Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Top 10 Science Stories of 2015

By AusSMC

What were the biggest national and international science stories of 2015?

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It has been a big year for science, both at home and abroad. We have seen water on Mars and a heart on Pluto, signed a global climate deal and grappled with new gene editing technologies.

Closer to home, we have seen fruit fly invaders shut down part of Auckland, found something fishy going on with supplements and uncovered evidence of ancient earthquakes under New Zealand.

As 2015 draws to a close, we've picked some of the biggest national and international science stories that made headlines.

TOP TEN NATIONAL SCIENCE STORIES

Genome reveals kiwi’s nightlife
In July German researchers sequenced the genome - the entire DNA blueprint - of the North Island brown kiwi. Not only was the kiwi genome found to be one of the largest bird genomes sequenced to date, but the team also identified evolutionary changes in its DNA that help explain the bird’s unique adaptations to nocturnality, including black and white vision and heightened sense of smell.

New Zealand experts concerned over the lack of Kiwi involvement in the research called for a 100 Taonga genomes project to map the genomes of Aotearoa’s most iconic species.

Environmental report card for NZ
October saw the publication of the country's first ‘State of the Environment’ report since 2007. Environment Aotearoa 2015, jointly released...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.