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Historic! Europe’s Philae Probe Lands on Comet 317 Million Miles Away

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~~~~NBCNews1
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After a suspense-packed, seven-hour descent, the European Space Agency’s Philae lander made an unprecedented touchdown on the surface of a comet Wednesday — marking the high point of a $1.3 billion, 10-year mission.

Cheers erupted as the confirming signals were received at the European Space Operations Center in Darmstadt, Germany, at 11:03 a.m. ET. The signals took 28 minutes to travel at the speed of light over the 317 million miles (510 million kilometers) between Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and Earth.

 “It is sitting on the surface,” reported Stefan Ulamec, Philae lander manager at the DLR German Aerospace Center. “Philae is talking to us — we are on the comet!”
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Hiker Finds Fossilized Turtle Dating Back 90 Million Years

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Huffpost Science

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Jeff Dornbusch knew there was something odd about a pile of gray rocks he spotted more than a decade ago during a hike in the southern New Mexico desert, and a closer look confirms that he was right.

Dornbusch, a museum volunteer in Truth or Consequences, N.M., relocated those rocks in 2012 and notified local scientists, who identified the rocks as fragments of a 90-million-year-old turtle fossil, the Las Cruces Sun-News reported.

Since then, researchers have returned to the site where the rocks were found and excavated the rest of the turtle.

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!!!!!FossilizedTurtle1Workers from the New Mexico Museum of Natural History (from left, Tom Suazo, fossil preparer; Amanda Cantrell, geosciences collections manager; Jake Sayler, volunteer; and Asher Lichtig, student researcher) excavating the 90-million-year-old turtle fossil on Oct. 29, 2014, about six miles east of Turtleback Mountain, a well-known peak near Truth or Consequences.
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Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo Crashes: 1 Dead, 1 Injured

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Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo rocket plane exploded and crashed during a powered test flight on Friday, resulting in one fatality and one injury, authorities said.

The explosion occurred after the plane was released from its WhiteKnightTwo carrier airplane and fired up its rocket engine in flight for the first time in more than nine months.

 “During the test, the vehicle suffered a serious anomaly resulting in the loss of the vehicle,” Virgin Galactic said in a statement. “The WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft landed safely. Our first concern is the status of the pilots.”
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King Tut Had A Club Foot And Other Deformities, New ‘Autopsy’ Shows

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An international team of researchers studying King Tutankhamun are reporting some surprising new discoveries about the ancient boy king.

The scientists say that a ‘virtual autopsy’ of Tut — essentially a close analysis of a life-size image of the king made from more than 2,000 CT scans of his mummified remains — shows that he had buck teeth and a club foot as well as a girlish figure.

The findings, featured in a new BBC One documentary entitled “Tutankhamun: The Truth Uncovered,” suggest a new explanation for King Tut’s mysterious death.

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If Every Human On Earth Suddenly Vanished, Something Like This Might Happen

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What would Earth be like if all humans suddenly disappeared?

It’s a creepy thought, for sure. And according to a new video from the YouTube series Earth Unplugged, the end of humanity would spell the slow demise of manmade structures and cause cats and dogs to de-evolve into creatures more akin to their feral ancestors.

Think “I Am Legend” without the zombies.

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YouTube series Earth Unplugged
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Lab-Grown Penises May Show Up Way Sooner Than You Thought

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Laboratory-grown penises might sound like something from bad science fiction, but scientists are working to make them a reality. In fact, human trials of lab-grown penises may be coming soon, thanks in part to new funding from the Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine.

“The goal is to conduct a clinical trial within the next four to five years,” Karen Richardson, a spokesperson for the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, told The Huffington Post in an email.

Researchers at Wake Forest made headlines in 2009 for growing penile erectile tissue in a lab and building a “functional engineered solid organ” for rabbits, and now are making progress on a human version.

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DR ANTHONY ATALA

Dr. Anthony Atala, head of Wake Forest’s regenerative medicine institute, in his lab at Piedmont Triad Research Park in Winston-Salem, NC, Friday, Jan. 5, 2007. | ASSOCIATED PRESS
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Human Tongue Has A Sixth Taste, New Study Shows

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The human tongue may have a sixth sense—and no, it doesn’t have anything to do with seeing ghosts. Researchers have found that in addition to recognizing sweet, sour, salty, savory, and bitter tastes, our tongues can also pick up on carbohydrates, the nutrients that break down into sugar and form our main source of energy.

Past studies have shown that some rodents can distinguish between sugars of different energy densities, while others can still tell carbohydrate and protein solutions apart even when their ability to taste sweetness is lost. A similar ability has been proposed in humans, with research showing that merely having carbohydrates in your mouth can improve physical performance.

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TONGUE SIXTH SENSE

The human tongue can taste carbohydrates, along with sweet, sour, salty, savory, and bitter flavors, researchers say. | Hapa via Getty Images
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