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Mon, 25 Jul 2016
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Billions Of Particles Of Anti-matter Created In Laboratory

Take a gold sample the size of the head of a push pin, shoot a laser through it, and suddenly more than 100 billion particles of anti-matter appear. The anti-matter, also known as positrons, shoots out of the target in a cone-shaped plasma "jet."

This new ability to create a large number of positrons in a small laboratory opens the door to several fresh avenues of anti-matter research, including an understanding of the physics underlying various astrophysical phenomena such as black holes and gamma ray bursts.
© DOE/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Physicist Hui Chen sets up targets for the anti-matter experiment at the Jupiter laser facility.

Anti-matter research also could reveal why more matter than anti-matter survived the Big Bang at the start of the universe.

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Funerary Monument Reveals Iron Age Belief That The Soul Lived In The Stone

Archaeologists in southeastern Turkey have discovered an Iron Age chiseled stone slab that provides the first written evidence in the region that people believed the soul was separate from the body.

University of Chicago researchers will describe the discovery, a testimony created by an Iron Age official that includes an incised image of the man, on Nov. 22-23 at conferences of biblical and Middle Eastern archaeological scholars in Boston.
© Eudora Struble, University of Chicago
A funerary monument recovered in southeastern Turkey reveals that people who lived in an important Iron Age city there believed the soul was separate from the body. They also believed the soul lived in the funerary slab.

The Neubauer Expedition of the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago found the 800-pound basalt stele, 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide, at Zincirli (pronounced "Zin-jeer-lee"), the site of the ancient city of Sam'al. Once the capital of a prosperous kingdom, it is now one of the most important Iron Age sites under excavation.

Telescope

Astronomers Detect Matter Torn Apart By Black Hole

Astronomers have used two different telescopes simultaneously to study the violent flares from the supermassive black hole in the centre of the Milky Way. They have detected outbursts from this region, known as Sagittarius A*, which reveal material being stretched out as it orbits in the intense gravity close to the central black hole.

The team of European and US astronomers used ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) and the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) telescope, both in Chile, to study light from Sagittarius A* at near-infrared wavelengths and the longer submillimetre wavelengths respectively. This is the first time that astronomers have caught a flare with these telescopes simultaneously. The telescopes' location in the southern hemisphere provides the best vantage point for studying the Galactic Centre.
© ESO/APEX/2MASS/A. Eckart et al. , ESO/L. Calçada
Left image: Colour composite image of the central region of our Milky Way galaxy, about 26 000 light years from Earth. Giant clouds of gas and dust are shown in blue. Right images: This series of three images shows an artist's impression of a bright "blob" of gas in the disk of material surrounding the black hole in the centre of our Galaxy, Sagittarius A*. This blob of material is responsible for the flares detected by the researchers.

"Observations like this, over a range of wavelengths, are really the only way to understand what's going on close to the black hole," says Andreas Eckart of the University of Cologne, who led the team.

Satellite

India's Chandrayaan-1 Spacecraft Successful: Moon Impact Probe Hits Lunar Surface

In a historic event, the Indian space programme achieved a unique feat on Friday (November 14, 2008) with the placing of Indian tricolour on the Moon's surface on Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru's birthday. The Indian flag was painted on the sides of Moon Impact Probe (MIP), one of the 11 payloads of Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, that successfully hit the lunar surface at 20:31 hrs (8:31 pm) IST.
© Indian Space Research Organisation
A close-up picture of the moon's surface taken by Moon Impact Probe (MIP) on November 14, 2008 as it approached it after separating from Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft.

This is the first Indian built object to reach the surface of the moon. The point of MIP's impact was near the Moon's South Polar Region. It may be recalled that the modern Indian space programme was initiated in 1962 when Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was the Prime Minister of India.

Sherlock

Kangaroo genes close to humans

CANBERRA - Australia's kangaroos are genetically similar to humans and may have first evolved in China, Australian researchers said Tuesday.
© REUTERS/Tim Wimborne/Files

Scientists said they had for the first time mapped the genetic code of the Australian marsupials and found much of it was similar to the genome for humans, the government-backed Center of Excellence for Kangaroo Genomics said.

