (1352) | more than 6 years ago | (#21660887)

I want a "-1 Troll," you skanky, dog diddling, microencephalic mods. Thanks in advance.

Re:I see how this works (2)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 6 years ago | (#21661967)

Damn that's funny. I haven't laughed so uncontrollably for a long time. And I spewed my drink all over the place, you jerk. Warn me next time.

I'd like a +1 underrated, please.

Re:And on Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21661839)

Self fulfilling prophecy if ever there was one.

Re:And on Slashdot (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 6 years ago | (#21659829)

"Who modded the first post "redundant"?"

Why should posters be exempt from the silliness they accuse Slashdot of?

Re:And on Slashdot (1)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21661167)

I didn't realize the year was over already...

Strange (4, Funny)

JKSN17 (956518) | more than 6 years ago | (#21659337)

Strange...Windows Vista didn't make the list...hmm

Re:Strange (1, Funny)

explosivejared (1186049) | more than 6 years ago | (#21659861)

Even stranger, Ballmer's doctoral thesis on fluid-chair dynamics didn't make it either. I haven't read it, but I hear that his chair throwing machine almost achieves perpetual motion.

Re:Strange (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21660195)

The iPhone and iPod touch should definitely be on the list. I mean Apple basically invented the touch screen, they invented touch screen keyboards and the ability to make phone calls to each other over the GSM spec. Pffft, we should all stop with all this thinking and research and just get an iphone. It's the end-all of breakthroughs. We've...well Apple has discovered all there is to be discovered. Just get an iphone and join the collective. Leave the thinking to the 'pros'.

Re:Strange (1)

rhyder128k (1051042) | more than 6 years ago | (#21661833)

I think that you have, perhaps, understated the importance of those two marvellous inventions.

Re:Strange (1)

sorak (246725) | more than 6 years ago | (#21661411)

Strange...Windows Vista didn't make the list...hmm

No, but it did make the top Ten Man-Made Disast...Oh never mind. Too easy

Re:Strange (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21661941)

Neither did any OS. Stop being a douche bag and write a comment of value.

Correction: (0, Redundant)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 6 years ago | (#21659381)

"opposition from the U.S. government"

Should read

"opposition from the Bush Administration"

Re:Correction: (1)

speculatrix (678524) | more than 6 years ago | (#21659845)

> "opposition from the Bush Administration"
maybe Bush is worried that all the scientific research will discover he's the missing link in the fossil records?

Further correction.... (1)

Rooked_One (591287) | more than 6 years ago | (#21659919)

since the pharmco's are the 3rd most profitable industry to invest in, and i'm sure Mr. Bush has friends in that dept, maybe the whole "ethical" issue is really just wagging the dog?

Re:Further correction.... (2, Insightful)

crymeph0 (682581) | more than 6 years ago | (#21660883)

Huh? If stem cells really have the potential their proselytizers would have us believe, the pharmcos would have their alleged puppet allow them to kill newborns for stem cells, if need be.

Re:Further correction.... (3, Interesting)

Rooked_One (591287) | more than 6 years ago | (#21662019)

not if it is more profitable to treat a disease than it is to cure it.

I am living proof of this as my meds cost around 80k a month.

htmlslideshow (5, Interesting)

Hyram Graff (962405) | more than 6 years ago | (#21659405)

Warning: This article links to four top ten lists that only display one item at a time.

I hope Time gets paid per impression because that's the only way they'll get ad revenue from me. (And viewing all of those forty pages seems like a good way to punish the advertizers who enable articles like these.)

Re:htmlslideshow - 2008? (2, Insightful)

Ashbory (781835) | more than 6 years ago | (#21659909)

Maybe next year they will discover that you can put more than one paragraph on a web page.

Re:htmlslideshow (2, Insightful)

john83 (923470) | more than 6 years ago | (#21661395)

Warning: This article links to four top ten lists that only display one item at a time.

I hope Time gets paid per impression because that's the only way they'll get ad revenue from me. (And viewing all of those forty pages seems like a good way to punish the advertizers who enable articles like these.)
Unless someone else posts these top ten lists, I won't be reading them at all. I refuse to view Time's website at all for exactly this reason.

