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Top Scans of 2013

The Daily Scan covered the biology field from around every conceivable aspect over the past year, including how government funding cuts and shutdowns hit research programs, global R&D trends, cutting-edge new technologies, and the bioethical quandaries raised by them, consumer genomics regulations, new genomes, new hominids and hominid sex, among many others.

But some stories piqued readers' interests more than others, and as an homage to the exciting year that was 2013, Daily Scan has assembled its most-read stories of the year.

The most-read story of the year was an example of genomics edging its way into mainstream culture, as the television show Katie hosted Eric Schadt of the Icahn Institute for Genomics to discuss the unusual case of Brooke Greenberg, a girl who stopped growing and maturing as a young child and now, at age 20, is not much more developed than an infant.

The title of the second most-read post this year, "'Adventurous Female Human' Needed to Give Birth to Neandertal," which included Harvard geneticist loosely opining about the possibility of bringing back Neandertals, lent itself to a lot of traffic. The interview in Der Spiegel from which the comment came may have been mischaracterized as the comments bled out into mainstream media, as he was generally speaking about the possibilities of genomics, and not a research proposal.

It may be hard to recall this far back, but last summer saw the release of genetic proof of the existence of Sasquatch – well, not exactly. The paper detailing the mitochondrial sequencing of Sasquatch samples were published in a journal, De Novo, which did not exist a week before the paper was released, and which was essentially a fake journal created to get the paper out into the world. Oh, and the Sasquatch samples which were sequenced turned out to be opossum and other animals. But perhaps there is a giant opossum out there.

Other posts grabbing readers' attention this year include:

James Watson said something controversial again, specifically that genome sequencing is not going to do much to cure cancer.

The Food and Drug Administration told 23andMe to stop marketing its spit kit and genome service until it provides the agency with more information and evidence about how its test works.

23andMe was subsequently sued for false and misleading advertising.

The research community had a collective laugh generating variations on the five most dangerous words in the English language.

A review of genome-wide association studies in domesticated animals was retracted due to plagiarism.

Nobel laureate and eLife journal editor Randy Schekman said researchers should seek to publish in open-access journals.

And, speaking of Nobels, Francis Crick's family put the Nobel Prize he won in 1962 up for discovering the structure of DNA up for auction.