2011 is drawing to a close, and what a big year it was…for science! Many interesting and important scientific things occurred, and we hope you were paying attention, because here’s your chance to test your knowledge of the most notable scientific developments of 2011 with our super-scientific end-of-the-year quiz!
Answer the questions below and email your answers to [email protected]. We will choose a winner by random drawing among all the correct entries.
Add your own quiz question and answer and put it in the comments! You must write a question AND add four answer choices. The best question wins a prize!
Tom will announce the correct answers and winners on Friday. All entries must be received by 11:59 PM on Wednesday, December 14.
Erika and Tom
1. Scientists sparred over a claim that what was incorporated into DNA?
(a) petrochemicals released from burning oil in the Deep Horizon oil spill
(b) arsenic from a lake in eastern California
(c) radioactive isotopes released from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster
(d) the new “Jersey Shore” inspired fragrance JWOWW
2. Italian scientists were put on trial for what?
(a) failing to predict an earthquake
(b) transfusing patients with blood from donors infected with HIV
(c) improperly disposing of radioactive isotopes left over from lab experiments
(d) improperly estimating the country’s lost productivity due to taxpayer-funded hair transplants, plastic surgery and Viagra pills for former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi
3. Who trapped antihydrogen atoms in a feat of physics?
(a) An international team led by Stephen Hawking
(b) Tom’s brother
(c) 2011 Nobel Prize laureates Saul Perlmutter, Brian P. Schmidt, Adam G. Riess
(d) LWON contributor Richard Panek
4. What ended its 30-year career?
(a) the international fusion project ITER
(b) the world’s oldest DNA sequencer
(c) NASA’s Space Shuttle
(d) Donald Trump’s original toupee
5. Nobel Prize-winning physicist and Obama administration official Steven Chu came under fire during a scandal over what?
(a) conflicts of interest among Energy Department-funded researchers
(b) a loan guarantee to a renewable energy company
(c) illegal delays in development of a Nevada nuclear waste disposal site
(d) using taxpayer funds to purchase out-of-print first editions of Far Side comic books
6. The first company to begin clinical trials of what announced that it was quitting the field?
(a) human embryonic stem cells
(b) next-generation gene therapy
(c) cancer vaccines
(d) “StarzPower” designer lip-plumping injections harvested from celebrity liposuctions
7. This U.S. agency contributed to Presidential hopeful Rick Perry’s undoing when the Texas governor appeared to forget that it was one of three agencies he wanted to eliminate in a televised debate.
(a) Institute of Peace
(b) Environmental Protection Agency
(c) Department of Energy
(d) National Endowment for Science Fairs
8. Scientists found evidence for the largest what ever discovered?
(a) black hole
(b) underwater vent
(c) marine virus
(d) “Occupy”-inspired drum circle
9. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first new drugs in thirteen years for which disease?
(a) Parkinson’s disease
(c) melanoma skin cancer
(d) Galifianakis syndrome
10. California regulators approved the United States’ largest what?
(a) high-speed rail system
(b) cap-and-trade climate change regulation program
(c) campaign to counter anti-vaccination programs
(d) hippie parade
Image credits Top: “Cosmic question mark,” Arp 194. NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA). Bottom: Also available for sale!