An article about the top ten discoveries of the decade,listed in Discovery News,puts at No.10 the discovery of Eris in 2005, a minor body thatis 27% bigger than Pluto.
The finding became the trigger that changed the face of our solar system, defining the planets and adding Pluto to a growing family of dwarf planets in 2006.
AdvertisementAt number 9 is the discovery of what appeared to be soft tissues blood vessels, bone matrix and other cells - inside the fossilized femur of a small T. rex in 2005.
Since then, the bones have revealed amino acids that resemble those of modern chickens, firming the link between dinosaurs and birds.
At number 8 is the direct confirmation of the mysterious dark matter in the summer of 2006.
The unprecedented evidence came from the careful weighing of gas and stars flung about in the head-on smash-up between two great clusters of galaxies in the Bullet Cluster.
Until then, the existence of dark matter was inferred by the fact that galaxies have only one-fifth of the visible matter needed to create the gravity that keeps them intact.
So, the rest must be invisible to telescopes: That unseen matter is "dark."
At number 7 is the emergence of new human ancestors, first, in the form of a 6- to 7-million-year-old skull of Sahelanthropus tchadensis - known as Toumai, in northern Chad in 2002.
Then, in 2009, the nearly complete skeleton of "Ardi," in northeastern Ethiopia bumped the famous "Lucy" as the earliest, most complete skeleton of a human ancestor ever found.
At number 6 is astronomers seeing alien planets, or "exoplanets", directly in 2008, using the Hubble Space Telescope and the infrared Keck and Gemini observatories in Hawaii.
At number 5 is the concept of cyborgs, that is, half-machine, half-humans, becoming a reality in the last decade, as much progress has been made with people controlling robotic limbs and computers with their minds.
At number 4 is finding of stem cells in new sources in 2007, when scientists from Kyoto University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, essentially turned back the clock for adult skin cells, allowing these mature cells, which were preprogrammed to become skin, to act like embryonic stem cells.
At number 3 is the discovery of water ice on the surface of Mars in 2008 by NASA's Mars Phoenix lander.
At number 2 is the development of the rough draft of the entire human genome in the year 2000, followed by a completed version in 2003.
At number 1 is the finding that in the past decade, glaciers have been melting much faster than ever expected.
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