Published: Tuesday 15 January 2008

twin of the sun: Astronomers have found the Sun's long-lost twin. The star HIP 56948, considered to be the best solar twin, is about 200 light-years away. The mid-sized star is one of many in the Draco constellation and may be a billion years older than the middle-aged Sun-4.6 billion years. Jorge Melendez of the Australian National University and Ivan Ramirez of the University of Texas spotted the new star from the McDonald Observatory in Texas.

good fuel: Hydrogen can be a mainstream, renewable fuel. Researchers have found a way to harvest protons and electrons from bacteria in a reactor and create small quantities of hydrogen gas. The process can use any biodegradable organic material, potentially freeing the production of clean-burning hydrogen fuel from its current reliance on non-renewable sources such as natural gas, says Bruce Logan of Pennsylvania State University.

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