Gallery: Search for the Higgs Boson


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Gallery: Search for the Higgs Boson

LiveScience Staff
Protons Collide
Protons Collide
Credit: CERNParticle tracks from a proton-proton collision (also called an event) in the ATLAS experiment at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Events like this are a possible sign of the Higgs particle, though many events must be analyzed together to say with confidence the signal came from the elusive particle.
CMS CERN Particle Tracks

CMS CERN Particle Tracks

Credit: CERN/COMSA typical candidate event at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), including two high-energy photons whose energy (depicted by red towers) is measured in the CMS electromagnetic calorimeter. The yellow lines are the measured tracks of other particles produced in the collision. The pale blue volume shows the CMS crystal calorimeter barrel.

 LHC ATLAS Higgs Data So Far
LHC ATLAS Higgs Data So Far
Credit: CERN/ATLASThis plot shows the data collected so far by the Large Hadron Collider’s ATLAS experiment in the search for the Higgs boson particle.
LHC's ATLAS in LEGOS
LHC’s ATLAS in LEGOS
Credit: ATLAS/CERNA model of the Large Hadron Collider’s ATLAS detector, which is searching for the Higgs boson, made out of LEGO blocks by Sascha Mehlhase.
LHC's CMS Shows Possible Higgs Signature
LHC’s CMS Shows Possible Higgs Signature
Credit: CERN/CMS/Taylor, L; McCauley, TReal CMS proton-proton collisions events at the Large Hadron Collider in which 4 high energy electrons (red towers) are observed. The event shows characteristics expected from the decay of a Higgs boson but is also consistent with background Standard Model physics processes.
Simulated Higgs Boson Produced
Simulated Higgs Boson Produced
Credit: CERN/ATLASThis track is an example of simulated data modelled for the ATLAS detector on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN. The Higgs boson is produced in the collision of two protons at 14 TeV and quickly decays into four muons, a type of heavy electron that is not absorbed by the detector. The tracks of the muons are shown in yellow.
Higgs Boson Candidate Event
Higgs Boson Candidate Event
Credit: CMS/CERNThis event was detected at the LHC’s CMS experiment, in which one Z boson particle decays to two electrons (red towers), and another Z boson decays to two muons (red lines). Such an event is a candidate event for the Higgs boson particle.
Two Z Bosons Decay at LHC's CMS
Two Z Bosons Decay at LHC’s CMS
Credit: CERN/CMS/Taylor, L; McCauley, TThis event observed at the LHC’s CMS experiment shows a candidate event involving two Z bosons, in which one Z decays to two electrons (green towers), and the other to two muons (red lines). Such an event might indicate signs of the Higgs boson.
Proton-Proton Collision at CMS
Proton-Proton Collision at CMS
Credit: CERN/CMS/Taylor, L; McCauley, TReal CMS proton-proton collisions events in which 4 high energy electrons (red towers) are observed. The event shows characteristics expected from the decay of a Higgs boson but is also consistent with background Standard Model physics processes.
CMS_Higgs-event
CMS_Higgs-event
Credit: TACCAn example of simulated data modeled for the CMS particle detector on the Large Hadron Collider. Here, following a collision of two protons, a Higgs boson is produced which decays into two jets of hadrons and two electrons. DeGrand’s theories represent an alternative to the standard model.
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Will the Real Higgs Please Stand Up? (Infographic)


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Will the Real Higgs Please Stand Up? (Infographic)

by Karl Tate, LiveScience
Researchers have observed a new, massive particle which they believe may be the Higgs boson.
Physicists working at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Switzerland have observed evidence of a new subatomic particle. Further research will try to determine if it is the elusive Higgs boson, thought to be responsible for giving matter its property of mass.

In the Standard Model of physics, matter is made up of small particles called fermions (including quarks and leptons). Forces such as electromagnetism are carried by bosons.

Physicists use electromagnetic fields to whip beams of protons around and around, accelerating them to nearly the speed of light. This gives the protons enormous kinetic energy. Finally the beams are allowed to intersect, and where protons collide, their energy is released. New particles – some of them very short-lived – are formed from this energy.

As Albert Einstein discovered, mass can be defined as a quantity of energy. Subatomic particle masses are given as amounts of electron volts (the energy of a single electron accelerated by a potential difference of one volt). The newly discovered particle – possibly the Higgs boson – is found to have a mass of about 125 billion electron volts. Other particles, such as photons, have no mass at all.

Best Science Photos of the Week


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Best Science Photos of the Week

LiveScience Staff
Mars' Whopping Scars

Mars’ Whopping Scars

Credit: Robbins and Hynek 2012/American Geophysical UnionThe surface of Mars is pocked by more than 635,000 impact craters at least 0.6 miles (1 kilometer) wide, a new study reports.

