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Second Rare White Kiwi Hatches in New Zealand

A second rare white kiwi has hatched at New Zealand's national wildlife center, conservation officials announced Friday, months after the world's first hatched in captivity.

The chick is believed to have the same parents as Manukura, which arrived in May, and it has given its carers an extra treat in the festive period.

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Dawn Spacecraft Beams Back New Images of Asteroid

NASA's Dawn spacecraft has been a fervent photographer, snapping more than 10,000 pictures of the asteroid Vesta since it slipped into orbit around the giant space rock last summer.

The views were taken from a distance away — until now. On Wednesday, the space agency released new images of the hummocky surface as Dawn circled from an average altitude of 130 miles (209 kilometers) above the surface — the closest it'll get.

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Large Hadron Collider Finds New Variant of Particle

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC), famously engaged in the quest for the Higgs boson, has turned up a heavier variant of a sub-atomic particle first discovered a quarter-century ago, scientists reported on Thursday.

The newcomer is called Chi-b(3P), which was uncovered in the debris from colliding protons, according to research published in the open-access online journal arxiv.

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Danish Zoo Raises Polar Bear Cub by Hand

A Danish zoo says a month-old polar bear cub is being raised by humans after his mother failed to produce enough milk to feed him.

Scandinavian Wildlife Park manager Frank Vigh-Larsen says Siku is doing "really fine." The cub now weighs 7 pounds (3.2 kilograms grams) — against 3 pounds (1.8 kilograms) at birth.

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No White Christmas for Canadians in 2011

Most Canadians will not wake up to a white Christmas on December 25 for the first time since Canada's weather office began recording snowfalls in 1955, the government agency said Wednesday.

With just days before the Christian holiday, Environment Canada senior climatologist Dave Phillips told AFP he has never seen so little snowpack in Canada's cities.

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Huge Antarctic Iceberg Foils Centenary Plans

An iceberg nearly 100 kilometers (60 miles) long was Wednesday preventing tourist ships from reaching Antarctica to mark the centenary of an Australian explorer's epic polar voyage.

Douglas Mawson, among Antarctica's earliest pioneers, led the Australasian Antarctic Expedition between 1911 and 1914 -- an ambitious scientific research trip that laid Australia's territorial claim and presence on the icy continent.

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Frankincense Production in Dramatic Decline

It could well be enough to make the Magi turn in their graves.

Ecologists warned Wednesday that production of frankincense, one of the three gifts the Wise Men gave to the baby Jesus in a key part of the Nativity story celebrated at Christmas, was in dramatic decline.

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Scientists Hopeful in Fight to Stop Bat Die-Off

Scientists studying the mysterious ailment that has killed millions of bats in an epidemic that is spreading its way across North America say they have detected a tiny sliver of hope in their search for a way to end what has become known as white nose syndrome.

For unexplained reasons, scientists across the Northeast have been finding isolated colonies of little brown bats — once the most common bat species in the region and the hardest hit by white nose syndrome — surviving and healthy.

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Earth-Sized Worlds Spotted in New Advance for Exoplanets

Astronomers on Tuesday said that for the first time they had spotted two Earth-sized worlds orbiting a Sun-like star, in another big advance in the search for so-called exoplanets.

One of the planets is just three percent bigger than Earth and the other is 13 percent smaller, which would make it a bit tinier than Venus, they reported online in the British science journal Nature.

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Study Shows Big Quakes no More Likely Than in Past

Massive earthquakes are no more likely today than they were a century ago, despite an apparent rise of the devastating temblors in recent years, U.S. researchers said on Monday.

The deadly 9.0 earthquake this year in Japan, an 8.8 quake in Chile last year and the 2004 Sumatra-Andaman earthquake that registered 9.0 on the moment magnitude scale have raised alarm in some science and media circles that such events may be linked.

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