"There are a few differences, we have a few more of this, a few less of that, but they are the same genes and a lot of them are in the same order," center Director Jenny Graves told reporters in Melbourne.

Magnify

'Enlightened' Atoms Stage Nano-riot Against Uniformity

When atoms in a crystal are struck by laser light, their electrons, excited by the light, typically begin moving back and forth together in a regular pattern, resembling nanoscale soldiers marching in a lockstep formation. But according to a new theory developed by Johns Hopkins researchers, under the right conditions these atoms will rebel against uniformity. Their electrons will begin moving apart and then joining together again repeatedly like lively swing partners on a dance floor.

Cow Skull

Remains Of Ancient Rhino Discovered In England

The remnants of an Ice Age rhinoceros have been discovered by a five-year-old girl at a Gloucestershire, England water park.

Emelia Fawbert found the fossilized remains at the Cotswold Water Park during a fossil hunt with her father.

Emelia and her father James, 33, unearthed the atlas vertebra of the rhinoceros that frequented that area of the UK 50,000 years earlier.

© Unknown

Info

The secret life of the brain

In 1953 a physician named Louis Sokoloff laid a 20-year-old college student onto a gurney, attached electrodes to his scalp and inserted a syringe into his jugular vein.

For 60 minutes the volunteer lay there and solved arithmetic problems. All the while, Sokoloff monitored his brainwaves and checked the levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide in his blood.

Sokoloff, a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, was trying to find out how much energy the brain consumes during vigorous thought. He expected his volunteer's brain to guzzle more oxygen as it crunched the problems, but what he saw surprised him: his subject's brain consumed no more oxygen while doing arithmetic than it did while he was resting with his eyes closed.

People have long envisaged the brain as being like a computer on standby, lying dormant until called upon to do a task, such as solving a Sudoku, reading a newspaper, or looking for a face in a crowd. Sokoloff's experiment provided the first glimpse of a different truth: that the brain enjoys a rich private life. This amazing organ, which accounts for only 2 per cent of our body mass but devours 20 per cent of the calories we eat, fritters away much of that energy doing, as far as we can tell, absolutely nothing.

Info

Ancient grave reveals 'Flintstone' nuclear family

A Stone Age massacre has provided evidence of the earliest known nuclear family. The evidence also suggests that, just like today, some early humans lived in blended families.

Archaeologists have long suspected that people lived in nuclear families at least as far back as the Stone Age. The idea even has a foothold in popular culture - remember Fred, Wilma and Pebbles Flintstone?
© National Academy of Sciences/PNAS
A Late Stone Age family grave, showing the careful arrangement of bodies. The photo is overlain by a pedigree reconstructed from the genetic results with squares denoting male.

But the evidence for Stone Age nuclear families has been flimsy, mainly based on extrapolations from how we live now, and speculations about relationships between adults and children found buried together.

"We have been inferring the past from the present, but it wasn't necessarily true. Now, we have tested the hypothesis and found that at least one Stone Age nuclear family existed," says Wolfgang Haak who led a team at Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz.

Telescope

Comet Particles Provide Glimpse Of Solar System's Birth Spasms

Scientists are tracking the violent convulsions in the giant cloud of gas and dust that gave birth to the solar system 4.5 billion years ago via a few tiny particles from comet Wild 2.

These convulsions flung primordial material billions of miles from the hot, inner regions of the gas cloud that later collapsed to form the sun, out into the cold, nether regions of the solar system, where they became incorporated into an icy comet.
© University of Chicago
A transmission electron microscope image (magnified 5,000 times) of a slice of the Inti particle, which NASA’s Stardust spacecraft collected in 2004 and returned to Earth two years later. Preparation of the sample caused some breakage. Scale bar is one micron, or one millionth of a meter.

"If you take a gas of solar composition and let it cool down, the very first minerals to solidify are calcium and aluminum-rich," said Steven Simon, Senior Research Associate in Geophysical Sciences at the University of Chicago. And comet Wild 2 does contain these and other minerals formed at high temperatures. "That's an indication of transport from the inner solar system to the outer solar system, where comets are thought to have formed," he said.