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Hank counts down some of the science superlatives from 2013: the first, biggest, strongest and longest things that were discovered, built or otherwise described. Find out his year's superlatives. They're the best!

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Hank Green: It's been a year of extremes, and I'm not just talking about grown-up Miley Cyrus here, I'm talking weather, some of the most extreme in history, I'm taking discoveries of the oldest and biggest and the longest and the strongest.  We here at SciShow have come up with six science superlatives of 2013.  And here's the first: the most handsome YouTube science guy, I'm Hank Green, keep watching SciShow News to find out the other five.  

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Hank: Nobody expected the year to start off with a bang like this, with more energy than 20 atomic bombs, the Chelyabinsk meteor exploded over Russia on February 15th.  It was the most destructive meteor in recorded history, the 20 meter long, 13 metric ton meteor entered the atmosphere at 60 times the speed of sound, emitting a light brighter than the sun.  Luckily, it exploded 23.3 kilometers above the Earth, but even from that height, the meteor shock wave injured at least 1,500 people and damaged 7,200 buildings. 

Now, jumping ahead to July, that's when University of Copenhagen geneticists pieced together the billion piece jigsaw puzzle that is the genome of a horse that lived almost a million years ago.  At 700,000 years old, it yielded the oldest DNA ever sequenced, taken from a fossilized foot bone from the Yukon region of Canada.  Between sequencing the billions of positions in the horse's genome and making the complex calculations to read the damaged DNA fragments in its fossilized marrow, scientists had to invent a new computer to handle the vast amount of data this took.  Was it worth all the work?  Well, aside from proving that DNA that old could be sequenced and giving us a cool new computer, we also learned a lot about the evolution of the horse.  For one, it proved that the endangered Przewalski's Horse of Mongolia is the last remaining genetically pure wild horse on the planet, and it suggested that the common ancestor for all members of the genus Equus, which includes horses, donkeys, and zebras, dates back more than 4 million years, twice as long as scientists had previously thought.

And we had quite a few technological firsts this year, but maybe the most exciting was the first ever 3-D printed human parts.  In February, Scottish biologists successfully used living stem cells from small bits of stem cell tissues, something that had never been done before.  This new printing technique may one day be used to make tissues for drug testing or even to generate customized organs. 

Later that same month, Cornell biologists printed a living artificial ear, using a matrix of collagen blended with cartilage cells that grew to make a kind of real looking outer ear.  And in March, doctors replaced three quarters of a severely injured skull with pieces of printed out polymers that were very similar to bone.  These and other advances are all part of the new field of bio-fabrication, and we certainly have not heard the last of it.

Then, in August, we learned that there is still a lot of geography left to discover on this exciting world of ours.  Using radar data from Operation IceBridge, NASA's mission to study polar ice, geographers from the University of Bristol in England discovered the world's longest canyon, hidden under Greenland's ice sheet.  750 kilometers long and 800 meters deep, the canyon stretches from the highlands in the center of Greenland to its northwest coast.  Geologists believe that it was probably a major river system before it was covered by ice around 4 million years ago.  

And finally, in November, we had a tragic superlative: the strongest tropical cyclone ever measured, Typhoon Haiyan.  It hit the Philippines at 310 km/hr, causing over 6,000 fatalities.  The devastation was partly the result of another superlative, much warmer than average water under the surface of the ocean in Haiyan's path.  

We learned a lot this year here at SciShow, I've enjoyed learning it with you.  The good, the bad, the superlative, and the simply fascinating.  So thanks a lot for watching SciShow News in 2013, and thanks especially to our Subbable subscribers who make the future of this show possible.  In addition to ensuring that SciShow will still exist in 2014, you can get all kinds of cool customizable perks, like having your name on screen, becoming an honorary associate producer, and getting behind the scenes pictures tweeted to you from the SciShow twitter account.  To learn more, go to and don't forget to go to and subscribe.  Happy new year.

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