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October 10 2014

Undersea Archaeological Sites Hold Crucial Clues To Early Humans


During the ice ages of the last one million years, sea levels dropped as much as 400 ft., increasing the land area of Europe by 40%. That terrain, once home to early humans, is again underwater, and archaeologists have identified artifacts at 2,500 sites. But all of it is threatened by erosion and offshore projects.

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October 10 2014

LSD's ability to make minds malleable revisited


Could taking LSD help people make peace with their neuroses? Psychiatrists in the 1960s certainly thought so. They carried out many studies looking at the effect of LSD and other psychedelics on people undergoing psychotherapy for schizophrenia, OCD and alcoholism.

The idea was that the drug would mimic the effect of hypnotherapy, making people more suggestible and open to changing their thought patterns.

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October 10 2014

Why Saying Is Believing — The Science Of Self-Talk


Self-help videos tell women to learn to love their bodies by saying nice things to themselves in the mirror. Can shushing your harshest critic actually rewire the brain?

David Sarwer is a psychologist and clinical director at the Center for Weight and Eating Disorders at the University of Pennsylvania. He says that, in fact, a mirror is one of the first tools he uses with some new patients. He stands them in front of a mirror and coaches them to use gentler, more neutral language as they evaluate their bodies. The goal, he says, is to remove "negative and pejorative terms" from the patient's self-talk.

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October 10 2014

Is Kindness Physically Attractive?


Which has me wondering: I know beautiful is often perceived as good, but isn’t good also beautiful?

Enter a new study by Yan Zhang and colleagues. The researchers randomly assigned Chinese participants to one of three groups and had them rate 60 photographs of unfamiliar Chinese female faces. All the photographs were taken from Google, and all of the faces had neutral emotional expressions. After two weeks, the participants rated the same pictures again.

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October 10 2014

Your Typing Style Can Reveal Your Emotions


While computers outperform humans in most mathematical tasks and can do complex calculations that people never could, there's one area where machines haven't quite achieved humanlike smarts: emotional intelligence. But now, a new computer program can recognize people's emotions based on how they type, paving the way for computers that could one day be smarter than humans — a concept called "the singularity.".

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October 10 2014

Could this sidewinder snake robot help search and rescue missions?


Meet the sidewinder rattlesnake robot! This mechanical serpent can actually move across sandy surfaces, both flat and inclined -- a feat that has escaped engineers until now.

In a project described in the journal Science, a team led by Georgia Tech researchers ran snakes, both robotic and real, across a challenging sandy slope. The results offer a fresh take on how sidewinder snakes move, as well as new insight into making better search and rescue robots.

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October 10 2014

Hybrid materials could smash the solar efficiency ceiling


A new method for transferring energy from organic to inorganic semiconductors could boost the efficiency of widely used inorganic solar cells.

Researchers have developed a new method for harvesting the energy carried by particles known as ‘dark’ spin-triplet excitons with close to 100% efficiency, clearing the way for hybrid solar cells which could far surpass current efficiency limits.

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October 10 2014

Clean Coal Era Begins


On October 2, the Boundary Dam power plant in Saskatchewan became the first full-sized coal-fired boiler to capture the copious carbon dioxide that had previously billowed from its smokestack, preventing the greenhouse gas from entering the atmosphere. On the resulting invisible stream of hot smoke ride the hopes of combating climate change while still burning fossil fuels.

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October 10 2014

Endangered Orangutans Gain From Eco-Friendly Shifts in Palm Oil Market


Orangutans are endangered. Now, they're also at the epicenter of a quiet revolution, a transformation taking place on our grocery store shelves, as one company after another promises to switch to palm oil from "deforestation-free" sources.

During the past 11 months, more than a dozen major producers, traders, and consumers of palm oil have pledged to produce, buy, or sell only deforestation-free palm oil.

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October 10 2014

New York State Court Hears Landmark Chimp Personhood Case


ALBANY, New York—Can an animal who possesses the essential qualities of personhood ever be considered, in the eyes of the law, a person?

As of now, the answer is no. But a panel of New York state judges yesterday considered that question, which was posed by a group called the Nonhuman Rights Project on behalf of a 26-year-old chimpanzee named Tommy.

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October 10 2014

Turning to Darwin to Solve the Mystery of Invasive Species


“If natives are adapted to their environment and exotics are from somewhere else, why are they able to invade?” asked Dov F. Sax, an ecologist at Brown University.

A big part of the answer may be found in the habitats in which invasive species evolve.

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October 10 2014

Ancient rhino-relatives were water-loving


The discovery of new bones from a large land mammal that lived about 48 million years ago has led scientists to identify a new branch of mammals closely related to modern horses, rhinos, and tapirs, according to a study published October 8, 2014 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Lisa Noelle Cooper from Northeast Ohio Medical University and colleagues.

This family of large mammals, Anthracobunidae, is only known from India and Pakistan and was commonly considered to be ancestors of modern elephants and sea cows. Geographically, this was a puzzling idea, because elephants and their relatives were groups that were known from Africa, not Asia.

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October 10 2014

Buried Treasures Pulled from 'Titanic of Ancient World'


Ancient tableware, lead anchors and a giant bronze spear have been recovered during an expedition to the 2,000-year-old Antikythera shipwreck in Greece.

The treasure-filled sunken ship was first discovered more than a century ago. Now, undersea excavators who are revisiting the wreck say it actually covers a much bigger area than expected.

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October 10 2014

Greek Bronze Age ended 100 years earlier than thought, new evidence suggests


Conventional estimates for the collapse of the Aegean civilization may be incorrect by up to a century, according to new radiocarbon analyses.

While historical chronologies traditionally place the end of the Greek Bronze Age at around 1025 BCE, this latest research suggests a date 70 to 100 years earlier.

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October 9 2014 (updated October 10 2014)

Cave Paintings in Indonesia May Be Among the Oldest Known


The oldest cave painting known until now is a 40,800-year-old red disk from El Castillo, in northern Spain.

Other archaeologists of human origins said the new findings were spectacular and, in at least one sense, unexpected. Sulawesi’s cave art, first described in the 1950s, had previously been dismissed as no more than 10,000 years old.


Alt: Cave paintings change ideas about the origin of art (pictures)

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October 9 2014

Ancient Human Feces May Give Clues on First Inhabitants of the Americas


Ancient human feces preserved more than 14 millenia may provide clues about the first inhabitants of the Americas. Coprolites in Paisley Caves prove that people migrated to the Americas earlier than previously thought. Carbon dating of the feces and other artifacts places them at approximately 12,300 BCE. At that time, Oregon was a grassy plain surrounding a lake. Bison, horse, camel and waterfowl were plentiful in the area and their bones found in the caves. People were collecting a variety of plants and roots which demonstrates a knowledge of the local flora.

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October 9 2014

Skeleton of Possible 'Witch Girl' Found


An archaeological dig in northern Italy has unearthed the remains of a 13-year-old-girl buried face-down -- evidence, archaeologists say, that despite her young age, she was rejected by her community and seen as a danger even when dead.

Dubbed by Italian media as “the witch girl,” the skeleton was unearthed at the complex of San Calocero in Albenga on the Ligurian Riviera, by a team of the Pontifical Institute of Christian Archaeology at the Vatican.

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