By Robert Booth

From landing the Curiosity rover on Mars after a 350m-mile journey, to the discovery of the world’s most wanted sub-atomic particle, the top 10 scientific achievements of 2012 have been nominated by the journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, giving a snapshot of the march of human knowledge in genetics, physics, cosmology, medicine and nanoscience.

The discovery of the Higgs boson by physicists using the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland was named breakthrough of the year by Science magazine, with runners-up including the pin-sharp DNA sequencing of a Siberian cave girl who lived 50,000 years ago and a delicate brain implant in a Pennsylvania woman paralysed from the neck down that allowed her to use the power of thought to manipulate a robotic arm to grasp a bottle and take a sip of coffee.

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