Dissapointing (5, Interesting)

log1385 (1199377) | more than 6 years ago | (#21659421)

A couple of the "scientific discoveries" weren't really that important to science. Discovering the brightest supernova or the oldest living animal have their merit, but really they're just interesting things that people found. Something like this deserved to be on the list instead: http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2007/01/22/photon-storage.html [www.cbc.ca]

Re:Dissapointing (2, Interesting)

stranger_to_himself (1132241) | more than 6 years ago | (#21659767)

Discovering the brightest supernova or the oldest living animal have their merit, but really they're just interesting things that people found.

The oldest animal is important. There's a huge debate in medicine about whether ageing is a disease process or a biological inevitability for animals. Finding really old animals supports the 'disease' argument, since the evidence is increasing those clams at least don't seem to age.

You could argue that this is a real scientific advance, whereas others like the photon storage you cite are just a technological advances of no real scientific merit.

Re:Dissapointing (2, Informative)

JoeSavage (906113) | more than 6 years ago | (#21661233)

Anyone else find it ironic that they had to frickin' kill the oldest animal in existence just to determine its age?

Re:Dissapointing (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 6 years ago | (#21661665)

I take issue with your point about photon storage. Technological advances over the past 30 years is what has driven other industries. Could we sequence DNA as fast as we do without processing power, storage capacity, and robotics? Could we model drugs in the lab? Could we design aircraft and space vehicles with the certainty provided to us by digital modeling?

Kryptonite (1)

Kelson (129150) | more than 6 years ago | (#21660513)

The most pointless one was "kryptonite." It has no scientific importance, and the rock in question doesn't have any of the properties of kryptonite -- it was just a coincidence in naming.

Someone involved with the movie "Superman Returns" decided to make up a name for a mineral because the plot had Lex Luthor stealing it from a museum. They used a standard mineral naming scheme. Then someone happened to find a mineral that matched the description.

At least the "transparent aluminum" a while back was actually transparent.

It may be worth noting that Superman is a DC Comics character, and DC is owned by Time Warner.

Re:Kryptonite (2, Funny)

zerkon (838861) | more than 6 years ago | (#21661799)

the rock in question doesn't have any of the properties of kryptonite
How do we know it doesn't have any of the properties of kryptonite? Do you have any of the properties of superman so you could test it for us?

Re:Dissapointing (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21661269)

The supernova was quite significant to astrophysics. SN2006gy appears to be a new class of supernova, and thus has changed the way we think of the late evolution of massive starts. I would argue that this was one of the few discoveries that actually deserved to be on the list.

http://mrsquid.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

Re:Dissapointing (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21661307)

Photon storage is lame too unless they put it on the iphone.

Lost in the "oh goody non embrionic stem cells..." (1, Funny)

nweaver (113078) | more than 6 years ago | (#21659427)

Lost in the "Oh goody, non embrionic stem cells" congradulatory bit on the part of the zealots is they forget that this is also "big step towards human cloning".

I want my clone damnit!

Re:Lost in the "oh goody non embrionic stem cells. (1)

God'sDuck (837829) | more than 6 years ago | (#21659821)

I want my clone damnit!
But then, wouldn't you get modded redundant?

Re:Lost in the "oh goody non embrionic stem cells. (1)

jcgf (688310) | more than 6 years ago | (#21660097)

Well, technically the clone should be modded redundant but no one here checks the post times so he probably would be.

Re:Lost in the "oh goody non embrionic stem cells. (1)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 6 years ago | (#21660011)

I can't wait for the day when just using the word "embryonic" will get you called a "zealot"

Re:Lost in the "oh goody non embrionic stem cells. (3, Interesting)

the computer guy nex (916959) | more than 6 years ago | (#21660351)

Calling someone a "zealot" for not wanting to kill babies for research is a bit much. I'm not religious whatsoever, but I'm still morally against it.
This is also not a step towards human cloning. We've had access to stem cells before, and some scientists have been progressing towards this goal for awhile. This will not progress them much.
This is a step towards mass producing these cells for the purpose of cloning individual organs for patients requiring transplants.

