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India Launches Biggest Ever Rocket into Space

India successfully launched its biggest ever rocket on Thursday, including an unmanned capsule which could one day send astronauts into space, as the country ramps up its ambitious space program.

The rocket, designed to carry heavier communication and other satellites into higher orbit, blasted off from Sriharikota in the southeast state of Andhra Pradesh.

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Reports: Japan Lab Cannot Repeat Ground-Breaking Cell Finding

Some of Japan's top scientists have been unable to reproduce results of what was once billed as a ground-breaking stem cell study, but which spiraled into a scandal that included a respected researcher's suicide, reports said Thursday.

The government-backed Riken Institute will announce Friday that so-called "STAP" cells cannot be reproduced, writing the embarrassing final chapter of a study published in the journal Nature but later withdrawn, according to national broadcaster NHK.

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Sea Shepherd Confronts Illegal Antarctic Poaching Vessel

Environmental activist group Sea Shepherd said Thursday it confronted a ship known for poaching Patagonian toothfish and other rare species in the Antarctic, part of its efforts to target illegal fishing in the Southern Ocean.

Though the Nigerian-flagged boat, the Thunder, managed to speed away, Sea Shepherd said it remained in pursuit, threatening "to directly intervene in order to obstruct their continued illegal activities" if they did not report to Australian authorities.

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Spike Seen in Methane on Mars, but Source Unknown

Methane, a gas that on Earth comes mainly from living organisms, has been measured for the first time making a sudden spike on Mars, leaving scientists puzzled about its origin.

The latest findings from NASA's Curiosity rover, which has been exploring the Red Planet since it landed in 2012, were published in the U.S. journal Science on Tuesday and raise the question, could microbes be the source of the methane? And what caused the levels to soar and dissipate again in a matter of weeks?

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Former Guatemala Gum Growers Live off Sustainable Jungle

Waving his hands as if conducting an invisible orchestra, Juan Trujillo sings an old song known to Carmelita settlers living deep in northern Guatemala's Mayan jungle.

He walks through the hundred-year-old community, whose roots are deeply intertwined with that of the sapodilla tree, whose chicle resin was once widely used in chewing gum.

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Greenpeace Fined over Spain Nuclear Protest

A Spanish court Tuesday fined Greenpeace and 16 of its activists 20,000 euros ($25,000) for damage caused during a protest at a nuclear plant but acquitted them of other, more serious charges.

The court in the eastern city of Valencia also cleared all charges against a photographer who accompanied the activists during the protest in February 2011, it said in a written ruling.

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Uphill Battle to Tackle Indonesian Shark Fishing

Sharks are hauled ashore every day at a busy market on the central Indonesian island of Lombok, the hub of a booming trade that provides a livelihood for local fishermen but is increasingly alarming environmentalists.

Now a Singaporean is luring the fishermen away from Tanjung Luar market, where an array of other sea creatures including manta rays and moray eels are also sold, by offering them jobs as local guides for the growing number of tourists visiting the island.

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Rare Rhino Dies in U.S.

A rare species of rhinoceros is one member closer to extinction after one of only six surviving animals died, zoo keepers said Monday.

Northern white rhinoceros Angalifu, believed to be 44 years old, died on Sunday at San Diego Zoo possibly of old age, said spokeswoman Darla Davis, adding that post-mortem results were pending.

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Study Sheds Light on How Humans Tamed Wild Horses

Humans tamed horses some 5,500 years ago, and an international study of ancient and modern horse genes Monday sheds light on the traits people saw as valuable, including speed, vigor and learning ability.

Researchers also discovered that a long-gone and previously unknown population of wild horses contributed a large chunk of genes to contemporary horses, according to the findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a peer-reviewed U.S. journal.

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November Global Temps Dip, Earth Still Nears Heat Record

The Earth is still on track for a record-breaking year for heat even though the average global temperature last month dipped to the seventh warmest since 1880, U.S. government scientists said Monday.

The globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces in November 2014 tied with 2008 as the seventh warmest for the month since record keeping began, said the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

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