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Following is a summary of current science news briefs.
Dung beetles look to the stars
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - A species of South African dung beetle has been shown to use the Milky Way to navigate, making it the only known animal that turns to the galactic spray of stars across the night sky for direction. Researchers have known for several years that the inch-long insects use the sun or moon as fixed points to ensure they keep rolling dung balls in a straight line - the quickest way of getting away from other beetles at the dung heap.
Neanderthal cloning chatter highlights scientific illiteracy
BOSTON (Reuters) - After spending the weekend reading blog posts claiming that he was seeking an "extremely adventurous female human" to bear a cloned Neanderthal baby - which was news to him - Harvard geneticist George Church said it may be time for society to give some thought to scientific literacy. Church became the subject of dozens of posts and tabloid newspaper articles calling him a "mad scientist" after giving an interview to the German magazine Der Spiegel.
Andean glaciers melting at "unprecedented" rates: study
LIMA (Reuters) - Climate change has shrunk Andean glaciers between 30 and 50 percent since the 1970s and could melt many of them away altogether in coming years, according to a study published on Tuesday in the journal The Cryosphere. Andean glaciers, a vital source of fresh water for tens of millions of South Americans, are retreating at their fastest rates in more than 300 years, according to the most comprehensive review of Andean ice loss so far.
Adelie penguins: cool, efficient killing machines
TOKYO (Reuters) - Fish of the Antarctic, be very afraid. There's an unlikely stealth predator on the loose - Adelie penguins. Forget their ungainly waddling on land or comical bobbing at the ocean's surface. As soon as these penguins dive into the icy Antarctic ocean, they become calculating, efficient killing machines, say Japanese researchers.