Re:Lost in the "oh goody non embrionic stem cells. (2, Informative)

tddoog (900095) | more than 6 years ago | (#21661161)

They are not babies [wikipedia.org] , they are embryos [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Lost in the "oh goody non embrionic stem cells. (3, Insightful)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21661333)

And that tends to change on how you define an embryo. According to some an embryo is a fertilized ovum, according to others it is a partically developed organism that stands a fair chance of being carried to term. The line is blurry and as with all of natures works it defies definition and can not be caught in a simple binary category. It's a continuum, just like 'tall' and 'hot'. Some collections of cells are more of an embryo than others, with a 'peak' of 'embryoness' somewhere in those magical 9 months. A born baby is not an embryo, a fertilized ovum probably also isn't one.

heh, and they missed the most important part (4, Interesting)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 6 years ago | (#21659435)

they had reprogrammed regular skin cells to behave just like embryonic stem cells. The breakthrough may someday allow scientists to create stem cells without destroying embryos -- sidestepping the sticky ethical issues and opposition from the U.S. government that surround embryonic stem-cell research -- but that day is still a ways off.


And more importantly, since these stem cells will have the exact genetic material (slightly shorter telomeres, but theres so much junk at the end it would take a total of about 500 no-telomerase activity years of life before that cause any genetic difference that would impact organsim traits) of an organizm that can be examined and studied, a lot more use experimentation can be performed with them, with a lot less effort.

In other news, top 10 things I've procrastinated. (2, Funny)

Seakip18 (1106315) | more than 6 years ago | (#21659443)

1. Changing to D2
2. Coming up with a good critique of why there isn't really a top "10"
3. extend that with how it belittles the rest of the work that has been done
4. complain about not gettin /. anniversary t-shirt.
5. Change sig
6.

Re:In other news, top 10 things I've procrastinate (1)

tonyreadsnews (1134939) | more than 6 years ago | (#21660373)

6. Finish Top 10 things I've procrastinated list.

Re:In other news, top 10 things I've procrastinate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21661509)

Swooooosh!
I mean, I know I'm not adding anything to the discussion, and that I'm off-topic here, but.. COME ON PEOPLE! I hate it when people _must_ spell out the obvious!
And now for the Flame/Troll part (so I'm certain to me modded down): You must be american. Sorry, I'm in a bad mood.

Interesting combos (3, Funny)

InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) | more than 6 years ago | (#21659459)

Soon to come... the Top Ten Green Ideas Turned Man-Made Disasters, and the Top Ten Man-Made Disasters Turned Medical Breakthroughs.

Re:The full monty is visible (1)

bornwaysouth (1138751) | more than 6 years ago | (#21660751)

That is, the green idea that was a *medical breakthrough* and became a man made disaster.

If you go to the Times top Man-made disaster, you see global warming, and a picture of a shrunken Arctic ice cap. But even cursory examination shows the truth. It is actually South America totally covered in cocaine. SA was subject to a horrendous experiment by the Columbian-CIA industrial complex, which wanted to create cocaine using GM yeast in a vat. (The CIA were out to undermine the Teleban poppy growers.) The vat broke, the yeast blew on the wind, and all of SA became covered in cocaine.

So the Pentagon towed SA up to the Arctic to hide the fiasco until after the Presidential elections. It's the usual story. What people think is SA now is just a polystyrene simulacrum made by Weta workshops during filming of King Kong. It's better than the original, and the polystyrene acts as a carbon sink.

But don't tell anyone, or else Weta will have to give up making films and concentrate on making Atlantis or something similar.

Discovery #0... (4, Funny)

noidentity (188756) | more than 6 years ago | (#21659479)

... 2007 hasn't ended yet!

(I hate these "top X of this year" before the year has even ended, though at least this one is less than a month early)

Re:Discovery #0... (5, Funny)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 6 years ago | (#21659591)

Then let's all make a pact:

"If I make a significant scientific breakthrough, I will postpone its announcement, to the best of my ability, until December 20th of that year, so as to screw over moronic publishers who do 'year-in-review' specials before that year is over."

Re:Discovery #0... (1)

Maint_Pgmr_3 (769003) | more than 6 years ago | (#21660037)

Are you sure this isn't the 2008 top ten, why want for next year, lets have the media tell you now what next year will bring.

