Here’s today’s roundup of science, nature and environment news from the Bay Area and beyond.

Physics Community Afire With Rumors of Higgs Boson DiscoveryOne of the biggest debuts in the science world could happen in a matter of weeks: The Higgs boson may finally, really have been discovered. Ever since tantalizing hints of the Higgs turned up in December at the Large Hadron Collider, scientists there have been busily analyzing the results of their energetic particle collisions to further refine their search.

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via Wired
Rio+20: What’s changed since the Earth Summit?World leaders are in Brazil for the Rio+20 summit on the environment, which comes 20 years after the landmark Earth Summit in the same city. But how has the planet changed since 1992? Find out with our click-through slideshow.

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via Bbc
Rare granite aided life’s evolution, experts sayThank goodness for granite. If not for the formation and subsequent erosion of large quantities of metal-rich granite on a supercontinent that formed billions of years ago, the evolution of multicellular life -…

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via Sfgate
A Start-Up Bets on Human Translators Over MachinesA start-up proposes to convince language learners to translate material for content providers on the Web. The man who created reCaptcha, which makes use of the squiggly, wavy letters and numbers that Web users transcribe every day when logging into Web sites, wants to do something similar with foreign languages.

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Are Social Networks Just a Fad? – Room for DebateRajanish Kakade/Associated Press Social media have changed the way people interact: young women in India protect their marriageability by being discreet on Facebook, while in the U.S. family members often feel the sting of learning about estranged loved ones through a screen. These networks are not just personal, of course; they are also political.

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Cap-and-trade plan upheld by Calif. courtA state appeals court on Tuesday upheld California’s plan to combat global warming with a market-based cap-and-trade system to limit emissions of greenhouse gases, rejecting some environmental groups’ arguments that the…

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Why Having a Dog Helps Keep Kids Asthma-Free | Healthland | TIME.comIf you’re a dog person, your kids might be in luck. Research suggests that children who grow up in homes with pets are less likely to develop allergies, and now a recent study by researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, sheds some light on why.

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via Time
Man-Made Quakes Get Geologists’ Attention : NPRGeologists have noticed an increase in the number of small earthquakes in the U.S. They suspect the cause to be waste water wells, where polluted water from industrial processes is pumped deep underground. None of the quakes has caused serious damage. But as NPR’s Christopher Joyce reports, the seismic spike casts doubt on plans to bury unwanted stuff underground.

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via Npr
Telescope to probe dark universeEurope has given the final go-ahead to a space mission to investigate the “dark universe”. The Euclid telescope will look deep into the cosmos for clues to the nature of dark matter and dark energy. These phenomena dominate the Universe, and yet scientists concede they know virtually nothing about them.

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via Bbc

Author

Jenny Oh

Jenny is a long-time contributor to Bay Area Bites, KQED's popular food blog. She formerly worked as an Interactive Producer for the Science & Environment unit. Jenny graduated with honors from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts Film and Television program and has worked for WNET/PBS, The Learning Channel, Sundance Channel, HBO and the University of California.

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