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August 4 2014

Low testosterone could be what made us civilized humans


No, this isn’t some jab at dudes. According to a study published in Current Anthropology, our transition into modern civilization might have coincided with our species’ drop in testosterone.


Related: Society bloomed with gentler personalities, more feminine faces: Technology boom 50,000 years ago correlated with less testosterone
And: Humans started making art when their personalities got 'gentler'

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August 4 2014

How Death Valley's 'sailing stones' move on their own


For over a century, researchers failed to explain how large stone slabs were moving across a dried lake in America's Death Valley, seemingly with no help. Here's how one man finally solved the mystery.

Located above the northwestern side of Death Valley in Eastern California's Mojave Desert, an exceptionally flat dried lake called Racetrack Playa contains a peculiar phenomenon. Dozens of large stone stabs made of dolomite and syenite - often weighing as much as 318 kilograms - move across the cracked mud, leaving a series of smooth trails behind them.

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August 4 2014

Archaeologists find bizarre burials in Burnt City


An archaeological team, which has been assigned to reconstruct the ancient society of the 5200-year-old Burnt City in a new research project, have found several bizarre burials.

“From 1200 graves, which have been discovered in the Burnt City since 1975 during various archaeological excavations, there are several burials which are very odd and mysterious,” team director Seyyed Mansur Sajjadi told the Persian service of CHN on Monday.

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August 4 2014

New article: Mission Malta - Exploring the Sound and Energy Properties of Ancient Architecture


New article for GrahamHancock.com by Glenn Kreisberg

The ancient mythology of the ancient Greeks spoke of times thousands of years earlier when mythical beings with great powers were part of the cultural landscape. In ancient Greek lore the islands within and lands around the Mediterranean Sea were populated with Centaurs, Cyclops, Gorgons, Minotaur, Hydra, Sirens and many more nasty creatures. The origins of these hostile inhabitants make up the meat of the ancient Greek Mythologies, along with the messages and lessons they hold. They most definitely came from a deeply remote time in the distant past; a time long prior to the technical and scientific terminology first developed by the Greek Civilization, though many of the creatures’ names and powers appear to have a somewhat technical root.

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August 4 2014

The Mysterious Lost Expedition for the City Z


Human beings have always been drawn to the prospect of mysterious, unexplored places. The thought that there is a place beyond our knowledge and understanding out there in some remote corner of the world enthralls us. Likewise, we have always been enamored with the idea of lost jungle cities and mythical lost civilizations. That some place could exist frozen in time and far from the modern world, waiting to be found in some ancient, forgotten corner has been a siren’s call for explorers throughout the ages.

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August 4 2014

Lindow Man: Gruesome discovery who became 'international celebrity'


Thirty years ago, a peat cutter working in the Cheshire countryside spotted what he thought was a piece of wood trundling along a conveyor belt.

"Conserved for nearly 2,000 years by the acidic, anaerobic conditions, it was possible to make out his facial features, a distinctive furrowed brow with close-cropped hair and beard," she said.

"For the first time, it was possible to see the face of a person from Britain's prehistoric past.".

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August 4 2014

Nasa validates 'impossible' space drive


Nasa is a major player in space science, so when a team from the agency this week presents evidence that "impossible" microwave thrusters seem to work, something strange is definitely going on. Either the results are completely wrong, or Nasa has confirmed a major breakthrough in space propulsion.

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August 4 2014

European Spacecraft to Attempt Historic Comet Rendezvous This Week


After a 10-year, 4-billion-mile journey through deep space, a European probe will finally arrive at its comet destination this week.

The European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft is scheduled to rendezvous with Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on Wednesday (Aug. 6). If all goes according to plan, Rosetta will on that day become the first probe ever to orbit a comet — and, in November, the first to drop a lander onto the surface of one of these icy wanderers.

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August 4 2014

UK scientists develop spray-on solar energy cells


Perovskite solar cells, considered one of the major scientific breakthroughs of recent years, could be made available in a spray can after the product was developed by scientists at the University of Sheffield.

This means that solar cells could be applied to almost anything; an electric car could generate energy from its coat of perovskite solar paint.

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August 4 2014

A mathematical theory proposed by Alan Turing in 1952 can explain the formation of fingers


Researchers have shown that BMP and WNT proteins are the so-called 'Turing molecules' for creating embryonic fingers. Findings explain why polydactyly -- the development of extra fingers or toes -- is relatively common in humans, affecting up to one in 500 births, and confirms a fundamental theory first proposed by the founding father of computer science, Alan Turing, back in 1952.

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August 3 2014

Dinosaurs shrank for 50 million years to become birds


It took 50 million years of continual shrinking to turn massive, lumbering dinosaurs into the first small flying birds.

"No other dinosaur group has undergone such a long and extended period of miniaturisation," says Mike Lee of the South Australian Museum in Adelaide. "Statistically this trend was far stronger than by chance, analogous to flipping a coin a dozen times and getting all heads.".

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August 3 2014

Extinct mega penguin was tallest and heaviest ever


Forget emperor penguins, say hello to the colossus penguin. Newly unearthed fossils have revealed that Antarctica was once home to the biggest species of penguin ever discovered. It was 2 metres long and weighed a hefty 115 kilograms.

Palaeeudyptes klekowskii lived 37 to 40 million years ago.

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August 3 2014

Scientists solve 2000-year-old mystery of the binding media in China's polychrome Terracotta Army


Even as he conquered rival kingdoms to create the first united Chinese empire in 221 B.C., China's First Emperor Qin Shihuang ordered the building of a glorious underground palace complex, mirroring his imperial capital near present-day Xi'an, that would last for an eternity.

To protect his underworld palaces, the First Emperor issued instructions that his imperial guard be replicated, down to the finest details, in red-brown terracotta clay, poised to do battle.

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August 3 2014

End of chemotherapy within 20 years as pioneering DNA project launched


Chemotherapy will be obsolete within 20 years, scientists have predicted after launching a landmark project to map 100,000 genomes to find the genes responsible for cancer and rare diseases.

By the time children born today reach adulthood, invasive drugs and their devastating side-effects, will have been replaced by sophisticated medicines that can fix individual faulty genes, according to those behind the project.

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August 3 2014

Q&A: Why Sunni Extremists Are Destroying Ancient Religious Sites in Mosul


Mosul has long been known for its religious diversity. Iraq's second largest city has been home to Persians, Arabs, Turks, and Christians of all denominations since it was first believed to have been settled in 6000 B.C. The ruins of Ninevah, one of the greatest cities in antiquity and former seat of the Assyrian Empire, lie within its modern city limits.


Related: Isis militants 'seize Iraq monastery and expel monks'

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August 3 2014

Hitchhiking robot thumbs its way across Canada


A talking robot assembled from household odds and ends is hitchhiking thousands of kilometers across Canada this summer as part of a social experiment to see if those of its kind can trust humans.

Society is "usually concerned with whether we can trust robots," Frauke Zeller, co-creator of the "hitchBot," told AFP.

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August 3 2014

The Enormous Mission to Rescue the World's Largest Tunneling Machine


Big Bertha was all set to dig a nearly two-mile tunnel in Seattle, but just 1,000 feet into her journey she hit a mysterious object that halted her progress. Now, crews are beginning the process of rescuing her, in what could be the world's largest recovery mission.

The New York Times has an in-depth account of exactly what needs to happen to get Bertha digging again, and it's a massive undertaking.

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