Following is a summary of current science news briefs.
The Kraken wakes: first images of giant squid filmed in deep ocean
TOKYO (Reuters) - A Japanese-led team of scientists has captured on film the world's first live images of a giant squid, journeying to the depths of the ocean in search of the mysterious creature thought to have inspired the myth of the "kraken", a tentacled monster. The images of the silvery, three-meter (10 feet) long cephalopod, looming out of the darkness nearly 1 km below the surface, were taken last July near the Ogasawara islands, 1,000 km (620 miles) south of Tokyo.
Biofuels cause pollution, not as green as thought - study
OSLO (Reuters) - Green schemes to fight climate change by producing more bio-fuels could actually worsen a little-known type of air pollution and cause almost 1,400 premature deaths a year in Europe by 2020, a study showed on Sunday. The report said trees grown to produce wood fuel - seen as a cleaner alternative to oil and coal - released a chemical into the air that, when mixed with other pollutants, could also reduce farmers' crop yields.
NASA's Kepler telescope finds 461 potential new planets
CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - NASA's Kepler space telescope has uncovered another 461 potential new planets, most of which are the size of Earth or a few times larger, scientists said on Monday. The announcement brings Kepler's head count to 2,740 candidate new worlds, 105 of which have been confirmed.
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.