Following is a summary of current science news briefs.
Armstrong's moon speech not so improvised, brother tells BBC
CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - Astronaut Neil Armstrong may not have been speaking entirely off the cuff when he delivered the most iconic quote in the history of manned space flight. Armstrong wrote out the sentence, "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind," before blasting off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, with Apollo astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins in July 1969, his brother now says, according to the transcripts of a documentary recently aired on BBC Two.
Vomiting Larry battles "Ferrari of the virus world"
LONDON (Reuters) - Poor Larry isn't looking too good. He's pale and clammy and he's been projectile vomiting over and over again while his carers just stand by and watch. Yet their lack of concern for Larry is made up for by their intense interest in how far splashes of his vomit can fly, and how effectively they evade attempts to clean them up.
Approaching comet may outshine the moon
2012-12-28T222940Z_1_BRE8BR0KR_RTROPTC_0_US-SPACE-COMET.XML () -
International crew of three reaches orbiting space station
CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - A Russian Soyuz capsule carrying a multinational crew of three arrived at the International Space Station on Friday, setting the stage for a Canadian for the first time to take command of the orbital research base. The spacecraft carrying Chris Hadfield from the Canadian Space Agency, NASA's Tom Marshburn and Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko blasted off from Kazakhstan's Baikonur Cosmodrome on Wednesday and parked at the station's Rassvet docking module at 9:09 a.m. EST as the ships sailed 255 miles above northern Kazakhstan.
After setbacks, Russia boosts space spending
MOSCOW (Reuters) - The country that oversaw the launch of the world's first artificial satellite hopes to regain some of its former glory with a big boost in space spending announced by Russia on Thursday after a series of failures. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev approved a plan to spend 2.1 trillion roubles ($68.71 billion) on developing Russia's space industry from 2013 to 2020, state-run RIA news agency reported.
Celebrity bad science: Dried placenta pills and oxygen shots
LONDON (Reuters) - Pop guru Simon Cowell carries pocket-sized inhalable oxygen shots, America's "Mad Men" actress January Jones favors dried placenta pills, and British soap star Patsy Palmer rubs coffee granules into her skin. Celebrities rarely shy away from public peddling of dubious ideas about health and science, and 2012 was no exception.
Britain suspends exploratory drilling of Antarctic lake
LONDON (Reuters) - An ambitious British plan to search for minute forms of life in an ancient lake beneath Antarctica's ice has been suspended because of technical problems, the scientist leading the project said on Thursday. In a move that clears the way for U.S. and Russian teams to take the lead, Professor Martin Siegert said technical problems and a lack of fuel had forced the closure on Christmas Day of the 7-million-pound ($11 million) project, which was looking for life forms and climate change clues in the lake-bed sediment.
China to open world's longest high-speed rail line
BEIJING/ZHENGZHOU, China (Reuters) - China will open the world's longest high-speed rail line next week when a link between Beijing and the southern metropolis of Guangzhou is inaugurated, officials said on Saturday, underscoring its commitment to a trouble-plagued transport scheme. The 2,298-km (1,428-mile) line, parts of which are already in operation, will begin full service on Wednesday, halving travel time to less than 10 hours on trains which will run at 300 kph (186 mph).
NASA posts YouTube video debunking Maya "Armageddon"
CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - NASA is so sure there will be a December 22, 2012, it has already posted a YouTube video titled "Why the World Didn't End Yesterday." Scientists say rumors on social media and the Internet of Earth's premature demise have been prompted by a misunderstanding of the ancient Maya calendar, which runs through December 21, 2012.
Scientists in Hong Kong map initial anti-aging formula
HONG KONG (Reuters) - Scientists in Hong Kong appear to have mapped out a formula that can delay the aging process in mice, a discovery they hope to replicate in people. Their finding, published in the December issue of Cell Metabolism, builds on their work in 2005 which shed light on premature aging, or progeria, a rare genetic disease that affects one in four million babies.