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November 27 2014

Shakespeare Folio found in French library


A rare and valuable Shakespeare First Folio, regarded as the most important book in English literature, has been discovered in a small French town.


Related: Was Shakespeare gay? Row breaks out between experts on playwright over whether lines from the sonnets reveal his sexuality

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November 27 2014

Tales From the Crypt: Mystery of 'Vampire' Burials in Poland Is Solved


The mystery behind several "vampire" burials in Poland has been solved.

People who were buried with sickles (curved, sharp farming knives) around their necks, or rocks at their jaws, to prevent their corpses from reanimating were natives to the area in which they were buried, according to a new study.

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November 27 2014

Colorado Mastodon Bones Show Ancient Warmer Earth


A trove of ancient bones from gigantic animals discovered in the Colorado mountains is providing scientists with a fascinating look at what happened about 120,000 years ago when the Earth got as warm as it is today.

Evidence left behind by mastodons, mammoths, giant sloths and huge bison — along with insects, plants, pollen and other animals — offers a glimpse at how ancient animal adapted to climate change.

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November 27 2014

New species of dinosaur discovered lying forgotten in a museum


A palaeontologist from our University studying fossils that were kept in a museum in Canada for over 75 years has discovered a new species of dinosaur.

Dr Nick Longrich from our University studied the fossilised bones of two horned dinosaurs from the ceratopsian family and found that they were in fact two previously unknown species.


Related: Italian natural history museums on the verge of collapse?

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November 27 2014

First digital animal will be perfect copy of real worm


Next year the world’s first digital animal will be born inside a computer. Could its descendants be conscious?

THE Lego robot trundles forward, encounters a wall, stops, reverses. You might think there is nothing clever about that, except that this one has not been programmed to tell it when to stop and when to turn. Instead, it has an artificial brain precisely modelled on that of a nematode worm. WormBot is part of an effort to build the world's first digital animal.

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November 27 2014

Making fuel out of thin air


In a discovery that experts say could revolutionise fuel cell technology, scientists have found that graphene, the world's thinnest, strongest and most impermeable material, can allow protons to pass through it.

The new discovery reported in the journal Nature raises the possibility that graphene membranes could one day be used to "sieve" hydrogen gas directly from the atmosphere to generate electricity.

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November 27 2014

Is Phobos doomed?


"All these worlds are yours except Europa, attempt no landing there."

As much as I love Arthur C. Clarke and his books, I've got to disagree with his judgement on which moons we should be avoiding. Europa is awesome. It's probably got a vast liquid ocean underneath its icy surface. There might even be life swimming down there, ready to be discovered. Giant freaky Europa whales or some kind of alien sharknado. Oh man, I just had the BEST idea for a movie.

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November 27 2014

Earth DNA survives the extremes of space


DNA hitching a ride on the outside of a rocket has survived the launch, space travel and atmospheric re-entry to remain usable upon return to Earth, according to a new study.

The findings reported in the journal PLOS ONE adds to a growing body of evidence showing how some life can survive the extreme radiation, vacuum, and temperatures of space, and still be viable once it finds a safe environment to flourish.

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November 27 2014

Invisible shield found thousands of miles above Earth blocks 'killer electrons'


A team led by the University of Colorado Boulder has discovered an invisible shield some 7,200 miles above Earth that blocks so-called "killer electrons," which whip around the planet at near-light speed and have been known to threaten astronauts, fry satellites and degrade space systems during intense solar storms.

The barrier to the particle motion was discovered in the Van Allen radiation belts, two doughnut-shaped rings above Earth that are filled with high-energy electrons and protons.

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November 27 2014

Mirrors could replace air conditioning by beaming heat into space


A mirror that sends heat into the frigid expanse of space has been designed by scientists to replace air-conditioning units that keep buildings cool on Earth.

Researchers believe the mirror could slash the amount of energy used to control air temperatures in business premises and shopping centres by doing away with power-hungry cooling systems.

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November 27 2014

Cows with human chromosomes enlisted to fight hantavirus


Humans have been using antibody therapies to treat infectious disease for more than 100 years. Blood plasma from influenza survivors administered to sick patients in 1912 may have contributed to their dramatic turnaround. In the years since, immune proteins from survivors have been administered to infected individuals in an attempt to combat diseases like Lassa fever, SARS, and even Ebola.

It’s hard, however, to find survivors who can donate plasma containing these lifesaving immune proteins.

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November 27 2014

Christian Poincheval Invents Pill That Makes Farts Smell Like Chocolate


France has given the world fragrant perfume and very stinky cheeses, but the country's latest and greatest olfactory contribution may be a pill that makes farts smell like chocolate.

The sweet-smelling product is the creation of Christian Poincheval, a 65-year-old inventor who hails from the village of Gesvres and looks like Santa Claus' younger hippie brother.

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November 27 2014

Dogs hear our words and how we say them


When people hear another person talking to them, they respond not only to what is being said—those consonants and vowels strung together into words and sentences—but also to other features of that speech—the emotional tone and the speaker's gender, for instance.


Alt: Dogs’ brains may process speech similar to humans’

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November 27 2014

The Sound of Status: People Know High-Power Voices When They Hear Them


Being in a position of power can fundamentally change the way you speak, altering basic acoustic properties of the voice, and other people are able to pick up on these vocal cues to know who is really in charge, according to new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

We tend to focus on our words when we want to come across as powerful to others, but these findings suggest that basic acoustic cues also play an important role.

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November 27 2014

Deep-Sea Dwellers Make A Natural Antibiotic


On hot vents deep underneath the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, there lives something unusual: a gene that fights bacteria. The gene belongs to a microscopic organism, scientifically named Aciduliprofundum boonei, that lives in the extreme environments atop undersea thermal vents all over the world.


Related: Strange Sounds of the Deep Dark Sea

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November 27 2014

Hundreds report mystery 'explosion' in Manchester


A mysterious explosion heard across parts of Manchester and Salford remains unexplained.

Hundreds of people took to social media to describe hearing a "loud bang" at about 22:30 GMT on Monday.

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November 26 2014

Converting Human-Generated Waste Into Fuel in Space


Who would've known human waste could be used to propel spacecraft from the moon back to Earth? Researchers responded to the call from NASA and came up with a process to convert waste to methane and propel spacecraft to Earth.

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News desk archive...

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