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Australia Researchers Create 'World First' 3D-Printed Jet Engines

Australian researchers said Thursday they have created two jet engines using 3D printing in what is described as a world-first that has attracted the interest of major manufacturers and engineering firms.

The machines -- produced using the template of a gas turbine engine from French aircraft engine maker Safran, which supplies Airbus and Boeing -- demonstrated the potential 3D printing had to produce high-quality products, researchers from Melbourne's Monash University said.

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U.S. Astronauts Step out on Spacewalk

Two American astronauts Wednesday stepped out on the second of three spacewalks to prepare the International Space Station for the arrival of commercial capsules ferrying astronauts in the coming years.

Commander Barry "Butch" Wilmore and flight engineer Terry Virts emerged from the station airlock after placing their suits on internal battery power at 6:51 am (12:51 GMT), NASA said.

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A Bionic Hand in Many Ways as Good as a Graft

European surgeons and engineers have devised a mind-controlled bionic hand that restores function almost as well as a flesh-and-blood transplant, but without the risk of rejection, a research paper said Wednesday.

The three Austrian beneficiaries of the unprecedented technique had suffered injuries in car and climbing accidents to the "brachial plexus" -- a network of nerves running from the spine to the upper limbs.

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Biologists Lift Lid on Eyelash Mystery

Why do humans and other mammals have eyelashes?

Experts have been batting rival theories around for years. 

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Russia Confirms Will Use International Space Station till 2024

Russia will continue using the International Space Station along with NASA until 2024, its space agency said, after Moscow had threatened to stop financing it in 2020.

Roscosmos has finalized a plan for its activities up to 2030 which "provides for the use of the ISS until 2024," the space agency said in a statement late Tuesday.

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Drunk in Love: Rats Recover when Given Oxytocin

The love hormone, known formally as Oxytocin, may have another unexpected effect. When tested on intoxicated lab rats, it helped them act as if they were sober, international researchers said Monday.

The tests have only been done in lab rats so far, but those injected with oxytocin and fed alcohol seemed able to overcome the failures in motor coordination that the drunken rats suffered.

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Fears over Plastic-Eating Coral in Australia's Barrier Reef

Corals in the Great Barrier Reef are eating small plastic debris in the ocean, Australian researchers said Tuesday, raising fears about the impact the indigestible fragments have on their health and other marine life.

The scientists found that when they placed corals from the reef into plastic-contaminated water, the marine life "ate plastic at rates only slightly lower than their normal rate of feeding on marine plankton", the study published in the journal Marine Biology said.

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British 'Chocolate Greenhouse' Saving the World's Cocoa

Chocolate lovers take heart: a steamy greenhouse near London is helping to ensure that cocoa crops globally remain disease-free and bountiful to cope with the growing appetite for sweet treats.

On a winter morning, the temperature is a chilly eight degrees Celsius but inside the International Cocoa Quarantine Centre (ICQC), which simulates tropical conditions, the air is a balmy 23 degrees.

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U.N. Climate Experts Meet despite Chief's Absence over Sex Case

Climate scientists went ahead with a scheduled meeting in Kenya despite the absence of the United Nations' top climate change official who faces sexual harassment allegations.

Experts gathering in Nairobi on Monday said the absence of Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), would not affect this week's meeting.

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Fresh Nuclear Leak Detected at Fukushima Plant

Sensors at the Fukushima nuclear plant have detected a fresh leak of highly radioactive water to the sea, the plant's operator announced Sunday, highlighting difficulties in decommissioning the crippled plant.

Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) said the sensors, which were rigged to a gutter that pours rain and ground water at the Fukushima Daiichi plant to a nearby bay, detected contamination levels up to 70 times greater than the already-high radioactive status seen at the plant campus.

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