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The Associated Press
AP Top Science News at 4:30 p.m. EDT

Jackpot: Scientists find Earth-like planet at star next door
WASHINGTON (AP) -- After scanning the vast reaches of the cosmos for Earth-like planets where life might exist, astronomers have found one right next door....

Meet Octobot, a robot that's a real softie, and cheap
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The latest revolutionary robot isn't the metallic, costly machine you'd expect: It's squishy like Silly Putty, wireless, battery-less and made for pennies by a 3-D printer....

AP EXPLAINS: Difference between shallow, deep earthquakes
AP Photo
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A strong earthquake rocks Italy, flattening towns and killing scores of people. An even bigger quake hits Myanmar the same day, killing a few people and shattering ancient Buddhist pagodas....

Study: Man-made warming may have started decades earlier
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Man-made global warming may have started a few decades earlier than scientists previously figured, a new study suggests....

Astronaut breaks US record: 521 days in space and counting
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) -- Astronaut Jeffrey Williams has a new record for NASA under his space belt....

Scientific dig in weird Wyoming cave yields ice age insights
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) -- Paleontologists digging at the bottom of a strange cave in northern Wyoming say they have uncovered a trove of animal bones from the last ice age this summer and have enough funding to head back at the same underground site next year to continue their search....

Off South Africa's coast, great white sharks are threatened
GANSBAAI, South Africa (AP) -- On the edge of a boat off this coastal village, Michael Rutzen stubs his cigarette into a soda can and stares pensively out to sea....

Scientists: Puffin chicks starving with less food available
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) -- Atlantic puffin chicks on Machias Seal Island in the Gulf of Maine have had the worst breeding season ever recorded, with the majority of chicks starving to death in burrows, scientists said....

Boy with double-hand transplant's next goal: Play football
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- It's been just over a year since 9-year-old Zion Harvey received a double-hand transplant, and he said Tuesday what he really wants to do is play football....

Yearlong Mars simulation nears end on Mauna Loa
HILO, Hawaii (AP) -- Six scientists are close to wrapping up a year of near isolation in a Mars simulation on a Hawaii mountain....