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Synopsis

It's hard to believe 2012 is coming to a close. Lucky for us, this year has seen some amazing science, and in this eBook, we've compiled Scientific American's best stories of 2012 with an eye on content, authorship and news value. Section One kicks off with the award-winners. This year, Scientific American editors received awards from the National Association of Science Writers, the American Society of Anesthesiologists, the L'Oreal Fellowships for Women in Science Program and the International Fund for Animal Welfare on stories that ranged from the role of propofol in Michael Jackson's death to advocating support to ban research testing on chimpanzees. Subsequent sections focus on those stories that made headlines and captured our imagination – scientists found a Higgs-like particle after decades of research, NASA landed the Curiosity Rover safely on Mars and the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act. Fracking was also in the media forefront this year, and the bird flu stirred up trouble when scientists created a mutated version that was contagious between ferrets, a potential precursor to human-to-human transmission. The final section is devoted to technology, sports and health – especially relevant as the world watched Oscar "Blade Runner" Pistorius become the first double-leg amputee to participate in the Olympic Games this July. While it's impossible to include everything, we hope you find these stories as fascinating as we do.

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