While the LHC's in the shop for repairs from its massive breakdown last September, an older particle accelerator might beat them to finding the Higgs boson, the fundamental particle thought to give matter mass.
At a conference last week, Tevatron physicists threw down the gauntlet, vowing that by 2011, the Tevatron accelerator (located at Fermi National Accelerator Lab outside Chicago) will be able to definitively prove or disprove the existence of the Higgs boson.
A new website lets you figure out how you might die, by sorting death data by cause of death, sex, and age. For American males ages 20-29, the most common cause of death is accidents (40.2 percent of deaths), followed by homicide (17.5 percent), and suicide (11.7 percent). Urinary tract infections? 0.3 percent.
In a paper published last week, MIT physicist Lorenzo Maccone hypothesizes that, yes, quantum physics is messing with our minds. The laws of physics work just as well if time is running forwards or backwards. But we all seem to experience time running in only one direction, and in the same direction as everyone else -- a mystery of physics that's yet to be solved.
In one corner, we have the "hairy" frog, Trichobatrachus robustus, hailing from Cameroon.
In the other corner, meet the Spanish ribbed newt, Pleurodeles waltl, hailing from the Iberian peninsula.
Which skin-busting, bone-poking amphibian will win the PopSci deathmatch?
Airplane design could be improved with a little inspiration from mammalian chompers. Or so said aerospace engineer Herzl Chai of Tel Aviv University in a press release Wednesday.
He and his collaborators studied hundreds of extracted teeth from people and sea otters (apparently our molars are quite similar) to see why teeth can take the wear and tear of a lifetime of peanut brittle. When they submitted the teeth to severe mechanical pressure, they found that pearly whites' complex layers of wavy fibers develop many microcracks instead of a few large fractures.
A game called The Great Flu, developed by virologists at Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, lets you unleash the flu virus of your choice on the world, then use your $2 billion budget to contain it through a palette of public health moves.
Playing it, I've certainly gained a little knowledge about the flu and a lot of empathy for the WHO.
Researchers are now profiling the chemicals released from decaying bodies, in an effort to create a sensor that might be able to sniff out corpses in the rubble, or determine a dearly departed's precise time of death.
For medicines that do not go down well in pill form, administering drugs via transdermal patches is nothing new. Patches are currently on the market for nicotine replacement, birth control, and even pain relief. But many drugs, such as an effective migraine medication called sumatriptan, do not pass easily from a patch into the skin. Drug company NuPathe has a solution: at the press of a button, an electric current running through the patch gently prods the meds into your body.
New Orleans sits smack dab between the Gulf of Mexico and Lake Pontchartrain, and when a hurricane comes rolling in, those bodies of water tend to spill into the streets. This summer, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers started construction on a barrier that can block a 16-foot swell blown in from the Gulf and a massive pumping station that will blast floodwaters back to sea.
Polar bears starving, corals dying, ice shelves melting--climate change is wrecking the world around us. But there's an upside if you're a fan of the Australian cricket team. Global warming may increase your odds of beating arch rival England.