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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.

Genetics,, Anthropology,, Animals

North America’s earliest dogs came from Siberia

By Bruce Bower 2:12pm, July 5, 2018
North America’s first dogs have few descendants alive today, a study of ancient DNA suggests.
Astronomy,, Planetary Science,, Technology

Japan’s Hayabusa2 spacecraft arrives at the asteroid Ryugu

By Maria Temming 2:58pm, June 27, 2018
The Hayabusa2 spacecraft says “hello” to near-Earth asteroid Ryugu.
Astronomy

‘Oumuamua may be a comet, not an asteroid

By Emily Conover 1:00pm, June 27, 2018
The solar system’s first known interstellar visitor doesn’t appear to be the asteroid that scientists thought it was.
Neuroscience,, Animals

How domestication changed rabbits’ brains

By Tina Hesman Saey 3:00pm, June 25, 2018
The fear centers of the brain were altered as humans tamed rabbits.
Neuroscience,, Psychology,, Science & Society

Splitting families may end, but migrant kids’ trauma needs to be studied

By Laura Sanders 5:39pm, June 20, 2018
The long-term effects of separating children from their parents at the U.S. border need to be studied, scientists say.
Physics

The Large Hadron Collider is getting an upgrade

By Emily Conover 2:01pm, June 15, 2018
Revamping the accelerator’s equipment will increase the rate of proton collisions.
Planetary Science

Opportunity rover waits out a huge dust storm on Mars

By Lisa Grossman 5:56pm, June 11, 2018
NASA’s Opportunity rover is in low-power mode to preserve battery life while a vast dust storm blankets part of the Red Planet.
Planetary Science

New Horizons wakes up to begin Kuiper Belt exploration

By Lisa Grossman 10:51am, June 5, 2018
The New Horizons spacecraft just woke up to get ready for its New Year’s Day flyby of the distant space rock Ultima Thule.
Exoplanets,, Astronomy

Take a virtual trip to an alien world

By Lisa Grossman 10:00am, June 4, 2018
NASA’s Exoplanet Travel Bureau website lets you view what alien landscapes might look like.
Pollution,, Ecosystems

Treating roads with oil and gas wastewater may spread harmful pollution

By Laurel Hamers 5:49pm, May 30, 2018
When spread on roads, wastewater from oil and gas production can leach radium and other contaminants into the environment, a new study finds.
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