Shared posts

04 Nov 07:25

'Useless Specks of Dust' Turn Out To Be Building Blocks of All Vertebrate Genomes

by BeauHD
An anonymous reader quotes a report from ScienceAlert: Originally, they were thought to be just specks of dust on a microscope slide. Now, a new study suggests that microchromosomes -- a type of tiny chromosome found in birds and reptiles -- have a longer history, and a bigger role to play in mammals than we ever suspected. By lining up the DNA sequence of microchromosomes across many different species, researchers have been able to show the consistency of these DNA molecules across bird and reptile families, a consistency that stretches back hundreds of millions of years. What's more, the team found that these bits of genetic code have been scrambled and placed on larger chromosomes in marsupial and placental mammals, including humans. In other words, the human genome isn't quite as 'normal' as previously supposed. By tracing these microchromosomes back to the ancient Amphioxus, the scientists were able to establish genetic links to all of its descendants. These tiny 'specks of dust' are actually important building blocks for vertebrates, not just abnormal extras. It seems that most mammals have absorbed and jumbled up their microchromosomes as they've evolved, making them seem like normal pieces of DNA. The exception is the platypus, which has several chromosome sections line up with microchromosomes, suggesting that this method may well have acted as a 'stepping stone' for other mammals in this regard, according to the researchers. A tree chart outlining the presence of similar DNA in snakes, lizards, birds, crocodiles, and mammals. The study also revealed that as well as being similar across numerous species, the microchromosomes were also located in the same place inside cells. "It's not clear whether there's an evolutionary benefit to coding DNA in larger chromosomes or in microchromosomes, and the findings outlined in this paper might help scientists put that particular debate to rest -- although a lot of questions remain," adds ScienceAlert. "The study suggests that the large chromosome approach that has evolved in mammals isn't actually the normal state, and might be a disadvantage: genes are packed together much more tightly in microchromosomes, for example." The findings have been published in the journal PNAS.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

02 Sep 17:58

Wooden Floors Laced With Silicon Generate Electricity From Footsteps

by BeauHD
An anonymous reader quotes a report from New Scientist: Wooden floors infused with silicon and metal ions can generate enough electrical power from human footsteps to light LED bulbs. Researchers hope that they could provide a green energy source for homes. [...] Guido Panzarasa at ETH Zurich in Switzerland and his colleagues found that although wood sits in the middle of this spectrum and doesn't readily pass electrons, it can be altered to generate larger charges. The team infused one panel of wood with silicon, which picks up electrons on contact with an object. A second panel was infused with nanocrystals of zeolitic imidazolate framework-8 (ZIF-8), a compound containing metal ions and organic molecules, and these crystals tend to lose electrons. They called this impregnation process "functionalization." The team found that this treatment made a device that contained both wooden panels 80 times more efficient than standard wood at transferring electrons, meaning it was powerful enough to light LED bulbs when human footsteps compressed the device and brought the two wooden panels into contact. The engineered wood was fitted with electrodes from which the charge could be directed, and the team found that a 2-centimeter-by-3.5-centimeter sample that was placed under 50 newtons of compression -- an order of magnitude less than the force of a human footstep -- was able to generate 24.3 volts. A larger sample that was around the size of an A4 piece of paper was able to produce enough energy to drive household LED lamps and small electronic devices such as calculators. The findings have been published in the journal Matter.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

13 Aug 10:15

Google Launches Interactive 3D Periodic Table To Teach Chemistry

by BeauHD
Google has launched an interactive and 3D periodic table of chemical elements to help students learn chemistry. Somag News reports: The new functionality is being integrated into the Google Nest Hub device to encourage chemistry students, but it can now be accessed from any desktop or mobile phone via this link. As there are a multitude of periodic table models available on the internet, Google took care to make yours different, offering some extra features. In Google's interactive periodic table, in addition to searching everything that is known about any chemical element, such as atomic mass and melting point, it will be possible to observe the number of electrons in the last layer rotating around the atomic nucleus through a 3D rendering. Also on display are some trivia like "Lithium is a metal, but it's so soft it can be cut with a knife." The periodic table is coming in a bundle of Google Assistant updates designed to make family tasks easier, including creating reminders for the Family Bell. This feature, currently only available on smart screens and speakers, will reach the screens of all Android devices in a few weeks.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

