Reuters Science News Summary

Following is a summary of current science news briefs.

Veteran explorer stakes Russia's claim over the Arctic

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian polar explorer Artur Chilingarov made his name in the Soviet Union with a daring rescue of an ice-bound ship, then won international fame for planting Russia's flag under the ice cap, angering governments with rival claims over the Arctic. Now at the age of 73, rather than folding away his maps, he is spearheading President Vladimir Putin's diplomatic push to secure more of the mineral-rich region.

China's next manned space mission to launch this summer

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's next manned space mission will launch sometime between June and August, carrying three astronauts to an experimental space module, state media said on Thursday, the latest part of an ambitious plan to build a space station. The Shenzhou 10 and its crew will launch from a remote site in the Gobi desert and then link up with the Tiangong (Heavenly Palace) 1 module, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

Analysis: Emerging deadly virus demands swift sleuth work

LONDON (Reuters) - The emergence of a deadly virus previously unseen in humans that has already killed half those known to be infected requires speedy scientific detective work to figure out its potential. Experts in virology and infectious diseases say that while they already have unprecedented detail about the genetics and capabilities of the novel coronavirus, or NCoV, what worries them more is what they don't know.

Crick's letter about DNA discovery to be sold at auction

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A letter by Francis Crick, the co-discoverer of DNA, outlining the Nobel Prize-winning achievement to his young son is expected to fetch as much as $2 million when it is sold at auction in April, Christie's said on Tuesday. Crick and James Watson unraveled the double-helix structure and function of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) while working together in Cambridge, England, in 1953. They received the Nobel Prize in medicine in 1962 for their ground-breaking work.

Seals take scientists to Antarctic's ocean floor

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Elephant seals wearing head sensors and swimming deep beneath Antarctic ice have helped scientists better understand how the ocean's coldest, deepest waters are formed, providing vital clues to understanding its role in the world's climate. The tagged seals, along with sophisticated satellite data and moorings in ocean canyons, all played a role in providing data from the extreme Antarctic environment, where observations are very rare and ships could not go, said researchers at the Antarctic Climate & Ecosystem CRC in Tasmania.