For years, that disaster has been unfolding so slowly that it's been invisible.
There is a New York Times article from 1998 that tell me that it wasn't "invisible", oh, wait, the Clean Air Act of 1970 cleaned up the smog problem by turning it into Global Warming, which was acknowledged in 1998.

Although many regard the Federal Clean Air Act of 1970 (FCAA) as the beginning of air pollution control in the United States, the national quest for clean air began long before.
http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~eesi/scs/SIP.pdf [rice.edu]

Despite the multi-pronged clean-air campaign, there is a long way to go. It will take until 2007 to 2010, on the basis of E.P.A. projections, for Connecticut and the rest of the nation to breathe air that meets Federal ozone standards. And reducing airborne soot will take even longer, until 2015 at the earliest.
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9403E1D91238F932A05756C0A96E958260 [nytimes.com] "Where the Bad Air Comes From" By JAY AXELBANK Published: May 31, 1998

Top 10 Destroyed Discoveries (5, Insightful)

coinreturn (617535) | more than 6 years ago | (#21659499)

In October, researchers from Bangor University in Wales were trawling an ocean shelf off the coast of north Iceland when they stumbled on what is believed to be the world's oldest living animal: a 405 year-old clam. Or it was living, until researchers had to kill it to determine the clam's age by studying rings on its shell.

Aren't we just a great at discovering?

Re:Top 10 Destroyed Discoveries (4, Funny)

aardvarkjoe (156801) | more than 6 years ago | (#21659681)

The real question is -- how did it taste?

Re:Top 10 Destroyed Discoveries (1)

Kabuthunk (972557) | more than 6 years ago | (#21659957)

That's what I was thinking. Like... what was going through their mind?!?

Scientist 1: Look at this... the oldest known living creature on earth.
Scientist 2: Let's kill it.
Scientist 1: Agreed.

I mean seriously... they couldn't wait until it died naturally? Or failing that... with all of the scanning technologies available nowadays, they weren't able to look at it's shell without killing it? Or take a tiny sliver of said shell?

I'm probably just not understanding the methods required to find it's age... but seriously, if I were to find the oldest known living creature in existance, I'd probably create an artificial home identical to where it was and leave it there for however many generations it takes for it to die naturally.

Re:Top 10 Destroyed Discoveries (2, Interesting)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#21660291)

Scientist 1: Look at this... the oldest known living creature on earth.

Scientist 2: Let's kill it.

I don't think that's quite the sequence of events -- the clam didn't come up with an "Oldest Known Living Creature On Earth!" sign on its back! They dredged up some samples, examined them and found this one to be remarkably old.

Re:Top 10 Destroyed Discoveries (1)

Kabuthunk (972557) | more than 6 years ago | (#21660741)

I had thought of that, but only after I had posted. A creature that's living a full 1/3rd of it's lifespan in addition to it's regular lifespan has GOT to be at least a bit visibly different than say... the usual 200-year old type.

I may be mistaken, and it may well be nigh-identical to every other one out there... but if the shell alone can tell you how old it is, surely they must have a 'quick-test' to at least give you a ballpark age that leaves it alive, before you go and smash it with a hammer. It's like seeing a psychotically massive redwood tree. The first thought that would come to MY mind wouldn't be to hack it down to find it's age. Perhaps run a few tests if something looks unusual about it.

Re:Top 10 Destroyed Discoveries (1)

Tarlus (1000874) | more than 6 years ago | (#21661113)

This is way off topic.
But here out of the blue, I come across Kabutroid on Slashdot.
Small world! :)
(-Jesse D)

Re:Top 10 Destroyed Discoveries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21660061)

Citation please :)

Not that I don't believe you.

Re:Top 10 Destroyed Discoveries (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21660223)

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/10/071029-oldest-clam.html [nationalgeographic.com]

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/10/28/nclam128.xml [telegraph.co.uk]

``The "Arctica islandica" was among a haul of 3,000 empty shells and 34 live molluscs taken to the laboratory.''

``Unfortunately, by the time its true age had been established Ming was already dead. But the scientists aged the 3.4in clam from its shell which like trees has a layer or ring of growth for every year that the animal has been alive.''

Re:Top 10 Destroyed Discoveries (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#21660335)

Aren't we just a great at discovering?
You're aware that had any other sea creature discovered the clam, it would have been eaten. That's life.
 

