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The Associated Press
AP Top Science News at 12:21 p.m. EDT

Spacecraft sends back last bit of data from 2015 Pluto flyby
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) -- NASA's New Horizons spacecraft has sent back the last bit of data from its 2015 flyby of Pluto....

Q&A: Fish and politics behind Antarctic marine reserve deal
AP Photo
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) -- Nations from around the world on Friday reached an historic agreement to preserve an area of ocean near Antarctica that's about twice the size of Texas. Here are some questions and answers about the deal:...

Countries OK world's largest marine reserve in Antarctica
AP Photo
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) -- The countries that decide the fate of Antarctica's waters reached an historic agreement on Friday to create the world's largest marine protected area in the ocean next to the frozen continent....

Study predicts deserts in Spain if global warming continues
BERLIN (AP) -- Southern Spain will become desert and deciduous forests will vanish from much of the Mediterranean basin unless global warming is reined in sharply, according to a study released Thursday....

US asks to store nuke waste aboveground after leak shut dump
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- The U.S. Department of Energy wants to clear away nearly two football fields of desert in southern New Mexico to use as temporary storage for containers of radioactive waste coming from around the country while it works to reopen the government's only underground nuclear waste repository....

Experts uncover hidden layers of Jesus' tomb site
JERUSALEM (AP) -- In the innermost chamber of the site said to be the tomb of Jesus, a restoration team has peeled away a marble layer for the first time in centuries in an effort to reach what it believes is the original rock surface where Jesus' body was laid....

Modest gains, but US students still lag in science learning
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The vast majority of U.S. students still lack a solid grasp of science despite some modest gains by fourth and eighth graders, especially girls and minorities....

Report: Wildlife populations halved on average since '70s
LONDON (AP) -- Global wildlife populations have fallen an average of 58 percent from 1970 levels, with human activity reducing the numbers of elephants in Tanzania, maned wolves in Brazil, salamanders in the United States and orcas in the waters of Europe, researchers say....

Italy quakes take out buildings standing after August jolt
CAMERINO, Italy (AP) -- The red brick Amatrice city hall resisted the devastating Aug. 24 quake that collapsed buildings all around it, only to crumble under the one-two punch of lesser jolts Wednesday night. They also brought down a centuries-old church tower in Camerino that had withstood both a quake in 1997 and the one in August....

Cholesterol test for 1-year-olds? Study says it could help
What if a blood test could reveal that your child is at high risk for early heart disease years in the future, giving you a chance to prevent it now? A big study in England did that - screening thousands of babies for inherited risk - and found it was twice as common as has been thought....