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Bat Banter

Computer algorithms helped Israeli researchers decode the language of Egyptian fruit bats and discover that bats exchange information about specific problems.

Free Wheeling

Easily movable mini-houses now range from the functional to the outlandish, including abodes mounted on tractors and shopping carts and ones attachable to rock faces.

Rolling Internet

A 40-foot-long Winnebago called the Digibus rolled through central California towns to train kids and adults in computer and job-searching skills.

Milkweed Mittens

Milkweed pods, which are five times lighter than synthetic insulation, are being tested by the Canadian Coast Guard as filler in prototype parkas, gloves and mittens.

Easy Mark

European supermarkets are cutting costs and saving energy by using high-tech lasers to mark prices on avocados, sweet potatoes and coconuts, with more to come.

Elder Force

The financially strapped National Park Service increasingly relies on volunteers to staff visitor centers and campsites, and a third of the workers are over age 54.

Accepted Misfits

Grocery stores are increasingly offering ugly-but-edible produce to customers at reduced prices instead of dumping them into a landfill.

Orca Finale

Under legal and activist pressure, SeaWorld is ending its theatrical killer whale shows and breeding program.

Tuna Turnaround

Levels of toxic mercury in Atlantic Bluefin tuna declined 19 percent between 2004 and 2012, a drop that scientists attribute to a shift from coal to natural gas and renewable energy.

Buzzing RoboBees

Harvard researchers have invented tiny robotic bees that may be able to eventually pollinate the crops that are under threat because of vanishing bee colonies.

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