SCIENCE IN THE NEWS WEEKLY
Data Pile-Up at the Large Hadron Collider
The world's largest particle accelerator is delivering torrents of data to physicists. But the hundreds of millions of collisions happening inside the machine every second are now growing into a thick fog that, paradoxically, threatens to obscure a fabled quarry: the Higgs boson.
In other technology news, scientists say microbes that eat iron create tiny magnets inside themselves, similar to those in PC hard drives. The research may lead to the creation of much faster hard drives.
Japan is switching off its last working nuclear reactor, as part of the safety drive since the March 2011 tsunami triggered a meltdown at the Fukushima plant. The third reactor at the Tomari plant, in Hokkaido prefecture, is shutting down for routine maintenance. It leaves Japan without energy from atomic power for the first time in more than 40 years.
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PODCASTS: From Balloons to Space Stations: Studying Cosmic Rays
Cosmic rays have mysterious qualities about them that scientists continue to research in order to better understand their origins and composition. Dr. Eun-Suk Seo, a professor of physics at the University of Maryland, and her colleagues, fly enormous balloons as large as a football stadium and a volume of 40-million-cubic feet for extended periods over Antarctica to study particles coming from cosmic rays before they break up in the atmosphere.
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