The new Martian crater atlas is the largest single database ever compiled of impacts on a planet or moon in our solar system, researchers said. It highlights the violent history of Mars and could also help scientists address a number of questions about the Red Planet.

[Full Story: Mars Surface Scarred by 635,000 Big Impact Craters]

 New Squat Lobster Discovered
New Squat Lobster Discovered
Credit: Image courtesy of Plataforma SINCA new species of crustacean has been discovered in the underwater mountains off the northwest coast of Spain, scientists recently announced.

The squat lobster is orange and a little over 2 inches (5 centimeters) long. Squat lobsters are more closely related to porcelain and hermit crabs than true lobsters.

[Full Story: New Crustacean Species Discovered Off Spain]

Naughty Penguins
Naughty Penguins
Credit: copyright Natural History MuseumHidden for nearly 100 years for being too “graphic,” a report of “hooligan” behaviors, including sexual coercion, by Adelie penguins observed during Captain Scott’s 1910 polar expedition has been uncovered and interpreted. The naughty notes were rediscovered recently at the Natural History Museum in Tring, in England, and published in the recent issue of the journal Polar Record.

[Full Story: Penguins’ Explicit Sex Acts Shocked Polar Experts]

Swirling Science
Swirling Science
Credit: H. Kellay and T. MeuelWhat do you seen in this soap bubble? Researchers at the University of Bordeaux saw something surprisingly similar to a hurricane, an observation that launched a new mathematical model that can help project where cyclones will go.

By measuring vortexes as they moved across heated soap bubbles, the researchers were able to develop a model to predict where they’d end up. The same principles hold for hurricanes and tropical storms, the scientists told LiveScience’s sister site OurAmazingPlanet. Nevertheless, the model is best at predicting early storm tracks, not the late-in-the-game swerves made by many big storms.

Neanderthal Cave Artists?
Neanderthal Cave Artists?
Credit: Pedro SauraA series of cave paintings in Spain are thousands of years older than scientists realized, raising speculation — but no proof — that Neanderthals could have been the earliest wall artists in Europe.

The oldest image, a large red disk on the wall of El Castillo cave in northern Spain, is more than 40,800 years old, according to an advanced method that uses natural deposits on the surfaces of the paintings to date their creation. The new findings, detailed in the June 15 issue of the journal Science, make the paintings the oldest reliably dated wall paintings ever.

[Full Story: Were Neanderthals Europe’s First Cave Artists?]

Carnivorous Plant's Rainy Catapult
Carnivorous Plant’s Rainy Catapult
Credit: Bauer U, et. al, PLoS ONE 7(6): e38951. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0038951 (2012)One species of ant-eating carnivorous plant has a special trick up its sleeve, new research has discovered.

The type of carnivorous plant, the pitcher plant of the species Nepenthes gracilis, lines the underside of its lid with aspecial waxy coating, which makes sure ants and flies will lose their grip when a raindrop falls and shakes the lid they are clutching. (The ants and flies walk upside-down on the underside of this lid.) The plant gets its name from its pitcher, the large empty structure that holds the digestive enzymes that churn up its fly meals and is covered by the waxy lid.

[Full Story: Carnivorous Plant’s Rain-Powered Catapult Flips Ants for Food]

Do Alien Earths Abound?
Do Alien Earths Abound?
Credit: University of Copenhagen, Lars A. BuchhaveSmall, rocky planets can coalesce around a wide variety of stars, suggesting that Earth-like alien worlds may have formed early and often throughout our Milky Way galaxy’s history, a new study reveals.

Astronomers had previously noticed that huge, Jupiter-like exoplanets tend to be found around stars with high concentrations of so-called “metals” — elements heavier than hydrogen and helium. But smaller, terrestrial alien planets show no such loyalty to metal-rich stars, the new study found.

[Full Story: Alien Earths May Be Widespread in Our Milky Way Galaxy ]

Hippie Ape Secrets

Hippie Ape Secrets

Credit: Michael Seres

Ulindi, a female bonobo at the Leipzig Zoo in Germany, has had her genome sequenced, researchers report today (June 13), making bonobos the last of the great apes to have their genomes mapped. The resulting genetic code may help unlock the secrets that separate humans — physically, intellectually and behaviorally — from our closest primate relatives. Bonobos are often seen as the chimpanzee’s peaceful cousin. The two primates look very similar and are very closely related, but for some reason chimps resolve conflicts with war while bonobos prefer sex to resolve arguments. Previous studies have also shown that bonobos are more generous with food than chimps are.

[Full Story: Unraveling the Bonobo’s Genome, and its Secrets ]

Snake's Scale-y Trick

Snake’s Scale-y Trick

Credit: Tim Nowak and Hamidreza MarviWithout legs, snakes must get creative to slither up trees, and new research suggests they use the scales covering their bodies to make such climbs.