Re:Top 10 Destroyed Discoveries (1)

coinreturn (617535) | more than 6 years ago | (#21660409)

You're aware that had any other sea creature discovered the clam, it would have been eaten. That's life.

Not necessarily. Only humans kill for the hell of it. It had been alive for over 400 fucking years!

Re:Top 10 Destroyed Discoveries (1)

junglee_iitk (651040) | more than 6 years ago | (#21660691)

You're aware that had any other sea creature discovered the clam, it would have been eaten. That's life.
You mean that no other sea creature had discovered the clam in 405 years? Or that it was already dead?

Re:Top 10 Destroyed Discoveries (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 6 years ago | (#21661785)

Or the clam would have eaten it. This thing must have been huge. Seriously, these guys who killed the oldest living creature should have rocks tied around their feet and be dropped off a ship to drown right where this clam used to live.

Re:Top 10 Destroyed Discoveries (1)

Cajun Hell (725246) | more than 6 years ago | (#21661379)

"He who breaks a thing to understand it, has left the path of wisdom."
-- Gandalf the scienti-- no wait, he was a wizard! Aha, now I finally understand the difference between magic and science!

Re:Top 10 Destroyed Discoveries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21661451)

Same way Europeans "discovered" the "New" World...

Sigh. (1)

Funkcikle (630170) | more than 6 years ago | (#21659503)

If only I could go back in time and prevent the discovery of the Top Ten list.

I don't care what you say (3, Funny)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#21659507)

Inventing Toilet paper HAS to be high on the discoveries list... Unless you still get the Sears catalog. I've yet to meet a scientist who hasn't used it.

But, this year? (3, Funny)

Nerdposeur (910128) | more than 6 years ago | (#21659625)

Um... toilet paper wasn't invented this year, buddy. Sorry if you just got the word.

Re:But, this year? (2, Funny)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#21659715)

Um... toilet paper wasn't invented this year, buddy. Sorry if you just got the word.

What? You mean I've been using my hand for nothing?

discovery #9 (2, Informative)

seededfury (699094) | more than 6 years ago | (#21659509)

This has to be the best....
They discover a 405 year-old clam... until researchers had to kill it to determine the clam's age by studying rings on its shell.

Then they killed it.

Re:discovery #9 (1)

Garrick68 (1165999) | more than 6 years ago | (#21660517)

You know, it sounds like a quote from a Douglas Addams book. He had us pegged didn't he?

#11 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21659595)

Your mom.

more curiosities than discoveries (4, Interesting)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 6 years ago | (#21659607)

biggest, oldest, features of people/animals long dead, planets very far away, new species.

All very nice in a "boys book of wonders" way, but very little in the way of actionable information. Maybe that's the way of pure science, but I was rather hoping that at least one of these discoveries would have a material effect on my life. (

(and no, I don't think mapping Craig Venter's gemone counts).

Re:more curiosities than discoveries (1)

foobsr (693224) | more than 6 years ago | (#21661447)

but very little in the way of actionable information

Now what do you expect?

They set up something to get an estimate on expected revenue (hit rate) by topic and choose the most promising outcome.

CC.

missing off the "man made disaters" list (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21659629)


Iraq

Without this press release, I would not... (2, Funny)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 6 years ago | (#21659635)

Without this press release, I would not have realized that Time Magazine was still publishing. Who knew?

iPhone (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21659645)

I can't believe the iPhone was not even mentioned.

'Discoveries' (1)

Drakemaw (797274) | more than 6 years ago | (#21659663)

Discovery #9 was the most interesting in my opinion. It's telling that scientists are willing to kill something for no other reason than to prove that it is, or was, the oldest living animal. Not sure about clams, but I'd much rather be anonymous and alive than famous and dead.

Re:'Discoveries' (3, Informative)

ResidntGeek (772730) | more than 6 years ago | (#21660683)

Well, I'm sure about clams, and I can tell you they have no preference either way.

And they didn't kill it to prove it was the oldest living animal. They brought up a bunch of clams, started measuring ages, and found one of the dead ones had been 405 years old.

