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Tuesday, Sep 16th

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Atomic bond types discernible in single-molecule images

Atomic bond imageA pioneering team from IBM in Zurich has published single-molecule images so detailed that the type of atomic bonds between their atoms can be discerned.
The same team took the first-ever single-molecule image in 2009 and more recently published images of a molecule shaped like the Olympic rings.

The new work opens up the prospect of studying imperfections in the "wonder material" graphene or plotting where electrons go during chemical reactions.

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ALICE scientists enter primeval plasma wonderland

ALICE scientists enter wonderlandScientists at CERN have smashed together various particles for the first time, moving closer to learning what was in the super-hot plasma wonderland that formed right after the primeval Big Bang, the European physics research centre said on Thursday.

The announcement followed another boost for physicists at CERN near Geneva with the effective endorsement by independent experts in a key journal of their claimed discovery of a new particle, the Higgs Boson.

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Curiosity could pollute any water found on Mars

Curiosity on MarsFor all the hopes NASA has pinned on the rover it deposited on Mars last month, one wish has gone unspoken: Please don't find water.

Scientists don't believe they will. They chose the cold, dry equatorial landing site in Mars' Gale Crater for its geology, not its prospects for harboring water or ice, which exist elsewhere on the planet.

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Arctic melt could affect weather long-term

Arctic meltThis summer's record-breaking arctic melt is accelerating, with sea ice becoming significantly thinner and more vulnerable, Norwegian researchers say. Scientists with the Norwegian Polar Institute said the annual thaw of the region's floating ice reached the lowest level since satellite monitoring began more than 30 years ago.

"It is a greater change than we could even imagine 20 years ago, even 10 years ago," the institute's international director, Kim Holmen, told the BBC. "And it has taken us by surprise and we must adjust our understanding of the system and we must adjust our science and we must adjust our feelings for the nature around us."

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Scientists knew biological attack alert was flawed

Biological attack alert systemScientists who helped pioneer BioWatch, the government's system for detecting a biological attack on the U.S., knew from the start that it was prone to false alarms, records show.

Between 2003, when the nationwide network of air samplers was first deployed, and 2006, officials at the federally funded Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory filed five patent applications aimed at improving BioWatch's reliability.

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Mach 6 aircraft reaches 3,600 mph for 5 minutes

Mach 6 aircraftThe U.S. Air Force plans a key test of an experimental aircraft designed to fly at six times the speed of sound, or about 3,600 mph (5,800 kph). The unmanned X-51 WaveRider was expected to reach Mach 6 after it's dropped by a B-52 bomber and takes flight off the Southern California coast near Point Mugu.

Engineers hoped the X-51 would sustain its top speed for five minutes, twice as long as it's gone before. The B-52 took to the skies, but no other information about the test flight was available, John Haire, a spokesman for Edwards Air Force Base in California, said in an email.

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Seeing Through Walls With a Wireless Router

U.S. Navy researchers stumbled upon the concept of radar when they noticed that a plane flying past a radio tower reflected radio waves.

Scientists have now applied that same principle to make the first device that tracks existing Wi-Fi signals to spy on people through walls.

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