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Daily alternative news articles at the News Desk for GrahamHancock.com. Featuring alternative history, science, archaeology, ancient egypt, paranormal & supernatural, environment, and much more. Check in daily for updates!

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February 19 2015

Star Buzzed Earth During Neanderthal Times


Seventy thousand years ago, when modern humans were on the verge of migrating from Africa and before Neanderthals died out, an alien star flew through the outer reaches of the solar system.

Passing less than a light-year from Earth, the flyby was the closest stellar near-miss identified so far, scientists reported Tuesday in Astrophysical Journal Letters.


Alt: Alien star system buzzed the Sun

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February 19 2015

Neanderthal groups based part of the their lifestyle on the sexual division of labor


Neanderthal communities divided some of their tasks according to their sex. This study, which analyzed 99 incisors and canine teeth of 19 individuals from three different sites, reveals that the dental grooves present in the female fossils follow the same pattern, which is different to that found in male individuals.


Alt: Women were expected to do household chores 100,000 years ago: Neanderthal females fixed clothing while men made tools

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February 19 2015

Childcare is unequal between sexes because of evolution, study claims


Women's bodies may have evolved to make them better at looking after children because men did not put enough effort in, a new study has suggested.

Research from the University of Bristol suggests that small initial differences which predisposed one sex to care more than the other are exaggerated once the ability to care evolves.

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February 19 2015

Pain Really Is All In Your Head. Emotion Controls Intensity


When you whack yourself with a hammer, it feels like the pain is in your thumb. But really it's in your brain.

That's because our perception of pain is shaped by brain circuits that are constantly filtering the information coming from our sensory nerves, says David Linden, a professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University and author of the new book Touch: The Science of Hand, Heart, and Mind.

"The brain can say, 'Hey that's interesting. Turn up the volume on this pain information that's coming in,' " Linden says. "Or it can say, 'Oh no — let's turn down the volume on that and pay less attention to it.'"

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February 19 2015

Facial attractiveness is predicted by parental income during childhood.


If you’re like most people, you probably think that looks are mostly genetic–either you’re genetically “blessed” with good looks, or you’re not. But apparently it’s not as simple as that. According to this study, facial attractiveness in high school yearbook photographs increases with paternal education and parental income, “with the latter effect being stronger for female subjects.” In other words, rich kids tend to be more attractive, and especially girls. Whether the parents themselves being rich was related to their looks (which might make the effect genetic after all)…well, we’ll leave that for another study.

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February 19 2015

Can microbes pass DNA to their host’s babies?


The DNA of bacteria that live in the body can pass a trait to offspring in a way that’s similar to that of the parents’ own DNA.

According to the authors, the discovery means scientists need to consider a significant new factor—the DNA of microbes passed from mother to child—in their efforts to understand how genes influence illness and health.


Alt: Inflammatory Bowel Disease May Be from Mom's Bacteria, not DNA

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February 19 2015

Neuroscience of Marijuana Munchies


Using marijuana can sometimes compel a person to scoff down large quantities of food. A mouse study published in Nature today (February 18) may reveal part of the reason why. Researchers have found that cannabinoid-induced bouts of “the munchies” occur in mice when the compounds subvert brain cells that normally produce an appetite-suppressing hormone and redirect them to produce an appetite stimulator.

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February 19 2015

Psychoactive Amazonian medicine gaining popularity, may treat health disorders


Until fairly recently, the use of ayahuasca has been the purview of native people living in villages in recondite spots throughout the Amazon rainforest. But over the past decade especially, non-native people have sought the ayahuasca experience, and now this accounts for a full-on tourist boom in some places, most notably Iquitos, Peru, where one can find at least fifty or more ayahuasca-based lodges.


