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Earth-Like Planets Feature in New Survey

Tired of life on Earth? There may be other options, according to a catalog released on Monday of planets and moons that could have the right conditions to support life, planetary scientists said.

A total of 47 exoplanets and exomoons are potential habitable candidates, according to the online ranking of bodies outside our solar system by the Planetary Habitability Laboratory (PHL) of the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo.

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6 Chinese Charged for Turtle Catch in Philippines

A court in the Philippines charged six Chinese fishermen with poaching endangered sea turtles in proceedings Monday aimed at protecting threatened wildlife along the country's coastline.

Authorities discovered a batch of giant green turtles after intercepting the fishermen's speedboat in waters off the western province of Palawan on Friday, said military spokesman Maj. Niel Estrella.

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Scientists Confirm Himalayan Glacial Melting

Glaciers in the Himalayas have shrunk by as much as a fifth in just 30 years, scientists have claimed in the first authoritative confirmation of the effects of climate change on the region.

The findings, published in three reports by the Kathmandu-based International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), show Nepal's glaciers have shrunk by 21 percent and Bhutan's by 22 percent over 30 years.

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U.N. Official to AP: Pledges to Cut CO2 Will Go on

The top U.N. climate official said Saturday she is confident industrial countries will renew their pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions after their current commitments expire next year.

Further commitments under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, an unshakable demand by poor countries, would avert a feared derailment of U.N. negotiations, but would mark little advancement toward the goal of a rapid and steep drop in worldwide carbon emissions blamed for climate change.

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Researchers Design Steady-Handed Robot for Brain Surgery

Neurosurgeons may one day get help in operating rooms from a robot with movements 10 times steadier than the human hand to perform delicate brain surgeries, the EU said Monday.

The European Commission touted the EU-funded ROBOCAST project as a breakthrough in robotic neurosurgery that could in future help treat tumors, epilepsy, Parkinson's disease and Tourette syndrome.

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NASA Launches Super-Size Rover to Mars: 'Go, Go!'

A rover of "monster truck" proportions zoomed toward Mars on an 8½-month, 354 million-mile journey Saturday, the biggest, best equipped robot ever sent to explore another planet.

NASA's six-wheeled, one-armed wonder, Curiosity, will reach Mars next summer and use its jackhammer drill, rock-zapping laser machine and other devices to search for evidence that Earth's next-door neighbor might once have been home to the teeniest forms of life.

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Research Shows Prehistoric Man Mastered Deep-Sea Fishing

Australian archaeologists have uncovered evidence that prehistoric humans living 42,000 years ago mastered the art of deep-sea fishing, they revealed Friday.

They also found the world's earliest recorded fish hook, made of shell and dating from between 23,000 and 16,000 years ago, during excavations at the Jerimalai cave site in East Timor.

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Oil Sands Digger Uncovers Dinosaur

A heavy equipment operator unearthed what appears to be a nearly complete plesiosaur while digging in Canada's oil sands, Syncrude announced Thursday.

The fossil was discovered on November 14 and is now being examined by Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology scientists who aim to have it removed by the end of the week, the company said in a statement.

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State Media Says China Launches Two Satellites

China placed two satellites in orbit on Sunday, including a spacecraft that will collect and relay data for disaster relief efforts, state press reported.

The two satellites were successfully launched aboard a Long March carrier rocket, China's main space launch vehicle, from northwest China's Jiuquan satellite launch centre, Xinhua news agency said.

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Fukushima Radiation 'Mostly Fell in Sea'

Most of the radioactive fallout from the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear plant dropped into the ocean and began circling the planet, Japanese researchers said Thursday.

Up to 80 percent of the cesium released by the Fukushima Daiichi power plant landed in the Pacific and made its way into other oceans around the world, scientists at the Meteorological Research Institute said.

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