As 2023 rolls to a close, Knowable Magazine has looked back over its articles and canvassed editorial committee members from the 51 academic journals — covering analytical chemistry to vision science — published by Knowable’s parent company, Annual Reviews. From good news to bad, from novel vaccines to insect invaders, this year left us with much to ponder. Here we present 12 newsworthy developments from 2023.

Jabs for hope

Hot on the heels of the Covid-19 vaccine success story (including updated jabs that target Omicron subvariants of the rapidly shifting virus), 2023 saw the greenlighting of several new vital vaccines. Abrysvo and Arexvy, the first vaccines against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a cold-like virus that can be dangerous for the old or the young, are now available in the United States and elsewhere. And the World Health Organization has recommended a second malaria vaccine, R21, following RTS,S in 2021. RTS,S has already been given to nearly 2 million children in Africa; the new vaccine is about half the price.

This double hit against malaria is a “huge win” for kids, says Matthew Laurens, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, who wrote about malaria vaccines in a 2022 opinion article for Knowable. “Like Covid-19, we need multiple malaria vaccines if we’re to succeed in combating this deadly disease.”