Their scales and body muscles work together to push against the bark on the tree as they inch upward, the researchers said.

“An important and surprising finding of our study was that snakes can double their friction coefficients … by active control of their scales,” the researchers write in their research paper, published in the June 13 issue of the journal Royal Society Interface.

[Full Story: Snakes’ Scales Propel Them Up Tree Trunks]

 Stargazers, Rejoice!
Stargazers, Rejoice!Credit: Fraser GunnA huge portion of New Zealand’s South Island has been designated as the world’s largest International Dark Sky Reserve, making it one of the best places for stargazing on the globe.

“The new reserve is coming in at a ‘Gold’ level status,” said the International Dark-Sky Association’s executive director Bob Parks in a statement. “That means the skies there are almost totally free from light pollution. To put it simply, it is one of the best stargazing sites on Earth.”

[Full Story: Stargazers, Rejoice! Largest ‘Dark Sky’ Reserve Named]

Beauty and Brains: Award-Winning Medical Images


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Beauty and Brains: Award-Winning Medical Images

LiveScience Staff
Leaf of Lavender
Leaf of Lavender
Credit: ANNIE CAVANAGH AND DAVID MCCARTHY; WELLCOME TRUSTThis false-coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) shows a lavender leaf (Lavandula) imaged at 200 microns. The surface of the leaf is densely covered with fine hair-like outgrowths made from specialised epidermal cells called non-glandular trichomes.
Frog Oocytes
Frog Oocytes
Credit: VINCENT PASQUE, UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE; WELLCOME TRUSTThis confocal micrograph shows stage V-VI oocytes (800-1000 micron diameter) of an African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis), a model organism used in cell and developmental biology research. Each oocyte is surrounded by thousands of follicle cells, shown in the image by staining DNA blue. Blood vessels, which provide oxygen to the oocyte and follicle cells, are shown in red. The ovary of each adult female Xenopus laevis contains up to 20 000 oocytes. Mature oocytes are approximately 1.2 mm in diameter, much larger than the eggs of many other species.
A Cancer Cell Divides
A Cancer Cell DividesCredit: KUAN-CHUNG SU AND MARK PETRONCZKI, LONDON RESEARCH INSTITUTE, CANCER RESEARCH UK; WELLCOME TRUSTThis composite confocal micrograph uses time-lapse microscopy to show a cancer cell (a HeLa cell derived from the cancer of a woman named Henrietta Lacks) undergoing cell division (mitosis). The DNA is shown in red, and the cell membrane is shown in cyan.
Stunning Seedling
Stunning Seedling
Credit: FERNAN FEDERICI AND JIM HASELOFF; WELLCOME TRUSTThis confocal micrograph shows the tissue structures within the leaf of an Arabidopsis thaliana seedling. The sample was fixed and stained with propidium iodide, which labels DNA, but was imaged four years later. Different oxidation of the staining chemical in different tissues allows researchers to investigate the structures within.
Caffeine Crystal
Caffeine Crystal
Credit: ANNIE CAVANAGH AND DAVID MCCARTHY; WELLCOME TRUSTThis false-coloured scanning electron micrograph shows caffeine crystals. Caffeine is found occurring naturally in plants, where its bitterness serves as a defense mechanism.
Chicken Embryo
Chicken Embryo
Credit: VINCENT PASQUE, UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE; WELLCOME TRUSTThis fluorescence micrograph shows the vascular system of a developing chicken embryo (Gallus gallus), two days after fertilization.
Moving Cancer Cells
Moving Cancer Cells
Credit: SALIL DESAI, SANGEETA BHATIA, MEHMET TONER AND DANIEL IRIMIA, KOCH INSTITUTE FOR INTEGRATIVE CANCER RESEARCH, MIT; WELLCOME TRUSTTaken in the course of research into how cancer cells move and spread, this Wellcome honoree shows cancer cells traveling through spaces a tenth the width of a human hair
Moth Fly
Moth Fly
Credit: KEVIN MACKENZIE, UNIVERSITY OF ABERDEEN; WELLCOME TRUSTThis false-colored image of a moth fly reveals the insect’s fuzzy body and compound eyes.
Diatom Case
Diatom Case
Credit: Anne Weston, London Research Institute | Wellcome TrustThis false-colored scanning electron micrograph shows a diatom frustule. Diatoms are unicellular organisms and a major group of algae. Diatoms are encased within a hard cell wall made from silica. Frustules have a variety of patterns, pores, spines and ridges, which are used to determine genera and species. Diatoms are one of the most common types of phytoplankton, and their communities are often used to measure environmental conditions such as water quality. This diatom is approximately 80 microns in diameter.
Hole in the Heart
Hole in the Heart
Credit: Henry De’Ath, Royal London Hospital | Wellcome TrustThis photograph shows the repair of a traumatic ventricular septal defect (VSD). A VSD is a hole between the right and left ventricles of the heart, and is usually seen as a congenital condition, known as a ‘hole in the heart’. This picture was taken in theatre to document the unusual injury and its subsequent repair; the VSD is seen at the bottom of this image, and a bovine patch is being stitched and parachuted into place to seal the defect.
Bacteria Biofilm
Bacteria Biofilm
Credit: Fernan Federici, Tim Rudge, PJ Steiner and Jim Haseloff | Wellcome TrustThis micrograph photo was taken as part of a synthetic biology project and shows Bacillus subtilis, a Gram-positive, rod-shaped bacterium that is commonly found in soil. Distinct lineages of bacteria expressing different fluorescent proteins were initially mixed randomly on a petri dish. As the bacteria grow, they organize themselves into reproducible patterns and shapes that can be predicted with mathematical models.
Living Brain
Living Brain
Credit: ROBERT LUDLOW, UCL INSTITUTE OF NEUROLOGY, LONDON; WELLCOME TRUSTThis image of a living human brain taken during surgery won the 2012 Wellcome Trust Award for biomedical photography.
Loperamide Crystals
Loperamide Crystals
Credit: Annie Cavanagh and David McCarthy | Wellcome TrustThis false-coloured scanning electron micrograph shows crystals of loperamide, which is a drug used to treat diarrhea; loperamide works by slowing down the movement of the intestine and reducing the speed at which the contents of the gut pass through. Food remains in the intestines for longer and water can be more effectively absorbed back into the body. This results in firmer stools that are passed less often.
Microneedle Vaccine
Microneedle Vaccine
Credit: Peter DeMuth | Wellcome TrustThis scanning electron micrograph shows an array of ‘microneedles’ made from a biodegradable polymer. Researchers have shown these materials can be used to deliver vaccines and therapeutics to the outer layers of the skin in a safe and painless way.
Desmid Alga
Desmid Alga
Credit: Spike Walker | Wellcome TrustThis photomicrograph shows Micrasterias, a type of green alga called a desmid, which usually inhabits the acidic waters associated with peat bogs. These particular desmids are flat, plate-like single cells made up of two halves, which are mirror images of each other with highly ornamented edges.
Cool Connective Tissue
Cool Connective Tissue
Credit: Anne Weston, LRI, CRUK | Wellcome TrustThis false-colored scanning electron micrograph shows connective tissue removed from a human knee during arthroscopic surgery. Individual fibers of collagen can be distinguished and have been highlighted by the creator using a variety of colors.

