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'Odd' rodent-like skull could help crack mystery of when mammals emerged

Rodent-like skull discoveredScientists have found a complete mammal skull from the time of the dinosaurs – a remarkable find that might offer a window into the dawn of mammals on Earth.

Madagascar, long known for an bizarre assortment of dinosaurs and early mammals, has yielded up another unusual creature – one that could help researchers figure out how long mammals truly have trod the Earth.

An international team of scientists has uncovered a virtually complete skull of an animal they've named Vintana sertichi. Its traits place it within a group of mammals known as Gondwanatheria.

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Scientists see mechanism for spontaneous HIV 'cure'

HIV decodingFrench scientists said Tuesday they had found the genetic mechanism by which two HIV-infected men may have experienced a "spontaneous cure", and said it offered a new strategy in the fight against AIDS.

Both men were infected by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), one of them 30 years ago, but never developed AIDS symptoms.

The AIDS-causing virus remained in their immune cells but was inactivated because its genetic code had been altered, the scientists said.

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Scientists grow miniature human stomachs from stem cells

Sceintists grow human stomachsScientists have grown miniature human stomachs from stem cells as a way of studying gastric diseases such as ulcers and stomach cancer and in the future creating tissue to repair patients’ stomachs.

The mini-stomachs are grown in petri dishes from stem cells. Fully formed, they are the size of a pea and shaped like a rugby ball. They are hollow with an interior lining that is folded into glands and pits like a real stomach.

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Unmanned NASA-contracted rocket explodes; damage is 'significant'

NASA rocket explodesAn unmanned NASA-contracted rocket exploded early Tuesday evening along the eastern Virginia coast, causing a huge fireball but no apparent deaths.

According to NASA, the Orbital Sciences Corp.'s Antares rocket and Cygnus cargo spacecraft were set to launch at 6:22 p.m. ET from the Wallops Flight Facility along the Atlantic Ocean. It was set to carry some 5,000 pounds of supplies and experiments to the International Space Station.

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Massive sunspot sending violent flares toward Earth

sunspotSunspot region AR2192 on the solar surface is currently both massive and active, scientists with NASA say. So big, in fact, that the sunspot is visible -- with a properly protected eye -- from the Earth's surface.

Though the sunspot is active, regularly shooting out significantly sized solar flares, it has yet produce a coronal mass ejection, the high-energy burst of plasma that can interfere with communication satellites, disrupt electrical grids, and spawn the awe-inspiring polar light shows known as auroras.

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How To Watch That 'Once-In-A-Lifetime' Comet Swing By Mars

Comet fly byA comet will be swinging by Mars this Sunday, and eager astronomers say they're ready for the "once-in a lifetime event."

Comet C/2013 A1, or 'Siding Spring' will make its closest approach to Mars at 2:27 p.m. EDT, coming within 87,000 miles of the red planet's surface . That's 16 times closer than any comet has ever come near Earth and less than half the distance from Earth to the moon.

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NASA Stumbles Upon A Dead Star That's 10 Million Times Brighter Than The Sun

dead star found brighter than our sunThink our sun is bright? NASA says its NuSTAR space-based X-ray telescope has detected a dead star that pumps out as much energy as 10 million suns.

"You might think of this pulsar as the 'Mighty Mouse' of stellar remnants," Dr. Fiona A. Harrison, professor of physics and astronomy at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena and the principal investigator of the NuSTAR mission, said in a written statement.

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