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Distance from moon to earth 

• Days are going to get longer in future as the moon moves further away from the earth. A new study shows that 1.4 billion years ago, a day on the earth lasted just over 18 hours. "As the moon moves away, the earth is like a spinning figure skater who slows down as he or she stretch-es their arms out," explains Stephen Meyers, professor of Geo-Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the US.

White rhino

• When the last male northern white rhinoceros died in March, it was the final step towards extinct-ion. With none left in the wild and just two females in captivity, there was no hope for the species. Now, a group of scientists hopes to revive the northern white rhino using preserved cells. With the right advances in assisted reproduction or cloning, there could be a second chance for this rhino, says Oliver Ryder, director of conservation genetics at San Diego Zoo Global, US.

Magic metal 

• A researcher has identified a kind of magic in a metal that may just be what the doctor ordered for Planet Earth. He says the colourful metal, bismuth, has a special ability, called catalytic plasticity, that can be harnessed to convert carbon dioxide into liquid fuels and industrial chemicals. "This will allow renewable energy sources such as the sun and wind to drive the direct production of liquid fuels," says Joel Rosenthal of the University of Delaware, US.

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