Reuters Science News Summary

Following is a summary of current science news briefs.

Car-sized prehistoric South American turtle was built for battle

One of the largest turtles that ever lived prowled the lakes and rivers of northern South America from about 13 million years ago to 7 million years ago - and this car-sized freshwater beast was built for battle. Scientists said on Wednesday they have unearthed new fossils of the turtle, called Stupendemys geographicus, in Colombia's Tatacoa Desert and Venezuela's Urumaco region that for the first time provide a comprehensive understanding of the big reptile, which got up to 13 feet (4 meters) long and 1.25 tons in weight.

Novacyt biotech company says winning race for high-speed virus test

Franco-British biotech company Novacyt says it can offer a coronavirus test that is faster than rival methods by focusing on a narrow sequence of DNA coding, as it fights stiff competition to turn the outbreak into a business opportunity. In an appeal for sharing virus samples and speeding up research into drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics, the World Health Organization on Tuesday said China's coronavirus outbreak posed a "very grave threat for the rest of the world."

White House calls for biggest NASA budget in decades to reach the moon, Mars

The White House on Monday asked Congress for $25.2 billion for NASA in 2021, the agency's biggest budget in decades, calling for steady increases over five years to meet President Donald Trump's goal of landing astronauts on the moon and Mars. The request would boost the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's budget by 12 percent for the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1, with nearly half of the funds going toward the "Moon to Mars" program, which includes development of lunar landers, robotic rovers, heavy-lift rockets and new spacesuits.