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Monday, Jul 28th

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Talking whale learns to imitate human speech in attempt to 'reach out' to human captors

Talking whaleA captive white whale that made unusual mumbling sounds when he was in the presence of people may have been trying to mimic his human companions, scientists have found.

An acoustic analysis of the sounds made by a beluga whale called NOC has revealed remarkable similarities to human speech patterns, indicating that the whale was trying to “reach out” to his human captors, scientists believe.

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Fighting Misinformation about Climate Science

NewcorpNews Corporation misleads nearly 4 million viewers and readers on climate science - Union of Concerned Scientists calls out News Corporation for overwhelmingly misleading coverage of climate science.

On September 21, 2012, the Union of Concerned Scientists hand-delivered nearly 20,000 postcards to News Corporation's New York headquarters calling on News Corp. to stop misleading its audience about climate science.

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Planet with four suns discovered by volunteers

Planet with four sunsAstronomers have found a planet whose skies are illuminated by four different suns - the first known of its type. The distant world orbits one pair of stars and has a second stellar pair revolving around it.

The discovery was made by volunteers using the Planethunters.org website along with a team from UK and US institutes; follow-up observations were made with the Keck Observatory.
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Astronomers discover diamond planet

Diamond planetForget the diamond as big as the Ritz. This one's bigger than planet Earth.
Orbiting a star that is visible to the naked eye, astronomers have discovered a planet twice the size of our own made largely out of diamond.

The rocky planet, called '55 Cancri e', orbits a sun-like star in the constellation of Cancer and is moving so fast that a year there lasts a mere 18 hours.

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Nobel prize in chemistry for US duo

US duo win Nobel Chemistry AwardTwo American doctors whose work over four decades has revealed how the body responds to the smells, sights, flavours and threats of the outside world have won this year's Nobel prize in chemistry.

Robert Lefkowitz at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, and Brian Kobilka at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, share science's most prestigious award – and 8m Swedish kronor (£744,000) – for their discovery of molecular sensors called G-protein-coupled receptors or GPCRs.

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Yoda worm brings Star Wars to the deep sea

Yoda sea creatureA worm from an ecosystem far, far away has been named after the Star Wars character Yoda. Yoda purpurata is one of three new species of deep-sea acorn worms discovered 1.5 miles beneath the Atlantic.

Scientists coined the genus name because the large lips on either side of the creature's head reminded them of the Jedi master's floppy ears. The creature is a dark reddish-purple – hence the other part of the worm's name, which is Latin for purple.

The Yoda worm, technically known as an enteropneust, is described in the latest issue of the journal Invertebrate Biology.

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Life created from eggs made from skin cells

Stem cells Stem cells made from skin have become "grandparents" after generations of life were created in experiments by scientists in Japan.

The cells were used to create eggs, which were fertilised to produce baby mice. These later had their own babies. If the technique could be adapted for people, it could help infertile couples have children and even allow women to overcome the menopause.

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