What discovery won three scientists the 2017 Nobel Prize in physics? Gravitational waves Correct Incorrect Gravitational waves The Higgs boson Correct Incorrect The Higgs boson Correct! Wrong! Gravitational waves The 2017 Nobel Prize in physics was awarded to Rainer Weiss, Barry Barish, and Kip Thorne for work that led to the discovery of ripples in space-time called gravitational waves. All three are members of the LIGO-Virgo collaboration, a team of over a thousand scientists who in February last year announced they had seen gravitational waves for the first time. Something was discovered around dwarf planet Haumea, it was announced in October this year. What was it? A ring Correct Incorrect A ring A moon Correct Incorrect A moon Correct! Wrong! A ring Somebody must have liked Haumea because earlier this year scientists announced that there was a ring around the potato-shaped dwarf planet. Via IAA-CSIC/UHU Two of which astronomical bodies form gold (and other elements) when they collide? Black holes Correct Incorrect Black holes Neutron stars Correct Incorrect Neutron stars Correct! Wrong! Neutron stars In October this year, physicists announced they'd seen gravitational waves and a blast of light from colliding neutron stars for the first time. It confirms a long-suspected theory about where elements heavier than iron come from. Dr Kate Maguire, an astrophysicist at Queen's University Belfast, told journalists at a briefing: "Heavier elements, such as gold and platinum, are definitively formed in a neutron star merger. We can now say that conclusively." Which spacecraft was in orbit around Saturn until it plunged into the planet in September this year? Cassini Correct Incorrect Cassini New Horizons Correct Incorrect New Horizons Correct! Wrong! Cassini The Cassini-Huygens mission came to an end when Cassini threw itself towards Saturn to avoid contaminating any of the planet's potentially habitable moons with earthly microbes. In its lifetime Cassini produced some breathtaking images of Saturn. Via NASA / nasa.gov How many "Earth-size" planets are there orbiting in the TRAPPIST-1 star system, announced in February this year? 7 Correct Incorrect 7 11 Correct Incorrect 11 Correct! Wrong! Seven planets TRAPPIST-1 is an ultra-cool dwarf star 39.5 light years away from Earth. In February, scientists published a paper in the journal Nature announcing that they'd found seven planets "with sizes and masses similar to those of Earth" orbiting the star, and everyone got very excited. Researchers this year estimated how much plastic we've made since the 1950s. How much is it? 83 million tonnes Correct Incorrect 83 million tonnes 8,300 million tonnes Correct Incorrect 8,300 million tonnes Correct! Wrong! 8,300 million tonnes Of that, most – over 6,300 million tonnes – has ended up in landfill or the natural environment. A massive chunk of Antarctica broke off in July this year. What's the name of the ice shelf it was a part of? Larsen B Correct Incorrect Larsen B Larsen C Correct Incorrect Larsen C Correct! Wrong! Larsen C Scientists first noticed a growing crack in Antarctica’s fourth-largest ice shelf in 2011, and it finally broke off in July. Via NASA / earthobservatory.nasa.gov Is this true or false?"2016 was officially the hottest year on record." (NOTE: Data from 2017 is not finalised yet.) TRUE Correct Incorrect TRUE FALSE Correct Incorrect FALSE Correct! Wrong! It's true It was confirmed in August this year. A weather event called El Niño ended in early 2016, so 2017 is expected to be slightly cooler. However, climate scientists firmly expect the trend towards warmer temperatures to continue. When did Britain, geologically speaking, separate from the rest of Europe? 450,000 years ago Correct Incorrect 450,000 years ago 4.5 million years ago Correct Incorrect 4.5 million years ago Correct! Wrong! 450,000 years ago Around 450,000 years ago a vast flood separated Kent from northern France. This year scientists found huge holes at the bottom of the Dover Strait that they think were carved by a waterfall. Via Imperial College London / Chase Stone Which of these was discovered in Antarctica this year? A new species of penguin Correct Incorrect A new species of penguin Lots of new streams, ponds, and waterfalls Correct Incorrect Lots of new streams, ponds, and waterfalls Correct! Wrong! Streams, ponds, and waterfalls There's a lot more moving water on Antarctica than scientists previously thought. How many tons of insects do spiders eat each year? 100 to 200 million Correct Incorrect 100 to 200 million 400 to 800 million Correct Incorrect 400 to 800 million Correct! Wrong! 