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Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 1:21 EDT

Science News Archive - February 16, 2009

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On Sunday the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) urged environmental leaders to curb the use of mercury, a highly toxic metal.

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Researchers in the field of synthetic biology are still a long way from being able to assemble living cells from scratch in the laboratory. But according to biochemist David Deamer of the University of California, Santa Cruz, their efforts are yielding clues to the mystery of how life began on Earth.

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A new facility opening later this year at the Diamond synchrotron is set to revolutionize world heritage science.

President Barack Obama's pursuit of energy independence promises to accelerate research and development for alternative energy sources -- solar, wind and geothermal power, biofuels, hydrogen and biomass, to name a few.

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About 150 million years ago, an evolutionarily hybrid creature, a dinosaur on its way to becoming a bird, died in what is now Germany, and become fossilized in limestone.

The global travel logs of greenhouse gases are based on atmospheric sampling locations sprinkled over the Earth and short towers that measure the uptake or release of carbon from a small patch of forest. But those measurements don't agree with current computer models of how plants and soils behave.

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At least 235 species are thriving in both the Arctic and Antarctic polar seas, according to the Census of Marine Life.

A rising number of U.S.

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Researchers are using modern technology to study "silent earthquakes" along a major fault zone beneath the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica.