Latest stories
Space Junk Littering Orbit; Might Need Cleaning Up

Space junk has made such a mess of Earth's orbit that experts say we may need to finally think about cleaning it up.

That may mean vacuuming up debris with weird space technology — cosmic versions of nets, magnets and giant umbrellas, according to the chairman of an expert panel that issued a new report on the problem Thursday.

W140 Full Story
Woolly Rhino Fossil Hints at Origins of Ice Age Giants

A 3.6-million-year-old woolly rhinoceros fossil discovered in Tibet indicates that some giant mammoths, sloths and saber-tooth cats may have evolved in highlands before the Ice Age, experts say.

Paleontologists from the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, who found the rhino's complete skull and lower jaw in 2007, argue that it adapted to the global cooling before it happened.

W140 Full Story
Diamond Planet Spotted Far, Far Away

A glitter in the sky caught their eye, and astronomers have documented what they believe is the first tiny planet made of diamond some 4,000 light years away, according to a study published Thursday.

The discovery of the small, fast-spinning gem world that has more mass than the gas giant Jupiter was made by an international team of researchers who published their findings in the journal Science.

W140 Full Story
Russia Grounds Soyuz Rockets after Crash

Russia has grounded its Soyuz rockets after one of the unmanned craft crashed shortly after blast-off while carrying tons of cargo for the International Space Station, a space official said Thursday.

"A decision has been taken to halt the launch of Soyuz carrier rockets until the reasons for the accident become clear," the unnamed Russian official told the Interfax news agency.

W140 Full Story
Wild World: Millions of Unseen Species Fill Earth

Our world is a much wilder place than it looks. A new study estimates that Earth has almost 8.8 million species, but we've only discovered about a quarter of them. And some of the yet-to-be-seen ones could be in our own backyards, scientists say.

So far, only 1.9 million species have been found. Recent discoveries have been small and weird: a psychedelic frogfish, a lizard the size of a dime and even a blind hairy mini-lobster at the bottom of the ocean.

W140 Full Story
Utah Researcher Helps Artist Make Bulletproof Skin

A bio-art project to create bulletproof skin has given a Utah State researcher even more hope his genetically engineered spider silk can be used to help surgeons heal large wounds and create artificial tendons and ligaments.

Researcher Randy Lewis and his collaborators gained worldwide attention recently when they found a commercially viable way to manufacture silk fibers using goats and silkworms that had spider genes inserted into their makeup.

W140 Full Story
Hints Fade of Elusive Physics 'God Particle'

International scientists searching to solve the greatest riddle in all of physics said Monday that signs are fading of the elusive Higgs-Boson particle, which is believed to give objects mass.

Just last month, physicists announced at a European conference that a big atom-smasher experiment had shown tantalizing hints of the Higgs-Boson, as the search to identify the particle enters the final stretch with results expected late next year.

W140 Full Story
Fewer Stars as Universe Runs Low on Gas

Australian scientists gazing billions of years back in time with powerful radio telescopes on Monday warned that the universe's lights -- the stars -- were quite literally running out of gas.

Robert Braun, astronomy and space chief at Australia's government science agency CSIRO, said about one-third of the molecular gas vital for the formation of new stars had been used up and the skies were slowly dimming.

W140 Full Story
Animals Moving Away from Global Warming Faster

Animals across the world are fleeing global warming by heading north much faster than they were less than a decade ago, a new study says.

About 2,000 species examined are moving away from the equator at an average rate of more than 15 feet (5 meters) per day, about a mile per year, according to new research published Thursday in the journal Science which analyzed previous studies. Species are also moving up mountains to escape the heat, but more slowly, averaging about 4 feet a year.

W140 Full Story
Australia's Coral Sea 'Biodiversity Hotspot'

The Coral Sea off Australia's northeast coast is one of the last remaining places brimming with large predatory fish such as sharks and tuna, a study released Saturday found.

The study found the 972,000 square kilometer (388,800 square mile) zone stretching from the Great Barrier Reef to the waters of the Solomon Islands and New Caledonia, was home to many unique and endangered species.

W140 Full Story