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Cold-Stunned Turtles Rehabilitated in New Orleans, Released

Nearly two dozen turtles that were stranded by cold weather last year in Massachusetts have successfully undergone rehab and have been returned to waters off Louisiana's coast.

More than 1,200 young, "cold-stunned" Kemp's ridley sea turtles were stranded in November and December.

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Scientists Abandon Highly Publicized Claim about Cosmic Find

Scientists who made headlines last March by announcing that they'd found long-sought evidence about the early universe are now abandoning that claim.

New data show that their cosmic observations no longer back up that conclusion, they say.

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NASA Delays Soil Study Satellite Launch for 'Repairs'

NASA has pushed back the launch of a satellite to study soil moisture to Saturday, so that it can perform "minor repairs" to the launch rocket.

"The launch of NASA's Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observatory, which will produce the highest-resolution maps of soil moisture ever obtained from space, has been delayed to a targeted launch date of January 31," the U.S. space agency said on its website.

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Litchi Fruit Suspected in Mystery Illness in India

A mysterious and sometimes fatal brain disease that has afflicted children in northeastern India for years could be linked to a toxic substance in litchi fruits, US researchers said Thursday.

Investigators say more research is needed to uncover the cause of the illness, which leads to seizures, altered mental state and death in more than a third of cases.

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NASA Astronaut Memorial Stirs Memories for Shuttle Veteran

Each year around this time, NASA honors fallen astronauts, including the 17 men and women killed in three separate wintertime accidents in the sky and on the earth.

For Robert "Hoot" Gibson, it's a time to remember lost friends and some of their stunts, like playing a saxophone in orbit.

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Japan to Launch New Spy Satellite

Japan's government said it will launch a back-up spy satellite on Sunday, after cancelling an earlier lift-off due to bad weather.

Tokyo put spy satellites into operation in the early 2000s after its elusive neighbour North Korea fired a mid-range ballistic missile over the Japanese mainland and into the western Pacific in 1998.

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Vast Opinion Differences between Scientists, U.S. Public

Average Americans hold vastly different opinions than scientists about animal experiments, climate change, genetically modified foods and offshore oil drilling, researchers said Thursday.

The largest opinion gap found in the study, published in the U.S. journal Science, was on whether genetically modified foods are safe to eat or not.

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Just Four Bits of Credit Card Data Can Identify Most Anyone

Just four bits of information gleaned from a shopper's credit card can be used to identify almost anyone, suggesting that even anonymous big data sets can breach individual privacy, researchers said Thursday.

The study in the journal Science crunched three months of credit card records for 1.1 million people in an unidentified industrialized country.

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Nobel Laureate Charles Townes, Laser Co-Creator, Dies at 99

Charles H. Townes, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist who helped create the laser that would revolutionize everything from medicine to manufacturing, has died. He was 99.

Townes had been in poor health before his death on the way to an Oakland hospital Tuesday, officials at the University of California, Berkeley, said.

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Myanmar Tallies 1,114 Bird Species, 20 Previously Unrecorded

An extensive survey of birds in Myanmar has revealed nearly two dozen not known to have existed in the country, including a large black seabird with a ballooning red neck sack and a tiny black and white falconet with a surprised, panda-like expression.

The Great Frigate and the Pied Falconet were among 20 previously undocumented birds spotted during a four-year field survey by the Bird and Nature Society, the Wildlife Conservation Society, Flora and Fauna International and several other bird-enthusiast associations, said Thet Zaw Naing, one of the surveyors.

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