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Well I'll Be A Monkey's Uncle 648

killproc writes "A new report suggests that interbreeding between humans and chimpanzees happened a lot more recently than was previously thought. The report, published in the most recent issue of the journal Nature, estimates that final break between the human and chimpanzee species did not come until 6.3 million years ago at the earliest, and probably less than 5.4 million years ago."

NASA's $73 Million Water-Finding Trick 294

An anonymous reader writes "The folks at NASA, obviously looking for new ways to explore the universe, are planning to crash a two-ton probe into the moon. The goal? To find water." From the article: "NASA plans a series of robotic precursor missions including the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, or LCROSS, which will plow into the crater, and the mapper, called the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. When LCROSS strikes the crater, it is expected to create a hole 16 feet deep and send up a 2.2 million-pound (998,000-kg) plume of debris for sensors and cameras stationed on a second spacecraft to monitor. Dozens of ground-based telescopes, as well as possibly space observatories, such as the Hubble telescope, will be trained on the plume as well."

First Digital Simulation of an Entire Life Form 271

An anonymous reader writes "LiveScience is reporting on what appears to be the first digital simulation of an entire life form. Researchers created more than a million digital atoms to reverse engineer the satellite tobacco mosaic virus, a relatively simple organism. But is it really a life form? From the article: 'Viruses are tiny bundles of protein and genetic material that straddle the line between life and non-life. Many scientists prefer to call them "particles" because even though they contain RNA or DNA like other lifeforms, they can only replicate inside other living cells.'"

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