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Mountain-Sized Asteroid to Skim by Earth

An asteroid the size of a mountain is about to shave by Earth, in a rare type of flyby that will not be seen for another decade, astronomers said Monday.

The asteroid, known as 2004 BL86, runs no risk of a colliding with Earth and will be about three times farther than the Moon when it passes.

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British Lawmakers Demand Freeze on Fracking

A committee of British lawmakers demanded a national moratorium on fracking due to environmental concerns on Monday, ahead of a crucial vote intended to boost the shale gas industry.

An inquiry by the cross-party Environmental Audit Committee, which examines the effect of government policy on the environment, found the extraction and burning of more fossil fuels was contrary to Britain's pledge to cut greenhouse gas emissions. 

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NASA Craft Set to Beam Home Close-Ups of Pluto

Nine years after leaving Earth, the New Horizons spacecraft is at last drawing close to Pluto and on Sunday was expected to start shooting photographs of the dwarf planet.

The first mission to Pluto began in January 2006 when an Atlas V rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral in Florida and hauled the piano-sized New Horizons craft away from Earth and on a three-billion mile journey.

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NASA Spacecraft almost To Pluto: Smile for the Camera!

It's showtime for Pluto.

NASA's New Horizons spacecraft has traveled 3 billion miles and is nearing the end of its nine-year journey to Pluto. Sunday, it begins photographing the mysterious, unexplored, icy world once deemed a planet.

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U.S.: Ocean Science Needs More Funding

Facing critical dangers like rising seas and the impact of climate change on marine life, US scientists need more funding in the next decade, officials said Friday.

A new report from the National Research Council is calling for cuts in money spent on infrastructure and more cash devoted to basic scientific research from 2015-2025.

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Australia Orders Waste Dumping Ban on Great Barrier Reef

Australia has ordered a ban on dumping dredge waste on most of the Great Barrier Reef, the environment minister said Saturday, as part of a push to stop the U.N. declaring the site in danger.

Environment Minister Greg Hunt said he had ordered the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to develop regulations to stop waste from capital dredging being dumped in the park "once and for all".

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Magnificent Blue Glow of Hong Kong Seas also Disturbing

Eerie fluorescent blue patches of water glimmering off Hong Kong's seashore are magnificent, disturbing and potentially toxic, marine biologists say.

The glow is an indicator of a harmful algal bloom created by something called Noctiluca scintillans, nicknamed Sea Sparkle.

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Exam to Study Dead Whale Found at Seattle Ferry Terminal

A 32-foot gray whale that turned up dead under the Washington state ferry terminal in downtown Seattle has been moved so biologists can figure out why it died.

The whale was towed from the dock to a nearby location Thursday afternoon, said Broch Bender, a spokeswoman for the Washington State Ferries. The plan is to move it to another secure location for an autopsy.

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Scientists: Climate Change Brings World Closer to 'Doomsday'

Climate change and the danger of nuclear war pose an ever-growing threat to civilization and are bringing the world closer to doomsday, a group of prominent scientists and Nobel laureates said Thursday.

"It is now three minutes to midnight," said Kennette Benedict, executive director of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, as the group moved its symbolic "Doomsday Clock" two minutes forward.

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Study: Three-Million-yr-Old Ancestor Had Human-Like Hands

The hand structure of early human ancestors who lived 3.2 million years ago suggests they had the ability to grasp and use tools, even if they hadn't invented them yet, anthropologists said Thursday.

Until now, Australopithecus africanus, which lived two to three million years ago in what is now South Africa, were not believed to have made tools -- the first evidence of which dates back to 2.6 million years ago -- but their hands suggest otherwise, according to a study in the journal Science.

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