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Thursday, Jul 30th

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New species of dinosaur, the regaliceratops, discovered in Canada

New species of dinosaurWhen fossil experts first clapped eyes on the skull, it was clearly from a strange, horned dinosaur. When they noticed how stunted the bony horns were, its nickname, Hellboy, was assured.

The near-complete skull of the 70 million-year-old beast was spotted by chance 10 years ago, protruding from a cliff that runs along the Oldman river south of Calgary in Alberta, Canada.

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Oldest stone tools pre-date earliest humans

Oldest stone toolsThe world's oldest stone tools have been discovered, scientists report.  They were unearthed from the shores of Lake Turkana in Kenya, and date to 3.3 million years ago.

They are 700,000 years older than any tools found before, even pre-dating the earliest humans in the Homo genus.

The find, reported in Nature, suggests that more ancient species, such as Australopithecus afarensis or Kenyanthropus platyops, may have been more sophisticated than was thought.

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Hubble telescope details halo surrounding Andromeda galaxy

AndromedaThe massive halo of gas that surrounds the Andromeda Galaxy, the Milky Way's nearest neighbor, is much larger than previously thought.

New data collected by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope suggest the feature is six times larger and 1,000 times more massive than the last time scientists measured. Hubble's probe of the gaseous halo is offering a chance for researchers to better understand the evolution of spiral galaxies.

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Far out, man: 13.1bn-year-old galaxy is most distant yet seen by humans

13bn year old galaxyA team of astronomers has measured a galaxy farther than any other ever seen by human beings, reporting this week that the ancient star system offers a glimpse of what the universe was like not all that long after the beginning of time.

Astronomers from Yale University and the University of California Santa Cruz announced in the Astrophysical Journal that they had identified a galaxy that formed about 13.1bn years ago, making it the earliest measured galaxy known in the 13.8bn-year history of the universe since the big bang.

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Cosmic rays may damage brains of astronauts

Cosmic raysIt may not be space debris, errant asteroids, supply shortages, thruster malfunctions or even the malevolent aliens envisioned in so many Hollywood films that thwart astronauts on any mission to Mars. It may be the ubiquitous galactic cosmic rays.

Researchers said on Friday long-term exposure to these rays that permeate space may cause dementia-like cognitive impairments in astronauts during any future round-trip Mars journey, expected to take at least 2-1/2 years.

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'Bizarre' Jurassic dinosaur discovered in remarkable new find

Jurassic dinosaur findFossil hunters in Chile have unearthed the remains of a bizarre Jurassic dinosaur that combined a curious mixture of features from different prehistoric animals.

The evolutionary muddle of a beast grew to the size of a small horse and was the most abundant animal to be found 145 million years ago, in what is now the Aysén region of Patagonia.

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Chicago offers reparations package to police torture victims

Rom EmanuelMayor Rahm Emanuel and several Chicago aldermen are offering what they call a reparations package for the victims of torture under the city's former police commander, Jon Burge.

The city said Tuesday that the package will include an apology, a $5.5 million fund and city services, such as job training and tuition for victims and their families.

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