New experiment casts doubt on claims to have identified dark matter

In the last few years it’s become generally accepted knowledge that our universe is full of mysterious dark matter which has mass but is not obviously visible to us. A fringe of physicists have even made controversial claims that they have observed this dark matter in experiments, but now a new experiment makes this claim seem more unlikely.

Dark matter is a type of subatomic particle which is theorized to exist to explain the mass of galaxies, which calculations have shown to be heavier than we would expect. The theorized dark matter must exist in order to explain the way that matter clumps together as well as the movements of stars within galaxies. Although the mathematical evidence of the existence of dark matter is strong, no one has yet been able to identify a dark matter particle despite many attempts. Two primary types of experiment have been used to search for dark matter so far: direct detection experiments, which attempt to record particles of dark matter directly when they pass through the Earth, or indirect detection experiments, which search for the subatomic particles which are created by the decay of dark matter.

Earlier this year, an experiment in Italy called DAMA/LIBRA claimed to have detected dark matter in the galactic halo using social iodide crystal detectors. The crystals of sodium iodide should produce a tiny spark of light when a dark matter particle collides with them, which is what DAMA/LIBRA observed. However, the latest experiment on the topic from South Korea has failed to detect the signal that DAMA/LIBRA found.

The South Korean experiment is called COSINE-100 and used the same type of detector as DAMA/LIBRA, and is the latest in a series of experiments which have failed to replicate the DAMA/LIBRA observations. There is a possibility that the difference in results between the two labs is due to yearly variations in the rate of collisions, with them occurring more at some times of the year than others. But most physicists are skeptical of the DAMA/LIBRA data: “I think this is one more nail in the coffin,” astrophysicist Dan Hooper of Fermilab told Science News.

The latest findings from the COSINE-100 experiment are published in Nature.

Gaming

Seven years later, ‘Dark Souls’ is still a gloriously punishing masterpiece

Despite my experience and love of From Software’s Dark Souls III and Bloodborne, I never played the original Dark Souls. The new remastered version gave me a chance to remedy that, and it was glorious.
Product Review

Nintendo’s Labo VR Kit may look silly, but it really works

During our hands-on with the Nintendo Labo VR Kit, fears of a gimmicky product from Nintendo were quickly dispelled. While not a direct competitor to Oculus or HTCs own headsets, Labo VR brings a clever, new way to experience VR that makes…
Mobile

The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G might be a few short weeks away from launch

Samsung has announced a whopping four new Galaxy S10 devices, from the low-cost S10e to the triple-camera S10 and S10 Plus. But it's the Galaxy S10 5G that steals the show as it's among the first 5G-ready smartphones to hit the market.
Business

Bags with brains: Smart luggage and gadgets are making travel smoother

The bag you use to tote your stuff can affect the experience of any trip. In response, suitcases are wising up, and there are now options for smart luggage with scales, tracking, and more. Here are our favorite pieces.
Emerging Tech

A silver bullet is being aimed at the drug-resistant superbugs on the ISS

A bacteria which is benign here on Earth can mutate into a drug-resistant superbug once it enters space. Now this problem is being tackled by a team of microbiologists who have found a way to inhibit the spread of bacteria in the ISS.
Emerging Tech

Tombot is the hyper-realistic dog robot that puts Spot to shame

Forget Boston Dynamics’ Spot! When it comes to robot dogs, the folks behind a new Kickstarter campaign have plans to stake their claim as makers of man’s (and woman’s) newest best friend.
Emerging Tech

Twitter is officially a teenager now. Are we raising a monster?

On March 21, 2006, Jack Dorsey sent the first ever tweet. Thirteen years later, Twitter has fundamentally changed the way we communicate. Here are some of the myriad ways it's done that.
Emerging Tech

Researchers gave alligators headphones and ketamine, and all for a good cause

Researchers in Germany and the United States recently gave ketamine and earphones to alligators to monitor how they process sounds. Here's what it reveals about alligator evolution.
Emerging Tech

Cheese tastes different when it listens to Led Zeppelin, Swiss study finds

A funky new study says that exposing cheese to music changes its aroma and flavor. What’s more, the genre of music matters. Researchers from the Bern University of Arts played music to nine, 22-pound wheels of Emmental cheese.
Emerging Tech

Astronomers plan to beam Earth’s greatest hits into deep space, and you can help

A new project from the SETI Institute (search for extraterrestrial intelligence) will give the public the chance to submit compositions to be beamed into space, with the aim of connecting people around the world through music.
Emerging Tech

Scientists have a way to turn off alcoholism: Blasting the brain with lasers

Researchers from Scripps Research have demonstrated that it is possible to reverse the desire to drink in alcohol-dependent rats by targeting a part of the brain using lasers. Here's how.
Emerging Tech

China has cloned its best police dog. Now it wants to mass-produce more

Scientists in China have cloned the Sherlock Holmes of police sniffer dogs, with possible plans to mass produce it in the future. Here's why its creators think that's a great idea.
Emerging Tech

Scientists use drone to map Icelandic cave in preparation for Mars exploration

Researchers from the SETI Institute and Astrobotic Technology have demonstrated a way that astronauts may be able to map Martian caves using a Lidar-equipped drone that can travel autonomously without GPS.
Emerging Tech

A 3D printer the size of a small barn will produce entire homes in Saudi Arabia

If you’re looking for a 3D printer that can comfortably fit on the side of your desk… well, Danish company Cobod International’s enormous new 3D house printer probably isn’t for you.