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NASA's Kepler spacecraft spots planet 'somebody else might call home'

Kepler spavecraft finds earth twinScientists have spotted a planet much the same size as our Earth orbiting a star that closely resembles our sun, making this new world the most likely known place outside our solar system to harbor life.

The newfound planet, referred to as Kepler-452b, “is the closest thing we have to another place that somebody else might call home,” Jon Jenkins of NASA’s Ames Research Center told reporters Thursday. The planet has been at just the right temperature to boast liquid water for some 6 billion years, “a considerable time and opportunity for life to arise somewhere on its surface or in its oceans,” assuming the place has all the necessary ingredients for life, Jenkins said.

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Security experts hack into moving car and seize control

car controls highjacked by tech expertsA pair of veteran cybersecurity researchers have shown they can use the Internet to turn off a car's engine as it drives, sharply escalating the stakes in the debate about the safety of increasingly connected cars and trucks.

Former National Security Agency hacker Charlie Miller, now at Twitter, and IOActive researcher Chris Valasek used a feature in the Fiat Chrysler telematics system Uconnect to break into a car being driven on the highway by a reporter for technology news site Wired.com.

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Galactic assembly seen in early universe for the first time

Early galaxyFor the first time, astronomers in Europe have observed star-forming gas clouds in the early universe -- the building blocks of the first galaxies.

The faint glow of ionized carbon was spotted by the European Southern Observatory's ALMA telescope, located in Chile. To find these earliest galaxies, researchers trained the telescope deep into space, past the obvious light of more mature quasars and star-filled galaxies.

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Searching for ET: Hawking to look for extraterrestrial life

HawkingRenowned physicist Stephen Hawking has joined a Russian billionaire to launch a major new effort to listen for aliens in the search for extraterrestrial life.

Hawking has offered his support to tech entrepreneur Yuri Milner's Breakthrough Initiatives project — a $100 million quest to see if extraterrestrial intelligence exists. Milner, who made a fortune through investments in companies like Facebook, said the power and innovation of Silicon Valley could be harnessed to search the entire Milky Way and 100 nearby galaxies.

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One of Google's self-driving cars has its first accident involving injuries (but it wasn't the one at fault)

Google carGoogle’s self-driving car has been in its first accident involving injuries after the high-tech, camera-equipped Lexus was rear-ended by a distracted driver in Mountain View, California.

The three Google employees who were riding in the car were taken to a local hospital where they were treated for minor whiplash before being released. The driver of the other car also reported having neck and back pain.

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Massless particle discovered 85 years after it was theorized

Massless particle discoveeredResearchers have discovered a massless particle, which was first theorized 85 years ago and thought to be a possible building block for other subatomic particles.  The discovery of the Weyl fermion, conceived of by mathematician and physicist Hermann Weyl in 1929, could be a boon for electronics, researchers said. It could allow electricity to flow more freely and efficiently providing greater power, most notably for computers.

"The physics of the Weyl fermion are so strange, there could be many things that arise from this particle that we're just not capable of imagining now," M. Zahid Hasan, a professor of physics at Princeton University, said in a press release.

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New species of feather-winged dinosaur unearthed in China

New species of dinosaurA nearly complete, new dinosaur fossil has been unearthed in China, the first in its family to have unusually short feathered wings.

The new species named Zhenyuanlong suni is a close cousin of the dinosaur predator Velociraptor.

Scientists said the new addition, which lived around 125 million years ago, had multiple layers of dense feathers covering both its wings and tail. Experts, however, believe the feathers are more for display instead of flying.

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