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Thursday, Jun 30th

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NASA discovers 26 new alien planets in 11 solar systems

26 new planetsNASA's prolific planet-hunting spacecraft has hit the jackpot again, discovering 11 new planetary systems with 26 confirmed alien planets among them.

The findings nearly double the number of bona fide planets found outside our solar system by the Kepler space observatory.

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Lost Charles Darwin fossils rediscovered in cabinet

Darwin fossils foundA "treasure trove" of fossils - including some collected by Charles Darwin - has been re-discovered in an old cabinet. The fossils, lost for some 165 years, were found by chance in the vaults of the British Geological Survey HQ near Keyworth, UK.

They have now been photographed and are available to the public through a new online museum exhibit released today. The find was made by the palaeontologist Dr Howard Falcon-Lang.

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Astronomers see more planets than stars in galaxy

Astronomers see more planets than starsThe more astronomers look for other worlds, the more they find that it's a crowded and crazy cosmos. They think planets easily outnumber stars in our galaxy and they're even finding them in the strangest of places. And they've only begun to count.

Three studies released Wednesday, in the journal Nature and at the American Astronomical Society's conference in Austin, Texas, demonstrate an extrasolar real estate boom. One study shows that in our Milky Way, most stars have planets. And since there are a lot of stars in our galaxy - about 100 billion - that means a lot of planets.

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Doomsday clock a minute closer to midnight

Doomsday ClockThe symbolic Doomsday Clock calculated by a group of scientists was moved a minute closer to midnight on Tuesday, with the group citing inadequate progress on nuclear weapons reduction and climate change.

The clock was moved to five minutes to midnight, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists said, the first adjustment since the beginning of 2010, when it was moved back one minute to six minutes from midnight -- or "doomsday".

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"Time Cloak" Created; Can Make Events Disappear

Time cloak createdEinstein's theories of relativity suggest that gravity can cause time to slow down. Now scientists have demonstrated a way to stop time altogether—or at least, to give the appearance of time stopping by bending light to create a hole in time.

The new research builds on recent demonstrations of "invisibility cloaks" that can make objects seem to disappear by bending waves of visible light.

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Book examines America's turn from science, warns of danger for democracy

Shawn Lawrence OttoAmericans have trouble dealing with science, and one place that's especially obvious is in presidential campaigns, says Shawn Lawrence Otto, who tried, with limited success, to get the candidates to debate scientific questions in the 2008 presidential election.

Otto is the author of a new book, "Fool me twice: Fighting the assault on science in America," which opens with a quote from Thomas Jefferson: "Whenever the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government."

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Large Hadron Collider team detect 'new particle'

Haldron collider Large Hadron Collider scientists including a group from the UK believe they have detected their first new subatomic particle. Known as Chi (the Greek X symbol) b (3P), it is a "boson" like the fabled Higgs particle believed to underpin mass.

Chib(3P) provides a new way of combining two other elementary particles, the "beauty" quark and its antiquark, so that they bind together. Quarks are the building blocks of protons and neutrons, which form the cores of atoms.

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