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Scientists Turn Eyes Toward Europa in Search for Life

U.S. astronomers looking for life in the solar system believe that Europa, one of the moons of Jupiter, which has an ocean, is much more promising than desert-covered Mars, which is currently the focus of the U.S. government's attention.

"Europa is the most likely place in our solar system beyond Earth to possess .... life," said Robert Pappalardo, a planetary scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.

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Russian Region Begins Recovery from Meteor Fall

A small army of workers is laboring to replace the estimated 200,000 square meters (50 acres) of windows shattered by the shock wave from a meteor that exploded over Russia's Chelyabinsk region.

The astonishing Friday morning event blew out windows in more than 4,000 buildings in the region, mostly in the capital city of the same name and injured some 1,200 people, largely with cuts from the flying glass.

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Tunguska, 1908: Russia's Greatest Cosmic Mystery

The stunning burning-up of a meteor over Russia on Friday that unleashed a shockwave injuring hundreds of people appears to be the country's most dramatic cosmic experience since the historic Tunguska Event of June 1908.

The Tunguska Event was an explosion that went off in a remote region in Siberia on June 30, 1908, near the river Podkamennaya Tunguska in the north of current Krasnoyarsk region.

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Divers Scour Russian Lake after Meteor Strike, Energy Released Greater than Heroshima Bomb

Divers scoured the bottom of a Russian lake on Saturday for fragments of a meteorite that plunged to Earth in a blinding fireball whose shockwave injured 1,200 people and damaged thousands of homes.

Scientists at the U.S. space agency NASA estimated that the amount of energy released in the atmosphere was about 30 times greater than the force of the nuclear bomb dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima during World War II.

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Study: Fish in Drug-Tainted Water Suffer Reaction

What happens to fish that swim in waters tainted by traces of drugs that people take? When it's an anti-anxiety drug, they become hyper, anti-social and aggressive, a Swedish study found.

It may sound funny, but it could threaten the fish population and upset the delicate dynamics of the marine environment, scientists say.

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Asteroid Whizzes Safely Past Earth

A closely tracked asteroid, about 150-feet (45-meters) wide, whizzed safely past Earth on Friday, the same day a much smaller, previously undetected meteor hit Russia, injuring nearly 1,000 people.

Live images from a telescope at the Gingin Observatory in western Australia showed the asteroid looking like a white streak, moving across against a backdrop of black sky.

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Meteor Strike in Russia Hurts around 950

A plunging meteor exploded with a blinding flash above central Russia on Friday, setting off a shockwave that shattered windows and hurt around 950 people in an event unprecedented in modern times.

The extraordinary event brought morning traffic to a sudden halt in the Urals city of Chelyabinsk as shocked drivers stopped to watch the falling meteor partially burning up in the lower atmosphere and light up the sky.

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Stereo Learning: Infants Distinguish between Languages

Even before they can talk, infants as young as seven months who grow up in bilingual homes acquire a special ability to distinguish between languages, researchers said on Thursday.

Scientists are still baffled by the mechanics of language learning, and how bilingual infants master their mother tongues as efficiently as monolinguals do.

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World's Richest Men Aid 'Green Revolution' Center

The research center largely responsible for launching the "green revolution" of the 1960s that dramatically raised crop yields is getting support from the world's richest men to develop genetically-modified seeds to help farmers in the developing world grow more grain in the face of a changing climatic conditions and increased demand.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Mexican telecom magnate Carlos Slim donated a total of $25 million to build a new cluster of biotechnology labs at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in Mexico.

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Brown-and-White Whistling Owl ID'd as New Species

Researchers looking for a nocturnal bird in Indonesia accidentally identified a new species of owl — one that has a distinct whistling song and is believed to exist nowhere else in the world.

The Rinjani Scops owl was first identified in 2003 and has since been spotted only on Lombok island, about 25 kilometers (15 miles) from the popular resort island of Bali. The findings were published Wednesday in the online journal PLOS ONE.

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