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Particle accelerator reveals long-lost writings of Archimedes

PhysicsScientists at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center in Menlo Park, California are analyzing a 174-page text. The book had originally contained a copy of Archimedes' writings, but had been erased by a monk in the 12th century and reused as a prayer book. The particle accelerator is able to see small iron particles that were present in the original ink.

Two hundred digit number factored

PhysicsThe two unique prime factors of a 200-digit number have been discovered by researchers in Germany and the Netherlands. The number, named RSA-200, is one of a series of challenges issued by security company RSA Security in March 1991 in order to track the real-world difficulty of factoring such numbers, used in the public-key encryption algorithm RSA. The factorisation of RSA-200 beats the previous record number "c176" (176 digits, factored on May 2nd, 2005), and RSA-576 (174 digits, factored on December 3rd, 2003).

Arsenic and Thalidomide may be used to fight cancer

HealthA gathering of more than a thousand medical researchers in Sydney, Australia, has been told that arsenic and Thalidomide — banned in the 1960s after being linked to gross birth abnormalities — held hope as a basis for new treatments, extending the lives of patients with an so-far incurable bone marrow cancer, multiple myeloma.

Diagnosis of the disease has increased by 45% in Australia since 1992. It is the most lethal form of cancer, and the topic of discussion, at the 10th International Myeloma Workshop, continuing until the 16th of April.

Ancient neanderthal protein sequenced

BiologyAn international team has extracted and sequenced a protein from a 75,000-year-old Neanderthal fossil in research that demonstrates a new method of comparing genetic relationships between organisms.

"This research opens up the possibility of getting detailed protein information from past human populations, to make inferences about the evolution of human diet and physiology," says Erik Trinkaus of Washington University in St. Louis.

Gene switch turns stem cells into cancer killers

BiologyA gene has been discovered that turns stem cells into cancer killers, promising new treatments that boost the body's ability to destroy tumors.

South Korean scientists from the Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology in Daejeon say that the gene, Vitamin D3 Upregulated Protein 1 (VDUP1), spurs stem cells to become natural killer cells.
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