Re:'Discoveries' (1)

Click and drag (1016571) | more than 6 years ago | (#21662025)

It should be pointed out that the scientists had no way of even estimating the clam's age before its death, and that they merely masured its age as part of a rutine(sp?) survey of marine life.

Worst Disasters: Wheres the Mud Volcano (4, Informative)

Bazar (778572) | more than 6 years ago | (#21659701)

Going through the list of disasters, I'm left wondering where the Indonesian mud volcano is.

Considering its permanently displaced 11,000 people, over 10KM squared. I'd say thats a far larger disaster then for example, a bridge collapsing in the states, or a plane killing 300.

It's killed 200 people, and was probably caused by the gas drilling company cutting corners on its drilling.

http://environment.newscientist.com/article/dn11025-indonesian-mud-volcano-caused-by-gas-drilling.html [newscientist.com]

I'd personally have that at #1 or #2, i also question having global warming as the #1 man made disaster, since i don't consider it being a disaster yet. The worst that comes to my mind is hurricane Katrina, and even then, there is no decisive link to the two.

Re:Worst Disasters: Wheres the Mud Volcano (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 6 years ago | (#21660657)

i also question having global warming as the #1 man made disaster, since i don't consider it being a disaster yet. The worst that comes to my mind is hurricane Katrina, and even then, there is no decisive link to the two.
I don't link Katrina to global climate change, but it was in part a man made disaster.
Contrary to what Bush will tell you, people had known for years that the levees would fail under a hurricane of that strength. It was only a matter of when one would come along.

Obligatory Global Warming nod (4, Interesting)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 6 years ago | (#21659741)

Nobody doubts anymore that climate change is at least in part man-made.

I love that line. Can be taken as a claim that we cause the majority of it or just .00001% of it.

But it gets better. Basically Global Warming is at fault for all weather bad, specifically all weather events that costs us money. Regardless if the earth was warmer before, regarldess of the fact we don't know out own planet's ideal temperature, regardless of the fact we can't even forcast a year ahead, and finally - regardless of the fact that the people who win from all the Global Warming scare mongering are politicians and big business.

Then we have a plane wreck as #2? Followed by a retinue of things that more accidental than "purposely caused" With mining accidents it amazes me we still ignore the thousands who die in China in these accidents. We lose six or seven in America and it makes the top 10???

IPCC as the #1 green idea? That bunch of bad science and fraud? Using names without permission to bolster their claims and using the power of government to intimidate others? The second entry was not much better. All that GW and the green push accomplish at the government level is to give politicians new ways to spend money, new titles, and even more travel to exotic locations. Carbon Capping? Basically new embedded tax passed onto consumers so big dirty corporations can still pollute. Oh I know there is that part about "refund" to consumers from the government - but we know better don't we. It will come as targetted benefits to buy votes. Most of these green ideas reek of deperateness to find something to make a top ten list. I can think of ten better stories - top ten green developments - like improvements in solar cell manufacturing, CFLs, how many companies recycle their waste for fuel (McDs in England) and such.

Now the medical section was much better. At least here we had some real good entries. The difference here is that this is real science, where the green section isn't science half the time. The diabetes news from last year was great. We are well on our way to getting people off of needles.

Sorry but Time's top ten lists are more politically motivated and to curry favor with certain groups than to provide any real knowledge or laud accomplishmen. Notice how their top ten disasters are not in countries that might react badly towards their reporters in the future? Stick to areas like the medical advances, put in another for technological advances, and ditch the political spin crap ideas and we might have lists worth a damn, lists that tell people what really means something.

Re:Obligatory Global Warming nod (1, Interesting)

coinreturn (617535) | more than 6 years ago | (#21659987)

...regarldess [sic] of the fact we don't know out own planet's ideal temperature...

I can't believe you Global-Warming-Deniers even bother with such an assinine arguement. Unless everybody on the entire planet has infinite mobility, it is quite apparent that ANY deviation from the established norm spells disaster. Populations shift with climate change and have established themselves according to the CURRENT climate. When change comes too abruptly (whether or not toward some idiotic "ideal temperature" idea), there will be floods, droughts, starvation, war, and a lot of death.

