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Scientists Say Tagged Penguins Could Harm Their Survival

Tagging penguins with flipper bands harms their chances of survival and breeding, a finding which raises doubts over studies that use these birds as telltales for climate change, biologists said on Wednesday.

The metal bands, looped tightly around the top of the flipper where it meets the body, have long been used as a low-cost visual aid by researchers to identify individual penguins when they waddle ashore.

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NASA to Launch Discovery on Feb. 24

NASA said Tuesday it will aim to launch the space shuttle Discovery on February 24, after engineers found a way to shore up cracks on the external fuel tank that have delayed its final liftoff.

NASA engineers have been working since November to figure out why cracks were emerging on the 22-foot-long U-shaped aluminum brackets, called stringers, on the shuttle's external fuel tank.

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Hong Kong Researchers Store Data in Bacteria

The U.S. national archives occupy more than 500 miles (800 kilometers) of shelving; France's archives stretch for more than 100 miles of shelves, as do Britain's.

Yet a group of students at Hong Kong's Chinese University are making strides towards storing such vast amounts of information in an unexpected home: the E.coli bacterium better known as a potential source of serious food poisoning.

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Chile Scientists Seek Alcoholism Vaccine

Chilean researchers said Thursday they are developing a vaccine against alcoholism that could be tested on humans starting next year and works by neutralizing an enzyme that metabolizes alcohol.

The genetic therapy is based on aldehyde dehydrogenase, a group of enzymes that metabolize alcohol and are thus responsible for alcohol tolerance, said Juan Asenjo, who heads a team of researchers at

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Autism Study Doctor says Victim of Smears

The doctor behind a linking childhood autism to a vaccine that has been branded a fraud by the British Medical Journal said he was the victim of a smear campaign by drug manufacturers.

In an interview late Wednesday with CNN, Andrew Wakefield denied inventing data and blasted a reporter who apparently uncovered the falsifications as a "hit man" doing the bidding of a powerful pharmaceutical industry.

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Germany's Terminally-Ill 'Dr. Death' to Put Own Body on Show

The German anatomist dubbed "Doctor Death", who has turned stomachs worldwide preserving and displaying dead bodies, said Wednesday he is terminally ill and plans to exhibit his own corpse.

Gunther von Hagens, 65, told the Bild mass circulation daily he is suffering from incurable Parkinson's disease and intends to have his dead body put on display to "welcome" visitors to his exhibition.

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NASA Finds More Cracks on Discovery Fuel Tank

NASA said Thursday it has found four more small cracks on the metal supports of the shuttle Discovery's external fuel tank, as the aging shuttle undergoes X-ray testing before its final space mission next year.

Repairs would be made to the cracks in a similar fashion to the cracks discovered after the November 5 launch attempt, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration said in a statement.

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Scientists Compile List of World's Plants

British and U.S. scientists say they've compiled the most comprehensive list of land plant species ever published — a 300,000-species strong compendium that they hope will boost conservation, trade and medicine.

The list, drawn up by researchers at Kew Gardens in London and the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, is intended to help resolve one of botany's most basic problems: Figuring out which plants go by what name.

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Facebook Founder Named Time's 'Person of Year'

Time magazine named Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg "person of the year" Wednesday, ignoring a push by readers of the magazine for WikiLeaks maestro Julian Assange to take the honor.

Zuckerberg, only 26, is the second youngest person named to the cover of Time's ritual annual.

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Yahoo Preparing to Lay off 600 to 700 Workers

Yahoo Inc.'s holiday trimmings will include 600 to 700 layoffs in the Internet company's latest shake-up triggered by lackluster growth.

Employees could be notified of the job cuts as early as Tuesday, according to a person familiar with Yahoo's plans. The person asked for anonymity because Yahoo hadn't made a formal announcement.

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