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A startling claim that the cosmos existed before the Big Bang doesn’t appear to be supported by detailed analyses, three independent teams of scientists have concluded.

The teams, which recently posted their findings at, were responding to a widely publicized report that cosmic microwave background — the glow left over from the explosive start of the universe believed to have occurred 13.7 billion years ago — contains echoes of previous cycles of cosmic birth and death (SN: 12/18/10, p. 10).

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