If you are in science, the genome editing method called CRISPR is not new, it has been all the rage since 2012 because of its superior ability of CRISPR to deliver a gene to the right spot compared to its genome editing competitors.
But 2015 is the year everyone began talking about it and for that reason the subscription magazine Science gave it their nod as the 2015 Breakthrough of the Year, after already appearing twice in previous years as runner-ups. It isn't that they were determined to keep nominating it until an editor agreed (though such political pressure is not uncommon at AAAS and in corporate science media - Science Editor-In-Chief Marcia McNutt is the only candidate for president of the National Academy of Sciences, which doesn't happen in local dog catcher elections and looked strange in 1960s mobster-controlled union votes, so certainly looks odd in 2015), they say the creation of a long-sought "gene drive" designed to eradicate a variety of pests, the first deliberate editing of the DNA of human embryos (controversial work performed by Chinese researchers last spring), and the CRISPR-driven deletion of 62 copies of a retrovirus' DNA in the pig genome which paves the way for pig organs to be considered for humans awaiting organ donation.
Better late than never at the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
What did readers think was most important? The voyage of the New Horizons spacecraft past Pluto, which actually did occur in 2015. Given McNutt's impending departure, perhaps Science will be able to choose a breakthrough that is really new science, we have to hope that Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences will do something more meaningful than sociological papers claiming female hurricane names are more dangerous because sexist men take them less serious.