29 Jul 08:18

First Detection of Light From Behind a Black Hole

by BeauHD
Stanford University astrophysicist Dan Wilkins has spotted the first detection of light from behind a black hole. Phys.Org reports: "Any light that goes into that black hole doesn't come out, so we shouldn't be able to see anything that's behind the black hole," said Wilkins, who is a research scientist at the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology at Stanford and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. It is another strange characteristic of the black hole, however, that makes this observation possible. "The reason we can see that is because that black hole is warping space, bending light and twisting magnetic fields around itself," Wilkins explained. The strange discovery, detailed in a paper published July 28 in Nature, is the first direct observation of light from behind a black hole -- a scenario that was predicted by Einstein's theory of general relativity but never confirmed, until now. "Fifty years ago, when astrophysicists starting speculating about how the magnetic field might behave close to a black hole, they had no idea that one day we might have the techniques to observe this directly and see Einstein's general theory of relativity in action," said Roger Blandford, a co-author of the paper who is the Luke Blossom Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences and Stanford and SLAC professor of physics and particle physics. The original motivation behind this research was to learn more about a mysterious feature of certain black holes, called a corona. Material falling into a supermassive black hole powers the brightest continuous sources of light in the universe, and as it does so, forms a corona around the black hole. This light -- which is X-ray light -- can be analyzed to map and characterize a black hole. [...] As Wilkins took a closer look to investigate the origin of the flares, he saw a series of smaller flashes. These, the researchers determined, are the same X-ray flares but reflected from the back of the disk -- a first glimpse at the far side of a black hole. [...] The mission to characterize and understand coronas continues and will require more observation.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

28 Jul 14:35

Cannabis part of the future says tobacco giant

British American Tobacco says its future lies in getting people to switch to nicotine alternatives.
28 Jul 06:37

Lucasfilm Hires Deepfake YouTuber Who Fixed The Mandalorian

by BeauHD
Lucasfilm has hired the YouTuber known as Shamook, whose The Mandalorian deepfake, published in December, has earned nearly 2 million views for improving the VFX used to de-age Mark Hamill. CNET reports: "As some of you may already know, I joined ILM/Lucasfilms a few months ago and haven't had the time to work on any new YouTube content," Shamook wrote in the comment section of a recent video. "Now I've settled into my job, uploads should start increasing again. They'll still be slow, but hopefully not months apart." Shamook said in the comments that his job title is, "Senior Facial Capture Artist." Lucasfilm confirmed the new hire (via IndieWire). "[Industrial Light and Magic is] always on the lookout for talented artists and have in fact hired the artist that goes by the online persona 'Shamook,'" a Lucasfilm representative said in a statement. "Over the past several years ILM has been investing in both machine learning and A.I. as a means to produce compelling visual effects work and it's been terrific to see momentum building in this space as the technology advances." Shamook also "fixed" The Irishman too.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

23 Jul 07:20

Coronavirus: Was US money used to fund risky research in China?

What's the row about virus research in China between a prominent Republican and Dr Anthony Fauci?
23 Jul 06:59

Tokyo Olympics: Japanese artists reimagine countries as anime samurai

The creators have used the flags of competing nations as inspiration to design Japanese warriors.
19 Jul 06:54

The Case Against SQL

by EditorDavid
Long-time Slashdot reader RoccamOccam shares "an interesting take on SQL and its issues from Jamie Brandon (who describes himself as an independent researcher who's built database engines, query planners, compilers, developer tools and interfaces). It's title? "Against SQL." The relational model is great... But SQL is the only widely-used implementation of the relational model, and it is: Inexpressive, Incompressible, Non-porous. This isn't just a matter of some constant programmer overhead, like SQL queries taking 20% longer to write. The fact that these issues exist in our dominant model for accessing data has dramatic downstream effects for the entire industry: - Complexity is a massive drag on quality and innovation in runtime and tooling - The need for an application layer with hand-written coordination between database and client renders useless most of the best features of relational databases The core message that I want people to take away is that there is potentially a huge amount of value to be unlocked by replacing SQL, and more generally in rethinking where and how we draw the lines between databases, query languages and programming languages... I'd like to finish with this quote from Michael Stonebraker, one of the most prominent figures in the history of relational databases: "My biggest complaint about System R is that the team never stopped to clean up SQL... All the annoying features of the language have endured to this day. SQL will be the COBOL of 2020..." It's been interesting to follow the discussion on Twitter, where the post's author tweeted screenshots of actual SQL code to illustrate various shortcomings. But he also notes that "The SQL spec (part 2 = 1732) pages is more than twice the length of the Javascript 2021 spec (879 pages), almost matches the C++ 2020 spec (1853) pages and contains 411 occurrences of 'implementation-defined', occurrences which include type inference and error propagation." His Twitter feed also includes a supportive retweet from Rust creator Graydon Hoare, and from a Tetrane developer who says "The Rust of SQL remains to be invented. I would like to see it come."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

