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'Top 10'

It's hard to say which science and technology stories of 2011 were the most important or interesting, but Scientific American has taken a crack at identifying which stories made the biggest splash. "Some of our top choices could very well have an immediate effect on our lives. The impact of others may not be felt for years. Some discoveries may vanish altogether," Scientific American says. "We'll just have to see how things turn out in the years ahead. But no matter what, 2011 held big surprises in science and technology."

Among the stories the magazine's editors include are the victory of IBM's Watson on Jeopardy!, the resurgence of gene therapy in the treatment of several diseases, and the death of Steve Jobs. The entire list is here.

The Scan

Genome Sequences Reveal Range Mutations in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Researchers in Nature Genetics detect somatic mutation variation across iPSCs generated from blood or skin fibroblast cell sources, along with selection for BCOR gene mutations.

Researchers Reprogram Plant Roots With Synthetic Genetic Circuit Strategy

Root gene expression was altered with the help of genetic circuits built around a series of synthetic transcriptional regulators in the Nicotiana benthamiana plant in a Science paper.

Infectious Disease Tracking Study Compares Genome Sequencing Approaches

Researchers in BMC Genomics see advantages for capture-based Illumina sequencing and amplicon-based sequencing on the Nanopore instrument, depending on the situation or samples available.

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.