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October 25 2014

Genomic data support early contact between Easter Island and Americas


People may have been making their way from Easter Island to the Americas well before the Dutch commander Jakob Roggeveen arrived with his ships in 1722, according to new genomic evidence showing that the Rapanui people living on that most isolated of islands had significant contact with Native American populations hundreds of years earlier. The findings reported in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on October 23 lend the first genetic support for such an early trans-Pacific route between Polynesia and the Americas, an impressive trek of more than 4,000 kilometers (nearly 2,500 miles).

The findings are a reminder that "early human populations extensively explored the planet,".

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October 25 2014

Humans were living at extreme altitudes 1000 years earlier than thought


After 5 years of scouring the Andes mountains, two graduate students have found the oldest solid evidence that humans were living at extreme elevations by 12,800 years ago. These early settlers of the Americas, known as Paleoindians, camped in a rock shelter and manufactured stone tools in an open-air workshop almost 4500 meters above sea level, indicating that humans lived at least for part of the year at high elevations 1000 years earlier than previously thought.


Alt: Oldest High-Altitude Human Settlement Discovered in Andes

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October 25 2014

Ancient City Ruled by Genghis Khan's Heirs Revealed


Remains of a 750-year-old city, founded by the descendents of Genghis Khan, have been unearthed along the Volga River in Russia.

Among the discoveries are two Christian temples one of which has stone carvings and fine ceramics.

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October 25 2014

Coffee May Protect the Liver


Drinking coffee ó even decaffeinated coffee ó may protect your liver, a large new study has found.

Researchers examined the coffee-drinking habits of 27,793 people who filled out diet questionnaires in a large national health study from 1999 to 2010. The scientists also tracked blood levels of four enzymes that indicate liver function. The study is online in Hepatology.

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October 25 2014

Marijuana use by teenagers does not result in a lower IQ or worse exam results, study finds


Moderate cannabis use among teenagers may not lead to a lower IQ and poorer exam results, a large study of UK schoolchildren has found.


Related: How marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington is making the world a better place
Related: Why Oregon is about to be the poster child for how to legalize and regulate marijuana

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October 25 2014

Rapid Agent Restores Pleasure Seeking Ahead of Other Antidepressant Action


A drug being studied as a fast-acting mood-lifter restored pleasure-seeking behavior independent of ó and ahead of ó its other antidepressant effects, in a National Institutes of Health trial. Within 40 minutes after a single infusion of ketamine, treatment-resistant depressed bipolar disorder patients experienced a reversal of a key symptom ó loss of interest in pleasurable activities ó which lasted up to 14 days. Brain scans traced the agentís action to boosted activity in areas at the front and deep in the right hemisphere of the brain.

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October 25 2014

'Sunshine can slow weight gain and diabetes symptoms'


Exposure to sunshine could slow down weight gain and the development of type 2 diabetes, research on mice suggests.

Writing in Diabetes, scientists from Edinburgh, Southampton and Australia found that shining UV light on overfed mice made them gain less weight.

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October 25 2014

Flare Alert: Monster Sunspot Turns Toward Earth


Just as the US prepares to watch the partial solar eclipse today, nearly 100 million miles away on the sun a possible solar storm is brewing.

Amateur astronomers have been wowed by a vast sunspot that has rotated to face Earth, the largest since this solar cycle began in 2008, and solar observatories (on the ground and orbiting Earth) are closely monitoring the region.

The sunspot, a dark patch in the sunís photosphere, represents intense solar magnetism bursting from the sunís interior known as an active region.

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October 25 2014

Heavy metal frost and a dark mystery: Venus is a strange place


Wednesday, October 22, 2014, 6:24 PM - Venus may be known best for its sulphuric acid rain, crushing atmospheric pressures and hellish temperatures, but the planet is turning out to be even more bizarre, as researchers discover that its mountains are covered in heavy metal frost, and perhaps something even stranger, which is sparking a mystery about our sister world.

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October 25 2014

We Now Know What A Comet Smells Like


As Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko moves closer to the Sun, it becomes more "active," as gases escape from its nucleus through cracks and pores. The Rosetta spacecraft's mass spectrometers have identified the chemical composition of these emissions. If you could smell them, you'd probably wish you hadn't.

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October 25 2014

Robot will beam live Moon pictures to Oculus users


Scientists at Carnegie Mellon University have developed a robot which they plan to land on the Moon to act as eyes for Earth-bound space enthusiasts.

It works in tandem with an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.

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October 25 2014

MIT computer scientists can predict the price of Bitcoin


Scientists have crunched data to predict crime, hospital visits, and government uprisings ó so why not the price of Bitcoin?

A researcher at MITís Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems recently developed a machine-learning algorithm that can predict the price of the infamously volatile cryptocurrency Bitcoin, allowing his team to nearly double its investment over a period of 50 days.

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October 25 2014

Cancer-killing stem cells engineered in lab


Scientists from Harvard Medical School have discovered a way of turning stem cells into killing machines to fight brain cancer.

In experiments on mice, the stem cells were genetically engineered to produce and secrete toxins which kill brain tumours, without killing normal cells or themselves.

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October 25 2014

Thermal paper cash register receipts account for high bisphenol A (BPA) levels in humans


Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical that is used in a variety of consumer products, such as water bottles, dental composites and resins used to line metal food and beverage containers, and also is used in thermal paper cash register receipts. Now, research conducted at the University of Missouri is providing the first data that BPA from thermal paper used in cash register receipts accounts for high levels of BPA in humans.

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October 25 2014

Ancient fingerprint found in Catalhoyuk


Excavations at the 10,000-year-old Boncuklu mound have unearthed finger prints on kiln objects.

The fingerprints are being examined by Dr. Lori Hager, a specialist on the subject.

The fingerprints have been found on broken, nail-sized objects made in a kiln.

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October 24 2014

Mysterious 4,000-Year-Old 'CD-ROM' Code Cracked


A fired-clay disk from the Second Millenium B.C. may finally have had some of its markings decoded.

The mysterious "Phaistos disk," found in 1908 in a palace called Phaistos on the island of Crete, contains symbols on both sides, in a spiral configuration meant to be read from the outside toward the center. It is estimated to date from about 1,700 B.C.


Alt: The 'first CD-ROM': 4,000-year-old Phaistos Disk 'stores' a spiral-shaped prayer to a mother, expert claims

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October 24 2014

Is this the world's oldest secret code?


The Idol is the oldest wooden statue in the world, estimated as having been constructed approximately 9,500 years ago, and preserved as if in a time capsule in a peat bog on the western fringe of Siberian. Expert Svetlana Savchenko, chief keeper of Shigir Idol, believes that the structure's faces carry encoded information from ancient man in the Mesolithic era of the Stone Age concerning their understanding of 'the creation of the world'.

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