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In lab simulating harsh Mars climate, a nascent potato grows

LIMA, Peru — In a lab in the Peruvian capital of Lima, a simulator mimicking the harsh conditions found on Mars now contains a hint of life: a nascent potato plant.

After experimenting in the Andean nation’s dry, desert soil, scientists have successfully grown a potato in frigid, high carbon-dioxide surroundings.

Livestock grazing can benefit struggling bird species

BILLINGS, Mont. — A new study disputes a widely-held view that livestock grazing is largely incompatible with a ground-dwelling bird that has suffered a dramatic population decline across its 11-state range in the U.S. West.

Researchers said some grazing, particularly later in the growing season, could actually benefit the chicken-sized greater sage grouse.

Alaska residents warned to give grumpy moose their space

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Alaska wildlife officials warned people Tuesday to keep their distance from grumpy moose after two close calls this past weekend.

One of the animals walked up behind a woman tending chickens in the city of Homer on Sunday and started eating chicken food from a bucket she carried. When she turned, the startled moose kicked her.

Scientists race to prevent wipeout of world’s coral reefs

SOUTH ARI ATOLL, Maldives — There were startling colours here just a year ago, a dazzling array of life beneath the waves. Now this Maldivian reef is dead, killed by the stress of rising ocean temperatures. What’s left is a haunting expanse of grey, a scene repeated in reefs across the globe in what has fast become a full-blown ecological catastrophe.