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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
- About Us
Obama Wants the News From Mars ASAP
13 August 2012 5:30 pm
President Barack Obama wants to hear immediately from NASA if its Curiosity rover discovers life on Mars. In an 8-minute telephone call today to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which built and operates the $2.5 billion rover, the president told lab Director Charles Elachi that such a discovery would “go to the top of the list” of things on his agenda. "Even if they're just microbes, it will be pretty exciting."
Obama used the conversation to tout his Administration’s regard for science education. "They're telling their moms and dads they want to be part of a Mars mission—maybe even the first person to walk on Mars. And that kind of inspiration is the byproduct of work of the sort that you guys have done,” he told the JPL team, which is part of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. He also extended “a personal commitment to protect these critical investments in science and technology."
The president’s sweeping endorsement of research, however, carefully avoids the fact that his 2013 budget would cut funding for NASA’s Mars exploration program by nearly one-third and end the country’s role in two Mars missions planned jointly with the European Space Agency for later in the decade. Both the House of Representatives and a Senate spending panel have added back money for Mars exploration, although Congress is unlikely to settle on a final budget for the agency until next spring.