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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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Does Aging Mission Manzanita Lack a Bear Necessity for Survival?

Under a warming sun, biologist Rick Halsey climbs a hillside once blanketed by mission manzanita. Until the Witch fire last year, this stand of manzanita was possibly the oldest of its type in the county, a century or more in age. ...

from the San Diego Union-Tribune

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Finding Order: Jane Richardson

Like many young people growing up in the 1950's, Jane Richardson veered into science in part because of Sputnik - though in her case, the connection was quite direct. Deeply interested in astronomy, she and her friends in Teaneck, N.J., used to stake out spots in a field in the days after the Soviets launched their satellite.

from Scientific American

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Was Mars Too Salty for Life?

If life ever got going on Mars, it may have been exterminated 4 billion years ago by a buildup of salt. Evidence that the planet is poisonously salty comes from a study of minerals near the Martian surface. While exploring Mars's Meridiani plain, the rover Opportunity discovered ancient deposits of magnesium sulphate that appear to have been left behind by salty water.

from New Scientist

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