Reuters Science News Summary

Following is a summary of current science news briefs.

Ancient Briton had dark skin and blue eyes, scientists find

"Cheddar Man", Britain's oldest, nearly complete human skeleton, had dark skin, blue eyes and dark curly hair when he lived in what is now southwest England 10,000 years ago, scientists who read his DNA have discovered. The finding suggests that the lighter skin pigmentation now seen as typical of northern Europeans is far more recent than previously thought, according to researchers from University College London (UCL) who took part in the project.

New SpaceX jumbo rocket set for debut test launch in company milestone

A new SpaceX jumbo rocket in line to become the world's most powerful launch vehicle in operation was set for its highly anticipated debut test flight on Tuesday from Florida, carrying a Tesla Roadster as a mock payload. Liftoff of the 23-story-tall Falcon Heavy was slated for as early as 1:30 p.m. EST (1830 GMT) at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral in what would be a key turning point for Silicon Valley billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk's privately owned Space Exploration Technologies.

Surprising bat genetic trait holds secrets of longevity

Bats are the longest-lived mammals relative to body size, and a species called the greater mouse-eared bat lives especially long. Researchers now have unlocked some of this bat's longevity secrets, with hints for fighting the effects of aging in people. Scientists said on Wednesday that unlike in people and most other animals, in this bat species the structures called telomeres located at the end of chromosomes, thread-like strands inside a cell's nucleus that carry genes determining heredity, do not shorten with age.

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