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NASA’s Curiosity rover suffers glitch on Mars, freezes up
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NASA’s Curiosity rover suffers glitch on Mars, freezes up

This Curiosity image from Jan. 17 shows the end of the rover's robotic arm. NASA/JPL-Caltech Can a Mars rover have an existential crisis? NASA's Curiosity rover is wondering just exactly what its place is on Mars after experiencing a technical glitch. "Partway through its last set of activities, Curiosity lost its orientation," wrote Curiosity team member…

Ancient African skeletons hint at a “ghost lineage” of humans
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Ancient African skeletons hint at a “ghost lineage” of humans

Not out of Africa — Our African roots have many branches and interactions. John Timmer - Jan 22, 2020 11:26 pm UTC Enlarge / A 1994 photograph of the excavations that yielded the skeletons at Shum Laka. Understanding humanity's shared history means understanding what happened in Africa. But figuring out what happened in Africa has…

Team develops an electrochemical method for extracting uranium, and potentially other metal ions, from solution
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Team develops an electrochemical method for extracting uranium, and potentially other metal ions, from solution

An illustration of the electrochemical switching method to capture and release uranium ions. Credit: University of California - Santa Barbara Fifty years ago, scientists hit upon what they thought could be the next rocket fuel. Carboranes—molecules composed of boron, carbon and hydrogen atoms clustered together in three-dimensional shapes—were seen as the possible basis for next-generation…

Surprise discovery shakes up our understanding of gene expression
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Surprise discovery shakes up our understanding of gene expression

University of Chicago scientist Chuan He found evidence that RNA itself modulates how DNA is transcribed—using a chemical process that is increasingly apparent to be vital to biology. Credit: Shutterstock A group of University of Chicago scientists has uncovered a previously unknown way that our genes are made into reality. Rather than directions going one-way…

Deep diving scientists discover bubbling CO2 hotspot
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Deep diving scientists discover bubbling CO2 hotspot

A researcher collects gas samples at Soda Springs in the Philippines. Credit: University of Texas at Austin Jackson School of Geosciences Diving 200 feet under the ocean surface to conduct scientific research can lead to some interesting places. For University of Texas at Austin Professor Bayani Cardenas, it placed him in the middle of a…

New evidence shows the first building blocks of life on Earth may have been messier than previously thought
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New evidence shows the first building blocks of life on Earth may have been messier than previously thought

Szostak believes the earliest cells developed on land in ponds or pools, potentially in volcanically active regions. Ultraviolet light, lightning strikes, and volcanic eruptions all could have helped spark the chemical reactions necessary for life formation. Credit: Don Kawahigashi/Unsplash When the Earth was born, it was a mess. Meteors and lightning storms likely bombarded the…

Boeing negotiating with NASA on future SLS Core Stage production
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Boeing negotiating with NASA on future SLS Core Stage production

Now that the first of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) Core Stages has shipped from the factory, prime contractor Boeing is refining production plans for the second flight article and continuing negotiations with the civilian space agency for future production. The production team at the Michoud Assembly Facility (MAF) in New Orleans is applying lessons…

Late Neolithic Italy was home to complex networks of metal exchange
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Late Neolithic Italy was home to complex networks of metal exchange

Articulated burial and dismembered human remains from Ponte San Pietro, tomb 22.The chamber tomb is typical of the Rinaldone burial custom, central Italy, c.3600-2200 BC. Reprinted from Miari 1995 under a CC BY licence, with permission from Monica Miari, original copyright 1995. Credit: Dolfini et al, 2020 During the 4th and 3rd millennia BC, Italy…