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Stories by JR Minkel

Fermilab says: "Hey wait, we're in the Higgs hunt, too!"

It looks like the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) may have some competition in its search for the much-anticipated Higgs boson, the source of mass.

Yesterday CERN, the European particle physics lab, announced that on September 10 it would begin shooting protons around the full 27 kilometers (17 miles) of the circular LHC—the most powerful particle accelerator ever built—building up to collisions with a second, opposing beam in subsequent months.

August 8, 2008 — JR Minkel

How to make an electronic eye, step one: the retina

A new miniature camera looks an awful lot like an electronic eyeball. Maybe it's that bowl-shaped "retina" made of silicon.

In the latest feat of so-called flexible electronics—often described as the quest for a computer screen you can bend and fold without breaking—chemists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have made a prototype low-distortion camera by molding silicon into a dome shape.

August 6, 2008 — JR Minkel

Perchlorate found on Mars makes soil less Earthlike

Martian soil may be less Earthlike and less hospitable to life than researchers believed. NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander has found traces of perchlorate in two soil samples analyzed during the past month, the space agency announced today.

August 4, 2008 — JR Minkel

Solar sail and ashes of Star Trek's "Scotty" lost in SpaceX rocket failure

More bad news for Elon Musk, the billionaire PayPal founder who wants to sell low-cost space delivery to NASA and whoever else is buying.

On Saturday his privately funded company, SpaceX, suffered its third failed launch in a row of the Falcon 1, a two-stage rocket for ferrying satellites into orbit.

August 4, 2008 — JR Minkel

Thousands treated to total solar eclipse this morning

  Millions of people were treated to a rare view of a solar eclipse this morning. Some thousands who could make it to northern Canada or central Russia, Mongolia or China got the full monty—a total eclipse lasting more than two minutes.

August 1, 2008 — JR Minkel

NASA turns 50 today

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was established 50 years ago today by the aptly named National Aeronautics and Space Act. NASA began operations on October 1, 1958, with a staff of 80 spread among four laboratories.

July 29, 2008 — JR Minkel
News Bytes of the Week--Cell phones: The new cigarettes?

News Bytes of the Week--Cell phones: The new cigarettes?

Peppers fingered as salmonella culprits; Does soy lower sperm count?; Robot surveillance dragonfly takes flight; and more …

July 25, 2008 — Adam Hadhazy, JR Minkel, Larry Greenemeier, David Biello, Nikhil Swaminathan and Barbara Juncosa

Could Wildfires Save the Arctic?

Alaskan residents who watched as wildfires claimed a record 10,000 square miles (26,00 square kilometers) of land in 2004 can take cold comfort in the fact that the choking smoke endured during wildfire season could blunt some of the effects of global warming.

July 25, 2008 — JR Minkel

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