I'm never sure about the merit of all the 'top 10 X of year Y' lists that come out around this time of year - in my mind, some are spot on, but others are way off... They are quite good at reminding us of some of the significant developments that have taken place in recent history, however. Time magazine has produced 50 (!!) top 10 lists for 2007, which seems a little over the top, though it is definitely encouraging to note that at least some of these lists were concentrated on positive events. I picked out one that is worth a read - that on medical breakthroughs. Some of these breakthroughs have had widespread media coverage. Some have provoked heated debate - e.g. the promotion of male circumcision as an HIV-prevention technique. Others had less media coverage when they were announced but are nevertheless significant and reassuring - such as the new vaccine that may help prevent an influenza pandemic in future (though I sincerely hope that once the US has stockpiled enough there is some to share with other countries). It's well worth a quick flick through the list, if only to remind oneself of the amazing things that humans can achieve - with surprising regularity. There will be at least another 10 major medical breakthroughs in 2008, no doubt, and that's definitely a reason to be hopeful.