Here’s today’s roundup of science, nature and environment news from the Bay Area and beyond.

NASA to Athletic Mars Rover: ‘Stick the Landing’PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — It’s NASA’s most ambitious and expensive Mars mission yet – and it begins with the red planet arrival late Sunday of the smartest interplanetary rover ever built. Also the most athletic. Like an Olympic gymnast, it needs to “stick the landing.” It won’t be easy.

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UC climate-change skeptic changes viewsThe hot issue of global warming got hotter Monday when a UC Berkeley physicist, once a loud skeptic of human-caused climate change, agreed that the Earth is not only heating up but that people are the cause of it all. […]

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Researchers: Modern culture may have earlier startThe descendants of San people live today in southern Africa, so the items can clearly be traced forward to modern culture, unlike other archaeological finds, researchers said. The find, discovered at Border Cave close to South Africa’s northeastern border with Swaziland, is a comprehensive package of hunting kits and jewelry made of ostrich egg and marine shell beads.

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Bottled water fills demand, walletsDavid Montero drives three hours every week from his apartment in Iztapalapa, a crowded district on the eastern edge of the sprawling capital city, to the village where he was born to fill five 5-gallon jugs with clean water to mix with the juices he sells from a roadside stand.

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Precipitation Trends Reveal a New North-South Split in CaliforniaPrecipitation Trends Reveal a New North-South Split in California “Extreme” rain and snow events happening more often in the south, less often up north A new report suggests that global warming is playing out quite differently in California, depending on whether it’s north or south of San Francisco Bay.

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Flu That Leapt From Birds to Seals Is Studied for Human ThreatAll human flu strains evolved from flu viruses that live in birds. To understand how these transitions happen, scientists have recently been tinkering with a strain of bird flu to see how many mutations it takes until its spreads from mammal to mammal.

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Two suspected Ebola deaths reported in UgandaKAMPALA (Reuters) – Two more people, including a child, are suspected to have died of the Ebola virus while 11 more have been put in isolation in western Uganda where the deadly hemorrhagic fever was first confirmed last Friday, health workers said on Tuesday.

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NASA to Athletic Mars Rover: ‘Stick the Landing’, UC Climate-Change Skeptic Changes Views – 7/31 KQED Science News Roundup 2 October,2015Jenny Oh

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