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10 ‘Sexiest’ Stories of 2013

In this slideshow, explore the most interesting stories about the science of sexuality, gender and reproduction published by Discovery News in 2013.

The “before” and “after” shots of Curiosity’s wheels are pretty striking. Although the rover’s wheels are designed to sustain significant damage without putting the mission at risk, mission managers are assessing a recent acceleration in perforations and rips in the wheels’ aluminum. See more photos

GALLERY:

Hubble’s Beautiful Butterfly Nebulae

In a discovery announced on Sept. 4, 2013, a population of planetary nebulae near the galactic core appear to be, weirdly, preferentially aligned to the Milky Way’s galactic plain. The nebulae, known as “bipolar” (or “butterfly”) planetary nebulae are completely non-interacting and of various ages, suggesting some external force is shaping their orientation. It’s thought that a powerful magnetic field may be the culprit. Take a look at some beautiful examples of bipolar planetary nebulae as seen by Hubble.

Gallery:

The Earliest Dogs

A pointer named “Major” was identified this week as the first known example of a modern dog. A description of the dog was found in a now-obscure 1865 edition of a Victorian journal called The Field. It marks the earliest reported dog breed based on physical form and pedigree.

Let’s go walkies through the history of the modern dog…

20 Animals You Could Eat But Probably Won’t

Squirrels? Dogs? Cats? Jellyfish?? Hell, I’d just settle for some 2 day-old roadkill. Perhaps not a skunk though

For more animal-eating weirdness, check out this gallery.

Giant Squid Photos

What has eight arms with hundreds of suckers, eyes the size of grapefruit and a razor-sharp beak? A giant squid! A team of scientists and the Discovery Channel shot footage of this notoriously elusive creature in action. Open the Discovery News gallery…

Mars Through Curiosity’s Powerful MAHLI Camera

…since the true clarity of MAHLI has been unleashed, we’ve been treated to some of the most high-resolution views of the rover, Martian landscape and, most importantly, we’ve seen exactly what MAHLI was designed to do: Look closely at Mars rocks and dirt, assembling geological evidence of potential past habitability of Mars. Open gallery…

Breaking up is hard to do. Unless you are a comet: DNews blogger and radio astronomer Nicole Gugliucci presents some great astrophotography of Comet Hergenrother by astronomers who participate in the Virtual Star Party. Enjoy!