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David Beckham retires, stem cell breakthrough, and NASA and Google buy supercomputer – The news in world records

 
 
 
 
 
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Record-breakers in the news today

Former England captain David Beckham has announced that he is to retire from professional football.

The 38-year-old - who began his career with Manchester United, before spells at Real Madrid, AC Milan and Los Angeles Galaxy – has turned down an offer of an extended one-year deal at his current club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG).

During his career, the East London-born midfielder was one of most marketable figures within sport, and currently holds the record for highest annual earnings for a footballer after earning a cool $40 million (£24.2 million) between May 2010 to May 2011, a figure boosted in part by his lucrative sponsorship deal with Adidas.

Scientists in the United States have hailed a major breakthrough after recovering stem cells from cloned human embryos for the first time

Researchers described the use of skin to generate embryonic stem cells - which removes one of the obstacles to human cloning - as a "milestone".

In January 2001, scientists at Advanced Cell Technologies, Massachsetts, USA announced that they had successfully grown the first kidneys created via cloning. The technique took a DNA-containing nucleus from a single cow skin cell and fused it with a host egg. The egg multiplied into an embryo rich in stem cells. These cells were chemically manipulated to grow into kidney cells, using an artifical kidney-shaped scaffold.

Several of these miniature kidneys were grown in this way and transplanted back into the cow, where they began to produce urine. Each of the kidneys were several cm (a few inches) long.

A $15m computer that uses "quantum physics" effects to boost its speed has been bought by Google.

Said to be up to 3,600 times faster than conventional computers, the machine created by D-Wave System that will help the search giant process the information it collects across of all its platforms and will be shared with NASA.

In March 2010 scientists announced they had created a quantum state in a piezoelectric resonator nearly 0.1 mm across – large enough to be seen with the naked eye - in turn setting a record for largest quantum object.

This has previously only been achieved with single particles, atoms and molecules, billions of times smaller than the resonator. Upon cooling the device to just above absolute zero, the team gave it just one quantum of electrical energy, which was converted to one quantum of vibrational energy. The results from the experiment show that the resonator had both ‘one’ and ‘zero’ quanta of energy.

Finally, Barbie Dreamhouse Experience, a mock mansion near Berlin's Alexanderplatz square full of Barbie fashion and furniture, has opened to the public.

While at the iconic doll's dreamhouse, fans can try on her clothes in her "endless" closet, bake cupcakes in her kitchen, walk her runway and hang out in her living room.

The most expensive Barbie doll sold at auction is an original 1959 model in mint condition that fetched £18,258 during a sale held by Sandi Holder’s Doll Attic (USA) in May 2006.

 

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