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MOST INFLUENTIAL SCIENTISTS OF 2012Best College Reviews is taking a look at some of the most important science of the past year and celebrating those who helped make it happen.
From: San Francisco State University
Hafernik's team of researchers revealed a startling factor in the potentially dangerous disappearance of honey bees worldwide: a parasitic fly that essentially hijacks the bees' minds, leading them to abandon the hive. Bees are responsible for pollenating about a third of the U.S. food supply.
Area: Climate change
From: NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies at Columbia University
Nearly 15 years ago, Rosenzweig and her colleagues at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies explored the effect of a super storm on a major city. Such predictions came to life when Superstorm Sandy struck the East Coast, causing dozens of deaths and widespread damage.
From: The New York Times
Silver's ever-growing resume of stunningly accurate predictions got a bit stouter as he accurately predicted the 2012 election results from all 50 states and Senate races in 31 of 33 U.S. states.
From: Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Steltzner led the team behind the successful landing of NASA's rover Curiosity, which safely touched down on the surface of Mars and quickly began beaming back stunning images of the Red Planet.
Heuer, as the director general of CERN, the host lab of the Large Hadron Collider, urged his colleagues to go public with their discovery of the so-called "God" particle, the Higgs boson, which was one of the most exciting announcements of 2012.
From: Case Western Reserve University
Leading a team at Case Western Reserve University, Landreth and his colleagues discovered that a skin cancer drug when used in mice with Alzheimer's began reversing plaque build-up in the brain almost immediately. Human trials are set to begin soon.
From: Science Exchange
In launching the Reproducibility Initiative, Iorns aims to shake up the scientific community by having third-party researchers attempt to replicate important experiments to ensure consistent results.
Handelsman's study lent credence to the belief that there's a gender bias in science by revealing that research teams offered fictitious female applicants thousands less in salary and rated them less competent than male applicants.
From: National Geographic
The Oscar-winning director of "Titanic" and "Avatar" became the first person to visit the Marianas Trench's Challenger Deep, Earth's deepest area in a solo craft.
From: Erasmus MC
Using a few key genetic tweaks, Fouchier created a highly lethal strain of bird flu that could spread through the air, sparking a controversy over such work. Fouchier maintained that the research is necessary and safe, and he's now begun research on a deadly pneumonia that has emerged from a bat virus in the Middle East.