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Japan Asteroid Probe to Lift off Monday after Delay

Japan on Monday will launch a space probe on a six-year mission to mine a distant asteroid after the event was postponed due to bad weather, officials said.

Hayabusa2 is now scheduled to blast off aboard Japan's main H-IIA rocket from Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan at 1:22 pm (0422 GMT), the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency said Saturday.

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Gold Rush an Ecological Disaster for Peruvian Amazon

A lush expanse of Amazon rainforest known as the "Mother of God" is steadily being destroyed in Peru, with the jungle giving way to mercury-filled tailing ponds used to extract the gold hidden underground.

Locals describe the area as a tropical Wild West where tens of thousands of desperate fortune-hunters have set up camp around improvised mines that operate around the clock, use heavy machinery to rake open the land and leech toxic chemicals into the ground.

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Limestone 'Venus' 23,000 Years Old Dug Up in France

A limestone statuette of a shapely woman some 23,000 years old has been discovered in northern France in what archaeologists Thursday described as an "exceptional" find.

Archaeologists stumbled on the Paleolithic-era sculpture during a dig in the summer in Amiens, the first such find in half a century.

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Dismantling Ski Lifts and Moving Villages: Alps Adapt to Climate Change

With temperatures rising faster in the Alps than the rest of the world, alpine countries are working together to adapt to climate change and hope to set an example.

A recent Austrian climate change report found that the country's temperatures had risen twice as fast as the global average since 1880, with the number of sunshine hours in the Alps increasing by 20 percent.

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Bad Weather Delays Japan Asteroid Probe Lift Off

Bad weather will delay the launch of a Japanese space probe on a six-year mission to mine a distant asteroid, just weeks after a European spacecraft's historic landing on a comet captivated the world.

Hayabusa2 had been set to blast off aboard Japan's main H-IIA rocket from Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan on Sunday.

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Climate Deal: What the Scientists Say

A snapshot of what scientists are saying about climate change ahead of the next round of U.N. talks opening in Lima on Monday.


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Brazil Government Claims Drop in Amazon Deforestation

Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon basin dropped by 18 percent over the past year, the government said Wednesday, but the official figures were at odds with a conservation group's findings.

Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira said deforestation from August 2013 to July 2014 totaled 4,848 square kilometers (1,870 square miles), the second-lowest figure on record.

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India Court Slams Delhi's Worsening Air Pollution

India's environment court has slammed the government over the capital's horrendous air pollution, which it said was "getting worse" every day, and ordered a string of measures to bring it down.

The National Green Tribunal directed all vehicles older than 15 years be taken off New Delhi roads, pollution checks undertaken for all state-run buses and air purifiers installed at the city's busy markets.

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Lab-Coated Muggles Use Harry Potter to Study Brain

Harry Potter swoops around on his broom, faces the bully Malfoy and later runs into a three-headed dog. For scientists studying brain activity while reading, it's the perfect excerpt from the young wizard's many adventures to give their subjects.

Reading that section of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" activates some of the same regions in the brain that people use to perceive real people's actions and intentions. Scientists then map what a healthy brain does as it reads.

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DNA May Survive Trip to Suborbital Space and Back

DNA molecules attached to the outside of a rocket may be able survive a trip to suborbital space and back into the Earth's atmosphere at extremely high temperatures, according to a study Wednesday.

The experiment, carried out on the TEXUS-49 rocket mission in March 2011, "showed that DNA could be recovered from all application sites on the exterior of the rocket," according to the study published in PLOS ONE journal.

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