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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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Japan Stem Cell Scientist Readies to Fight Fabrication Claim

A young female researcher is readying to fight claims her ground-breaking stem cell study was fabricated, her lawyer said Tuesday, as Japan's male-dominated scientific establishment circled its wagons.

Haruko Obokata, 30, was admitted to hospital on Monday because her "mental and physical condition is unstable," her lawyer Hideo Miki told reporters.

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U.N. Climate Panel Chairs Call for 'Enlightenment'

The head of the United Nations scientific panel on climate change has urged governments to "exercise a high level of enlightenment" in order to bridge their differences over how to stave off the worst global warming scenarios.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change chairman Rajendra Pachauri told governments and scientists on Monday that their task at the week-long meeting in Berlin is to agree on a "robust, policy-relevant and informative document" in order to keep global temperature increases below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 F) by the end of the century.

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Bats Find Shelter at Nazi German Defence Line in Poland

An awe-inspiring Nazi defense line in western Poland has taken on a new role in peacetime as home to tens of thousands of bats in what is Europe's largest artificial roost.

The 37,000 winged mammals sleep elbow-to-elbow in the well-sheltered tunnels of the Ostwall fortification, a largely forgotten war site near the town of Miedzyrzecz, not far from the German border.

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Romanians Protest against Chevron Fracking Plans

Thousands took to the streets of Romania on Sunday to protest against plans by U.S. energy giant Chevron to drill for shale gas.

"Chevron U.S., you can't just drop in uninvited and leave death in your wake", read some banners in Bucharest where hundreds of people gathered in the capital's University square.

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Climate: U.N. Experts See Options to Brake Juggernaut

A week after publishing the starkest warning yet on the risks of climate change, U.N. experts meet in Berlin from Monday to assess options for limiting the threat.

A draft of the report, seen by Agence France Presse, suggests there is a 15-year window for feasible and affordable action to safely reach the U.N.-targeted global warming limit.

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