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Its name has always made it sound ominous – and now dark matter could have a menacing role in Earth's history. A recent explanation for the identity of the mysterious stuff leads to a scenario in which it could be to blame for the extinctions of dinosaurs, or at least send a few extra comets shooting our way.Although the sequence of events connecting dark matter to dinosaurs, or even comets, is still pretty tenuous, it is intriguing because it brings together two big open questions: the identity of dark matter and whether there is a pattern to comet strikes on Earth.
THE HUNT for some of the most wanted stuff in the universe took a new twist this week with the first results from a high-profile, space-based dark matter detector. The results are inconclusive, but, if combined with recent theory, they hint at something exciting. Could the universe have a dark side, complete with its own force, a zoo of particles and even a shadow version of the Milky Way?
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