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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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Massive black hole discovered near heart of the Milky Way

Black hole found at center of Milky WayAn enormous black hole one hundred thousand times more massive than the sun has been found hiding in a toxic gas cloud wafting around near the heart of the Milky Way.

If the discovery is confirmed, the invisible behemoth will rank as the second largest black hole ever seen in the Milky Way after the supermassive black hole known as Sagittarius A* that is anchored at the very centre of the galaxy.

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Astronaut Peggy Whitson home safe after record stay aboard space station

Astonaut Peggy Whitson homeAstronaut Peggy Whitson is home safe after spending a record 288 days on the International Space Station.

Whitson touched down in Kazakhstan at 9:21 p.m. EDT on Saturday aboard a Soyuz capsule. Whitson was joined for the trip home by NASA colleague Jack Fischer and cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikin of Roscosmos.

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'Most bizarre dinosaur ever found' is missing evolutionary link – study

Most bizarre dinosaur ever foundAn unusual vegetarian dinosaur with the silhouette of a flesh-ripping velociraptor, whose fossilised remains were unearthed in southern Chile 13 years ago, is a missing link in dinosaur evolution, researchers have said.

A revised assessment of the kangaroo-sized Chilesaurus diegosuarezi , reported in the journal Biology Letters, bolsters a theory unveiled earlier this year that threatens to upend a long-standing classification of all dinosaurs.

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U.S. scientists fix disease genes in human embryos for 1st time

US scientists fix disease genes in human embryosFor the first time, scientists working in a U.S. lab have used gene editing to correct a disease-causing mutation in viable human embryos, according to scientific paper published Wednesday.

The work, reported in Nature, could be a step toward genetically modified babies. But the altered embryos created in the study were quickly destroyed and never intended to be implanted in a woman — a step that would be illegal under current regulations in the United States and many other countries.

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