Predicting 2009’s Headlines Stem cells, black holes, and more By Amanda Schupak December 20, 2008 Science Shizuo Kambayashi SHARE What will next year’s science headlines bring? Popular Science predicts.Read more of Popular Science’s predictions for 2009. Dinosaurs’ True Colors Revealed Last year, researchers at Yale University discovered organelles called melanosomes on a 100-million-year-old dino feather. This year they will examine the shape and concentration of the melanosomes to determine the original colors of winged dinosaurs. Feds Aim to Save Ecosystems A new approach used by conservation biologists at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service highlights environmental trends to direct rescue funds toward bigger-picture causes, such as agricultural runoff, that affect not just single species but entire ecosystems. Stem-Cell Science Gets Rebooted Several groups have reprogrammed adult skin cells to behave like embryonic stem cells using genes ferried by viruses, a method that can cause the cells to become cancerous. This year’s goal: Replace viruses with chemicals that can do the job safely. Mission: Invisible Last year, scientists demonstrated the first visible-light metamaterial, a metal-semiconductor hybrid, paving the way to an “invisibility cloak.” Meanwhile, metamaterials that work with radio frequencies could improve cellphone reception. Elusive Black Hole Captured Next year, astronomers will look into the heavens for evidence of the rare medium-size black hole. Studies will try to establish why they’re so scarce and will combine traditional visible-light astronomy with X-ray emissions from star clusters. january 2009 popsci predicts popsci predicts 2009 Science MORE TO READ RELATED Yes, giant space debris is falling to earth right now. No, it probably won’t hit you. The leftover debris is expected to fall to Earth over the weekend, likely somewhere in the ocean. READ NOW RELATED 14 hypnotizing photos that captured the world in and beyond the pandemic A lot more happened in 2020 than COVID-19.... RELATED Ecstasy is a tool, not a cure-all, for healing trauma There's a reason the therapy is 'MDMA-assisted.'