#5: Researchers at Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft in Germany are working on a thermoelectric generator that converts the heat from car exhaust fumes into electricity. The thermoelectric module feeds the energy into the car's electronic systems, reducing fuel consumption and carbon dioxide from vehicles. Click here .

#4: A silicon surface treated with a new reflective coating developed by researchers at Rensselaer absorbs 96.21 percent of sunlight. The nanoengineered coating also allows those panels to absorb the entire spectrum of sunlight from any angle, regardless of the sun's position in the sky. Click here .

#3: Ohio State University researchers invented a new material that will make cars even more efficient by converting heat wasted through engine exhaust into electricity. The material, thallium-doped lead telluride, is most effective between 450 and 950 degrees F. Click here .

#2:NASA's Hubble Space Telescope found an answer to a long-standing puzzle by resolving giant but delicate filaments shaped by a strong magnetic field around the active galaxy NGC 1275. The amount of gas contained in a typical thread is around one million times the mass of our own Sun. Click here .

And the Number 1 story of 2008: University of Maryland researchers created a process to convert large volumes of plant products, from leftover brewer's mash to paper trash, into ethanol and other biofuel alternatives to gasoline. Scientists estimate the technology could potentially produce 75 billion gallons of carbon-neutral ethanol annually. Click here .