Archive for April 14th, 2012

On the Border Between Matter & Anti-Matter: Nanoscientists Find Long-Sought Majorana Particle

 
Scientists at TU Delft's Kavli Institute and the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter have succeeded for the first time in detecting a Majorana particle. In the 1930s, the brilliant Italian physicist Ettore Majorana deduced from quantum theory the possibility of the existence of a very special particle, a particle that is its own anti-particle: the Majorana fermion. That 'Majorana' would be right on the border between matter and anti-matter …

Majorana fermions are very interesting — not only because their discovery opens up a new and uncharted chapter of fundamental physics; they may also play a role in cosmology. A proposed theory assumes that the mysterious 'dark matter', which forms the greatest part of the universe, is composed of Majorana fermions.

 

The Case Against Sugar

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Sodas, candy bars and sweet breakfast cereals are entwined in modern life — along with a lot of other questionable choices and bad habits. It's hard to know exactly what all of that sugar is doing to our bodies, but scientists are making headway. Some not-so-sweet findings:

In an unusual — and revealing — experiment from 2011, researchers at UC Davis fed 48 young adults a sugary but carefully controlled diet. In just two weeks, subjects who got 25% of their calories from either fructose or high-fructose corn syrup saw a jump in their cholesterol levels. A similar study from 2008 found that sugary drinks decreased insulin sensitivity and increased visceral fat in overweight subjects.

 

States Seek Curb on Patient Bills for Costly Drugs

 
So-called specialty drugs for diseases like rheumatoid arthritis have a narrow use and high costs, leaving the most vulnerable patients with huge bills.

NYT

 
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