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SCIENCE
May 23, 2013 | By Eryn Brown
Scientists are gaining a better understanding of the H7N9 bird flu that has sickened more than 130 people -- and killed more than 30 -- in China and Taiwan since February. The latest research into the virus, which before this year had never been detected in humans, was published Thursday (subscription required for full text) in the online edition of the journal Science .  Working with ferrets, an animal that is often studied to gain insight into flu transmissibility in people, scientists in China, Canada and the U.S. found that H7N9 could spread from one ferret to another -- suggesting that it could also pass between humans.
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SCIENCE
May 10, 2013 | By Julie Cart
Two federal agencies on Friday announced a major review of how seismic testing for oil and gas deposits affects marine mammals and fish in deep waters off the Gulf of Mexico. So-called seismic surveys entail blasts from air guns or other ship-borne devices that send out powerful sound waves that reflect the shape and extent of oil and gas fields under the ocean floor. Industry officials say the practice is necessary for efficient, safe exploration in deep seas. The testing has long been controversial.
WORLD
April 16, 2013 | By Barbara Demick
A boating accident off the Philippines coast has exposed Chinese poaching of a protected species of scaly anteater, or pangolin, prized in traditional medicine. A 500-ton Chinese fishing vessel, the Min Long Yu, crashed into a coral reef April 8. When the boat was inspected, authorities found more than 2,000 butchered pangolins rolled up and packed into 400 boxes. It is one of the largest hauls of the species, which is subject to an international trade ban. Pangolins are long, lizard-like land mammals covered with scales, which make them look like pine cones when they roll themselves up for protection.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 28, 2013 | By Lauren Williams
A sea lion stranded on the boardwalk in Newport Beach was safe Thursday after residents helped the animal by pushing it away from bicycle traffic and giving it water, officials said. Resident Fred Levine spotted the adult female sea lion leaning against his home's wall about 10 p.m. Tuesday about 1,500 feet from the ocean on the Balboa Peninsula. He left a Scooby Doo pail of water outside for the thirsty animal. Residents called police for help and the city posted signs that read, "Marine mammals rest on shore.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 17, 2013 | By Rick Rojas, Los Angeles Times
The sea lion pups jostled with one another in the small pool, diving for the herring and capelin being thrown at them and popping up with fish tails poking out of their little mouths. "The difference a month makes!" JoAnn Smith, a volunteer at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach, remarked as the pups tangled in the water. "Amazing!" The months-old sea lions had come to the care center starving and struggling to survive. They were malnourished, lethargic, ribs and hip bones showing through their smooth dark fur. Their mothers had left them to forage for food, and they were stranded, fending for themselves.
SCIENCE
February 8, 2013 | By Monte Morin, Los Angeles Times
What's cute and furry and has a name only a paleontologist could love? A tiny theoretical creature dubbed the "hypothetical placental mammal ancestor" is stealing the hearts of some evolutionary biologists - and annoying others - as it raises new debate over just when our early mammal ancestors began diversifying across the globe. In a paper published this week in the journal Science, an international team of researchers described how they used a vast database of fossil and anatomical data, as well as DNA evidence, to reverse-engineer an ancestor to the largest group of living mammals.
SCIENCE
February 7, 2013 | By Monte Morin
What's cute and furry and has a name only a paleontologist could love? A tiny theoretical creature dubbed the hypothetical placental mammal ancestor is stealing the hearts of some evolutionary biologists -- and annoying others -- as it raises new debate over just when our early mammal ancestors began diversifying across the globe. In a paper published Thursday in the journal Science, an international team of researchers described a project in which they used a vast database of fossil and other biological data, as well as DNA evidence, to reverse-engineer a hypothetical ancestor to the largest group of living mammals.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 1, 2013 | By Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times
It made for a wild tale three years ago when a Santa Monica sushi restaurant abruptly closed after it was disclosed that the hipster hangout was selling illegal whale meat. The chef and the parent company of the Hump at the Santa Monica Airport initially were charged with misdemeanors after a sting operation was captured by a documentary crew. But now the stakes have been raised. A federal grand jury has indicted the owners of the parent company and two of its onetime chefs, charging them with felonies that carry lengthy prison terms.
NATIONAL
January 25, 2013 | By Michael Muskal
A tree may be able to live and grow in Brooklyn, but a dolphin is a whole other matter. As fellow mammals looked on from the frigid shore, a dolphin tried to extricate itself from the heavily polluted  Gowanus canal, which borders the legendary neighborhoods of Red Hook and South Brooklyn. The canal has been known for more than a century for the high level of pollution caused by industrial and other wastes. According to video shot at the scene, the dolphin appears to be about 7 feet long.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 4, 2013 | By Tony Perry, Los Angeles Times
LA JOLLA - There's a political stink rising in this seaside community, blown ashore from the rocks of La Jolla Cove, where myriad seabirds and marine mammals roost, rest and leave behind what animals leave behind. The offal accumulation is offending noses at trendy restaurants, tourist haunts, and expensive condos perched on some of the most pricey real estate in the country. But finding a solution to the olfactory assault has proved elusive. Environmental regulations have thwarted proposals to cleanse the rocks with a non-toxic, biodegradable solution.
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