Science blog
Orbital mechanics affect methane levels
Antarctic lake keeps its secrets for now
How snakes lost their legs
Researchers ponder cancer origins
Forming social networks a no-brainer
'Niceness' partly genetic, say scientists
Omega-3 may keep blindness at bay
Coral shines light on rainfall records
Old bone proves Lucy was no swinger
Scientists unlock cosmic ice riddle
Study links pesticides to Parkinson's
Digital world growing faster every year
Energy drinks put kids at risk: report
Robotics speed up cancer drug development
Zinc cuts short the common cold
Counting kicks in at 18 months
NASA spacecraft unravels comet mystery
Astronomers dig up cannibalised galaxy
Study links extreme weather to climate change
Turkey quake gives warning clues
US scientists build first 'antilaser'
Website meltdown leaves scientists fuming
Earth 'unrecognisable' by 2050: experts
Canola fungus genome unravelled
CERN restarts search for cosmic origins
Scientists at the Large Hadron Collider have staged their first speed-of-light particle collisions of the year, resuming their probe into the origins of the cosmos.

"It started up well, with stable beams. We are even a little ahead of schedule after the winter break," says spokesman James Gillies.

Oliver Buchmueller, a leading physicist on the US$10 billion project, says top priority in 2011 and 2012 would be finding evidence of super-symmetry, extra dimensions, dark matter, black hole production and the elusive Higgs boson.

These concepts and ideas are at the new frontiers of science research as it pushes into the realms of what was once science fiction, giving a new impulse to cosmology and theorising on whether the known universe is alone, or one of many.

Cosmologists, like Briton Steven Hawking and US physicist and mathematician Brian Greene, are looking to the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) to turn up at least strong signs that there was another universe before the Big Bang or that others exist in parallel to our own.

CERN - the 21-nation European Organisation for Nuclear Research near Geneva on the Swiss-French border - started what it calls "New Physics" in the giant underground LHC on last year. It expects to continue the project into the next decade.

After eight months of intensive operations, the LHC was halted in December for servicing of its complicated equipment.

In the 27-kilometre subterranean near-circular tunnel, minute particles are smashed together creating billions of mini- explosions like the Big Bang of 13.7 billion years ago which led to the formation of the known universe and everything in it.
Information on creation period

These explosions are monitored and analysed by four research teams at CERN and by scientists around the world who are looking for new information about the primeval creation period.

With the scheduled closure later this year of the similar, but smaller, Tevatron collider at Fermilab near Chicago, CERN is the focus of global research in this area.

Initially, interest in both centres centred on finding the Higgs boson, a particle whose existence was posited some 35 years ago as the agent that turned the matter created by the Big Bang into the mass that became stars and planets.

While the Higgs remains a key target in CERN, the centre's scientists are now suggesting that by the middle of the decade - despite a year's shutdown of the LHC in 2013 - more should be known on topics once left to science fiction writers.

Buchmueller is looking to see proof of super-symmetry - dubbed SUSY - which allows for the existence of unseen doubles of basic particles which could explain the existence of the dark matter believed to make up one quarter of the known universe.

But SUSY, if its existence is established, could also offer backup for the often-contested ideas of string theory which allows for at least six more dimensions than the known four - length, breadth, depth and time.

Proponents of the theory like Greene, who has just published a book called The Hidden Reality, argue that it allows for the existence of multiple, and perhaps ever- multiplying universes.

Brain efficiency comes from parents
Backward bending light key to stealth
Signs of 'alien life' found in meteorites
Accurate blood test for Down's
Disaster volunteers at risk: study
Elephants smart as chimps, dolphins
Gadgets ruining people's sleep
Why skin doesn't dissolve in the bath
Astronomers find old heads in a young crowd
Paper leads to perfect beer head
Researchers locate brain's loudness map
Jamming may leave GPS in the wilderness
Pain washes guilt away
Quake could alter Tokyo risk: experts
Japan meltdown not like Chernobyl: expert
Dreamtime astronomers understood meteors
CERN restarts search for cosmic origins
Nuclear Contamination: What to Do
Bet-hedging 'key to natural selection'
Humans age same as other primates
US overdue, under-prepared for huge quake
Sperm's egg-seeking secrets revealed
Lasers to nudge space junk out harm's way
Researchers uncover gastro's sugary secret
Kepler probes inside swollen red giant
Randomness could 'improve democracy'
Moonageddon: Apocalypse not
Museum unveils Columbian mammoth
Ink-jet inspire scientists to make skin
Seaweed offers clues against malaria
Christchurch quakes may be connected
Solar storms pose risk to technology
Study finds fences thwart cane toad
Mobile phone alters brain activity
Sticky dots approved for clinical trial
Humans stink worse than other animals
Putting the bounce in carbon balls
Sulphur secrets uncovered
Cool laser makes atoms march in time
Hot flashes may be a sign of good heart
Scientists see the birth of a new planet
X-ray expectations change search methods
Eucalypt-harming fungus here to stay
Life elements came from outer space
Cricket wimps use perfume to find mates
Orphan planets could support life
Speech lights up visual cortex in blind
How the Sun loses its spots
Cancer resistance mechanism found
Fungus turns Amazonian ants into zombies
Tiny grains record solar system's infancy
Antarctic ice forming beneath glaciers
Visit Statistics