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New spider species is ‘fearsomeness incarnate’

There’s a new spider species in the world, but its roots may date back centuries. “Meet Trogloraptor, fearsomeness incarnate,” Scientific American reported Friday, following the discovery of Trogloraptor marchingtoni, part of the new Trogloraptoridae family by a group of scientists at the Western Cave Conservancy and San Diego State University.…

‘We’re NASA and We Know It’ video spoofs JPL Mars team

'We're NASA and We Know It' video spoofs JPL Mars team. How cool is that? (via The Christian Science Monitor) The folks at JPL have arrived. No, not just because the NASA center’s best and brightest put the Mars rover Curiosity flawlessly on the surface of the Red Planet. But…

What Curiosity rover is up to next: Martian target practice

What Curiosity rover is up to next: Martian target practice (+video) (via The Christian Science Monitor) After nearly two Earth weeks on the surface of Mars, NASA’s rover Curiosity is getting set for target practice. Within the next few days, scientists using the laser-based ChemCam plan to zap their first…

Baboon baby boom worries Uruguay zookeepers

A population explosion of baboons at a Uruguayan zoo has their keepers worried that the 130 increasingly aggressive animals will forcibly resist being moved to a larger enclosure. For years the troop of Hamadrya baboons — a species Old World monkeys native to the Horn of Africa and Yemen —…

6.3-magnitude quake hits Indonesia’s Sulawesi

A powerful 6.3-magnitude quake shook Indonesia’s central Sulawesi province on Saturday, damaging buildings and injuring at least three people. Panicked residents in two mountainous districts near the epicentre ran from their homes into the streets as the quake rocked their villages for around 15 seconds. An AFP reporter in the…

Curiosity to make wide detour to check out something ‘cool’

WASHINGTON — The US space agency NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity will make a wide detour to explore a geographical hot spot on Mars because “it looks cool,” scientists said Friday. Before driving to its destination at Mount Sharp, which may contain traces of water, Curiosity will head in the opposite…

U.S. carbon emissions drop to 20-year low

US emissions of carbon dioxide blamed for climate change fell in 2011 and have slipped to a 20-year low this year as the the world’s largest economy uses more natural gas and less coal, data shows. The surprise drop from the world’s second biggest emitter comes despite the lack of…

Researchers: Mutant zebra herpes killed polar bear in German zoo

A mutant strain of zebra herpes killed a polar bear two years ago at the Wuppertal Zoo in Germany, according to a study published Thursday in the scientific journal Current Biology. Researchers at the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin said they’re still not certain how the…

Climate change driving Australian fish south

Australian scientists said Friday there was now “striking evidence” of extensive southward migration of tropical fish and declines in other species due to climate change, in a major ocean report card. Compiled by more than 80 of Australia’s leading marine experts for the government science body CSIRO, the snapshot of…

Scientists a step closer to a hormone-free male contraceptive pill

Scientists have discovered a compound that could pave the way for effective and hormone-free birth control pills for men. “There has not been a new reversible contraceptive for men since the development of the condom, centuries ago,” noted William Bremner from the University of Washington in a commentary on the…

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