Science magazine had named the top ten scientific breakthroughs of 2008. The Breakthrough of the Year had to do with reprogramming cells, while many runners-up were in the physical sciences. I found this information on the magazine’s website http://www.sciencemag.org, but was unable to view all of the full text articles since I do not have a membership. I am sure they could be found using magazine and journal search engines.
Celebrating a Year of Science (2008)
One of the editors has also written a short article about some scientific highlights of the year: Highlights