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Wednesday, Nov 21st

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Monsanto's global weedkiller harms honeybees, research finds

Monsanto weedkiller kills bees

The world’s most used weedkiller damages the beneficial bacteria in the guts of honeybees and makes them more prone to deadly infections, new research has found.

Previous studies have shown that pesticides such as neonicotinoids cause harm to bees, whose pollination is vital to about three-quarters of all food crops. Glyphosate, manufactured by Monsanto, targets an enzyme only found in plants and bacteria.

However, the new study shows that glyphosate damages the microbiota that honeybees need to grow and to fight off pathogens. The findings show glyphosate, the most used agricultural chemical ever, may be contributing to the global decline in bees, along with the loss of habitat.

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558-million-year-old fat molecule reveals world's earliest animal

558m year old molecule foundScientists have discovered a fat molecule preserved in a 558-million-year-old fossil.

According to a new paper published this week in the journal Science, the discovery confirms Dickinsonia, a strange blob-like sea creature, as the earliest animal in the geologic record.

Dickinsonia is a member of the Ediacaran biota, a group of primitive organisms with frond-like patterns. The group emerged during the Ediacaran period, which lasted from 635 to 542 million years ago.

Scientists have previously argued whether Ediacaran species were animals. The fat molecule -- a type of cholesterol unique to animals -- found within the Dickinsonia fossil suggests they were.

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Mummified Ice Age wolf pup, caribou still covered with fur found by gold miners

Wolf cub, caribou from Ice Age found

A mummified wolf pup and caribou believed to have walked Earth over 50,000 years ago were discovered with tissue and fur intact — a remarkable find, Canadian authorities say.

The caribou was found at the site of a 80,000-year-old volcanic ash bed and officials believe it's among the oldest mummified mammal tissue in the world, according to a release.

The head, two front limbs and torso of the caribou were intact. The wolf pup was found with a complete body.

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Scientists discover atoms inside the orbiting electrons of a 'giant atom'

Scientists discover atoms inside electrons of giant atom Scientists have discovered an atom filled with atoms. The atom's electrons orbit at such a great distance that there's room for other atoms.

The atoms within the "giant atom" form weak bonds, produ cing a new exotic state of matter -- what scientists have dubbed "Rydberg polarons."

The discovery combines a pair of atomic phenomenon, both of which can only be studied under extremely cold conditions: Bose-Einstein condensates and Rydberg atoms.

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Move over, Dolly: Monkeys cloned; a step closer to people?

Moneys cloned; are humans next?For the first time, researchers have used the cloning method that produced Dolly the sheep to create two healthy monkeys, bringing science an important step closer to being able to do the same with humans.

Since Dolly's birth in 1996, scientists have cloned nearly two dozen kinds of mammals, including dogs, cats, pigs, cows and polo ponies, and have also created human embryos with this method. But until now, they have been unable to make babies this way in primates, the category that includes monkeys, apes and people.

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Ex-NASA astronaut Bruce McCandless, first to fly untethered in space, dies

Ex-NASA astronaaut Bruce McCandless, dies at 71Former NASA astronaut Bruce McCandless, the first person to fly untethered in space, died this week at 80 years old, the agency said Friday.

McCandless, who died Thursday, became the first astronaut to fly in space without being harnessed to a space vessel on Feb. 7, 1984, while on a mission aboard the space shuttle Challenger. Other astronauts on the mission used a 70mm camera to capture the moment in a now-iconic photograph, NASA said in a release.

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Farewell Cassini: Saturn spacecraft makes fiery, final dive

Cassini makes final, fiery diveNASA's Cassini spacecraft disintegrated in the skies above Saturn on Friday in a final, fateful blaze of cosmic glory, following a remarkable journey of 20 years.

Confirmation of Cassini's expected demise came about 7:55 a.m. EDT. That's when radio signals from the spacecraft — its last scientific gifts to Earth — came to an abrupt halt. The radio waves went flat, and the spacecraft fell silent.

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