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New Pics Boost Feelings Mars Lander Has Bared Ice

Sharp new images received Saturday from the Phoenix lander largely convinced scientists that the spacecraft's thrusters had uncovered a large patch of ice just below the Martian surface, team members said. ...

from the San Francisco Examiner

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Biomedicine: A Senator's Illness in America, Hybrid Embryos in Britain

The announcement last week that U.S. senator Edward Kennedy has a malignant brain tumor (a glioma) prompted many media outlets to report on the treatment options and prognosis for this medical condition. ...

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A Hidden Risk of Biofuel Crops

Such non-food crops as reeds and wild grasses may seem an attractive alternative to corn for making biofuel, but scientists warned last week that many of the crops being discussed qualify as invasive species. As such, they could spread to adjacent farms and other land, doing economic and ecological harm in the process. ...

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Hybrid Auto Sales? 'I'm Selling Every One I Can Get My Hands On'

With the price of gasoline nearing $4 a gallon, many American motorists are deciding that hybrid cars represent a technology whose time has come. Dealers are selling them as fast as they are delivered. But it takes a lot of driving to offset the sticker price. ...

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New Fossil Finds in Texas, Denmark, Yemen

A fossil rediscovered in the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., could provide new insights into the origins of modern amphibians. Experts say the 290-million-year-old fossil, found in Texas in the 1990s, suggests the creature had features of both frogs and salamanders. ...

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After 422 Million Miles, Phoenix Touches Down

Mars was a big news-maker last week, with the successful landing on Sunday of the Phoenix Mars Lander. The probe performed perfectly, which was a relief in the wake of the 1999 disappearance of the Mars Polar Lander. ...

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Mud Volcano 'on Brink of Collapse'

The world's largest mud volcano that has been erupting continuously since 2006 is beginning to show signs of "catastrophic collapse," according to geologists who have been monitoring it and the surrounding area. The volcano - named Lusi - has already devastated homes and businesses in Sidoarjo, East Java, Indonesia, displacing around 10,000 people and killing 14.

from the Guardian (UK)

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U.S. Experts Bemoan Nation's Loss of Stature in the World of Science

Some of the nation's leading scientists, including Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's top science adviser, [Wednesday] sharply criticized the diminished role of science in the United States and the shortage of federal funding for research, even as science becomes increasingly important to combating problems such as climate change and the global food shortage.

from the Washington Post

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