In the past decade, cosmologists have deduced a very precise recipe for the content of the universe, as well as instructions for putting it together, transforming cosmology from a largely qualitative endeavor to a precision science with a standard theory.
Scientists have been giving us new views of the prehistoric world in the past decade that hinge on the realization that "biomolecules" such as ancient DNA and collagen can survive for tens of thousands of years and give important information about long-dead plants, animals, and humans.
The past decade's half-dozen martian missions have made it clear that early in Mars history, liquid water on or just inside the planet did indeed persist long enough to alter rock and, possibly, sustain the origin of life.
By prompting a cell to overexpress a few genes, researchers have discovered in the past decade how to turn a skin or blood cell into a pluripotent cell: one that has regained the potential to become any number of cells in the body.
This past decade has seen a shift in how we see the microbes and viruses in and on our bodies, most of which are commensal and just call the human body home; collectively, they have come to be called the human microbiome.
Over the past decade, it has become widely accepted that inflammation is a driving force behind chronic diseases that will kill nearly all of us: cancer, diabetes and obesity, Alzheimer's disease, and atherosclerosis.
In the past decade, physicists and engineers pioneered new ways to guide and manipulate light, creating lenses that defy the fundamental limit on the resolution of an ordinary lens and even constructing "cloaks" that make an object invisible-sort of.