23 May 07:04

Гледайте лирик-видео към новия сингъл на HELLOWEEN "Fear of the Fallen"

news picture
   Германските метъл легенди HELLOWEEN представят днес новия си сингъл от предстоящия едноименен албум, записан в олстар състава на бандата ...
23 Jan 16:06

Чуйте новия сингъл на EPICA "Rivers", вижте и видео

news picture
   Както знаете, нидерландските симфометъли EPICA ще издадат осмия си студиен албум "Omega" на 26 февруари чрез "Nuclear Blast". Продуцент ...
15 Dec 08:00

Astronomers Discover Cosmic 'Superhighways' For Fast Travel Through the Solar System

by BeauHD
Invisible structures generated by gravitational interactions in the Solar System have created a "space superhighway" network, astronomers have discovered. ScienceAlert reports: By applying analyses to both observational and simulation data, a team of researchers led by Natasa Todorovic of Belgrade Astronomical Observatory in Serbia observed that these superhighways consist of a series of connected arches inside these invisible structures, called space manifolds -- and each planet generates its own manifolds, together creating what the researchers have called "a true celestial autobahn." This network can transport objects from Jupiter to Neptune in a matter of decades, rather than the much longer timescales, on the order of hundreds of thousands to millions of years, normally found in the Solar System. Finding hidden structures in space isn't always easy, but looking at the way things move around can provide helpful clues. In particular, comets and asteroids. [...] "More detailed quantitative studies of the discovered phase-space structures ... could provide deeper insight into the transport between the two belts of minor bodies and the terrestrial planet region," the researchers wrote in their paper. "Combining observations, theory, and simulation will improve our current understanding of this short-term mechanism acting on the TNO, Centaur, comet, and asteroid populations and merge this knowledge with the traditional picture of the long-term chaotic diffusion through orbital resonances; a formidable task for the large range of energies considered." The research has been published in Science Advances.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

15 Jul 12:27

Banksy dons cleaner disguise to spray-paint Tube

The enigmatic graffiti artist returns to his Underground roots for his new pandemic-inspired piece.
19 Jun 06:06

HASH: a free, online platform for modeling the world

by Joel Spolsky

Sometimes when you’re trying to figure out the way the world works, basic math is enough to get you going. If we increase the hot water flow by x, the temperature of the mixture goes up by y.

Sometimes you’re working on something that’s just too complicated for that, and you can’t even begin to guess how the inputs affect the outputs. At the warehouse, everything seems to go fine when you have less than four employees, but when you hit five employees, they get in each others’ way so much that the fifth employee effectively does no additional work.

You may not understand the relationship between the number of employees and the throughput of the warehouse, but you definitely know what everybody is doing. If you can imagine writing a little bit of JavaScript code to simulate the behavior of each of your workers, you can run a simulation and see what actually happens. You can tweak the parameters and the rules the employees follow to see how it would help, and you can really gain some traction understanding, and then solving, very complex problems.

That’s what hash.ai is all about. Read David’s launch blog post, then try building your own simulations!

17 Jun 07:57

Slowing the Coronavirus Is Speeding the Spread of Other Diseases

by BeauHD
schwit1 shares a report from The New York Times: As poor countries around the world struggle to beat back the coronavirus, they are unintentionally contributing to fresh explosions of illness and death from other diseases -- ones that are readily prevented by vaccines. This spring, after the World Health Organization and UNICEF warned that the pandemic could spread swiftly when children gathered for shots, many countries suspended their inoculation programs. Even in countries that tried to keep them going, cargo flights with vaccine supplies were halted by the pandemic and health workers diverted to fight it. Now, diphtheria is appearing in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal. Cholera is in South Sudan, Cameroon, Mozambique, Yemen and Bangladesh. A mutated strain of poliovirus has been reported in more than 30 countries. And measles is flaring around the globe, including in Bangladesh, Brazil, Cambodia, Central African Republic, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Nepal, Nigeria and Uzbekistan. Of 29 countries that have currently suspended measles campaigns because of the pandemic, 18 are reporting outbreaks. An additional 13 countries are considering postponement. According to the Measles and Rubella Initiative, 178 million people are at risk of missing measles shots in 2020. The risk now is "an epidemic in a few months' time that will kill more children than Covid," said Chibuzo Okonta, the president of Doctors Without Borders in West and Central Africa. As the pandemic lingers, the W.H.O. and other international public health groups are now urging countries to carefully resume vaccination while contending with the coronavirus.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

