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30.12.2005


NewScientist.com's top 10 news stories of 2005



  • 10:00 30 December 2005
  • NewScientist.com news service
  • Sean O'Neill



These stories were the ones you clicked on the most – a stimulating mix of mystery, brain work, climate change, weaponry and sex.


1. 13 things that do not make sense


Our most clicked story of 2005. The placebo effect, cold fusion, dark energy, the “wow” signal and bizarre homeopathy results – these were just a few of the mysteries that fascinated you.


2. Pentagon reveals rejected chemical weapons


The chemical “sex-bomb” designed to make enemy soldiers sexually irresistible to each other, thus destroying an enemy’s morale.


3. 11 steps to a better brain


Like a personal trainer for the brain, without the strain. We expect the IQ of our readers to be much greater now than at the start of 2005.


4. US military sets laser PHASRs to stun


The PHASR is an impressive looking beast, larger than Captain Kirk’s trusted phaser, but the risk of blinding innocent bystanders shrouded this prototype weapon in controversy.


5. Details of US microwave-weapon tests revealed


The US military raised temperatures further in 2005 by trying their new microwave weapons on a test crowd - with mixed results.


6. Failing ocean current raises fears of mini ice age


In a year dominated by climate-change fear and greenhouse gas emissions targets, the news of a 30% reduction in the warm currents that carry water north from the Gulf Stream sounded a loud note of alarm.


7. Antarctic ice sheet is an 'awakened giant’


A slumbering giant, the massive west Antarctic ice sheet, previously assumed to be stable, started to collapse noticeably in 2005, adding extra heat to the climate debate.


8. Bionic suit offers wearers super-strength


Many kids dream of growing into a bionic adult, able to perform superhuman deeds. This dream moved one mechanical step closer to reality this year.


9. Out-of-this-world sex could jeopardise missions


Sex and romantic entanglements among astronauts could derail missions to Mars, said a top-level panel of US researchers. Their recommendation for NASA – more study of the issue.


10. Centrifugal weapon could deliver stealth firepower


Another weapon, this time a gun that spits out ball bearings after spinning them to extreme speeds – and there's a video of the beast in action.


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  • Yakushev Mikhail Vasilii  honorary member of ISSC science council

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