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Radioactive Iodine: Now France Detects Traces in Atmosphere

France's nuclear watchdog on Tuesday said it had detected traces of radioactive iodine in the air last week after similarly low contamination was reported by the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Austria.

Concentrations of iodine 131 measuring a few microbecquerels per cubic meter were detected last week at four monitoring stations in northern and eastern France, the Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) said.

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Medical Researchers Decoding The Aging Process

Scientists are beginning to decode the complex biology of aging and are optimistic that recent advances in research may lead to treatments that can slow or even reverse degeneration and disease.

"We are seeing a major change, very important developments and real therapeutic efforts to try to treat age-related illnesses," said Norman Sharpless, professor of medicine and genetics at the University of North Carolina.

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22 Sperm Whales Die in Australia

Rescuers were racing against the clock Monday to save two huge sperm whales stranded on a Tasmanian sandbank after 22 others died, the Parks and Wildlife Service said.

Marine mammal specialists were on site in Macquarie Harbor at Strahan on Tasmania's northwest coast, but the rescue bid was hampered by rough weather.

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Russia Sends Astronauts Back to Space after Mishaps

Russia on Monday successfully launched three astronauts for the International Space Station, boosting morale after accidents raised doubt about the reliability of its space program.

The launch of two Russians and an American on a Soyuz-FG rocket had been delayed for almost two months after a unmanned Russian Progress supply ship in August crashed into Siberia shortly after its launch on a similar rocket.

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Russia Hunts for Missing Mars probe

Russia made desperate efforts on Thursday to re-establish contact with a pioneering Mars probe that now hangs in a low Earth orbit and could potentially crash back down in a matter of days.

The unmanned Phobos-Grunt spacecraft failed to find the right course to the Red Planet and its moon Phobos after taking off from a space centre Russia leases in Kazakhstan early Wednesday.

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Moscow's 'Mars Pioneers' Gripe at Space Food

Six men who spent 520 days in isolation in Moscow to simulate a flight to Mars on Tuesday spoke of their pride at becoming "spacemen" but complained of the monotony and cravings for crusty baguettes.

Wearing blue jumpsuits and badges with the project name Mars 500, the international team of one Chinese, one Italian, one Frenchman and three Russians said they were proud of their "flight" in a Moscow car park.

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Quarter-Mile-Wide Asteroid Coming Close to Earth

An asteroid bigger than an aircraft carrier will dart between the Earth and moon on Tuesday — the closest encounter by such a huge rock in 35 years.

But scientists say not to worry. It won't hit.

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Biggest Spike Ever in Global Warming Gases

Harmful carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels made their biggest ever annual jump in 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Energy's latest world data released this week.

China led the way with a spike of 212 million metric tons of carbon in 2010 over 2009, compared to 59 million metric tons more from the United States and 48 million metric tons more from India in the same period.

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Volunteers Emerge from 520-Day 'Mars Voyage' Isolation

Six volunteers from a multi-national crew on Friday stepped out of an isolation module in Moscow after almost one-and-a-half years locked away from the outside world to simulate the effects of a return voyage to Mars.

A researcher broke the seal and then opened the door of the capsule and all six crew members, dressed in blue overalls, walked out one-by-one in good health to cheers from scientists and family who had gathered.

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Part of Sun Turns into Stormy 'Benevolent Monster'

After years of quiet, the sun is coming alive with solar storms in a big way.

The sun shot off a flare Thursday afternoon from a region that scientists are calling a "benevolent monster."

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