Most loved and hated science stories of 2009

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Washington, December 30 (ANI): A recent article in Live Science has outlined the list of the most loved and hated science stories of the year 2009.

At number 9 is the story that boys' issues are neglected in comparison to girls.

Research this year suggested that compared with girls, American boys have lower literacy rates, lower grades, less engagement during school and higher dropout rates, as boys have been neglected to their detriment.

At number 8 is the story that spanking children is bad for the brain, as it can lower their IQ score.

Researchers suggested that spanking is a traumatic experience that can adversely affect the brain.

At number 7 is the story that dinosaurs might have been wiped off due to toxic algae.

This year, Clemson University researchers suggested that toxin-producing algae not only killed off the dinosaurs, but also had a hand in four other mass extinctions.

At number 6 is the story that at just 30 weeks of age, fetuses have short-term memory.

At this age, fetuses became habituated to a low sound that makes a vibration, and so weren't startled after repeated stimulation.

At number 5 is a research that revealed the happiest states, which showed that the wealthiest and most tolerant states stood out as particularly smiley places.

At number 4 is the study which revealed that scrawny people perceive approaching sounds to be closer than strong people, which means wimps might benefit from having a greater safety margin of potential hazards on the way.

At number 3 is the discovery of a 47-million year old primate fossil dubbed "Ida."

The discovery grabbed plenty of headlines and even got scientists debating over how to interpret Ida's remains, with some saying her features could redraw the evolutionary tree of life, going as far as saying Ida is an early precursor of humans.

At number 2 is the story about the US Government's focus on climate issues, thus moving away from more pressing issues like a failing economy.

At number 1 is the story of 'climate gate', which saw e-mails and files of prominent climate scientists being hacked from computers at the University of East Anglia in England, a leading climate research center.

The e-mails, which were made public, appeared to show scientific misconduct with some addressing ways to combat skeptics, whether certain data should be released and some derisive comments about people known for their skeptical views, according to news accounts. (ANI)

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