Hunting dark matter with DNA

Particle physicists propose a new way to detect dark matter using the molecule of life

11:30am, October 31, 2012

RALEIGH, N.C. — Physicists racing to detect the mysterious substance known as dark matter are thinking outside the box by looking inside the cell. A new proposal for tracking dark matter particles relies on strands of DNA.

All the ordinary stuff in the universe, from the atoms in people to the hot plasma in stars, makes up only about 5 percent of the universe’s mass and energy. Nearly one-quarter of the universe is composed of dark matter. (The rest is an even more puzzling entity known as dark energy.) Though several experiments claim to have detected dark matter, the results don’t agree and aren’t definitive.

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