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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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May 13 2015

MIT’s Undersea Robots Can Plan Their Own Missions


Engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have a plan to make ocean exploration easier: Let undersea robots make their own decisions.

Scientists use autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) to map the ocean floor, monitor the health of fisheries and study ocean habitats. However, writing computer codes that tell a robot how to accomplish each mission plan is incredibly time consuming at limits the capabilities of AUVs. But MIT’s Enterprise programming system gives AUVs “cognitive” capabilities, which allows them to figure out the best way to accomplish a mission without relying on an engineer’s list of commands.

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May 13 2015

Robot pets to rise in an overpopulated world


University of Melbourne animal welfare researcher Dr Jean-Loup Rault says the prospect of robopets and virtual pets is not as far-fetched as we may think.

His paper in the latest edition of Frontiers in Veterinary Science argues pets will soon become a luxury in an overpopulated world and the future may lie in chips and circuits that mimic the real thing.


Related: Why shaking hands matters (even when it's with a robot)

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May 13 2015

Rats forsake chocolate to save a drowning companion


We’ve all heard how rats will abandon a sinking ship. But will the rodents attempt to save their companions in the process? A new study shows that rats will, indeed, rescue their distressed pals from the drink—even when they’re offered chocolate instead. They’re also more likely to help when they’ve had an unpleasant swimming experience of their own, adding to growing evidence that the rodents feel empathy.

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May 13 2015

Baboons prefer to spend time with others of the same age, status and even personality


New research shows that chacma baboons within a troop spend more of their time with baboons that have similar characteristics to themselves: associating with those of a similar age, dominance rank and even personality type such as boldness. This is known as homophily, or 'love of the same'.

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May 12 2015

Egypt's animal mummy 'scandal' revealed


Scientists say they have exposed a scandal at the heart of Ancient Egypt's animal mummy industry.

A scanning project at Manchester Museum and the University of Manchester has revealed that about a third of the bundles of cloth are empty inside.


Alt: Gallery of Egypt's Mysterious Animal Mummies

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May 12 2015

Mummies' Height Reveals Incest


The height of the pharaohs who ruled ancient Egypt supports historical records that they might have married their sisters and cousins, says new research into 259 mummies.

It's known from historical sources that incestuous marriages were common among the ancient Egyptian royalty. The pharaohs believed they descended from the gods so inbreeding was seen as a way to retain the sacred bloodline.

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May 12 2015

Archive find shows medieval mystic Margery Kempe's autobiography 'doesn't lie'


A 15th-century letter found in an archive in Gdansk and believed to have been prepared for the son of Margery Kempe, who dictated the earliest surviving autobiography written in English, may shed fresh light on the medieval mystic’s remarkable account of her visions and pilgrimages 600 years ago.

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May 12 2015

Researchers find new insight into who drew the Nazca Lines


Researchers have analysed 100 recently discovered geoglyphs engraved into the Nazca Desert in southern Peru, as well as nearby shards of ancient ceramics, providing new clues about the creators of the mysterious Nazca Lines.

It's believed that the huge, complex engravings, which range from simple geometric line drawings to detailed images of animals and extraterrestrial-looking beings, were created by the native local cultures between 200 BC and 600 AD, but very little detail is known about why they were drawn.

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May 12 2015

Viking Age Started Earlier than Previously Thought, Archaeologists Say


Previously, the dawn of the Viking Age has been dated to a June 793 raid by Norwegian Vikings on Lindisfarne. But a new study, led by Dr Steve Ashby of the University of York, UK, shows that Vikings were traveling from Norway to the vital trading center in Ribe on Denmark’s west coast as early as 725.

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May 12 2015

Alaska researchers turn up 12,300-year-old artwork


At the edge of a spruce forest in Interior Alaska, archaeologists have unearthed bone pendants that might be the first examples of artwork in northern North America.

During the last two summers, teams led by the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Ben Potter have expanded the breadth of the Mead Site, a white spruce bench that overlooks Shaw Creek Flats north of Delta Junction.

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May 12 2015

Is this the oldest toy ever found in Europe?


At first glance, it may look like a strange sculpture or even a mangled piece of piping, but this unique object is claimed to be the oldest toy in Europe.

The Thracian bronze artefact in the shape of a stork’s head dates to the Late Bronze Age, between 1,500 and 1,200 BC.

It was discovered by locals near the town of Zlatograd in the Rhodope Mountains of Bulgaria and is made from a mixture of bronze and silver.

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May 12 2015

New dinosaur's keen nose made it a formidable predator, Penn study finds


A researcher from the University of Pennsylvania has identified a species of dinosaur closely related to Velociraptor, the group of creatures made infamous by the movie "Jurassic Park." The newly named species likely possessed a keen sense of smell that would have made it a formidable predator.

The specimen, roughly 75 million years old, was discovered by paleontologist Robert Sullivan in the Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness Area of New Mexico in 1999.

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May 12 2015

'Dino-chickens' reveal how the beak was born


Biologists have created chicken embryos with dinosaur-like faces by tinkering with the molecules that build the birds' beaks.

The research, details of which are published today in Evolution1, does not aim to engineer flocks of hybrid ‘dino-chickens’ or to resurrect dinosaurs, says Bhart-Anjan Bhullar, a palaeontologist now at the University of Chicago in Illinois, who co-led the work.


Alt: Reverse Engineering Birds’ Beaks Into Dinosaur Bones

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May 12 2015

2-Million-Year-Old Skin Found in South Africa


Researchers excavating a site containing Australopithecus remains have announced that one of the fossils had skin on. The six fossils discovered so far have been dated to 2 million years ago and belong to the species Australopithecus sediba, which combined features of both the original Australopithecus, the first erect hominin species, and of modern Homo species. The find is all the more fascinating because, in addition to this being possibly the oldest hominin skin ever discovered, the fossils contain traces of organic matter from the food these ancient human ancestors ate.

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May 12 2015

Million-Year-Old Bubbles Reveal Antarctica's Oldest Climate Snapshot


A whiff of air frozen in ice for 1 million years provides a new snapshot of Earth's ancestral climate.

Scientists uncovered the ancient climate record from Antarctic blue ice. The ice core was drilled from a region called the Allan Hills, about an hour by plane from the McMurdo research station. Bubbles inside the ice are tiny windows into Earth's former atmosphere. Gases such as carbon dioxide and methane were trapped and preserved inside the bubbles when snow fell in the past.

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May 12 2015

Hawaii Aims for 100 Percent Renewable Power by 2045


Hawaii is on the verge of being the first state in the U.S. to set a goal of generating all of its electricity from renewable energy sources.

Under a bill the Hawaii Legislature passed this week, 100 percent of the state’s electricity would be generated with renewables by 2045. If Gov. David Ige approves the measure—he has until the end of June to sign it—it will put the state’s climate goals far ahead any other, and extend Hawaii’s Clean Energy Initiative through mid-century. The initiative aims to reduce the state’s dependency on oil, which generates most of its electric power.

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May 12 2015

Dying Trees Can Send Food to Neighbors of Different Species via ‘Wood-Wide Web’


No tree is an island, and no place is this truer than the forest. Hidden beneath the soil of the forest understory is a labyrinth of fungal connections between tree roots that scientists call the mycorrhizal network. Others have called it the wood-wide web.

The connections are made by the filaments of fungi that grow in and around plant roots and produce many of the forest mushrooms we know and love. They bond trees so intimately that the more you learn about them, the more it is a struggle to view any tree as an individual.

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News desk archive...

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