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March 6 2015

Nasa finds evidence of a vast ancient ocean on Mars


A massive ancient ocean once covered nearly half of the northern hemisphere of Mars making the planet a more promising place for alien life to have gained a foothold, Nasa scientists say.

The huge body of water spread over a fifth of the planet’s surface, as great a portion as the Atlantic covers the Earth, and was a mile deep in places. In total, the ocean held 20 million cubic kilometres of water, or more than is found in the Arctic Ocean, the researchers found.

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March 6 2015

Breakthrough in energy harvesting could power life on Mars


Martian colonists could use an innovative new technique to harvest energy from carbon dioxide thanks to research pioneered at Northumbria University, Newcastle.

The technique, which has been proven for the first time by researchers at Northumbria, has been published in the prestigious journal Nature Communications.

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March 6 2015

Hunt for Dwarf Planet Ceres' Mysterious Water Begins


TNASA’s Dawn spacecraft is about to make its second and final stop during its exploration of the asteroid belt and it is already returning some stunning images that are creating more questions than answers.

After leaving massive asteroid Vesta’s orbit in 2012, Dawn has traveled through the asteroid belt that occupies the region between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter to rendezvous with 600 mile-wide dwarf planet Ceres — the first spacecraft ever to orbit two celestial bodies during its mission.


Related: Mysterious Dwarf Planet Ceres May Be Ripe for Life

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March 6 2015

The Higgs Boson May Disintegrate into Dark Matter


The hunt for the source of dark matter is one of the most hotly anticipated searches of our time and the Higgs boson might be able to light the way to a possible dark matter discovery.

Confirmation of a Higgs boson discovery came in 2012 after a multi-decade search. Theorized in the 1960&#8242;s, experiments at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) near Geneva, Switzerland, decades later confirmed the particle’s decay signature, eventually leading to the 2013 Nobel Prize for Physics being awarded to Peter Higgs and François Englert, two of the key physicists who laid out the theoretical framework for the particle.

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March 6 2015

Australia Uses the Motion of the Ocean to Generate Electricity and Desalinate Water Simultaneously


It’s not the size of the buoy that counts. It’s the motion in the ocean.

Actually, both are pretty important. At least, they are when it comes to Australia’s new CETO 5 system: “The first array of wave power generators to be connected to an electricity grid in Australia and worldwide" according to Australian Renewable Energy Agency CEO Ivor Frischknecht. As of February 18, that system has been channeling clean, efficient, zero-emission energy into Australia’s power grid, providing electricity to the country’s largest naval base.

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March 6 2015

Woman Controls a Fighter Jet Sim Using Only Her Mind


All Jan Sheuermann wanted to do was feed herself some chocolate. She ended up piloting the world’s most expensive fighter jet.

Sheuermann is quadriplegic, unable to move her arms and legs due to a neurodegenerative disease. So when scientists from the military’s future-science arm Darpa and the University of Pittsburgh’s Human Engineering Research Laboratories approached her in 2012 about plugging her brain into a robotic arm, the most she hoped for was the ability to serve herself some candy.

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March 6 2015

Cyborg cockroach has its nerves controlled wirelessly


Resistance is futile for this remotely controlled cockroach. It has had a battery-powered microcontroller plugged into its nervous system, and its will is no longer its own.

The "backpack" sends electrical signals that can control the roach's direction of movement and gait. A wireless receiver means the creepy-crawly can be governed from afar.

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March 6 2015

Ringling Bros. to Retire Its Circus Elephants


After 145 years of featuring elephants in its circus acts, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey announced Thursday that it will retire its elephant herd by 2018.

"This decision was not easy, but it is in the best interest of our company, our elephants and our customers," said Kenneth Feld, chairman and CEO of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey's parent company, Feld Entertainment, in a press release.

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March 6 2015

'Extinct' Bird Rediscovered in Myanmar, Surprising Scientists


A bird thought to have gone the way of the dodo decades ago has been rediscovered in Myanmar (Burma), scientists reported Thursday.

A team led by the Wildlife Conservation Society stumbled upon the bird, a Myanmar Jerdon's babbler, last May while studying other birds in a small grassland area near an abandoned agricultural research station.


Related: New monkey species discovered in the Amazon rainforest

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March 6 2015

After 400 Million Years, Coelacanth at Risk of Extinction


It may have hidden in the ocean for millions of years, but life today poses numerous challenges for the West Indian Ocean coelacanth (Latimeria chalumnae), the “living fossil” fish that was famously rediscovered off the coast of South Africa in 1938. The few areas in which the fish still swim face destruction from new port construction while the coelacanths themselves risk being caught up in fishing nets intended for sharks.


Related: New Australian Moth a 'Living Dinosaur'

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March 6 2015

After Menopause, Killer Whale Moms Become Pod Leaders


As one of only a handful of animals on the planet to live many years after menopause, killer whales have just provided new insight into the benefits of this seemingly strange reproductive strategy. Females that are past their child-bearing years go on to become group leaders with valuable survival skills, scientists report today in the journal Current Biology.

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March 6 2015

Determining recipes for some of the world's oldest preserved beers


Some breweries have taken to resurrecting the flavors of ages past. Adventurous beer makers are extrapolating recipes from clues that archeologists have uncovered from old and even ancient brews found at historical sites. Now scientists have analyzed some of the oldest preserved beer samples from an 1840s' shipwreck to try to provide insight into how they were made.


Related: 170-Year-Old Shipwreck Beer Smells Gross

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March 6 2015

Hundreds of Medieval Bodies Found Under Paris Supermarket


More than 200 bodies were recently unearthed in several mass burials beneath a Paris supermarket.

The bodies, which were lined up head to feet, were found at the site of an ancient cemetery attached to the Trinity Hospital, which was founded in the 13th century.

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March 6 2015

Study Lends New Support to Theory that Early Humans were Scavengers


In a very real way, it may have been the lion and the long-extinct sabertoothed cat, not the dog, that was ‘man’s best friend’, if we go back far enough into human prehistory.

In a recently published study in the Journal of Human Evolution, author and paleoanthropologist Briana Pobiner of the Smithsonian Institution’s Human Origins Program shows that it was entirely feasible for early humans living on the African savanna as much as two million or more years ago to acquire enough calories simply by lying in wait and scavenging the remains of prey left by lions or big sabertoothed cats after they finished eating the first cuts.

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March 6 2015

Research challenges popular theory on origin of languages


International research involving the University of Adelaide has shed new light on the origins of some of the most widely spoken languages in the world.

Three billion people today speak a language that is part of the Indo-European family of languages, spanning Europe as well as Central, Western and South Asia. But the reason why these languages – such as English, Spanish, Russian and Hindi – are related has been a source of some argument for more than two hundred years.

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March 6 2015

Study finds significant facial variation in pre-Columbian South America


A team of anthropology researchers has found significant differences in facial features between all seven pre-Columbian peoples they evaluated from what is now Peru – disproving a longstanding perception that these groups were physically homogenous.

The finding may lead scholars to revisit any hypotheses about human migration patterns that rested on the idea that there was little skeletal variation in pre-Columbian South America.

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March 5 2015

'First human' discovered in Ethiopia


Scientists have unearthed the jawbone of what they claim is one of the very first humans.

The 2.8 million-year-old specimen is 400,000 years older than researchers thought that our kind first emerged.


Alt: Early human ancestor shaped by climate change, study says

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