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  • Japan scientist quits as cell research discredited

    TOKYO (AP) — The Japanese researcher whose claim of a major breakthrough in stem cell research was discredited has resigned after the government lab where she worked failed to replicate her results. Haruko Obokata said in a statement Friday that she was leaving the Riken Center for Developmental Biology after the lab concluded the stem…

  • Group challenges timber producer’s ‘green’ label

    GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — A watchdog group is challenging the environmentally friendly “green lumber” certification for Plum Creek Timberlands, one of the nation’s biggest landowners and timber producers. The Center for Sustainable Economy, based in Lake Oswego, Oregon, filed the complaint Thursday with a nonprofit group that verifies whether timber producers follow standards for…

  • NASA’s Orion spacecraft back in Florida after test flight

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA’s experimental Orion spacecraft left Florida by rocket and returned by truck. The capsule arrived back at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Thursday. It rocketed into orbit Dec. 5, traveling 3,600 miles into space on an unmanned test flight that proved to be a great success. NASA plans to…

  • Q&A: Drones might help explain how tornadoes form

    DENVER (AP) — Researchers say they have collected promising weather data by flying instrument-laden drones into big Western and Midwestern storms. Now, they want to expand the project in hopes of learning more about how tornadoes form. Drones can penetrate parts of weather systems that other instruments can’t reach, and they can do it at…

  • 2 astronauts will expand envelope with 1-year spaceflight

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — The two men assigned to a one-year spaceflight said Thursday that their upcoming mission will allow the world to push deeper into space. NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko will rocket into orbit from Kazakhstan in March and move into the International Space Station for an entire…

  • Report: Radiation leak at nuclear dump was small

    CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — A final report by independent researchers shows the radiation leak from the federal government’s underground nuclear waste repository in southern New Mexico was small and localized. The report released Thursday by the Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring and Research Center also says no negative health effects are expected among workers or the public.…

  • Holiday gifts for stargazers

    Ho, ho, ho! Happy holidays! Welcome to the “What’s Up? The Space Place” holiday edition to get some great gift ideas for that stargazer of yours. OK, you have six shopping days left, but don’t panic. Internet shopping and quick shipping will get that star-minded someone, including possibly yourself, their gift in plenty of time.…

  • SpaceX delays space station delivery until Jan.

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — The space station astronauts will have to wait until next month for their Christmas delivery. On Thursday, the SpaceX company announced it was delaying this week’s planned launch of an unmanned supply capsule until January. SpaceX spokesman John Taylor said a test firing of the rocket engines earlier this week…

  • Washington governor proposes carbon pollution cap

    SEATTLE (AP) — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Wednesday proposed an ambitious cap-and-trade program to require the state’s largest industrial polluters to pay for every ton of carbon they release. The proposal was part of a broader package that the Democrat said would help the state meet a 2008 mandate to drastically reduce greenhouse gas…

  • Launch pad where rocket exploded back next year

    WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. (AP) — Despite a massive explosion in October, authorities say a state-owned launch pad at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility should be repaired and ready for testing late next year. Orbital Sciences’ Antares rocket exploded seconds after liftoff from Wallops Island on the Eastern Shore of Virginia on Oct. 28. The rocket was…

  • Wallops Island rocket launch pad awaits repairs

    WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. (AP) — Despite a massive explosion in October, authorities say a state-owned launch pad at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility should be repaired and ready for testing late next year. Orbital Sciences’ Antares rocket exploded seconds after liftoff on Oct. 28. The rocket was carrying a cargo ship was bound for the International…

  • Colorado funds medical marijuana research, a first

    DENVER (AP) — Colorado will spend more than $8 million researching marijuana’s medical potential — a new frontier because government-funded marijuana research traditionally focuses on the drug’s negative health effects. The grants awarded by the Colorado Board of Health will go to studies on whether marijuana helps treat epilepsy, brain tumors, Parkinson’s disease and post-traumatic…

  • Study: Alcatraz inmates could have survived escape

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The three prisoners who escaped from Alcatraz in one of the most famous and elaborate prison breaks in U.S. history could have survived and made it to land, scientists concluded in a recent study. The three Dutch scientists, using the latest hydraulic software and information about tides on the night of…

  • Protections blocked, but sage grouse work goes on

    BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — U.S. wildlife officials will decide next year whether a wide-ranging Western bird species needs protections even though Congress has blocked such protections from taking effect, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said Wednesday. They could determine the greater sage grouse is heading toward possible extinction, but they would be unable to intervene under…

  • Report: Arctic loses snow, ice; absorbs more heat

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Arctic and its future are looking dimmer every year, a new federal report says. In the spring and summer of 2014, Earth’s icy northern region lost more of its signature whiteness that reflects the sun’s heat. It was replaced temporarily with dark land and water that absorbs more energy, keeping yet…