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 Black holes are invisible but the forces they unleash cause some of the brightest phenomena in the Universe; quasars. The gravitational lensing effect of stars in a distant galaxy and the Hubble Space Telescope have teamed up to observe a quasar accretion disk, the brightly glowing disk of matter that is slowly being sucked into its galaxy’s central black hole, which heat up and emit extremely bright radiation as they 'enter'.

Result: Researchers were able to directly measure the disk’s size and plot the temperature across different parts of the disc; a level of precision equivalent to spotting individual grains of sand on the surface of the Moon.

Parking is a funny thing; no one is ever happy with it. Even if you go to Disney World, which has come as close as anyone to mastering the perception you are moving while you really go nowhere inside the park itself, the parking is horrendous outside.  If something is popular enough you want to go, the parking will be crowded.  Sometimes you may not go at all because you think about parking.

Researchers estimate that for every 110 vehicles circulating on the roads looking for spaces, there are 100 available spots, both in lots and on the street.  If so, that number is quite high, downright inefficient, but it still isn't high enough to make parking palatable.

In a recent study, scientists used simulations to model the behavior of a closed, granular system comprising a chain of equal-sized spheres that touch one another and are sandwiched between two walls. Energy travels through this system as solitary waves, also known as non-dispersive energy bundles. When the system was disturbed by multiple energy perturbations, akin to someone tapping on each of the walls, the energy spread unevenly through the system.

When we think of DNA, we think of biology but the concept of DNA has become so culturally ingrained it is now colloquial - and the concept of a blueprint common to people may help revolutionize manufacturing.

A group at the Fraunhofer Institute have set out to decode "factory DNA".

In-vitro fertilisation (IVF) has helped numerous couples have children who otherwise would not have been able to, but a British study of a non-invasive, drug-free alternative to IVF could save them (and the taxpayers who fund the NHS) a lot of money.

A new study (European Obstetrics&Gynaecology, 2011;6(2):92-4) shows that the DuoFertility monitor and service used for six months gives the same chance of pregnancy as a cycle of in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) for many infertile couples.

Can music lead to better CPR? Yes and no.  Any mnemonic hook that helps rescue personnel deliver a good number of chest compressions to heart attack victims is likely good but one song, "Disco Science" by Mirwais, does well yet can only achieve half the CPR goal.

If you are a fan of Guy Ritchie's film "Snatch" you have heard "Disco Science" but may not know that it has 100 beats per minute, around the optimal range for CPR. However, it does not help at all in  improving the depth of compression, which may mean it's time to give up on trying to find the best musical gimmick to aid in CPR and just teach it the old fashioned way.