17 Jun 07:07

Coronavirus: Dexamethasone proves first life-saving drug

Patients should be given the cheap drug without delay, after "fantastic" trial results, experts say.
16 May 10:27

Moon's Mysterious Disappearance 900 Years Ago Finally Gets An Explanation

by BeauHD
Iwastheone shares a report from Live Science: There's no use sugar coating it: According to one scribe in medieval England, A.D. 1110 was a "disastrous year." Torrential rainfall damaged crops, famine stalked the land -- and, as if that wasn't bad enough, on one fateful night in May, the moon simply vanished from the sky. "On the fifth night in the month of May appeared the moon shining bright in the evening, and afterwards by little and little its light diminished," the unnamed scribe wrote in the Anglo-Saxon manuscript known as the Peterborough Chronicle. "As soon as night came, it was so completely extinguished withal, that neither light, nor orb, nor anything at all of it was seen. And so it continued nearly until day, and then appeared shining full and bright." So, what made the moon disappear in an already dismal year? According to a study published April 21 in the journal Scientific Reports, the explanation for both the moon's mysterious vanishing act and the rain-ravaged summer that followed may be one and the same -- volcanoes. "The spectacular atmospheric optical phenomena associated with high-altitude volcanic aerosols have caught the attention of chroniclers since ancient times," the study authors wrote. "Careful evaluation of ice core records points to the occurrence of several closely spaced volcanic eruptions," which may have occurred in Europe or Asia between A.D. 1108 and A.D. 1110. Those volcanic events, which the researchers call a "forgotten cluster" of eruptions because they were sparsely documented by historians at the time, may have released towering clouds of ash that traveled far around the world for years on end. Not only could a high-altitude veil of volcanic aerosols blot out the moon while leaving many stars unobscured, as the Peterborough writer described, but a series of large eruptions could have also disrupted the global climate, the researcher wrote, causing or exacerbated the cold, wet weather that made life so miserable in A.D. 1110. One such eruption, which occurred in Japan in A.D. 1108, could be to blame, the team said.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

04 May 06:27

20 Years Later, Creator of World's First Major Computer Virus Located in Manila

by EditorDavid
"The man behind the world's first major computer virus outbreak has admitted his guilt, 20 years after his software infected millions of machines worldwide," reports the BBC: Filipino Onel de Guzman, now 44, says he unleashed the Love Bug computer worm to steal passwords so he could access the internet without paying. He claims he never intended it to spread globally. And he says he regrets the damage his code caused. "I didn't expect it would get to the US and Europe. I was surprised," he said in an interview for Crime Dot Com, a forthcoming book on cyber-crime. The Love Bug pandemic began on 4 May, 2000. Victims received an email attachment entitled LOVE-LETTER-FOR-YOU. It contained malicious code that would overwrite files, steal passwords, and automatically send copies of itself to all contacts in the victim's Microsoft Outlook address book. Within 24 hours, it was causing major problems across the globe, reportedly infecting 45 million machines... He claims he initially sent the virus only to Philippine victims, with whom he communicated in chat rooms, because he only wanted to steal internet access passwords that worked in his local area. However, in spring 2000 he tweaked the code, adding an auto-spreading feature that would send copies of the virus to victims' Outlook contacts using a flaw in Microsoft's Windows 95 operating system. "It's not really a virus," wrote CmdrTaco back on May 4, 2000. "It's a trojan that proclaims its love for the recipient and requests that you open its attachment. On a first date even! It then loves you so much that it sends copies of itself to everyone in your address book and starts destroying files on your drive... "Pine/Elm/Mutt users as always laugh maniacally as the trojan shuffles countless wasted packets over saturated backbones filling overworked SMTP servers everywhere. Sysadmins are seen weeping in the alleys."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

10 Apr 13:36

We Tried 5 Tricks for Peeling Eggs and Found a Clear Winner (No Matter How You Cooked Your Eggs)

by Ann Taylor Pittman
We also discovered a few fun party tricks. READ MORE...
02 Apr 07:35

