Science News


Say cheese! NASA Mars rover photographs own shadow

May 24, 2012

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Even robots like to have fun. NASA's rover on Mars showed off its playful side by snapping a picture of its own shadow. It's the latest self-portrait since the rover, named Opportunity, landed on the red planet in 2004.

The photo was taken in March and NASA released it this ...

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Commercial Space Race Gets Crowded Behind SpaceX

May 23, 2012

By SETH BORENSTEIN, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — A privately built space capsule that's zipping its way to the International Space Station has also launched something else: A new for-profit space race.

The capsule called Dragon was due to arrive near the space station for tests early Thursday ...

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Wanted: Bigfoot hair samples for European study

May 23, 2012

By MARIA CHENG, Associated Press

LONDON (AP) — European researchers are planning to use new techniques to analyze DNA that could help crack the mystery of whether Bigfoot exists.

In a project announced this week, Oxford University and Lausanne Museum of Zoology scientists appealed to museums,

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Beam Them Up: Ashes of 'Star Trek' Actor in Orbit

May 22, 2012

By SETH BORENSTEIN, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — James Doohan, Scotty from "Star Trek," spent his acting career whizzing through the cosmos. Gordon Cooper was one of America's famous Mercury seven astronauts. And Bob Shrake spent his work life anonymously helping send NASA's high-tech ...

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Commercial spacecraft speeds toward space station

May 22, 2012

By MARCIA DUNN, Associated Press

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Opening a new, entrepreneurial era in spaceflight, a ship built by a billionaire businessman sped toward the International Space Station with a load of groceries and other supplies Tuesday after a spectacular middle-of-the-night ...

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What's the big deal about private space launches?

May 22, 2012

By SETH BORENSTEIN, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The first private spaceship is headed to the International Space Station. Some questions and answers about the cargo mission by Space Exploration Technologies, known as SpaceX:

Q: If this is just supplies and no astronauts, why is this launch ...

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UK virtual orchestra puts you in conductor's stand

May 22, 2012

By RAPHAEL SATTER, Associated Press

LONDON (AP) — A London museum is putting the conductor's baton in visitors' hands, allowing guests to direct a virtual orchestra using three-dimensional motion sensors.

The "Universe of Sound" installation is an effort by the British capital's Science Museum to ...

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Houston museum unveils $85 million dinosaur hall

May 22, 2012

By RAMIT PLUSHNICK-MASTI, Associated Press

HOUSTON (AP) — Pups in her womb, a large eye visible behind the rib cage, one baby stuck in the birth canal: all fossilized evidence that this ancient marine beast, the Ichthyosaur, died in childbirth.

Jurassic Mom's almost certainly painful death is ...

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UK May Allow IVF for Same-Sex Couples

May 22, 2012

LONDON (AP) — A powerful health advisory agency says Britain should extend free fertility treatments to women up to age 42 as well as same-sex couples, recommendations likely to be followed by many of the U.K.'s medical centers.

The British health system generally pays for up to three cycles of ...

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Running Barefoot Could Cause Serious Problems

May 22, 2012

By ALICIA CHANG, Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Swept by the barefoot running craze, ultramarathoner Ryan Carter ditched his sneakers for footwear that mimics the experience of striding unshod.

The first time he tried it two years ago, he ran a third of a mile on grass. Within three weeks of ...

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Webcasts push solar eclipse to the masses

May 21, 2012

By SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN, Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — It was one of the best places in the western United States to watch the annular solar eclipse, and people drove for days just to get to this dusty stretch west of Albuquerque.

Did it matter?

Some say no. The game of chasing ...

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Sea Launch vessels depart on Intelsat mission

May 21, 2012

LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Sea Launch AG says its oceangoing rocket pad and command ship have departed their Long Beach, Calif., home port for the equator to launch a communications satellite for Intelsat.

The Switzerland-based company said in a statement Monday that liftoff of a Zenit-3SL rocket ...

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SpaceX will try 1st private cargo run again Tues.

May 21, 2012

By MARCIA DUNN, Associated Press

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Private rocket maker SpaceX aimed for a Tuesday liftoff after fixing the engine problem that caused a launch abort over the weekend, stalling the world's first commercial space station supply flight.

Forecasters put the odds of good ...

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Disputed dinosaur fossil auctioned for $1M in NYC

May 21, 2012

By JENNIFER PELTZ, Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — A dinosaur dispute is brewing between the Mongolian government and an American auction house, which sold a fossil of a fearsome T. Rex relative despite a court order not to.

The 8-foot-tall, 24-foot-long skeleton of a Tyannosaurus bataar — or ...

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Eclipse crosses Asia, US: Millions look skyward

May 21, 2012

By ERIC TALMADGE and SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN, Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — From a park near Albuquerque, to the top of Japan's Mount Fuji, to the California coast the effect was dramatic: The moon nearly blotting out the sun creating a blazing "ring of fire" eclipse.

Millions of people ...

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AP Photos: Millions view 'ring of fire' eclipse

May 21, 2012

By The Associated Press, Associated Press

Millions of early risers in Asia turned their attention skyward to view a rare "ring of fire" eclipse as it crossed their skies Monday morning.

The annular eclipse, in which the moon passes in front of the sun leaving only a golden ring around its edges,

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Viewing events, eyewear urged for 'Ring of Fire'

May 20, 2012

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Parts of eastern Asia were being treated to a solar spectacle as the moon slid across the sun, creating a "ring of fire." Sky-watchers in the western U.S. awaited their turns as the rare phenomenon was due to move over the Pacific and toward them later Sunday.

Scientists ...

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SpaceX rocket launch aborted in last half-second

May 19, 2012

By MARCIA DUNN, Associated Press

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A new private supply ship for the International Space Station remained stuck on the ground Saturday after rocket engine trouble led to a last-second abort of the historic flight.

All nine engines for the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket roared to ...

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Researcher apologizes for study of gay therapy

May 18, 2012

By MALCOLM RITTER, Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — A prominent retired psychiatrist is apologizing to the gay community for a decade-old study that concluded some gay people can go straight through what's called reparative therapy.

Dr. Robert L. Spitzer, formerly of Columbia University, now says ...

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Mad cow quarantines lifted at 2 California dairies

May 18, 2012

By TRACIE CONE, Associated Press

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Quarantines were lifted on two Central California dairies associated with a case of mad cow disease after investigators found no link between the illness and food the diseased bovine might have consumed, federal officials said Friday.

Tests ...

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