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Wednesday, Aug 27th

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Fossil finds extend human story

An ancient human-like creature that may be a direct ancestor to our species has been described by researchers. The assessment of the 4.4-million-year-old animal called Ardipithecus ramidus is reported in the journal Science.

Even if it is not on the direct line to us, it offers new insights into how we evolved from the common ancestor we share with chimps, the team says. Fossils of A. ramidus were first found in Ethiopia in 1992, but it has taken 17 years to assess their significance.

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The Angry Evolutionist

More Americans believe in angels than in evolution—and Richard Dawkins isn't going to take it anymore.

"The evidence for evolution would be entirely secure even if not a single corpse had ever fossilized. It is a bonus that we do actually have rich seams of fossils to mine, and more are discovered every day. The fossil evidence for evolution in many major animal groups is wonderfully strong. Nevertheless there are, of course, gaps, and creationists love them obsessively."

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Widespread water may cling to moon's surface

A large portion of the moon's surface may be covered with water. That is the surprising finding of a trio of spacecraft that have turned up evidence of trace amounts of the substance in the lunar soil.

Many scientists suspect water ice might lurk in permanently shadowed craters at the moon's poles, which play host to some of the coldest known regionsMovie Camera in the solar system.

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Researchers unravel brain's wiring to understand memory

Using a powerful microscope, Karel Svoboda, a brain scientist at the Janelia Farm Research Campus in Ashburn, Va., peers through a plastic window in the top of a mouse's head to watch its brain's neurons sprout new connections — a vivid display of a living brain in action.

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First-Gen T. Rex Was No Bigger Than You

The fearsome family of dinosaurs topped by Tyrannosaurus rex began with a miniature version of the tyrant that was only the size of a human being.

The new find from China was made public Thursday in a press conference and is already rewriting T. rex’s evolutionary story. It’d long been thought that the multiton dinosaur’s massive skull, dinky arms, and runner’s legs evolved as a set of compromises necessitated by its increasingly massive size. The new Raptorex kriegsteini proves that the T. rex’s distinctive features predated its scaling up.

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Planck telescope's first glimpse

The European telescope sent far from Earth to study the oldest light in the Universe has returned its first images.

The Planck observatory, launched in May, is surveying radiation that first swept out across space just 380,000 years after the Big Bang. The light holds details about the age, contents and evolution of the cosmos.

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Color-blindness Cured by Gene Injection in Monkeys

A simple injection of cells has cured monkeys of color-blindness—giving a green light to future research into improving human vision with gene therapy, a new study says.

Calling the procedure his gene therapy "dream," researcher Jay Neitz said that "ultimately this could be a tool that could cure all sorts of eye diseases."

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