news @ nature.com - Physicists get their hands on the second round of WMAP data.
So, further analysis of satellite data indicates that the universe did start with a bang and the "inflation" kicked in immediately. It would be somewhat helpful if we knew what was behind inflation, but as far as I know that is still a big mystery. This data also helps confirm that the part of the universe we can see - atoms and such like - make up only 4 % of the total. As is said in the above story:
"This idea that the universe is 74% dark energy and 22% dark matter is really crazy; it relates to nothing we can measure on Earth," says Sean Carroll, a cosmologist at the University of Chicago, Illinois, who is not part of the WMAP team. "Every time we get observations that say 'Yes, the model is still working', we are surprised."
All very strange.