Re:Obligatory Global Warming nod (1, Redundant)

Arthur B. (806360) | more than 6 years ago | (#21660435)

*Populations shift with climate change and have established themselves according to the CURRENT climate*

There are two fallacies in your argument.

First, we have established ourselves according to past climate, the climate was not always what it currently is, we inherit evolution and establishment from previous period, so our current climate may not be optimal.

Second, even if we adapt to a specific environment, it does not imply we cannot be more fitted to another environment.

A blind person may adapt his habits to his handicap, if one day he becomes able to see, he can still be better off although he has previously adapted to blindness. (note to morons, this is not a comparison, this is an example illustrating a generic fallacy about adaptation applied by the parent to earth's climate)

Re:Obligatory Global Warming nod (2, Interesting)

coinreturn (617535) | more than 6 years ago | (#21660971)

First, we have established ourselves according to past climate, the climate was not always what it currently is, we inherit evolution and establishment from previous period, so our current climate may not be optimal. Second, even if we adapt to a specific environment, it does not imply we cannot be more fitted to another environment.

Your lack of intelligence is shining very brightly. Yes, of course climate has changed in the past and people have migrated. The problem is not climate change in itself, it is the RATE of change that makes it a problem. This is the first time in the history of the Earth that a species actions affect the climate so markedly. It's an impulse function and we don't know what the system's response will be until it's too late. Second, of course some other environment might be better, but changing it to even an ideal environment too quickly is devastating. The Earth is not your living room, where you can just crank up the furnace when you get cold!

Re:Obligatory Global Warming nod (3, Informative)

ChronoReverse (858838) | more than 6 years ago | (#21661271)

Ever heard of green algae? Those nasty little critters started releasing this toxic waste called Oxygen into the atmosphere poisoning practically the entire biosystem. The effects of their actions persist even to today.

Re:Obligatory Global Warming nod (1)

Arthur B. (806360) | more than 6 years ago | (#21661383)

The parent is making a claim about the climate level, not the climate rate of change. I am pointing out that his argument is fallacious, period.

You're both missing the point here. (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 6 years ago | (#21661751)

The point is that since Global Warming is the #1 man-made disaster of 2007, we won't have to worry about it for much longer. After all, it'll be 2008 in a few short weeks.

Re:Obligatory Global Warming nod (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21660021)

Yeah, they are a bunch of frauds :
1/ they let politicians water down their statements.
2/ they don't account for feedback-mechanisms like the methane-release of the perma-frost. /sarcasm.

Re:Obligatory Global Warming nod (0, Flamebait)

BlueParrot (965239) | more than 6 years ago | (#21660263)

All that GW and the green push accomplish at the government level is to give politicians new ways to spend money ...
Carbon Capping? Basically new embedded tax passed onto consumers so big dirty corporations can still pollute.

Your post is so empty of logic that it is hard to debunk it because your claims are not even self-consistent with one another. Seriously, didn't you just say global warming was a fraud? Yet carbon capping is an excuse for business continuing to pollute? But carbon is not a pollutant? Oh you meant all the OTHER pollution from fossil fuels? Which is why there is no sense in capping their use and it is just a fraud? So restricting fossil fuel use due to carbon emissions is just an excuse to use more fossil fuels, and this is bad because fossil fuels emit pollution? Do you per chance just spew out arbitrary nonsense without thinking about it, thus ending up contradicting yourself? It certainly seems that way.

Re:Obligatory Global Warming nod (1)

polar red (215081) | more than 6 years ago | (#21660679)

So it goes ... some people will never accept their responsibility vis-a-vis future generations.

Re:Obligatory Global Warming nod (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21661993)

Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. It is the natural byproduct of your respiration.

Burning fossil fuels emits pollutants as well as water vapor and carbon dioxide.

The comments make perfect sense unless you are one of those who believe that with every breath you take, you inch the world closer to global catastrophe.

As for the rest of your comment, it is as discombobulated as you imagine the previous post is.

Top 20 (5, Insightful)

tokul (682258) | more than 6 years ago | (#21659783)

Make top20. Then you can have 20 pages full of ads instead of just 10.

Re:Top 20 (1)

aztektum (170569) | more than 6 years ago | (#21661299)

That would require extra research time on the part of the author. I think the best approach (from a revenue perspective) would be to insert 10 pages that are nothing BUT ads.

