At http://phys.org/print336218352.html … an invisible shield 7200 miles above the surface of the Earth appears to block dangerous electrons – a sort of protection from the solar wind and its excesses. Professor David Baker, who earned his doctorate under Van Allen and has maintained an interest in the Van Allen belts, two doughnut shaped rings above the Earth, went on to discover a third but transient ring (reported a year or so ago) situated between the two permanent rings. The new transient ring comes and goes according to space weather. The mystery is the way in which it blocks electrons – shields the earth's atmosphere.
Over at http://phys.org/print336106150.html … if you are into improvisation and are prepared to visit Ebay for the raw materials here is a story to warm the cockles. A scientist has built a DIY microscope for a snitch