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CERN plays down claims of Higgs particle discovery

Officials at the world's biggest particle physics lab are playing down claims of a major discovery after a leaked internal memo sparked excitement among science enthusiasts that the elusive Higgs-boson 'God particle' has been found.

A spokesman for the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, says the observation by scientists working at the $10-billion Large Hadron Collider "is probably nothing."

The brief note published anonymously on a Columbia University physics blog last week claims unexpected measurements from high-energy particle collisions mark "the first definitive observation of physics beyond the standard model."

CERN spokesman James Gillies says such results show up frequently but can often be dismissed after further scrutiny.