The famous Allen Telescope Array (ATA) has been put on hibernation by the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) due to fund crunch. For SETI, which is almost five decades old, this is the worst it has ever seen.

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The bill dreaded by scientists, teachers and educationists across the US – the Tennessee ‘anti-science’ bill has been put on hold by the Tennessee Senate, after being passed by the House by a majority of 70-23.

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Anti-helium tracks

Exciting news has been tumbling out of the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), since today morning. Scientists have found the distinct signature of an anti-helium nucleus, the heaviest anti-matter particle detected till date. They can also figure out the production rates and compare them to theoretical values, verifying known calculations. This is big news!

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Cosmic Microwave Background Timeline

A radical new notion might kill nearly all inconsistencies in modern physics and cosmology in one fell swoop. Prof. Dejan Stojkovic, assistant physicist at Buffalo University and team has proposed the startling hypothesis that the nascent Universe may have had just one dimension. They suggest that the Universe begins to ‘grow’ dimensions as it expands and cools.

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Spark Plug RIP

A team of Japanese researchers has come up with a ceramic lasers that can be triggered every nanosecond for powerful blasts, which hold their intensity over very short ranges. They are just 9 mm in diameters. They might find use in the unlikeliest of places – the engine of a car, sounding the death knell for spark plugs and twitchy car engines.

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Earth Day

The message is loud and clear: Our planet needs help to sustain us and we need to stand up and be counted. Earth Day is a concept, which intends to amalgamate all pro-environmental activities into one.

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Eagle nebula Pillars of Creation

If the Cosmos is the place of all things beautiful and unusual, the Hubble Space telescope (known simply as ‘Hubble’ or HST) is the ultimate eye to see it with. Launched on 20th April, 1990, aboard the Discovery space shuttle by NASA, as the best of the space-based optical telescopes, Hubble has reached out to all.

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Laser Speckle

Researchers at ARC Center of Excellence for Quantum Atom Optics, Research School of Physics, ANU, have successfully guided supercooled Helium atoms through an optical guide made of a laser beam. This is the first ever successful at guiding matter waves.

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Single Electron Transistor

A team of researchers at the University of Pittsburgh, collaborated with another team from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, to create a transistor, which is just an atomic diameter in size and can be switched on and off by just one or two electrons. These transistors can further be used as solid state devices, such as fast quantum processors (which might replace the current Si processors) and extremely dense memory devices.

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Neutron Probe for Gravity

A brand new method to measure gravity and minute quantizations in a gravitational field that uses neutrons entrapped between two vibrating parallel plates immersed in a gravitational field have been developed by scientists at the University of Technology, Vienna (TU Vienna). Neutrons have been earlier used for electromagnetic (EM) field measurements, but similar methods are now being used to measure gravity, force which is 10-36 times (i.e. one in a billion billion billion billion parts) as strong as the EM force.

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WHO poster for 2011 World Health Day

WHO sounded alarm bells about Anti Microbial Resistance (AMR) this past World Health Day on April 7th and the warning is not early. This was writ large for a long time. Excessive prescription of antibiotics and, that too, in high doses are making microbes change faster than the speed of drug research. WHO warned of an imminent ‘pre-antibiotic age’, when we will be stuck with a large number of different, but ineffectual, antibiotics.

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Quantum Teleportation

Researchers from Australia and Japan have recently reported a successful attempt at quantum teleportation of a complex quantum system from a certain point A to another point B without losing information. This leads to the possibility of achieving fast, high-fidelity transmission of huge chunks of data, all at once, thus revolutionizing the current data transportation scenario and providing a boost to the ongoing research on quantum computers.

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Nuclear Danger Symbol

The situation at the Fukushima Dai’chi nuclear power plant of Japan has just been reported to be worse than previously estimated, but still nowhere close to Chernobyl. A couple of days back, on 12th April, the Japanese Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency reviewed the situation and updated their previous rating of 5 to a maximum of 7 on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INRES).

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Graphite Structure

IBM on Tuesday, 12th April, announced that they have made the world’s fastest graphene transistor and also hinted at the fact that they might go into commercial production very soon. This is major news to the hardware industry, as graphene might revolutionize the current semi-conductor industry scenario. Graphene may even be good enough to replace silicon, the standard material used in all of today’s semi-conductor devices.

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Yuri Gagarin News

It has been variously billed as ‘The Final Frontier’, ‘The Great Unknown’ and ‘The Heavens’. It has enthralled humans since the caveman days. It is mysterious; it is attractive. On 12th April, 1961, space was conquered by a man called Yuri Gagarin, aka “The Columbus of the Cosmos”. Today, 50 years ago, took place the first manned space-flight.

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