Evidence of Ancient Rainforests Found In Antarctica

by BeauHD
mi writes: Researchers have discovered evidence that Antarctica supported a swampy rainforest as "recently" as 90 million years ago, according to a new study. "Even during months of darkness, swampy temperate rainforests were able to grow close to the South Pole, revealing an even warmer climate than we expected," said Tina van de Flierdt, study co-author and professor in the Imperial College London's Department of Earth Science and Engineering. The researchers took CT scans of a slice of the seafloor near the Pine Island and Thwaites glaciers. They revealed pristine samples of forest soil, pollen, spores and even root systems so well preserved that they could identify cell structures. The researchers say that the warming effect caused by higher carbon dioxide levels created the right conditions for a rainforest environment. "The average daytime temperature was 53 degrees Fahrenheit," reports CNN. "River and swamp temperatures were likely around 68 degrees Fahrenheit. And the Antarctic summer temperature was likely around 66 degrees Fahrenheit. They estimate rainfall reached about 97 inches per year -- about the same as Wales today."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

16 Mar 06:53

How to protect your mental health

Advice on protecting your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak.
10 Mar 09:36

Here’s Why You’re Always Hangry, and How to Avoid It

by Inigo Del Castillo
You know the feeling. Youre at work or stuck in traffic, theres a rumbling in your belly, youre irritable, next thing you know youre lashing out at people. READ MORE...
24 Jan 12:58

The viruses behind colds and flu

by Compound Interest
We’re taking a detour into biology for today’s graphic, looking at the colds that many of us are suffering from at this time of year. It’s doubly topical considering the coronavirus outbreak in China at the time of writing. This graphic highlights the viruses that cause colds and flu and their different characteristics. Most of […]
22 Jan 08:06

How I Decided to Eat Less Sugar (It Made a Huge Impact on My Body and My Mind)

by Maggie Battista
After completing a Whole30 challenge 3 years ago Hannah Slabaugh, an engineer in Michigan, decided that eating less sugar was her version of healthy. READ MORE...
21 Jan 13:03

Exploit Fully Breaks SHA-1, Lowers the Attack Bar

by EditorDavid
ThreatPost reported on some big research last week: A proof-of-concept attack has been pioneered that "fully and practically" breaks the Secure Hash Algorithm 1 (SHA-1) code-signing encryption, used by legacy computers to sign the certificates that authenticate software downloads and prevent man-in-the-middle tampering. The exploit was developed by Gaëtan Leurent and Thomas Peyrin, academic researchers at Inria France and Nanyang Technological University/Temasek Laboratories in Singapore. They noted that because the attack is much less complex and cheaper than previous PoCs, it places such attacks within the reach of ordinary attackers with ordinary resources. "This work shows once and for all that SHA-1 should not be used in any security protocol where some kind of collision resistance is to be expected from the hash function," the researchers wrote. "Continued usage of SHA-1 for certificates or for authentication of handshake messages in TLS or SSH is dangerous, and there is a concrete risk of abuse by a well-motivated adversary. SHA-1 has been broken since 2004, but it is still used in many security systems; we strongly advise users to remove SHA-1 support to avoid downgrade attacks." Given the footprint of SHA-1, Leurent and Peyrin said that users of GnuPG, OpenSSL and Git could be in immediate danger. Long-time Slashdot reader shanen writes, "I guess the main lesson is that you can never be too sure how long any form of security will remain secure."

Share on Google+

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

21 Jan 12:23

A Newly-Discovered Part of Our Immune System Could Be Harnessed To Treat All Cancers, Say Scientists.

by BeauHD
An anonymous reader quotes a report from the BBC: The Cardiff University team discovered a method of killing prostate, breast, lung and other cancers in lab tests. The findings, published in Nature Immunology, have not been tested in patients, but the researchers say they have "enormous potential." Our immune system is our body's natural defense against infection, but it also attacks cancerous cells. The scientists were looking for "unconventional" and previously undiscovered ways the immune system naturally attacks tumors. What they found was a T-cell inside people's blood. This is an immune cell that can scan the body to assess whether there is a threat that needs to be eliminated. The difference is this one could attack a wide range of cancers. T-cells have "receptors" on their surface that allow them to "see" at a chemical level. The Cardiff team discovered a T-cell and its receptor that could find and kill a wide range of cancerous cells in the lab including lung, skin, blood, colon, breast, bone, prostate, ovarian, kidney and cervical cancer cells. Crucially, it left normal tissues untouched. Exactly how it does this is still being explored. This particular T-cell receptor interacts with a molecule called MR1, which is on the surface of every cell in the human body. It is thought MR1 is flagging the distorted metabolism going on inside a cancerous cell to the immune system. Treatment would include extracting T-cells from a blood sample of a cancer patient and then genetically modifying them so they were reprogrammed to make the cancer-finding receptor. The upgraded cells would be grown in vast quantities in the lab and then put back into the patient.

