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Science


Failed Russian Spacecraft To Fall To Earth

MOSCOW, Dec. 16 (UPI) — A Russian spacecraft that failed in its attempt to head to Mars will fall to Earth between Jan. 6-19, the country’s federal space agency said. No more than 400 pounds of the debris of the Phobos-Grunt craft will reach the Earth’s surface, and the fuel is expected to totally burn […]

Sense Of Smell Said Driver Of Evolution

MUNICH, Germany, Dec. 14 (UPI) — Modern humans have a better sense of smell than Neanderthals did and differences in brain structure suggest improved brain functions, German researchers say. Neanderthals and modern humans, two different human species, independently evolved brains of roughly the same size but with differing shapes that may indicate a difference in […]

Cellphone Driving Risks Re-Analyzed

DETROIT, Dec. 14 (UPI) — Two early influential studies on cellphone use and car crash risk may have overestimated the risk of talking on cellphones while driving, U.S. researchers say. Behavioral scientists at Wayne State University analyzed possible bias in a 1997 Canadian study and a 2005 Australian study, a university release said Wednesday. In […]

Anniversy Of South Pole Feat Celebrated

OSLO, Norway, Dec. 14 (UPI) — Norway’s prime minister observed the 100th anniversary of explorer Roald Amundsen’s expedition to the south pole with a ceremony at the pole. Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg paid tribute to “one of the most outstanding achievements of mankind” as he unveiled an ice bust of Amundsen at the U.S. scientific […]

Britain OKs Badger Cull In Disease Battle

LONDON, Dec. 14 (UPI) — British authorities say a badger cull will be carried out in two areas of England next year in an attempt to tackle bovine TB in cattle. Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said a decision on whether to extend the cull across the country would be made after the trials in yet-to-be-decided […]

Astronomers Identify Source Of Supernova

SANTA BARBARA, Calif., Dec. 15 (UPI) — A supernova that exploded in August was a white dwarf star, but its companion could not have been a red giant as previously suspected, U.S. astronomers say. The new “type Ia” thermonuclear supernova exploded Aug. 24 in the Pinwheel galaxy, located in the constellation Ursa Major, also known […]

Ocean Fish Threatened By CO2 Levels

STONY BROOK, N.Y., Dec. 13 (UPI) — The survival of young fish may be in jeopardy from acidification of ocean water caused by increasing concentrations of CO2, U.S. researchers say. In a study, survival of young fish diminished as seawater’s CO2 concentration rose to levels scientists expect to see between 2050 and 2100, ScienceNews.org reported. […]

Study Finds City Birds Sing In Higher Key

ABERYSTWYTH, Wales, Dec. 13 (UPI) — City birds sing their songs at a higher pitch than their country cousins to reduce the affect of echoes from surrounding buildings, a British study determined. Researchers from Aberystwyth University said they found higher-pitched songs travel further in built-up areas because their echoes fade more quickly, and following notes […]

Migrating Birds Crash Land In Utah

ST. GEORGE, Utah, Dec. 14 (UPI) — Thousands of migrating birds crashed in a Utah Walmart parking lot Monday requiring a marathon rescue and collection effort, wildlife officials said. Officials said thousands of grebes, a duck-like aquatic bird, were migrating toward Mexico and probably mistook the parking lot of a Walmart store and other flat […]

Babies Learn Word Patterns By Listening

SOUTH BEND, Ind., Dec. 9 (UPI) — Babies are highly attuned to communication and motivated to interact — and they’re great listeners, U.S. researchers say. Psychologists at the University of Notre Dame say during the first year of life, when babies spend much time listening to language, they’re actually tracking word patterns that will support […]

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