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Fine-Structure Constant Maybe Not So Constant 105

Kilrah_il writes "The fine-structure constant, a coupling constant characterizing the strength of the electromagnetic interaction, has been measured lately by scientists from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia and has been found to change slightly in light sent from quasars in galaxies as far back as 12 billion years ago. Although the results look promising, caution is advised: 'This would be sensational if it were real, but I'm still not completely convinced that it's not simply systematic errors' in the data, comments cosmologist Max Tegmark of MIT. Craig Hogan of the University of Chicago and the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Ill., acknowledges that 'it's a competent team and a thorough analysis.' But because the work has such profound implications for physics and requires such a high level of precision measurements, 'it needs more proof before we'll believe it.'"

Autism Diagnosed With a Fifteen Minute Brain Scan 190

kkleiner writes "A new technique developed at King's College London uses a fifteen minute MRI scan to diagnose autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The scan is used to analyze the structure of grey matter in the brain, and tests have shown that it can identify individuals already diagnosed with autism with 90% accuracy. The research could change the way that autism is diagnosed – including screening children for the disorder at a young age."

Comment Re:simple idea (Score 1) 444

I'll assume you aren't trolling, and point out that disks work BECAUSE OF the air inside. The heads gain lift.

I'll correct that for you:

Current designs of hard disks rely on there being air inside in order to float the heads. But you wouldn't necessarily need to float the heads on air if you redesign the disk to suspend the heads in some other way (Off the top of my head, lets say a magnetic field. Of course, you'd have to make sure the magnetic field you suspend the heads in doesn't interfere with the magnetic field they are reading/writing). Also, air is just a fluid - it may be that you can find a different fluid to fill the drive with that has better properties for the job in hand (e.g. higher speed of sound).

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