What is HIV & AIDS?


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What is HIV & AIDS?

LiveScience Staff
Date: 30 July 2012 Time: 10:35 AM ET

Definition of HIV & AIDS: HIV is a virus that attacks the immune system and damages the body’s ability to fight infections. AIDS is a potentially fatal condition that develops in the most advanced stage of HIV. Below is a brief overview of the causes, symptoms and treatments, plus links to more information.

image of an hiv virus
The therapeutic vaccines in development are all designed to give the body’s immune system a way to recognize, and then to fight, HIV particles (virus shown above).
CREDIT: Sebastian Kaulitzki | Shutterstock

What Causes HIV & AIDS? HIV attacks and destroys cells, known as CD4 cells, of the immune system. A person is considered to have AIDS if CD4 cell counts in the blood drop below a threshold or if the person has an AIDS-defining condition such as tuberculosis or toxoplasmosis. HIV may take years to progress to AIDS.

Is HIV/AIDS Contagious?Yes. HIV spreads through certain bodily fluids: infected blood, semen, genital fluids or breast milk. HIV is often transmitted through unprotected sex or by sharing drug needles. The virus cannot spread through saliva, tears, sweat, by hugging or by shaking hands.

Medical term: HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.

Signs & Symptoms: A few months after infection a person may experience fever, headache, swollen glands and other flu-like symptoms. Symptoms may disappear for years after the first stage of the infection. Fatigue, weight loss, night sweats, sores in the mouth or genitals and pneumonia are symptoms of HIV in later stages.

Treatment & Remedies: Thanks to antiretroviral drugs, or ARVs, people can now live  in good health with HIV for decades. ARVs suppress the amount of the HIV virus in the body. But ARVs are not a cure and can’t stop an HIV-positive person from infecting others.

More Facts:

  • ARVs have to be taken continuously to work.
  • The World Health Organization estimates there were 34 million people living with HIV worldwide, and 1 million AIDS-related deaths.
  • People are extremely contagious during the initial phase of an HIV infection.
  • Mosquitoes do not transmit HIV.

Sources and More Information:

HIV & AIDS: Details from MyHealthNewsDaily

Related Information from the Mayo Clinic

Related Information from the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Related Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention