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March 17 2014

Ancient Egyptian Kittens Hint at Cat Domestication


The skeletons of six cats, including four kittens, found in an Egyptian cemetery may push back the date of cat domestication in Egypt by nearly 2,000 years.

The bones come from a cemetery for the wealthy in Hierakonpolis, which served as the capital of Upper Egypt in the era before the pharaohs.

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March 17 2014

Counting Craters: YOU Can Help Map the Moon


Crowdsourcing is the 21st century way of solving big problems. We crowdsource answers to our computer problems, funding for our start ups, and even science itself. A new study comparing the accuracy of crater counting from thousands of volunteers with that of experts shows that crowdsourcing science works.

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March 16 2014

Medieval multiverse heralded modern cosmic conundrums


Like the cosmos littered with stars, the dark ages were sprinkled with beacons of scientific light.

When physicists translated a 13th-century Latin text into modern equations, they discovered that the English theologian who wrote it had unwittingly predicted the idea of the multiverse in 1225. While the work probably won't advance current models, it does show that some of the philosophical conundrums posed by cosmology are surprisingly pervasive.

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March 16 2014

Desktop quantum cloud to hunt elusive space-time waves


QUANTUM rumbles may change the way we look at the universe. A device for detecting sound-like vibrations in ultra-cold gas might confirm the last major untested prediction of Einstein's general theory of relativity.

According to Einstein, violent events in the universe, such as two black holes merging, should cause the very fabric of space-time to ripple, analogous to water when a stone is dropped in a pond.

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March 16 2014

Wireless electricity? It's here


Katie Hall was shocked the second she saw it: a light-bulb glowing in middle of a room with no wires attached.

Looking back, it was a crude experiment, she remembers: a tiny room filled with gigantic cooper refrigerator coils -- the kind you'd see if you cracked open the back of your freezer.

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March 16 2014

Are lightning deaths increasing?


Lightning appears to be killing and injuring increasing numbers of people in developing countries, meteorologists and experts say.

The total casualties could even be higher than other weather-related disasters like floods, landslides and droughts.

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March 16 2014

The five-second rule is real, say scientists


The 'five-second rule' that many of us secretly adhere is an actual scientific measure of how long your food is safe to eat for, according to a group of biologists.

Final-year students at Birmingham’s Aston University found there is a "significant time factor" on the transfer of bacteria from the floor to food - basically, you have five second window to pick it up before it stops being safe to eat.

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March 16 2014

Contagious yawning a mystery: May not be linked to empathy after all


While previous studies have suggested a connection between contagious yawning and empathy, new research finds that contagious yawning may decrease with age and is not strongly related to variables like empathy, tiredness and energy levels. Contagious yawning is a well-documented phenomenon that occurs only in humans and chimpanzees in response to hearing, seeing or thinking about yawning.

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March 16 2014

Your voice betrays your personality in a split second


You had me at "Hello"! It turns out our opening words speak volumes – people take less than a second to form an impression of someone's personality based on their voice alone.

We know that our voices can transmit subtle signals about our gender, age, even body strength and certain personality traits, but Phil McAleer at the University of Glasgow and his colleagues wondered whether we make an instant impression.

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March 16 2014

In a bad mood? Your social networks might be to blame


The next time you feel compelled to share your misery on Facebook, spare a thought for your friends. For mood on social networks is contagious, and spreads to those you are connected to, scientists say.

Researchers in the US analysed over a billion updates from a million or so Facebook users and found that negative posts had a domino effect, causing similarly downbeat posts from others.

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March 16 2014

The Science of ‘Paying It Forward’


ONE morning in December of 2012, at the drive-through window of a Tim Hortons coffee shop in Winnipeg, Manitoba, a customer paid for her order and then picked up the tab for the stranger in the car behind her in line. Then that customer paid the bill for the following customer in line — and so on, for the next 226 customers, in a three-hour sequence of spontaneous generosity.

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March 16 2014

Innovative solar-powered toilet developed by CU-Boulder ready for India unveiling


A revolutionary University of Colorado Boulder toilet fueled by the sun that is being developed to help some of the 2.5 billion people around the world lacking safe and sustainable sanitation will be unveiled in India this month.

The self-contained, waterless toilet, designed and built using a $777,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has the capability of heating human waste to a high enough temperature to sterilize human waste and create biochar.

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March 16 2014

Georgia: What’s Worth More – Gold or Knowledge about Human Origins?


A classic conflict is building in Georgia that pits matters of general interest against private gain, revolving around what many archeologists contend is the world’s oldest gold mine. Scientists and others want to preserve the area for further excavation and study. But the company that holds the mining rights to the site is more interested in seeing its investment pay off.

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March 16 2014

3,000-year-old human remains found in Peru are first from pre-Incan culture


Peruvian officials announced on Friday that archeologists unearthed a burial site this week near the city of Cusco containing human remains that were more than 3,000 years old.

According to the Peruvian news agency Andina, this is the first discovery of human remains from the ancient Marcavalle society, a pre-Incan culture about which very little is known.

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March 16 2014

Gobekli Tepe – Developing tourism & the Urfa region


Göbekli Tepe has become a major factor in the development of the Urfa region. This rising public interest is reflected in a growing stream of visitors on-site.

For this reason, it has become essential that a) adequate facilities are provided for the visiting public and b) sufficient measures are taken to ensure the protection and preservation of the ancient structures.

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March 16 2014

What killed off the giant beasts – climate change or man?


They were some of the strangest animals to walk the Earth: wombats as big as hippos, sloths larger than bears, four-tusked elephants, and an armadillo that would have dwarfed a VW Beetle. They flourished for millions of years, then vanished from our planet just as humans emerged from their African homeland.

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March 16 2014

Ancient Whale Fossils Reveal Early Origin of Echolocation


An ancient whale used sound beams to navigate and stalk prey 28 million years ago, an analysis of a new fossil suggests.

The new whale species, called Cotylocara macei, contains air pockets in the skull similar to those used by porpoises and dolphins to send out focused sound beams.

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March 16 2014

New Pygmy Tyrannosaur Found, Roamed the Arctic


A great discovery came in a small package for paleontologists who've unearthed a new species of tiny tyrannosaur in northern Alaska.

Dubbed Nanuqsaurus hoglundi, the polar pygmy measured about 20 feet (6 meters) long, about half the size of its close relative Tyrannosaurus rex.

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