Table of Contents January/February 2014


Discover's top 100 double issue is jam-packed with the best in science from the past year.

From space exploration to medicine, technology, paleontology and the environment, we've got every field covered, and our countdown puts these discoveries in context so you can understand the bigger picture.

Read about the latest in quantum computing, advancements in growing organs from stem cells, the discovery of Earth's biggest volcano and signs of life on Mars — just a few of the top science stories of 2013.

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Though it fell short as a visual spectacle, Comet ISON lived up to its billing as a scientific sensation.


The mechanism behind some people's allergic reaction to cat dander has finally been figured out.


A new analysis reveals autism's genetic underpinnings in unprecedented detail. 


It appears that Neanderthals created specialized tools before they met Homo sapiens.


Rates of the cancer-causing virus have been reduced by half thanks to a vigorous vaccination campaign.


Scientists direct mouse behavior with optogenetics instead of heavy equipment and wires.


Computer simulations provide a wealth of new solutions to the fiendishly difficult three-body problem.


The cloud of gas and dust venturing toward the center of our galaxy will be stretched and shredded by our local black hole.


A child's innate number sense has implications for her later math skills — and it can be bolstered with tutoring.


A centuries-old technique allowed engineers to right the wrecked luxury liner.


These critters have now been added to the 1.2 million species known to science.


A new antiviral could tackle two of the world's most feared viral villains.


The CDC now estimates that 300,000 Americans are infected with Lyme — and other tick-borne illnesses are a growing threat as well.


Supernovae are confirmed as the source of high-energy cosmic rays.


Our most recent common ancestor is 150,000 years old.


More replication of published studies is needed if science is to remain dependable and self-correcting, says psychologist Brian Nosek.


Our moon's stores of water share the same source as Earth's own.


This 55-million-year-old pint-sized primate was a leaper and creeper. 


A solar-powered plane flies across the country to fire people up about renewable energy.


Virus detectives zero in on the source of coronavirus MERS-CoV with unprecedented speed.


A high-tech investigation confirmed the use of neurotoxins in the Syrian chemical attacks.


Scientists mimicked the conditions inside our planet and found it to be much hotter than expected.


A new imaging technique may help doctors find the source of a heart attack before it happens.


The highly detailed new atlas is like Google Earth for the human brain. 


Henrietta Lacks' descendants will now play a role in reviewing research on the HeLa genome.


Jupiter's frigid moon could be one of the best bets for extraterrestrial life in our solar system.


Brain activity patterns allow scientists to identify specific emotions. 


The first lab-grown beef burger—which cost $330,000—could redefine meat as we know it. 


After 33 years, the Sikorsky prize for a human-powered helicopter is finally claimed.


Floods reached "biblical" proportions after a year's worth of rain fell during a single week in September.


Physicists are finally able to pull objects with light, Star Wars-style. 


Navigational neurons called grid cells help us find our way in the world.


These proteins, once thought to be universally toxic, may actually have a therapeutic benefit.


DNA sequencing confirms the skeleton unearthed in a parking lot to be that of Shakespeare's infamous villain: Richard III. 


Federal funding shortfalls and a partial government shutdown in 2013 imperiled a variety of scientific research.


An accelerator experiment confirms that neutrinos can mysteriously morph from one type to another.

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