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In 1995 the leading British materials chemist Paul O’Brien, who has died aged 64 after suffering from brain cancer, began to use chemical synthesis to make quantum dots, which are tiny semiconductor particles, only nanometres across, that can be made to emit light of varying colours according to their size. Up to that point quantum
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Strap yourselves in, because CERN has something up its sleeve. On Thursday 1 November, Large Hadron Collider (LHC) physicists will be discussing the fact that they may have found a new and unexpected new particle.   “I’d say theorists are excited and experimentalists are very sceptical,” CERN physicist Alexandre Nikitenko told The Guardian. “As a
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Neanderthals are often depicted as barrel-chested, hunched-over cavemen, but a close inspection of their fossils is telling a different story. For the first time, an international team of researchers has reconstructed the ribcage and upper spine of a Neanderthal man who died roughly 60,000 years ago.   The findings suggest that contrary to popular images,
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A transistor based on the 2-D material tungsten ditelluride (WTe2) sandwiched between boron nitride can switch between two different electronic states — one that conducts current only along its edges, making it a topological insulator, and one that conducts current with no resistance, making it a superconductor — researchers at MIT and colleagues from four other institutions
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NASA announced Tuesday that Kepler, an orbital telescope that’s been spotting and analyzing distant planets for the past nine years, has run out of fuel and will no longer carry out scientific research.   Since it launched in March 2009, the telescope identified over 2,600 planets outside of our solar system, and found that as
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This Halloween, the creepiest event to attend might be a mass online social experiment hosted by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. MIT is famous for churning out some of the world’s top engineers, programmers, and scientists.   But the university’s Media Laboratory is increasingly known for launching experimental projects in October that are
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For years, a mystery puzzled environmental scientists. The world had banned the use of many ozone-depleting compounds in 2010. So why were global emission levels still so high?   The picture started to clear up in June. That’s when The New York Times published an investigation into the issue.  China, the paper claimed, was to blame for these mystery emissions. Now it
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An awful lot can happen in any given week, and it’s no easy task keeping up with all the excitement – both in the world of science and beyond. To keep you up to date with our coverage at ScienceAlert, each week we put together this shareable image with some of the past week’s highlights.
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On February 11th, 2016, scientists at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) made history when they announced the first detection of gravitational waves.   Originally predicted made by Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity a century prior, these waves are essentially ripples in space-time that are formed by major astronomical events – such as the merger
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Mars is a sizable planet about nine times the mass of our moon. The latest scientific research suggests Mars, despite looking like a giant desert, may harbour enough subsurface water and warmth to support microbial life today.   But against the deep, dark backdrop of space, the rusty-red world looks as humble and insignificant as Earth. NASA underscored this stark reality
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Strange-looking black pouches have been washing up on beaches along North Carolina’s shores. But despite how they might look, they’re not plastic pollution, as officials have reminded the well-meaning public.   That’s because they’re actually something much cooler – the egg casings of sea skates. Sometimes known as mermaid’s or devil’s purses, based on their