Following is a summary of current science news briefs.
Aquarium fights to get disabled turtle swimming again
KOBE, Japan (Reuters) - Life looked grim for Yu, a loggerhead turtle, when she washed up in a Japanese fishing net five years ago, her front flippers shredded after a brutal encounter with a shark. Now keepers at an aquarium in the western Japanese city of Kobe are looking for a high-tech solution that will allow the 25-year-old turtle to swim normally again after years of labor and 27 models of prosthetic fins behind them without achieving their goal.
Meteorite explodes over Russia, more than 1,000 injured
CHELYABINSK, Russia (Reuters) - A meteorite streaked across the sky and exploded over central Russia on Friday, raining fireballs over a vast area and causing a shock wave that smashed windows, damaged buildings and injured 1,200 people. People heading to work in Chelyabinsk heard what sounded like an explosion, saw a bright light and then felt the shock wave, according to a Reuters correspondent in the industrial city 1,500 km (950 miles) east of Moscow.
Orbital impatient with progress on new US satellite plan
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Orbital Sciences Corp <ORB.N> worries that budget pressures and "old habits" may limit funding for the U.S. government's move toward smaller, less complex satellites aimed at avoiding cost overruns and delays that have often plagued space programs. Orbital on Thursday reported record revenues and operating income for 2012, but said revenues in its advanced space segment dropped by 19 percent due to "decreased activity on national security satellite contracts.
Ancient asteroid strike in Australia "changed face of earth"
SYDNEY (Reuters) - A strike from a big asteroid more than 300 million years ago left a huge impact zone buried in Australia and changed the face of the earth, researchers said on Friday. "The dust and greenhouse gases released from the crater, the seismic shock and the initial fireball would have incinerated large parts of the earth," said Andrew Glikson, a visiting fellow at the Australian National University.
U.S.-based inventors lead world in nanotechnology patents: study 2013-02-14T162653Z_2_BRE91D0YM_RTROPTC_0_US-PATENTS-NANOTECHNOL OGY.XML () -
Tycoons Slim, Gates open Mexico agricultural research center
TEXCOCO (Reuters) - Carlos Slim and Bill Gates, the two richest men on the planet, inaugurated a new agricultural research center outside Mexico's capital, touting the millions they have donated to bolster global food security. The two tycoons participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for new laboratories at the headquarters of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, known by its Spanish acronym CIMMYT.
Asteroid to pass close by Earth on Friday
BOSTON (Reuters) - A newly discovered asteroid about half the size of a football field will pass nearer to Earth than any other known object of its size on Friday, giving scientists a rare opportunity for close-up observations without launching a probe. At its closest approach, which will occur at 2:24 p.m. EST/1924 GMT, the asteroid will pass about 17,200 miles above the planet traveling at 8 miles per second, bringing it nearer than the networks of television and weather satellites that ring the planet.
Tyrannosaurus at center of custody case going home to Mongolia
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A nearly complete 70-million-year-old tyrannosaurus bataar skeleton will be returned to Mongolia following the high-profile prosecution of a Florida paleontologist by federal authorities in New York, U.S. authorities said on Thursday. A New York federal judge ordered the skeleton and other fossils forfeited to the U.S. government this week after the paleontologist pled guilty in December to fraud and conspiracy.