decade 2019 2020
decade 2019 2020

Most Popular Stories of the Decade, Year-by-Year

The Scientist’s reporters tracked the development of CAR T cell therapies, explored the Neanderthal DNA in our genomes, and dove into a CRISPR controversy.

kerry grens
Kerry Grens

Kerry served as The Scientist’s news director until 2021. Before joining The Scientist in 2013, she was a stringer for Reuters Health, the senior health and science reporter at...

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Distribution of World’s First Malaria Vaccine Begins

The World Health Organization and its partners will test the public health effect of immunization in parts of Malawi, Ghana, and Kenya.

Neanderthal DNA in Modern Human Genomes Is Not Silent

From skin color to immunity, human biology is linked to our archaic ancestry.


Are the Brains of Transgender People Different from Those of Cisgender People?

Research into the biological basis of gender identity is in its infancy, but clues are beginning to emerge.

Pupil Response to an Optical Illusion Tied to Autistic Traits

People whose pupils change more dramatically during a visual perception task tend to score higher on a self-reported scale of autistic traits.


Running on Empty

Regularly taking breaks from eating—for hours or days—can trigger changes both expected, such as in metabolic dynamics and inflammation, and surprising, as in immune system function and cancer progression.

Major German Universities Cancel Elsevier Contracts

These institutions join around 60 others that hope to put increasing pressure on the publishing giant in ongoing negotiations for a new nationwide licensing agreement.


Zika Update

Health officials expect the virus to spread to nearly all countries in the Americas and expand warnings for pregnant women.

“Heroes of CRISPR” Disputed

Critics have harsh words for the Broad Institute’s Eric Lander and Cell over a recent perspective piece describing the history of CRISPR.


Irisin Redeemed

Researchers who first identified irisin quantitate levels of the hormone in human blood and show it is released during exercise.  

The CAR T-Cell Race

Tumor-targeting T-cell therapies are generating remarkable remissions in hard-to-beat cancers—and attracting millions of dollars of investment along the way.


Opinion: Confronting Creationism

Five reasons why scientists should stay out of debates over evolution.

Updated Review: Tamiflu Is a Bust

After finally getting their hands on full clinical study reports, independent reviewers say the antiviral drug is ineffective.


The Cancer-Test Kid

After a family friend died of pancreatic cancer, high school sophomore Jack Andraka invented a diagnostic strip that could detect the disease in its early stages.

Penises: The Bigger the Better?

Female preference may have driven the evolution of human males’ relatively large genitalia.


Glass Shape Speeds Drinking

The shape of the glass holding your favorite brew can affect how quickly you get drunk.

2012’s Noteworthy Species

A roundup of species that made their scientific debut in 2012, and a few that said goodbye as well


The Beginning of the End for Bananas?

Already reeling from a 20-year losing battle with a devastating disease, the banana variety eaten in the United States is now threatened by a new—but old—enemy.

Top Science Scandals of 2011

A list of this year’s most high-profile retractions and controversies in science


Porn: Good for us?

Scientific examination of the subject has found that as the use of porn increases, the rate of sex crimes goes down.

New impact factors yield surprises

Thomson Reuters has released its 2009 Journal Citation Report, cataloging journals’ impact factors, and shuffling in the top few spots have some analysts scratching their heads. 

Kerry Grens is a senior editor and the news director of The Scientist. Email her at