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Are we alone? NASA’s Mars rover aims to find out

Are we alone? Or was there life on another planet? NASA’s $2.5 billion dream machine, the Mars Science Laboratory, aims to take the first steps toward finding out when it nears Mars’ surface on Monday. The planet is Earth’s closest neighbor, and scientists have found signs of water there, hinting…

Mass grave reveals how volcano caused global catastrophe

Scientists search for the explosive source of a disaster that wiped out almost a third of Londoners in 1258 When archaeologists discovered thousands of medieval skeletons in a mass burial pit in east London in the 1990s, they assumed they were 14th-century victims of the Black Death or the Great…

Mayans may have used chocolate in cooking 2,500 years ago

When the Spanish conquistadores invaded Mexico 500 years ago, they found the emperor Moctezuma drinking a exotic beverage called xocóatl with his breakfast. Made from ground cacao beans that had been boiled in water, spiced, and beaten to a froth, it was literally the drink of kings, permitted only to…

NASA scientists prepare for ‘seven minutes of terror’ in Mars rover landing

In the silence of space on the approach to Mars a US probe is warming up for an unprecedented act of theatre. Heaters aboard the spacecraft have begun to glow, thawing thrusters and components ahead of the most daring landing ever attempted on an alien world. Bearing down on the…

Toll in Uganda’s Ebola outbreak rises to 16: WHO

The latest outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus has killed 16 people in Uganda, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday, increasing the previous toll by one. “Today we have 50 suspected cases and 16 dead,” WHO spokesman Tarek Jasarevic told reporters in Geneva. For the time being the…

Scientists treat ulcers with ‘spray-on skin’

Scientists said Friday they had developed a revolutionary “spray-on skin” treatment for venous leg ulcers — a common ailment involving a shallow, open and stubborn wound on the ankle or lower leg. Using a spray of skin cells suspended in a mixture of proteins that aid blood clotting, the team…

NASA confident ahead of nail-biter Mars landing

NASA said all was well ahead of its nail-biting mission to Mars, with its most advanced robotic rover poised to hunt for clues about past life and water on Earth’s nearest planetary neighbor. On a two-year journey to seek out signs of environments that once sustained life, the landing of…

Komen uses misleading stats to oversell mammograms: experts

Medical experts on Friday accused a major US breast cancer foundation known for its high-profile “pink ribbon” campaign of overselling pre-emptive mammography and understating the risks. The Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation uses misleading statistics in its pro-screening campaigns, two doctors from The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy…

‘Cool geology’ ahead in NASA Mars mission

WASHINGTON — NASA said Thursday all was well ahead of its landmark mission to Mars, with its most advanced robotic rover poised to hunt for clues about past life and water on Earth’s nearest planetary neighbor. On a mission to seek out signs of environments that once sustained life, the…

India plans unmanned spacecraft to Mars in 2013

India plans 2013 mission to Mars (+video) (via The Christian Science Monitor) India plans to send an unmanned orbiter to Mars in November 2013 to study the climate and the geology of the Red Planet. According to AFP, India’s Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, has given his authorization and the final…

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