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Scientists discover 11th Archaeopteryx fossil, the oldest yet

Scientists discover 11th Archaeopteryx fossilPaleontologists have discovered an 11th Archaeopteryx fossil. The 150-million-year-old dinosaur bones are the oldest yet to be attributed to the transitionary genus.

The discovery -- detailed this week in the journal PeerJ -- could help scientists more easily differentiate between the group of bird-like dinosaurs and their closest relatives.

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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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Scientists invent double-pane solar windows powered by quantum dots

scientists invent double panel solar windowsResearchers at the Los Alamos National Laboratory have designed efficient and cost-effective solar windows by combining quantum dot technology with a double pane structure.

The layers of quantum dots are tweaked to absorb only part of the solar spectrum, allowing the double-pane solar windows to generate energy while providing shade and insulation.

Scientists suggest the new technology will lower the cost of solar electricity.

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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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