In the Moment

This Rock Shelter in Ethiopia May Be the Earliest Evidence of Humans Living in the Mountains

Archaeologists working in the Bale Mountains of Ethiopia have uncovered the earliest evidence to date of human habitation in a high-altitude environment. Living over 11,000 feet above sea level, these early mountaineers ate rodents to survive the harsh ice age conditions.

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In the Moment

This Bottle of Vodka Was Made From Grain Grown Inside the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone

Grains and water from Chernobyl’s dreaded exclusion zone have been used to produce a single bottle of vodka. Called ATOMIK, the vodka could revolutionize the way land is reclaimed in the radioactive region surrounding the beleaguered nuclear power plant.

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In the Moment

NASA’s Curiosity Rover Stumbles Upon a Strangely Complicated Martian Rock

The Curiosity team is calling it “Strathdon”—a boulder-sized Martian rock comprised of dozens of sedimentary layers. Its discovery suggests the area being explored by the NASA rover is more geologically complex than is typically appreciated.

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LightSail 2, Pushed by Sunlight, Raises Its Orbit by 10,500 Feet in Just Two Weeks

Two weeks after entering solar sailing mode, the Planetary Society’s LightSail 2 spacecraft has managed to raise its orbit by nearly 2 miles, in an important test of this promising new means of propulsion.

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Military’s Deadly Germ Lab Shut Down Due to Sloppy Work, Leaky Equipment

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shut down a leading military research facility for failing to meet established safety standards, halting important research into some of the world’s most dangerous pathogens and toxins.

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In the Moment

Should Artificial Intelligence Be Credited as an Inventor?

A collaborative research team claims their artificially intelligent system should be recognized as the rightful inventor of two innovative designs, in a potentially disruptive development in patent law.

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Scientists Went to China to Create Controversial Human-Monkey Embryos

An international collaboration is claiming to have created hybridized human-monkey embryos in China. Disturbingly, the research could result in monkeys capable of producing human organs for transplants, leading to a host of ethical concerns.

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In the Moment

This Football-Shaped Planet Is Leaking Heavy Metal

This hot Jupiter is so close to its host star that gravitational forces are squeezing it into a football-like shape. Not only that, its temperatures are so extreme that heavy metal gases are escaping into space from the exoplanet’s atmosphere—a phenomenon never seen before until now.

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