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US-SCIENCE Summary

Sep 5, 2011, 2:40 p.m.

Computers to pinpoint wild weather forecasts

LONDON (Reuters) - Computer simulations of the weather workings of the entire planet will be able to make forecasts to within a few kilometers accuracy, helping predict the effects of deadly weather systems. But the world may have to wait 20 to 40 years' for such accurate information on weather events like El Nino as computer capacity grows, a senior British scientist said Thursday.

Month-end target mooted for finding "no Higgs"

GENEVA (Reuters) - U.S.-based physicists said on Monday they hope to have enough data by the end of this month to establish if the elusive Higgs boson, a particle thought to have made the universe possible, exists in its long-predicted form. If the answer is no, scientists around the globe will have to rethink the 40-year-old Standard Model of particle physics which describes how they believe the cosmos works.

Ozone in smog damages health even at current level

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Health experts lamented a move by U.S. President Barack Obama to halt rules on limiting smog pollution, saying the decision could endanger many people already susceptible to respiratory problems. Under pressure from businesses and Republican lawmakers, the Environmental Protection Agency had delayed issuing a rule on ozone limits several times. On Friday, Obama unexpectedly told the EPA to withdraw the clean-air initiative.

Space junk reaching "tipping point," report warns

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla,. (Reuters) - The amount of debris orbiting the Earth has reached "a tipping point" for collisions, which would in turn generate more of the debris that threatens astronauts and satellites, according to a U.S. study released on Thursday. NASA needs a new strategic plan for mitigating the hazards posed by spent rocket bodies, discarded satellites and thousands of other pieces of junk flying around the planet at speeds of 17,500 miles per hour, the National Research Council said in the study.

Rover probes role water may have played on Mars

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - NASA's Mars rover Opportunity is uncovering new details about the role water may have played on what is now a cold, dry planet, scientists said on Thursday. Opportunity is one of two small rovers that landed on opposite sides of Mars in January 2004 for what were expected to be 90-day studies to look for signs of the past presence of water on the planet. Water is believed to be a key ingredient for life.

Baker Hughes recruits ex-NASA employees

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Baker Hughes Inc, which specializes in extracting oil and gas from under the ground, wants to hire people who once explored beyond Earth. The oilfield services company held a two-day event this week to recruit current and former workers at another Houston-based institution, NASA, now that the U.S. space agency is no longer involved in manned space flight.

Bones of bush icon Ned Kelly identified

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian authorities have identified the remains of bushranger Ned Kelly, 131 years after the iconic outcast was hanged for murder and his body buried in the yard of a Melbourne gaol. But mystery remains over the location of Kelly's skull, which was last thought to have sat on the desk of a Victorian state police detective in 1929.

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