NASA rover sends back colorful picture of Mars

By ALICIA CHANG August 09, 2012, 08:46 PM

The photo-snapping rover Curiosity returned another postcard from Mars on Thursday — the first 360-degree color panorama of Gale Crater.

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NASA's 'green' test lander crashes

By SETH BORENSTEIN August 09, 2012, 08:18 PM

The spider-like spacecraft called Morpheus was on a test flight at Cape Canaveral when it tilted, crashed to the ground and erupted in flames.

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Security firm: New computer virus prowling Mideast

By RAPHAEL SATTER August 09, 2012, 05:26 PM

A new computer virus tied to some of the most sophisticated cyberweapons thus-far discovered has been found circulating in the Middle East, a Moscow-based computer security company said Thursday. If a link were confirmed, the find would expand the electronic arsenal reportedly deployed by the U.S. and Israel against their rivals in the region.

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A new species may hang from human tree

By BRIAN VASTAG August 09, 2012, 05:19 PM

A 2 million-year-old flat-faced skull pulled from the sandstones of east Africa has shored up claims that at least three species of early humans once co-existed in an "evolutionary experiment" that saw an explosive increase in brain size paired with radically different faces, teeth and jaws.

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Evolution of man

August 08, 2012, 10:53 PM

Homo sapiens: The only living members of our genus, Homo; they are believed to have reached modernity about 200,000 years ago.

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Africa's archeology legacy in peril

By HOLLAND COTTER August 04, 2012, 11:02 PM

How the wars over antiquities -- and the battle to preserve their historical context -- pitted scientists against collectors and historians.

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Science briefs: Later pregnancy, lower cancer risk

August 04, 2012, 04:34 PM

The older a woman is when she gives birth, the lower her risk for endometrial cancer, a new study reports.

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In shipwrecks, it's usually 'every man for himself'

August 04, 2012, 04:27 PM

Keen to test humanity's capacity for selflessness in times of duress, the students of the "dismal science" reviewed survival data for some of history's worst shipwrecks. What they found was that women and children were only half as likely as crew members and captains to survive maritime disasters. Instead of "women and children first" and "the captain must go down with the ship," the rallying cry seemed to be "every man for himself," the authors wrote.

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Mummy's lung infection is diagnosed 500 years later

August 04, 2012, 04:25 PM

An Inca girl who lived 500 years ago suffered from a bacterial lung infection just before she died, report scientists who examined her mummy. The girl, about 15, was sacrificed at the summit of Llullaillaco volcano in Argentina, said Angelique Corthals, a forensic anthropologist at the City University of New York. The study, published in the journal PLoS One, used a technique that compared the proteins found in the mummy against genome databases. The mummy was one of three sacrificed children found in 1999. "The girl actually had gray hair, so I think they knew their fate," Corthals said. "And the little girl and boy also had their teeth ground down." NEW YORK TIMES

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Curiosity: This geologist eats plutonium, on Mars

By AMINA KHAN July 28, 2012, 06:45 PM

Curiosity, the most advanced machine ever sent to another planet, is set to touch down on Mars next Sunday

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Orphans in institutions show brain deficits

By JON BARDIN July 28, 2012, 04:58 PM

The Romanian study, which tracked children for 12 years, shows reach of social isolation.

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Russian spaceship fails docking test

July 24, 2012, 06:48 PM

A Russian cargo ship experimenting with a new type of autopilot failed to dock with the International Space Station on Tuesday.

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CAPTCHA: The story behind those squiggly computer letters

By STACEY BURLING July 24, 2012, 05:45 PM

Those little puzzles that help distinguish humans from 'bots' indeed are getting harder.

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NASA: Strange and sudden massive melt in Greenland

By SETH BORENSTEIN July 24, 2012, 05:03 PM

Nearly all of Greenland's massive ice sheet suddenly started melting a bit this month, a freak event that surprised scientists.

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AIDS conference opens at key turning point

By LAURAN NEERGAARD July 23, 2012, 02:38 AM

Researchers, doctors and patients attending the world's largest AIDS conference are urging the world's governments not to cut back on the fight against the epidemic when it is at a turning point.

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Lobstermen finding more odd colors in the catch

By CLARKE CANFIELD July 22, 2012, 07:49 PM

When a 100-pound shipment of lobsters arrived at Bill Sarro's seafood shop and restaurant last month, it contained a surprise — six orange crustaceans that have been said to be a 1-in-10-million oddity.

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Experts: Some fracking critics use bad science

By KEVIN BEGOS July 22, 2012, 07:49 PM

In the debate over natural gas drilling, the companies are often the ones accused of twisting the facts. But scientists say opponents sometimes mislead the public, too.

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Big, furry bandits saving palm tree

By KRYSTNELL A. STORR July 21, 2012, 04:52 PM

Rodents have taken over role of an elephant-sized animal with pure thievery.

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Science notes: Effectiveness of MS drug questioned

July 21, 2012, 04:51 PM

The most widely prescribed drug for treating multiple sclerosis has little or no effect on a patient's progression to disability, a study found. The medicine, interferon beta, does help reduce the development of brain lesions and limit the frequency of relapses, but until now there have been few well-controlled long-term studies demonstrating its effectiveness at preventing the onset of irreversible disability.

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Giant ice chunk breaks off

July 21, 2012, 04:50 PM

A chunk of ice twice the size of Manhattan has parted from Greenland's Petermann glacier, a break researchers at the University of Delaware and Canadian Ice Service attributed to higher ocean temperatures. The separation along Greenland's northwest coast represents the second major calving event for the glacier in the past three years. In August 2010, the Petermann glacier lost an area of roughly 97 square miles, compared with the 46 square miles that split off last week. Andreas Muenchow, an associate professor of physical ocean science and engineering at the University of Delaware, said the glacier's end point is now at "a location where it has not been for at least 150 years." "The Greenland ice sheet is changing rapidly before our eyes," said Muenchow, adding that recent warming has transformed the overall ice sheet. "The Greenland ice sheet is being reduced not just in size, but in volume. The big and broader climate change story is what's happening all around Greenland."

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