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Science Ticker

A roundup of research and breaking news

Science News Staff

Science Ticker


Science Ticker

Early tests pave the way for a giant neutrino detector

Using a house-sized prototype, physicists traced the path of charged particles

prototype detector

COMING SOON  A prototype detector (shown), built to test technology for the DUNE neutrino experiment, has detected its first particle tracks.

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An enormous future particle detector is now within closer reach. The first data from a prototype experiment hint that scientists may have what it takes to build the planned neutrino detector.

Known as the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment, or DUNE, the experiment will use 70,000 metric tons of liquefied argon to study the secrets of these neutrinos — bizarre, nearly massless particles that may help reveal why matter is common in the universe but antimatter is rare. DUNE will eventually detect the tracks of charged particles, including electrons and their heavier cousins, muons, that are produced when neutrinos interact.

A smaller prototype built at CERN in Geneva has spotted its first particles, researchers announced September 18. The scaled-down detector traced the paths of muons produced when protons traveling through space slam into Earth’s atmosphere. The prototype is one of two detectors known as ProtoDUNE, which were built to test DUNE’s technology.

Beginning in 2026, DUNE will detect neutrinos beamed from Fermilab in Batavia, Ill. to the detector’s location more than a kilometer underground at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in South Dakota.

Planetary Science

New Horizons has sent back the first images of Ultima Thule, its next target

By Christopher Crockett 2:39pm, August 29, 2018
NASA probe gets its first look at distant Kuiper Belt object
Planetary Science

OSIRIS-REx snaps first images of asteroid Bennu

By Lisa Grossman 5:12pm, August 24, 2018
OSIRIS-REx got its first glimpse of near-Earth asteroid Bennu. The probe will collect a sample from the asteroid and return it to Earth.
Planetary Science

Here’s where the Hayabusa2 spacecraft will land on the asteroid Ryugu

By Lisa Grossman 3:48pm, August 23, 2018
Japan’s Hayabusa2 probe and its landers will touch down on the asteroid Ryugu in the next few months to pick up dust samples and return them to Earth.
Health,, Cancer

There’s a new cervical cancer screening option

By Aimee Cunningham 11:00am, August 21, 2018
Women now have another choice for cervical cancer screening: getting an HPV test alone every five years.
Genetics,, Science & Society

Americans support genetically engineering animals for people’s health

By Tina Hesman Saey 3:00pm, August 20, 2018
Genetically engineering animals is OK with Americans if it improves human health, a new poll reveals.
Astronomy

The Parker Solar Probe has launched and is on its way to explore the sun

By Lisa Grossman 8:16am, August 12, 2018
The Parker Solar Probe just took off to become the first spacecraft to visit the sun.
Health,, Animals,, Microbes

Rat lungworm disease is popping up in the mainland United States

By Leah Rosenbaum 9:00am, August 3, 2018
A disease caused by a parasite endemic to Asia sickened at least 12 people in eight states in the continental United States from 2011 to 2017.
Health

A new Ebola species has been found in bats in Sierra Leone

By Leah Rosenbaum 5:42pm, July 27, 2018
A sixth species of Ebola has been found, but we don’t know if it can cause disease in humans.
Health,, Neuroscience

Publicity over a memory test Trump took could skew its results

By Leah Rosenbaum 11:00am, July 16, 2018
Many media outlets reporting on President Trump’s cognitive assessment test could make it harder for doctors to use the exam to spot dementia.
Science & Society

Most Americans think funding science pays off

By Emily DeMarco 3:18pm, July 5, 2018
About 80 percent of U.S. adults say that federal spending on scientific and medical research provides value in the long run, a new survey finds.
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