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June 27 2014

Near-death experiences are overwhelmingly peaceful


Near-death experiences are rare, but if you have one, it is likely to be overwhelmingly peaceful, however painful it might have been to get to that stage. This is the conclusion from the first study into how the cause of trauma affects the content of a near-death experience.

Such episodes are often described as emotionally rich, involving out-of-body sensations, tunnels of light and flashbacks. They most often occur when a person has been resuscitated after a traumatic event.

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June 27 2014

Chimps like listening to music with a different beat, research finds


While preferring silence to music from the West, chimpanzees apparently like to listen to the different rhythms of music from Africa and India, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association. "Our objective was not to find a preference for different cultures' music. We used cultural music from Africa, India and Japan to pinpoint specific acoustic properties," said study coauthor Frans de Waal, PhD, of Emory University.

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June 27 2014

Is prison contagious?


Incarceration in the United States is frequently described as an epidemic, with per capita rates nearly quadrupling in the past 30 years. African-Americans appear to be particularly susceptible: In 2011, they were six times more likely than whites to be incarcerated, making up 38% of the 1.6 million Americans behind bars while accounting for only 13% of the U.S. population. Now, a computer simulation originally developed to track infectious disease suggests the longer prison sentences that blacks often receive may accelerate the rate of “infection.”

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June 27 2014

Supermassive black hole trio discovered


A distant galaxy containing three supermassive black holes, each millions to billions of times more massive than the Sun, has been discovered 4 billion light-years away.

The trio of black holes is the tightest system known to date, reports an international team of astronomers in the journal Nature.

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June 27 2014

Star-eating star spotted


A star in a neighboring galaxy might have swallowed another star. Sitting about 200,000 light-years away in the constellation Tucana, the star HV 2112 appears to be a red supergiant that has engulfed a neutron star. This strange pair, called a Thorne-Zytkow Object, or TZO, was largely theoretical until now.

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June 26 2014

Curiosity travels through ancient glaciers on Mars


3,500 million years ago the Martian crater Gale, through which the NASA rover Curiosity is currently traversing, was covered with glaciers, mainly over its central mound. Very cold liquid water also flowed through its rivers and lakes on the lower-lying areas, forming landscapes similar to those which can be found in Iceland or Alaska. This is reflected in an analysis of the images taken by the spacecraft orbiting the red planet.

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June 26 2014

Study links Greenland ice sheet collapse, sea level rise 400,000 years ago


CORVALLIS, Ore. – A new study suggests that a warming period more than 400,000 years ago pushed the Greenland ice sheet past its stability threshold, resulting in a nearly complete deglaciation of southern Greenland and raising global sea levels some 4-6 meters.

The study is one of the first to zero in on how the vast Greenland ice sheet responded to warmer temperatures during that period, which were caused by changes in the Earth's orbit around the sun.

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June 26 2014

Neandertals ate their veggies, their feces reveal


Scientists excavating an archaeological site in southern Spain have finally gotten the real poop on Neandertals, finding that the Caveman Diet for these quintessential carnivores included substantial helpings of vegetables. Using the oldest published samples of human fecal matter, archaeologists have found the first direct evidence that Neandertals in Europe cooked and ate plants about 50,000 years ago.

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June 26 2014

Vegetarian diets produce fewer greenhouse gases and increase longevity, say new studies


Consuming a plant-based diet results in a more sustainable environment and reduces greenhouse gas emissions, while improving longevity, according to new research. Based on findings that identified food systems as a significant contributor to global warming, the study focuses on the dietary patterns of vegetarians, semi-vegetarians and non-vegetarians to quantify and compare greenhouse gas emissions, as well as assess total mortality.

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June 26 2014

The Last Tribesman


We all feel lonely from time to time. It is one of the fundamental aspects of human nature for us to desire to share time and space with others of our own kind. When devoid of this contact, we can be pulled down into the dark depths of despair. But can you imagine the extreme loneliness of not only being being truly, soul crushingly alone, but forgotten as well? Can you imagine being the very last of your people?

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June 26 2014

The Bigfoot Law: Celebrating 45 Years of Safety


2014 marks the 45th anniversary of the Skamania County Sasquatch Refuge. The closest thing to official government recognition the creature has ever had.

The year was 1969. Man achieved its first landing on the moon, The Beatles released Abbey Road, and it became illegal to kill Sasquatch.

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June 26 2014

Wolves Might Use Their Eyes to Talk to Each Other


It’s no secret that wolves, foxes, and dogs are highly social animals. But beyond all the wagging, pawing and yipping we like to try to interpret, canids may have yet another way to communicate. New research hints at the possibility that dogs and their ilk could be sending each other signals with their eyes.

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June 26 2014

Source of Disco Clam's Flash Psyches Out Scientists


As mollusks go, Ctenoides ales is quite literally one of the flashiest. A native of the Indo-Pacific region, the creature is known as the disco clam because the soft tissues of its ‘lips’ flash like a mirror ball above a dance floor. A study published today finds that the disco clam achieves this using nanoparticles of silica to reflect light.

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June 26 2014

Butterflies use magnetic compass to fly across America


The monarch butterfly uses a magnetic compass to guide its extraordinary migration thousands of km across North America, scientists say.

Monarchs are known to possess a Sun compass but even on cloudy days they still keep flying south towards Mexico.

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June 26 2014

Older Moms May Live Longer


For women, being able to have children naturally later in life may be a sign that they will live an unusually long time, according to new research.

The link between the ability to give birth at older ages and longevity may be explained by genetic traits that facilitate both, the researchers said.

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June 26 2014

Meet Kodomoroid, Japan's android newsreader


Tokyo: Japanese scientists have unveiled what they say is the world's first news-reading android, eerily lifelike and possessing a sense of humour to match her perfect language skills.

The adolescent-looking "Kodomoroid" - an amalgamation of the Japanese word "kodomo" [child] and "android" - delivered news of an earthquake and an FBI raid to amazed reporters in Tokyo.

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June 26 2014

First demonstration of a self-powered cardiac pacemaker


A self-powered artificial cardiac pacemaker that is operated semi-permanently by a flexible piezoelectric nanogenerator has been developed by researchers. The team's newly designed flexible piezoelectric nanogenerator directly stimulated a living rat's heart using electrical energy converted from the small body movements of the rat. This technology could facilitate the use of self-powered flexible energy harvesters, not only prolonging the lifetime of cardiac pacemakers but also realizing real-time heart monitoring.

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