400 to 800 million Research published this year, using data from 65 previous studies, and came up with an estimate that there were 25 million tons of spiders in the world, and that together they eat rather a lot. Most of the spiders live in forests and grasslands. Which species of frog has lost the ability to hear its own mating calls? Pumpkin toadlet Correct Incorrect Pumpkin toadlet Black rain frog Correct Incorrect Black rain frog Correct! Wrong! Pumpkin toadlet In research published this September scientists revealed that pumpkin toadlets appear to have lost the ability to hear their own mating calls, but not (yet) lost the ability to make the calls themselves. Via en.wikipedia.org Which of these did scientists this year discover needs sleep, despite not having a brain? Cassiopea jellyfish Correct Incorrect Cassiopea jellyfish Red-knobbed starfish Correct Incorrect Red-knobbed starfish Correct! Wrong! Cassiopea jellyfish Also known as upside-down jellyfish. They may not have brains, but according to a study of 23 individuals published this month, these jellyfish do go dormant for a period at night, and when deprived of this sleep-like state, they struggle – just like sleep-deprived humans do. Via Getty Which of these mammals did scientists this year discover talks really quietly to its mum to avoid others overhearing? Humpback whales Correct Incorrect Humpback whales Giant pandas Correct Incorrect Giant pandas Correct! Wrong! Humpback whales Humpback whale calves talk really quietly to their mums so other nearby whales (and predators) can't hear them, according to research published in April this year. Via Getty What humanlike traits did scientists discover ravens are also capable of this year? Planning ahead and exerting self-control Correct Incorrect Planning ahead and exerting self-control Ordering pizza and watching Netflix Correct Incorrect Ordering pizza and watching Netflix Correct! Wrong! Planning ahead and exerting self-control A study out in the journal Science in July found that ravens have the ability to plan ahead and exert self-control by forgoing an immediate reward in favour of a bigger reward later on. True or false?"Sperm counts among Western men have halved in the last 40 years." TRUE Correct Incorrect TRUE FALSE Correct Incorrect FALSE Correct! Wrong! It's true A meta-analysis published in July this year concludes that the concentration of sperm in the ejaculate of men in Western countries has fallen by over 50% between 1973 and 2011. The reason for the drop is not clear. Which STI did the WHO warn was becoming harder, and sometimes impossible, to treat this year? Chlamydia Correct Incorrect Chlamydia Gonorrhoea Correct Incorrect Gonorrhoea Correct! Wrong! Gonorrhoea In a report published in July, the World Health Organisation warned that the infection is becoming resistant to the main treatment we currently have for it – two antibiotics taken at the same time: azithromycin pills, along with a shot of ceftriaxone. Scientists revealed they had mixed the cells of what animal with human cells to make a chimera embryo this year? Pig Correct Incorrect Pig Ape Correct Incorrect Ape Correct! Wrong! Pig An international stem cell research team announced in January the creation of the first human–pig embryos. Human-animal chimeras have been created before, but these experiments were unique because they put human stem cells – which can grow to become any of the different types of cells in the human body – into animal embryos at their earliest stages of life. Which dinosaur could not actually run, according to a computer model created by scientists this year? Tyrannosaurus rex Correct Incorrect Tyrannosaurus rex Velociraptor Correct Incorrect Velociraptor Correct! Wrong! Tyrannosaurus rex Turns out Jurassic Park was wrong. Researchers at the University of Manchester created a detailed anatomical computer model of the 7-ton dinosaur to calculate the load on its skeleton at various speeds and gaits. They found that its skeleton was perfectly capable of moving in a run – defined as having both feet off the ground at the same time – but if it had ever actually done so, its bones would have shattered. British scientists edited the genes of human embryos for the first time, they announced this year. What's the name of the technique they used? CRISPR-Cas9 Correct Incorrect CRISPR-Cas9 Zinc-finger nucleases Correct Incorrect Zinc-finger nucleases Correct! Wrong! CRISPR-Cas9 CRISPR-Cas9 is a new and much-heralded technique, using a chemical process borrowed from bacteria, that allows scientists to remove specific lengths of DNA from cells. In September this year, a team of scientists announced they had edited the genes of human embryos for the first time in Britain using the technique, to help understand the role of genes in early human development.