Related: The UK needs common sense about ketamine, by David Nutt

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February 18 2015

Paid sick days and physicians at work: Ancient Egyptians had state-supported health care


We might think of state supported health care as an innovation of the 20th century, but it's a much older tradition than that. In fact, texts from a village dating back to Egypt's New Kingdom period, about 3,100-3,600 years ago, suggest that in ancient Egypt there was a state-supported health care network designed to ensure that workers making the king's tomb were productive.

The village of Deir el-Medina was built for the workmen who made the royal tombs during the New Kingdom (1550-1070 BCE).

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February 18 2015

Real Paleo Diet: early hominids ate just about everything


Reconstructions of human evolution are prone to simple, overly-tidy scenarios. Our ancestors, for example, stood on two legs to look over tall grass, or began to speak because, well, they finally had something to say. Like much of our understanding of early hominid behavior, the imagined diet of our ancestors has also been over-simplified.

Take the trendy Paleo Diet which draws inspiration from how people lived during the Paleolithic or Stone Age that ran from roughly 2.6 million to 10,000 years ago. It encourages practitioners to give up the fruits of modern culinary progress – such as dairy, agricultural products and processed foods – and start living a pseudo-hunter-gatherer lifestyle.

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February 18 2015

1,500-year-old pips may help recreate mysterious 'Gaza wine'


A rich burgundy or crisp chardonnay may be your tipple of choice. But a handful of 1,500-year-old charred grape seeds could help scientists recreate one of the finest ancient wines.

It is the first time that seeds have been found, offering hope that the taste of 'Gaza wine' could finally be revealed.


Related: Divers in Caesarea find largest treasure of gold coins ever discovered in Israel

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February 18 2015

'Mystery' manuscript identified as Buddhist monk manual


A "mystery manuscript" which has been held in Trafford Archives for more than 120 years has finally been identified.


Related: Ancient animal bone suggests Himiko adopted Chinese fortunetelling method

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February 18 2015

Germany returns books worth 2.5 million euros stolen from Italian libraries


German authorities on Friday returned 500 historical books including original works by Renaissance scientists Galileo Galilei and Nicolaus Copernicus, stolen from Italian libraries three years ago, to Naples prosecutors.


Related: Rare bibles and Shakespeare folios in $300m 'wow factor' Princeton bequest
Related: Indigenous leaders fight for return of relics featuring in major new exhibition

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February 18 2015

Possible Anne Boleyn portrait found using facial recognition software


She won the heart of King Henry VIII, divided the church and lost her head. But nearly 500 years after Anne Boleyn met her death, only one uncontested portrait of her remains.

But another portrait from the late 16th century has emerged as a likely painting of the queen. Researchers in California used state-of-the-art face recognition to compare the face on the Moost Happi medal with a number of paintings and found a close match with the privately owned Nidd Hall portrait, held at the Bradford Art Galleries and Museums.

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February 18 2015

'Digital dark age' could leave historians with no records of the 21st century


Technology could mean that our lives are lost to history, according to experts.

As the way that we store information about ourselves develops, memories stored in files that use older technology are becoming harder to access, Dr Vinton "Vint" Cerf, vice president of Google, has warned.

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February 18 2015

Glassed-in DNA makes the ultimate time capsule


IF YOU must preserve messages for people in the far future to read, Blu-ray discs and USB sticks are no good. For real long-term storage, you want a DNA time capsule.

Just 1 gram of DNA is theoretically capable of holding 455 exabytes – enough for all the data held by Google, Facebook and every other major tech company, with room to spare. It's also incredibly durable: DNA has been extracted and sequenced from 700,000-year-old horse bones. But conditions have to be right for it to last.

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February 18 2015

Fungus May Save Crops from Disease and Global Warming


As scientists seek to make crops resilient against disease and the effects of climate change, they are turning to what may seem like an unlikely champion: fungi.

Specifically, they are studying endophytes, a type of fungus (or bacteria) that lives inside plant tissue and has no apparent negative effects on its hosts. Endophytes do, however, provide important protections to plants, which is why researchers are focusing on how the organisms could be used commercially to improve food security.

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