GENEVA/LONDON - Scientists at the CERN research center have discovered a new subatomic particle that could be the elusive Higgs boson, which is believed to be crucial in the formation of the universe.

"I can confirm that a particle has been discovered that is consistent with the Higgs boson theory," said John Womersley, chief executive of the UK's Science & Technology Facilities Council, at an event in London.

Joe Incandela, spokesman for one of the two teams hunting for the Higgs particle told an audience at CERN near Geneva: "This is a preliminary result, but we think it's very strong and very solid."

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