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Nature of universe is still a mystery to Nobel winners

WASHINGTON — They won the Nobel Prize for changing our understanding of the universe, but their discovery left an even larger mystery — what is this dark energy that is propelling the universe to expand so fast? US astronomer Saul Perlmutter, 52, and his one-time competitors Adam Riess and Brian…

‘Dark energy’ targeted in European space mission

So-called dark energy, believed to play a role in the accelerated expansion of the Universe, will be studied in a major science mission to be launched later this decade, the European Space Agency (ESA) said on Tuesday. A space telescope known as Euclid will be launched in 2019 with the…

Swiss warn massive ice chunk may break off glacier

A massive part of a glacier the size of 12 football fields in the Swiss Alps could break off, local authorities warned, after the discovery of an enormous crevasse in the glacier. Swiss authorities have formed a crisis team to monitor the situation and blocked all hiking trails close to…

Nuclear experts to help Fukushima decontamination

The UN atomic agency IAEA said Tuesday it was sending 12international experts to Japan on October 7-15 to assist the country with clean-up efforts after the nuclear accident of Fukushima in March. The experts “will go to several locations in the Fukushima Prefecture and conduct meetings in Tokyo with Japanese officials to provide assistance to Japan in its plans…

Trio win Nobel Physics Prize for supernovae research

Researchers Saul Perlmutter and Adam Riess of the United States and US-Australian Brian Schmidt won the 2011 Nobel Physics PrizeTuesday for their research on supernovae, the Nobel jury said. “They have studied several dozen exploding stars, called supernovae, and discovered that the universe is expanding at an ever-accelerating rate,” it said, adding that their discovery had…

Virus to blame for rise in throat cancer: study

(Reuters) – Cancer of the back of the mouth and throat is on the rise, primarily because of more cases stemming from a viral infection called human papillomavirus (HPV), according to a U.S. study. The number of people who were diagnosed with HPV-related oral cancer in 2004 was triple the…

Female hormonal contraception linked to higher HIV risk

PARIS — Women who use hormonal birth control are roughly twice as likely to become infected with HIV or pass on the AIDS virus to their partner, according to a study published on Tuesday. The research was carried out among 3,790 heterosexual couples in Africa where one partner had the…

Nobel researcher was a subject of his own discovery

LONDON/CHICAGO (Reuters) – Ralph Steinman proved the importance of his Nobel prize-winning research in a most personal way, using his own discoveries to fight the pancreatic cancer that eventually killed him just days before the award was announced. In the future, millions more people around the world are likely to…

‘Invisible key’ invented by Taiwan scientists

A team of Taiwanese researchers have developed an “invisible key” technology which allows users to unlock their doors by means of simple hand gestures, the head of the team said Monday. “In the future, you won’t have to worry about losing or forgetting your keys,” said Tsai Yao-pin, who teaches…

In Chile desert, huge telescope begins galaxy probe

A powerful telescope affording a view of the universe unmatched by most ground-based observatories gazed onto distant galaxies for the first time Monday from deep in Chile’s Atacama desert. The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, a joint project between Canada, Chile, the European Union, Japan, Taiwan and the United States, officially…

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