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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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Russian Cargo Ship Docks to Space Station

A Russian cargo ship has successfully docked with the International Space Station Thursday, bringing the crew crucial supplies and water, Russia's space agency said.

The unmanned Progress M-23M ship, which was launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Wednesday, docked with the ISS at 2114 GMT, two minutes later than scheduled, the Roscosmos agency said.

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NASA Says Weird Mars Lights are Not a Sign of Life

A NASA robot has snapped pictures showing glints of light on the Martian horizon, which some UFO enthusiasts have seized on as a sign of alien life on the Red Planet.

Not so, said the U.S. space agency.

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Physicist Wins $1.3M Tech Prize for Data Storage

British-American physicist Stuart Parkin has won the 1 million-euro ($1.3 million) Millennium Technology Prize for discoveries leading to a thousand-fold increase in digital data storage on magnetic disks.

His discoveries enabled cloud services and the online distribution of social networks, music and film.

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Japan Stem Cell Scientist Stands by 'Phoney' Research

A young female scientist accused of fabricating data made a tearful apology live on Japanese television Wednesday for "mistakes" in her research, but insisted her ground-breaking conclusions on stem cells were accurate.

Haruko Obokata, 30, blamed her youth and inexperience for errors in her methodology, but said she had managed to create the building-block cells capable of growing into the specialized cells of the brain, liver, heart or kidneys.

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Japan Kills 251 Minke Whales in Final Antarctic Hunt

Japan killed 251 minke whales during the 2014 Antarctic hunt, in what is expected to be the last "research whaling" mission in the Southern Ocean after an international court ruling.

According to data released by Japan's Fisheries Agency on Tuesday, the catch was more than double last year's tally of 103 minke whales, but much smaller than the target of 935.

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U.N.: Global Renewable Energy Investments Slumped 14% in 2013

Global investments in renewable energy slumped 14 percent last year, with China pouring more money into the sector than Europe for the first time on record, the U.N. said Monday.

Investments in renewables apart from hydroelectricity dipped to $214.4 billion in 2013, down $35.1 billion from the previous year and 23 percent below the record set in 2011, according to a report from the U.N. Environment Program (UNEP).

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