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First cotton from far side of the moon displayed in China.

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A first ever sprout of cotton seeds on the far side of the moon.

According to China’s state television, photos sent back by its Chang’e -4 luna probe on Tuesday shows that cotton seeds carried by the probe have sprouted.

The Chang’e-4 project had officially shifted to the scientific exploration stage days before.



A team of scientists from the Chongqing University in southwest China sent a small biological payload aboard the probe, which landed on the lunar surface on Jan. 3.

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Weighing below three kilograms, the test payload includes six organisms including seeds of cotton, potatoes, Arabidopsis and rapeseeds, as well as fruit fly pupa and yeast.

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The latest photos show that the cotton shoots are growing well. This is the first plant shoot that grows on the moon after experiencing severe environmental tests such as low gravity, strong radiation and high temperature.

“Although it is a biological payload, it laid a foundation and technological support for our next step, that is, to build a lunar base for living,” said Xie Gengxin, chief designer of the biological experiment payload, Chang’e-4 lunar mission.
The screening of biological species in this experiment involves very strict requirements.

Meanwhile, Chinese officials also claim that due to the extreme conditions of the lunar surface, animals and plants should be able to withstand high temperatures, freezing cold, radiation and be anti-interference.

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Russian: President Putin eases access to citizenship for east Ukraine residents.

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Source: Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed an order simplifying the procedure for obtaining a Russian passport for residents of the rebel-controlled Donetsk and Luhansk regions of eastern Ukraine, the Kremlin said on Wednesday.

Separatist rebellions broke out against Ukrainian rule in both regions in 2014. Moscow provided military help for the separatists, according to evidence gathered by Reuters, though Russian officials have denied providing material support.

Large swathes of the two regions are now under the de facto control of the Moscow-backed rebels, while Kiev says it is determined to re-assert its control, a position backed by most Western countries.

There was no immediate reaction from Kiev to Putin’s order. Ukrainian officials are likely to react angrily to any indication Moscow is drawing the rebel regions closer into its own orbit.

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Machester Derby – Epl’s Most important Match of the Season

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The Manchester derby today is arguably the most important match of the season as it will determine the comfort of Liverpool on the league table or the come back of Manchester City on top, while it also may determine the place of United in the European leagues next season.

Meanwhile, Manchester City have won five of their last seven Premier League fixtures at Old Trafford (D1, L1), having triumphed in only one of the first 14 visits. A seventh away win for City would be a new Premier League record for overall wins at Old Trafford by a visiting club

Manchester United have Luke Shaw available after suspension but Phil Jones limped off during the defeat at Everton and is not expected to be fit.

Ander Herrera, who has been out for four weeks with a thigh injury, was not part of the squad which arrived at the team hotel on Tuesday.

Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne will miss out after sustaining a hamstring problem last weekend.

Claudio Bravo is City’s only other injury absentee

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