Share on Google+

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

20 Dec 07:45

Severed Fiber Optic Cables Disrupted Internet Access In Parts of Eastern Europe, Iran and Turkey

by BeauHD
An anonymous reader quotes a report from the BBC: Severed fibre optic cables disrupted internet access in parts of eastern Europe, Iran and Turkey on Thursday. The issue, which lasted for about two hours, was caused by multiple fibre cables being physically cut at the same time, a highly unusual thing to happen. Google said its services were among those unavailable in the region for about 30 minutes. The company told internet service providers to connect to its other servers to "route around the problem." In a statement, the company blamed "multiple simultaneous fibre cuts," which are very rare. BBC Monitoring confirmed that internet access in Bulgaria, Iran and Turkey had been disrupted for about two hours on Thursday morning. Sadjad Bonabi, a director at Iran's Communications Infrastructure Company, said two cuts happened at once, one between Iran and Bucharest and the other on a line to Munich. This disrupted traffic on one of the major fibre cables in the region. But Mr Bonabi said traffic had been routed on to "healthy" connections in western and southern Iran. No explanation for the cut cables has been offered.

Share on Google+

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

19 Dec 11:58

Homemade Orange Bitters

by David

Bitters are used in a number of cocktails. Even if you can’t strongly perceive them while you’re sipping your drink, like salt, lemon zest, and vanilla, bitters are used to balance the flavors in the glass, providing a gentle undernote to bolster or as a contrast to flavors, rather than domineering or taking center stage.

When writing Drinking French* I kept in mind that most people either didn’t have access to a wide variety of bitters, or didn’t want to amass a line-up of little bottles of bitters at home just to make one cocktail. Although sometimes, a certain bitter does make a difference. So a few times, I nudged readers who might want to expand their flavor horizons towards a particular bitter, such as eucalyptus or salted chocolate. But in the overall picture, I like to give choices when writing a recipe in a book, so as many people ca make it as possible.

My fallback bitters are orange and aromatic (Angostura) because I wanted to make sure to use ones that people could easily find. Heck, I’ve even seen Angostura being sold in French supermarkets, as well as at Target stores in the U.S. So there’s really not that much of a barrier to getting your hands on a bottle.

Continue Reading Homemade Orange Bitters...

27 Nov 07:50

Hungarian Scientists May Have Found a Fifth Force of Nature

by EditorDavid
PolygamousRanchKid brings this news from CNN: Physics centers essentially on four forces that control our known, visible universe, governing everything from the production of heat in the sun to the way your laptop works. They are gravity, electromagnetism, the weak nuclear force, and the strong force. New research may be leading us closer to one more. Scientists at the Institute for Nuclear Research at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Atomki) have posted findings showing what could be an example of that fifth force at work. The scientists were closely watching how an excited helium atom emitted light as it decayed. The particles split at an unusual angle -- 115 degrees -- which couldn't be explained by known physics. The study's lead scientist, Attila Krasznahorkay, told CNN that this was the second time his team had detected a new particle, which they call X17, because they calculated its mass at 17 megaelectronvolts. "X17 could be a particle, which connects our visible world with the dark matter," he said in an email. Jonathan Feng, a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of California at Irvine told CNN he's been following the Hungarian team's work for years, and believes its research is shaping up to be a game changer. If these results can be replicated, "this would be a no-brainer Nobel Prize," he said... They're leading us closer to what's considered the Holy Grail in physics, which Albert Einstein had pursued but never achieved. Physicists hope to create a "unified field theory," which would coherently explain all cosmic forces from the formation of galaxies down to the quirks of quarks.

Share on Google+

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

22 Nov 11:47

Dora Maar: Picasso's lover comes out from his shadow

Her fame came as Picasso's lover but an exhibition shows Dora Maar was talented in her own right.