Reuters Science News Summary

Following is a summary of current science news briefs.

Armstrong's moon speech not so improvised, brother tells


CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - Astronaut Neil

Armstrong may not have been speaking entirely off the cuff when

he delivered the most iconic quote in the history of manned

space flight. Armstrong wrote out the sentence, "That's one

small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind," before

blasting off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, with Apollo

astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins in July 1969, his

brother now says, according to the transcripts of a documentary

recently aired on BBC Two.

Vomiting Larry battles "Ferrari of the virus world"

LONDON (Reuters) - Poor Larry isn't looking too good. He's

pale and clammy and he's been projectile vomiting over and over

again while his carers just stand by and watch. Yet their lack

of concern for Larry is made up for by their intense interest

in how far splashes of his vomit can fly, and how effectively

they evade attempts to clean them up.

Approaching comet may outshine the moon


() -

International crew of three reaches orbiting space station

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - A Russian Soyuz capsule

carrying a multinational crew of three arrived at the

International Space Station on Friday, setting the stage for a

Canadian for the first time to take command of the orbital

research base. The spacecraft carrying Chris Hadfield from the

Canadian Space Agency, NASA's Tom Marshburn and Russian

cosmonaut Roman Romanenko blasted off from Kazakhstan's

Baikonur Cosmodrome on Wednesday and parked at the station's

Rassvet docking module at 9:09 a.m. EST as the ships sailed 255

miles above northern Kazakhstan.

After setbacks, Russia boosts space spending

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The country that oversaw the launch of

the world's first artificial satellite hopes to regain some of

its former glory with a big boost in space spending announced

by Russia on Thursday after a series of failures. Prime

Minister Dmitry Medvedev approved a plan to spend 2.1 trillion

roubles ($68.71 billion) on developing Russia's space industry

from 2013 to 2020, state-run RIA news agency reported.

Celebrity bad science: Dried placenta pills and oxygen


LONDON (Reuters) - Pop guru Simon Cowell carries

pocket-sized inhalable oxygen shots, America's "Mad Men"

actress January Jones favors dried placenta pills, and British

soap star Patsy Palmer rubs coffee granules into her skin.

Celebrities rarely shy away from public peddling of dubious

ideas about health and science, and 2012 was no exception.

Britain suspends exploratory drilling of Antarctic lake

LONDON (Reuters) - An ambitious British plan to search for

minute forms of life in an ancient lake beneath Antarctica's

ice has been suspended because of technical problems, the

scientist leading the project said on Thursday. In a move that

clears the way for U.S. and Russian teams to take the lead,

Professor Martin Siegert said technical problems and a lack of

fuel had forced the closure on Christmas Day of the

7-million-pound ($11 million) project, which was looking for

life forms and climate change clues in the lake-bed sediment.

China to open world's longest high-speed rail line

BEIJING/ZHENGZHOU, China (Reuters) - China will open the

world's longest high-speed rail line next week when a link

between Beijing and the southern metropolis of Guangzhou is

inaugurated, officials said on Saturday, underscoring its

commitment to a trouble-plagued transport scheme. The 2,298-km

(1,428-mile) line, parts of which are already in operation,

will begin full service on Wednesday, halving travel time to

less than 10 hours on trains which will run at 300 kph (186


NASA posts YouTube video debunking Maya "Armageddon"

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - NASA is so sure there

will be a December 22, 2012, it has already posted a YouTube

video titled "Why the World Didn't End Yesterday." Scientists

say rumors on social media and the Internet of Earth's

premature demise have been prompted by a misunderstanding of

the ancient Maya calendar, which runs through December 21,


Scientists in Hong Kong map initial anti-aging formula

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Scientists in Hong Kong appear to

have mapped out a formula that can delay the aging process in

mice, a discovery they hope to replicate in people. Their

finding, published in the December issue of Cell Metabolism,

builds on their work in 2005 which shed light on premature

aging, or progeria, a rare genetic disease that affects one in

four million babies.