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NO EVIDENCE FOUND TO PROVE COLD FUSION, DOE PANEL SAYS

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As expected, a Department of Energy advisory panel decided officially Tuesday that no convincing evidence has yet been found to prove that cold fusion exists.

But somewhat surprisingly, the group backed off from some of the more negative comments it had made previously. The change of heart came after it examined reports of some new experiments using improved technology, which suggest not all reported cold fusion effects can come from experimental error.In fact, at the insistence of co-chairman Norman Ramsey, this year's Nobel prize winner in physics, the panel conceded that while no one has proven cold fusion exists, no one has clearly proven that it doesn't either.

Therefore, the panel said it is sympathetic to modest support of additional research to resolve many of the unanswered questions about strange, reported cold fusion effects. But the panel still recommends against major funding for special new programs or new centers for cold fusion.

The final report of the Cold Fusion Panel of the DOE's Energy Research Advisory Board was approved Tuesday.