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Space Station Computer Outage May Force Spacewalk

A computer outage at the International Space Station may require a spacewalk by astronauts and threatens to delay next week's launch of a commercial supply ship for NASA.

NASA said Friday night that a backup computer on the outside of the orbiting lab is not responding to commands.

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U.N. Climate Report Balances Science and Politics

After racing against the clock in an all-night session, the U.N.'s expert panel on climate change was putting the final touches Saturday on a scientific guide to help governments, industries and regular people take action to stop global warming from reaching dangerous levels.

As always when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change adopts one of its high-profile reports, the week-long talks in Berlin were slowed by wrangling between scientists and governments over which words, charts and tables to use in the roughly 30-page summary of a much bigger scientific report.

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IMF, World Bank Push for Price on Carbon

The IMF and World Bank on Friday urged finance ministers to impose a price on carbon, warning that time was running out for the planet to avoid worst-case climate change.

The heads of the two global economic institutions convened ministers from 46 countries -- including the United States, China, India and European powers -- on the sidelines of spring meetings in Washington to press the case for urgent climate action.

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Cyclone Batters Australia's Great Barrier Reef Coast

A tropical cyclone battered Australia's Barrier Reef coast Saturday, knocking out power and phone lines for thousands of people as officials warned the storm "continues to be a threat" despite weakening in force.

Tens of thousands of people hunkered down overnight as strong gales and heavy rains lashed the far north but no deaths or major destruction was reported as cyclone Ita was downgraded to a category one storm.

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Artificial Cooling Tricky Topic for Climate Panel

It's Plan B in the fight against climate change: cooling the planet by sucking heat-trapping CO2 from the air or reflecting sunlight back into space.

Called geoengineering, it's considered mad science by opponents. Supporters say it would be foolish to ignore it, since plan A — slashing carbon emissions from fossil fuels — is moving so slowly.

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How Flies Avoid the Swat: They Act Like Fighter Jets

When scared, fruit flies bank the same way fighter jets do, tilting and rolling through the air, but they do it quicker than the blink of an eye, U.S. researchers said Thursday.

The findings in the journal Science suggest that flies may be relying on a special set of senses to help them avoid getting swatted.

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Fungal Disease Fatal to Bats Spreads to Half of U.S.

A fungal disease that has killed millions of North American bats is spreading and now has been detected in half of the United States, officials said Thursday.

Wildlife agencies in Michigan and Wisconsin said they had confirmed diagnoses of white-nose syndrome in tested bats, further evidence of the ailment's rapid expansion since it first was documented in a cave near Albany, N.Y., in 2006. Cases have turned up in most states east of the Mississippi River, with Georgia and Alabama joining the list in March, and as far west as Missouri and Arkansas.

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'Cherry Tree from Space' Mystery Baffles Japan

A cosmic mystery is uniting monks and scientists in Japan after a cherry tree grown from a seed that orbited the Earth for eight months bloomed years earlier than expected -- and with very surprising flowers.

The four-year-old sapling -- grown from a cherry stone that spent time aboard the International Space Station (ISS) -- burst into blossom on April 1, possibly a full six years ahead of Mother Nature's normal schedule.

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Climate Changes to Result in Bird, Reptile Shifts

As temperatures climb across the American Southwest, researchers have found some species will win, but others stand to lose — and lose big.

The U.S. Geological Survey and researchers from the University of New Mexico and Northern Arizona University released a report this week that takes a closer look at some of the effects climate change is likely to have on species such as the desert tortoise and the pinyon jay.

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Swiss Unveil New Solar Plane for Global Flight

The Swiss-made airplane built for the first round-the-world solar flight has wings longer than a Boeing 747 jumbo jet yet weighs only about as much as a large car.

The Solar Impulse 2, unveiled to the world Wednesday at Switzerland's Payerne Air Force Base, is a bigger and better version of the single-seater prototype that first took flight five years ago.

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