The ‘X17’ particle: Scientists may have discovered the fifth force of nature

A new paper suggests that the mysterious X17 subatomic particle is indicative of a fifth force of nature.

  • In 2016, observations from Hungarian researchers suggested the existence of an unknown type of subatomic particle.
  • Subsequent analyses suggested that this particle was a new type of boson, the existence of which could help explain dark matter and other phenomena in the universe.
  • A new paper from the same team of researchers is currently awaiting peer review.
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Scientists find a new way to measure gravity

Researchers develop a novel method to measure gravity that can get much more information.

Credit: Sarah Davis / Victoria Xu
  • Scientists use lasers that suspend atoms in air to measure gravity.
  • This method can be more precise and allow for gathering of much more information.
  • Portal devices using this technique can help find mineral deposits and improve mapping.
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New study says cosmic acceleration and dark energy don't exist

An Oxford scientist claims a Nobel-Prize-winning conclusion is wrong.

NASA
  • Paper by Oxford University physicist Subir Sarkar and his colleagues challenges how conclusions about cosmic acceleration and dark energy were reached.
  • Physicists who proved cosmic acceleration shared a Nobel Prize.
  • Sarkar used statistical analysis to question key data, but his methodology also has detractors.
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Astrophysicist claims "dark fluid" fills the missing 95% of the Universe

An Oxford scientist's controversial theory rethinks dark matter and dark energy.

Credit: YE AUNG THU/AFP/Getty Images.
  • An astrophysicist and cosmologist Dr. Farnes published a paper while at Oxford University with a novel explanation for dark energy and dark matter.
  • His theory claims to explain the missing 95% of the observable universe by the existence of "dark fluid".
  • This fluid has negative mass, repelling other materials.
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Mutation in 'junk DNA' behind several deadly cancers

A single typo in the "dark matter" of the genome drives multiple types of cancer.

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  • Only about 2 percent of the human genome codes for proteins; the rest is called noncoding DNA.
  • We used to think this portion of the genome served almost no purpose. Now, however, we have learned that it performs several important biological functions, though much of it is still unknown. This lack of insight is why it's sometimes referred to as the "dark matter" of the human genome.
  • In two studies, researchers from Ontario discovered a mutation in this genetic dark matter that changes how gene products are spliced, potentially resulting in several different kinds of cancer.
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