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2015 trending news releases recount a year of scientific breakthroughs

American Association for the Advancement of Science

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This image shows maps of the lymphatic system: old (left) and updated to reflect UVA's discovery.

From: Missing link found between brain, immune system -- with major disease implications.... view more

Credit: University of Virginia Health System

A University of Virginia Health System news release describing the "missing link" between the brain and the immune system was 2015's most popular - and most shared - science news on EurekAlert!, a science news service operated by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

The discovery of vessels connecting the brain and the lymphatic system "overturns decades of textbook teaching" and will have "profound implications for neurological diseases from autism to Alzheimer's to multiple sclerosis," according to the news release, titled "Missing link found between brain, immune system - with major disease implications." It was among several of the trending releases that announced major scientific breakthroughs - and one of two covering studies published in Nature journals.

Most popular

The 2015 most popular release received 42% more views than its 2014 predecessor, a release about public official wage disclosures. Overall, the top 10 trending releases of 2015 received 26% more views over 2014.

Similar to 2014, health-related releases outperformed other categories in 2015, occupying seven out of the top 10. Two releases described the effects of cannabis on memory.

News releases describing studies in Cell Press and Nature journals made up the four most popular and three most-shared lists, with a combined 727,000 views and 5,500 shares to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media channels.

In late 2014 EurekAlert! introduced a fully responsive design, which better supports mobile use, multimedia, and social sharing. A staff-curated homepage feature highlighting trending news releases was also rolled out as part of the new design.

The 10 most popular news releases in 2015 are:

Most shared

Social media sharing in 2015 increased almost ten-fold over 2014 with a total of 340,233 news-release shares via AddThis. Facebook, Twitter, and e-mail dominated as the preferred sharing platforms, while LinkedIn and Reddit made up a smaller but significant presence.

The top three most shared releases are also among the four most-trafficked of 2015. EurekAlert! has 24,000 Twitter followers and 14,000 Facebook fans.

The five most-shared releases on EurekAlert! in 2015 are:

More than 27,859 news releases were eligible for inclusion on EurekAlert! in 2015. All news releases were submitted by accredited research institutions and peer-reviewed journals and made available to registered science reporters and the public. The annual EurekAlert! trending news release list was compiled based on the number of public and reporter visits to news releases between 1 January and 15 December, 2015.

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The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world's largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science as well as Science Translational Medicine and Science Signaling. AAAS was founded in 1848 and includes 254 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world, with an estimated total readership of 1 million. The nonprofit AAAS is open to all and fulfills its mission to "advance science and serve society" through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education, public engagement, and more. For the latest research news, log onto EurekAlert!, http://www.eurekalert.org, the premier science-news Web site, a service of AAAS.

About EurekAlert!

Founded by AAAS in 1996, EurekAlert! is an editorially independent, online science news service. Thousands of reporters around the globe use EurekAlert! to access news and resources from the world's top research organizations. For free access to EurekAlert!, visit http://www.EurekAlert.org.

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.