From the detection of gravitational waves generated in space over a billion years ago, to discoveries in genetics here on Earth, we've collected the most compelling science breakthroughs and advances of 2016. Thanks to magnificent, hard-working scientists and researchers around the world, science keeps marching ever forward. And this year saw some discoveries that are absolutely brimming with the promise of greater discoveries, breakthroughs and quality of life in the future.
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Brian Cox looks at our attempts to answer one of the most profound questions we can ask – are we alone in the universe? With scientists sending space probes to the furthest reaches of our solar system and beyond, the scientific search for alien life has begun. Inspired by a childhood love of science fiction, Brian still hopes to hear from ET. In this film, he explains why this search deserves to be taken seriously, and he explores the chances of it happening.