The Los Alamos National Laboratory announced Friday, the top 10 science story of 2011, including alternative energy research, world record magnetic fields, disease tracking, the study of Mars, climate change, fuel cells, solar wind, and magnetic reconnection.

The multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security has made a list of 2011’s top 10 science stories.

Mars Habitability

Discusses the Mars Science Laboratory mission's Curiosity rover, which is set to land on Mars’ surface this coming August, the largest rover vehicle ever deployed to Mars designed to find out whether Mars is or was habitable.

Automated Influenza System

This story describes new research to test and study a compact, self-contained, automated system for surveillance and screening of potential pandemic strains of influenza and other deadly infectious diseases.

World-Record Pulsed Magnetic Field

Los Alamos National Laboratory’s National High Magnetic Field Laboratory sets a new world record of the strongest magnetic field ever delivered by a nondestructive magnet at a 97.4 tesla, a magnetic field nearly 100 times more powerful than a junkyard magnet.

Elusive Hydronium

Researchers witness for the first time the critical role that an elusive molecule plays in certain biological reactions, which can aid in the treatment of peptic ulcers or acid reflux disease.

Cheaper Hydrogen Fuel Cells

Researchers describe a significant advance in hydrogen storage, which focuses on using ammonia borane as a "chemical storage tank" for hydrogen fuel.

Southwest Megadroughts

Researchers unearth a 260-foot-long sediment core that peered back in climatological time to the world as it existed between 360,000 and 550,000 years ago and found that the Southwestern region of the United States apparently undergoes "megadroughts" appearing in cycles and warmer, drier periods lasting hundreds of years or more, a link to climate change.

Unlocking Biomass Energy

Researchers show that cellulose can become vulnerable to enzymatic attack if pretreated with cost-effective and relatively benign ammonia as they try to “rearrange the puzzle pieces preventing conversion of nonedible biomass such as cornstalks and switch grass into ethanol, a useful biofuel.”

Solar Wind Samples

Discussing survival of instrument built by a team at Los Alamos National Laboratory in Genesis crash.

Quantum dots

Researchers document significant progress in understanding the phenomenon of quantum-dot blinking discovering control over its blinking behavior.

Magnetic Reconnection

A Los Alamos physicist presents a new theory of how a fundamental process in physics called "magnetic reconnection" works.