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BBC News - Science & Environment

  • Controllers banking on Philae wake-up
    The European Space Agency says it will conduct no more dedicated searches for its lost comet lander, and will now wait for the probe itself to call home.
  • Study fells cosmic inflation claim
    Scientists who claimed to have found evidence for a cosmic super-expansion at the Big Bang made no such discovery, a soon-to-be published study will say.
  • 'Cold plasma' kills off norovirus
    Norovirus, the most common cause of gastroenteritis in the world, can be killed with "cold plasma", scientists report.
News -- ScienceDaily

  • Gravitational waves from early universe remain elusive
    A joint analysis of data from the Planck space mission and the ground-based experiment BICEP2 has found no conclusive evidence of gravitational waves from the birth of our universe, despite earlier reports of a possible detection. The collaboration between the teams has resulted in the most precise knowledge yet of what signals from the ancient gravitational waves should look like, aiding future searches.
  • NASA launches groundbreaking Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observatory
    NASA successfully launched its first Earth satellite designed to collect global observations of the vital soil moisture hidden just beneath our feet. The Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observatory now begins a three-year mission that will figuratively scratch below Earth's surface to expand our understanding of a key component of the Earth system that links the water, energy and carbon cycles driving our living planet.
  • Hydrogen production in extreme bacterium
    Scientists have discovered a bacterium that can produce hydrogen, an element that one day could lessen the world?s dependence on oil.
  • Ancient deformation of the lithosphere revealed in Eastern China
    Seismic investigations from the Qinling-Dabie-Sulu orogenic belt in eastern China suggest that this region was affected by extreme mantle perturbation and crust-mantle interaction during the Mesozoic era. The Qinling-Dabie-Sulu orogenic belt formed through the collision between the North and South China blocks, which produced large-scale destruction of the cratonic lithosphere, accompanied by widespread magmatism and metallogeny.
  • Evidence mounts for quantum criticality theory
    A new study adds to the growing evidence supporting a theory that strange electronic behaviors -- including high-temperature superconductivity and heavy fermion physics -- arise from quantum fluctuations of strongly correlated electrons.
  • Latent HIV may lurk in 'quiet' immune cells, research suggests
    HIV can lie dormant in infected cells for years, even decades. Scientists think unlocking the secrets of this viral reservoir may make it possible to cure, not just treat, HIV. Researchers have gained new insight on which immune cells likely do, and do not, harbor this latent virus.
  • Meteorite may represent 'bulk background' of Mars' battered crust
    NWA 7034, a meteorite found a few years ago in the Moroccan desert, is like no other rock ever found on Earth. It's been shown to be a 4.4 billion-year-old chunk of the Martian crust, and according to a new analysis, rocks just like it may cover vast swaths of Mars.
  • Radar Images of Near-Earth Asteroid
    A team of astronomers has made the most detailed radar images yet of asteroid 2004 BL86. The images, which were taken early in the morning on Jan. 27, 2014, reveal the asteroid's surface features in unprecedented clarity.
  • Stress shared by same-sex couples can have unique health impacts
    Minority stress -- which results from being stigmatized and disadvantaged in society -- affects same-sex couples' stress levels and overall health, research indicates. Authors of a new study state that the health effects of minority stress shared by a couple can be understood as distinct from individual stress, a new framework in the field.
  • New method allows for greater variation in band gap tunability
    If you can't find the ideal material, then design a new one. By manipulating the ordered arrangement of atoms in layered complex oxide materials, scientists have found a way to control their electronic band gaps, which determines the electrical behavior of the material and how it interacts with light.
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