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Back on the Table? Element 118 is served up again

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7:53pm, October 17, 2006

New research suggests that the periodic table may once again reach 118. A team of nuclear chemists from the United States and Russia has announced the brief appearance of the unnamed element, the heaviest to date.

A report of element 118 had made a splash before. In 1999, a group at Lawrence Berkeley (Calif.) National Laboratory claimed that it had created the element by bombarding lead with krypton ions (SN: 6/12/99, p. 372: http://www.sciencenews.org/pages/sn_arc99/6_12_99/fob2.htm). But the researchers retracted the finding 2 years later (SN: 8/4/01, p. 68: Available to subscribers at Researchers take an element off the table), after other labs couldn't reproduce the results.

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