In today’s Bulldog wrapup of technology and life science news:

  • The search resumes for the “God particle” at CERN
  • The FDA approves a Parkinson’s disease drug
  • Marissa Mayer gets $55 million severance package if ousted
  • Billionaire Carl Icahn sells his stake in Apple

The details:

  • Physicists abuzz about possible new particle as CERN revs up

Scientists around the globe are revved up with excitement as the world’s biggest atom smasher — best known for revealing the Higgs boson four years ago — starts whirring again to churn out data that may confirm cautious hints of an entirely new particle.

Such a discovery would all but upend the most basic understanding of physics, experts say.

The European Center for Nuclear Research, or CERN by its French-language acronym, has in recent months given more oomph to the machinery in a 27-kilometer (17-mile) underground circuit along the French-Swiss border known as the Large Hadron Collider.

In a surprise development in December, two separate LHC detectors each turned up faint signs that could indicate a new particle, and since then theorizing has been rife.

“It’s a hint at a possible discovery,” said theoretical physicist Csaba Csaki, who isn’t involved in the experiments. “If this is really true, then it would possibly be the most exciting thing that I have seen in particle physics in my career — more exciting than the discovery of the Higgs itself.”

After a wintertime break, the Large Hadron Collider, or LHC, reopened on March 25 to prepare for a restart in early May. CERN scientists are doing safety tests and scrubbing clean the pipes before slamming together large bundles of particles in hopes of producing enough data to clear up that mystery. Firm answers aren’t expected for weeks, if not until an August conference of physicists in Chicago known as ICHEP.

On Friday, the LHC was temporarily immobilized by a weasel, which invaded a transformer that helps power the machine and set off an electrical outage. CERN says it was one of a few small glitches that will delay by a few days plans to start the data collection at the $4.4 billion collider.

The 2012 confirmation of the Higgs boson, dubbed the “God particle” by some laypeople, culminated a theory first floated decades earlier. The “Higgs” rounded out the Standard Model of physics, which aims to explain how the universe is structured at the infinitesimal level.

  • First drug for delusions in Parkinson’s patients approved

Federal health officials have approved an experimental drug to treat psychotic delusions and behaviors that often afflict patients with Parkinson’s disease, the debilitating movement disorder.

The drug from Acadia Pharmaceuticals Inc. is the first drug for the condition, which affects approximately half of Parkinson’s patients. An estimated 50,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s each year, making it the second-most common neurodegenerative disease in the U.S.

The company’s drug Nuplazid is part of the antipsychotic family of medications, including Abilify, Zyprexa and Seroquel, which are used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Like those drugs, Nuplazid will carry a boxed warning about the risks of death when used in older patients with dementia. The drugs are not approved for that use.

Acadia is based in San Diego.

  • Mayer’s $55 million golden parachute

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer will walk away with a $55 million severance package if the company’s auction of its Internet operations culminates in a sale that ousts her from her job.

The payout disclosed in a regulatory filing Friday consists of cash, stock awards and other benefits that Mayer would get should she be forced out as CEO within a year after a sale.

Although Yahoo’s board is still evaluating takeover offers, most investors are betting that the company will decide to sell its well-known brand and an Internet business that includes a popular email service and sections focused on sports and finance.

Mayer, a former Google executive, has been unsuccessfully trying to turn around Yahoo for nearly four years. Instead, Yahoo’s long-running slump has deepened during her reign, making her pay a prickly topic among investors.

“I don’t think this management team has done anything to merit a huge payout,” said Eric Jackson, managing director of SpringOwl Asset Management, a Yahoo shareholder critical of Mayer’s leadership.

Yahoo declined to comment beyond its filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The documents didn’t explain the rationale for the severance packages covering Mayer and other Yahoo executives, although they are common at most publicly held companies as a way to maintain some stability during times of uncertainty.

  • Carl Icahn sells Apple shares, cites China concerns

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn has sold his stake in Apple, citing concerns about the giant tech company’s prospects in China.

Apple’s stock fell 9 percent this week after it reported a sizeable drop in iPhone sales. Icahn, a longtime booster, told CNBC he still thinks Apple is a “great company.” But he said he worries about Chinese regulators, who recently blocked Apple’s online services. Apple has been hoping to expand in China.

Icahn last year called it a “no-brainer” to invest in Apple, predicting the company could be worth $1 trillion. At that point, he owned 53 million shares, valued then at $6.5 billion, nearly 1 percent of the company. The stock has fallen 20 percent since then, but Icahn said he still made $2 billion from selling his shares.