NASA to Unveil Exoplanet Discovery Thursday

NASA to Unveil Exoplanet Discovery Thursday

NASA is about to announce some more big alien-planet news. The agency will hold a news conference Thursday (Dec. 14) at 1 p.m. EST (1800 GMT) to reveal a new discovery made by its prolific Kepler space telescope, which has been searching the heavens for alien worlds since 2009. Space.com will air the briefing live, courtesy of NASA.

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New form of matter ‘excitonium’ discovered

New form of matter ‘excitonium’ discovered

Scientists have proven the existence of new form of matter called excitonium – which was first theorised almost 50 years ago. Researchers from University of California and University of Illinois studied non-doped crystals of a transition metal— dichalcogenide titanium diselenide (1T-TiSe2). Excitonium exhibits macroscopic quantum phenomena, like a superconductor and is made up of excitons, particles that are formed in a very strange quantum mechanical pairing.

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Mars atmosphere well protected from the solar wind

Mars atmosphere well protected from the solar wind

Despite the absence of a global Earth-like magnetic dipole, the Martian atmosphere is well protected from the effects of the solar wind on ion escape from the planet. New research shows this using measurements from the Swedish particle instrument ASPERA-3 on the Mars Express spacecraft. The results have recently been presented in a doctoral thesis by Robin Ramstad, Swedish Institute of Space Physics and Umeå University, Sweden.

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The Virus That Kills Drug-Resistant Superbugs

The Virus That Kills Drug-Resistant Superbugs

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria kill 23,000 people every year in the United States, and the United Nations estimates that by 2050, more people will die from antibiotic-resistant infections than currently die from cancer. Discovered 100 years ago, bacteriophages—viruses that eat bacteria—might provide an answer. But phage therapy has only been approved for use on humans in the former Soviet Union. Motherboard travels to Georgia to meet the doctors using phage therapy today, and meets with the American scientists trying to normalize phage therapy in the United States.

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Scientists have created orange vitamin-A rich bananas that could save hundreds of thousands of children

Scientists have created orange vitamin-A rich bananas that could save hundreds of thousands of children

Scientists in Australia have created golden-orange-fleshed bananas rich in pro-vitamin A that could save the lives of hundreds of thousands of children who die from a deficiency of this vitamin every year. The “biofortified” bananas were developed by taking genes from a species of banana from Papua New Guinea, which is high in provitamin A but only produces small bunches, and combined it with that of a Cavendish banana, the high-yielding species most people are familiar with. Provitamin A is converted by the body into vitamin A.

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