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  • AI: NASA's Curiosity rover can now choose its own laser targets on Mars

    AI: NASA's Curiosity rover can now choose its own laser targets on Mars

    Who’s calling the shots now? After nearly four years on the job, NASA’s Curiosity rover is finally making certain scientific decisions on its own. The Martian explorer now picks some of the rock targets to blast with the laser on its ChemCam instrument. A software upgrade known as AEGIS allows...

  • Our gut microbes have lived with us since before we were human

    Our gut microbes have lived with us since before we were human

    In the dark, oxygen-free zone of your large intestine there is a community of microbes that help you digest food, fight off harmful pathogens, and which may even affect your mood and emotions.  Now, a new study suggests that this intimate relationship between our microbes and ourselves is older...

  • In Mozambique, honey-hunters summon birds to guide them to beehives

    In Mozambique, honey-hunters summon birds to guide them to beehives

    The honey-hunter lets out a long trill, followed by a sharp grunt. Brrr-hm! On cue, a small bird flies to the hunter and responds with its own chattering noise. The greater honeyguide flits from tree to tree, searching for a beehive. Over thousands of years, honeyguides, named for their unusual...

  • California staffers at GOP convention suspected of contracting norovirus: Here's what it does

    California staffers at GOP convention suspected of contracting norovirus: Here's what it does

    At least a dozen GOP staffers from California’s delegation to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this week experienced vomiting, cramps and diarrhea, and the dreaded norovirus has been blamed for their gastrointestinal misery. Erie County Health Department officials were  called to...

  • Two for one: Hubble picks out pair of Earth-sized planets' atmospheres

    Two for one: Hubble picks out pair of Earth-sized planets' atmospheres

    Using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, an international team of scientists has tracked two planets crossing in front of the same star at the same time -- discovering that these worlds are both rocky and have comparatively thin atmospheres. The findings, described in the journal Nature, lend growing...

  • Four rocky planets around one star? Kepler's new finds intrigue scientists

    Four rocky planets around one star? Kepler's new finds intrigue scientists

    NASA’s Kepler spacecraft has pulled in the largest crop of confirmed exoplanets ever found by the K2 mission – a triple-digit trove that includes a star system with four small planets that may be rocky, like Earth. The 104 worlds, described in the Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, bolster...

  • The human eye can detect a single photon, study finds

    The human eye can detect a single photon, study finds

    Your eyes may be more sensitive than you ever thought possible. In a study published Tuesday in Nature Communications, researchers report that our warm, wet, multicellular eyes have evolved such a high level of sensitivity that they can, on occasion, detect a single photon aimed at the retina. ...

  • A mysterious case of Zika raises new fears of person-to-person transmission

    A mysterious case of Zika raises new fears of person-to-person transmission

    Experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Infection are investigating a worrisome case of Zika virus transmission after the caregiver of a Zika-infected patient who died was found to be infected as well. In late June, an elderly Utah resident who had visited a country where the Zika virus...

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