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New data ‘strongly indicates’ particle is Higgs boson

New data unveiled on Thursday strengthens the belief that a subatomic particle discovered last year is the elusive Higgs boson, European physicists said. Analysis of two characteristics, teased from experiments at the world’s biggest particle smasher, aligns with theories that the discovery is a Higgs, the European Organisation for Nuclear…

Europe and Russia ink deal on double mission to Mars

The European Space Agency (ESA) said it signed a deal on Thursday with its Russian counterpart to launch two unmanned missions to Mars, a quest that was rocked by a US pullout last year. Called ExoMars, the scheme entails sending an orbital probe to the Red Planet in January 2016…

Astronomers: Early Universe bred ‘starburst’ mega-galaxies

In its exuberant childhood, the Universe created galaxies that were vast star-making machines, astronomers reported on Wednesday. Using a brand-new telescope in Chile’s Atacama desert, the team snared light that took more than 12 thousand million years to reach them. It came from massive galaxies in the distant cosmos which…

Scientists map tapeworm DNA

Scientists said Wednesday they had unravelled the genetic code of the tapeworm, unearthing data that should lead to more efficient drugs against the dangerous intestinal parasite. Tapeworms are among the first known parasites of humans, recorded by Hippocrates and Aristotle as long ago as 300 BC. Published in the journal…

Phallus-shaped worm-like creature sheds light on Earth’s biodiversity

Fossilised forms of a phallus-shaped invertebrate have shed light on a dramatic spurt in Earth’s biodiversity that occurred half a billion years ago, Canadian scientists reported on Wednesday. Remains of 10-centimetre (four-inch) worm-like creatures were found in shale beds in Yoho National Park in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. The sediment…

Czech lab mice injected with fluorescent protein for clues on cancer

Injected with a fluorescent protein to make them glow bright red, laboratory mice are helping Czech scientists better understand the causes behind intestinal cancers and skin diseases while leaving the rodents unscathed. A research group at the Institute of Molecular Genetics at the Czech Academy of Sciences is using proteins…

Closest Earth-like planet may be half as far as previously thought

The closest rocky, Earth-like world could be as close as 6.5 to 7 light years away, according to new research. New Scientist magazine reported Tuesday that Penn State University astronomer Ravi Kopparapu’s estimates put these types of potentially life-sustaining worlds half as distant from Earth as previously believed. In February,…

Detection system capable of diagnosing Alzheimer’s long before symptoms appear wins coveted SXSW ‘innovation’ prize

Technology capable of diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease long before its symptoms appear won a coveted honor for innovation Tuesday at the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival. Neurotrack, which uses eye tracking to achieve a claimed 100 percent success rate, took the health technologies category in the SXSW Accelerator competition as the…

Being the underdog can make you more attractive: study

Though power may be “the ultimate aphrodisiac,” being the underdog could make others view you as being more physically attractive. “Despite theory and research suggesting a ubiquitous attraction to winners, we propose that people are, at times, attracted to disadvantage,” Kenneth S. Michniewicz and Joseph A. Vandello of the University…

Scientists use iPhones to diagnose intestinal worms

Scientists used an iPhone and a camera lens to diagnose intestinal worms in rural Tanzania, a breakthrough that could help doctors treat patients infected with the parasites, a study said on Tuesday. Research published by the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene showed that it is possible to fashion…

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