Global Warming, eh? (1)

reabbotted (871820) | more than 6 years ago | (#21659883)

I realize global warming is popular, but it's a bit early to declare it the #1 man-made disaster. First of all, the jury is still out on whether or not humans contribute in a significant way to global warming. #2 It hasn't caused any disasters yet. 10 more years of research and allowing the political skew to die down will give us a much clearer view of what is really happening.

#9 - World's Oldest Living Animal (2, Informative)

Cleon (471197) | more than 6 years ago | (#21659907)

In October, researchers from Bangor University in Wales were trawling an ocean shelf off the coast of north Iceland when they stumbled on what is believed to be the world's oldest living animal: a 405 year-old clam. Or it was living, until researchers had to kill it to determine the clam's age by studying rings on its shell.

Amazing. Absolutely amazing. :P

Top Ten Scientific Discoveries of 2007 (So Far) (1)

thewils (463314) | more than 6 years ago | (#21660525)

There, fixed it for you.

Why not wait until 2008 starts, then they don't run the risk of "Cancer Cure Found!!!" occurring on the 31st December. I know it's not very likely, since all the scientists will likely not be inventing any more, but getting hammered every day until the holidays are over, but still...

Re: Top Ten Scientific Discoveries of 2007 (So Far (1)

BlueParrot (965239) | more than 6 years ago | (#21661403)

I know it's not very likely, since all the scientists will likely not be inventing any more, but getting hammered every day until the holidays are over
You got it backwards, to come up with a really crazy, and hence genious, idea you NEED to be hammered. I personally think we should be allowed to write it off as a business expense...

From the Top Ten Biggest Blunders... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21660635)

From the Top Ten Biggest Blunders...

#9. Researchers kill world's oldest living animal

In October, researchers stumbled on what is believed to be the world's oldest living animal: a 405 year-old clam.

Or it was living, until researchers had to kill it to determine the clam's age by studying rings on its shell.

D'oh!

What, no Influenza Study? (2, Interesting)

C. Alan (623148) | more than 6 years ago | (#21660815)

IMO, the discover that may end up having the most impact will end up being the guys who discovered what atmospheric conditions are most condusive to the transmission of Influenza. [iht.com]

Don't want to get sick?, crank up the heat, and plug in that humidifier.

Good job too... (1)

jackpot777 (1159971) | more than 6 years ago | (#21660995)

The breakthrough may someday allow scientists to create stem cells without destroying embryos


[Overheard at fertility clinic] - it's a good job these embryos weren't going to be used for medical purposes.

(sound of pedal bin opening)

(sound of petri dishes hitting the inside of the bin)

(sound of lid closing)

I did a quick look on Google: in 2003, there were 400,000 [mindfully.org] frozen embryos in fertility clinics in the US. And that was revealed when the previous estimates ranged from the tens of thousands to 200,000 frozen embryos, with many estimates hovering around 100,000.

Somehow, and call me an old cynic if you like, I don't see 400,000 right-to-life women foregoing their own genetic heritage in order to give these fertilized eggs a home. They're not going to be viable, frozen as they are, indefinitely.

I'm a pragmatist. Recycle what we can re-use if we can. You may disagree with me, you may agree with me, but history shows that science and progress only gets held back for so long in one place before it thrives and benefits another place. And please don't try to appeal to my humane side: just look at the world around you. Look at the news. Life is cheap even if you're bigger than a kidney bean. It's time we started getting Vulcan on these embryos and started considering the needs of the many.

Re:Good job too... (2)

SeekerDarksteel (896422) | more than 6 years ago | (#21661975)

What a lot of people apparently don't realize is that those people opposed to embryonic stem cell research are also opposed to the creation of embryos for fertility purposes. Claiming that they would be discarded anyway and thus should be used for scientific purposes begs the real and insufficiently addressed ethical question of whether or not they should have even been created in the first place.

No iPhone? (1)

ortzinator (1198739) | more than 6 years ago | (#21661049)

I half expected the iPhone to be on that list...

Re:No iPhone? (1)

billy8988 (1049032) | more than 6 years ago | (#21661297)

I half expected someone to say that.

"Discoveries"
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