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Dragon offers ticket to Mars

A cargo carrier designed for low Earth orbit could provide a cheap route to the red planet.


Lasers illuminate quantum security loophole

Faked 'entanglement' result challenges cryptographic technique.


Indian Ocean communities test tsunami warning system

Drill detected no glitches, but improvements could still be made.


Bacteria encode secret messages

Undercover E. coli act as updated invisible ink.


Spies to use Twitter as crystal ball

US intelligence agency aims to forecast unrest by reading the runes of social media.


Time is running out for the leap second

Abolition would see 'official' time unmoored from the Sun.


Brazil cooks up transgenic bean

Approval draws criticism over transparency and safety tests.


Elastec scoops X prize for oil-spill clean-up

Skimming system tripled previous best effort at oil collection.


MERMAIDs detect distant earthquakes

Free-floating observatories record seismic waves to help study Earth's interior.


Galileo gets ready for take off

Europe's satellite navigation system enters test phase.


Nanoparticle solar cells make light work

Cheap, printable photovoltaics might finally live up to their early promise.


India's nuclear future put on hold

Safety fears derail plan to import reactors.


Human genetics: Genomes on prescription

The first clinical uses of whole-genome sequencing show just how challenging it can be.


Fallout forensics hike radiation toll

Global data on Fukushima challenge Japanese estimates.


Scientists and autism: When geeks meet

Psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen thinks scientists and engineers could be more likely to have a child with autism. Some researchers say the proof isn't there.