The Irish Times gets a kick-start on the end-of-year and end-of-decade list-making. Science editor Dick Ahlstrom complied what he considers the most important discoveries of the "noughties." Among the Large Hadron Collider and water on Mars, Ahlstrom includes the Foxp2 gene, cloning, iPS cells, and micoRNAs. "[MicroRNAs] hey were first discovered in 1993, but weren't named microRNAs until 2001," he writes."They help maintain the fine biochemical balance needed to keep our cells working properly, so when they fail to do their job disease can result. For this reason they represent useful targets for pharmaceuticals to counter disease." Ahlstrom is also enthusiastic about the proposed genome zoo. "A huge international collaboration will deliver the genomes of 10,000 vertebrate species, with a central goal being to develop technology to reduce costs," he adds.
The Best of the Noughties
Dec 04, 2009