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September 11 2014

Car crash victim wakes up from coma speaking fluent Chinese


Being in a coma for week was reportedly a fast track method of learning Mandarin for this young man.

Ben McMahon, from Melbourne, Australia, would have been happy to just wake up following a serious car crash but he also apparently found he was able to speak the foreign language.

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September 11 2014

Uncanny Valley Not So Uncanny for Lonely People


Loneliness breeds wishful thinking, according to a new study that finds that eerily unrealistic faces seem more realistic to people when they feel isolated and alone.


Related: Depression Alleviated By Feeling Connected to a Group

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September 11 2014

Biologists delay the aging process by 'remote control'


UCLA biologists have identified a gene that can slow the aging process throughout the entire body when activated remotely in key organ systems.

Working with fruit flies, the life scientists activated a gene called AMPK that is a key energy sensor in cells; it gets activated when cellular energy levels are low.


Related: Roll back aging, win $1 million

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September 11 2014

Shattering DNA may have let gibbons evolve new species


Gibbons have such strange, scrambled DNA, it looks like someone has taken a hammer to it. Their genome has been massively reshuffled, and some biologists say that could be how new gibbon species evolved.

Gibbons are apes, and were the first to break away from the line that led to humans. There are around 16 living gibbon species, in four genera. They all have small bodies, long arms and no tails. But it's what gibbons don't share that is most unusual.

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September 11 2014

Scientists discover 3 new mammals that lived alongside dinosaurs


In rocky outcroppings near a cornfield in northern China, paleontologists have unearthed three species of squirrel-like mammals that lived at the same time as the dinosaurs.


Related: Chisel-Toothed Beasts Push Back Origin of Mammals

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September 11 2014

New Answer for Why Hadrosaurs Showed So Much Skin


Some days, it must not have been easy to be a hadrosaur. You're a dinosaur, sure, but it's hard to feel like a badass when your head resembles a duck. On the plus side, these herbivores outlasted more fashionable dinos such as the T-Rex in one respect: They had longer-lasting skin.

Indeed a preponderance of dinosaur skin samples (not actual skin, of course, but fossilized impressions) belong to hadrosaurs. Matt Davis, a fifth-year graduate student in paleontology at Yale University, has suggested a new reason why that might be the case. He proposes in a paper that hadrosaur skin endured because it must have been tougher texturally -- built to last long enough to write itself into the fossil record.

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September 11 2014

Ancient 'Toothy' Dolphin Fossils Found in Peru Desert


The dusty Pisco-Ica desert stretches along the coast of southern Peru, but more than 16 million years ago it may have been covered with sparkling water and home to a now-extinct family of dolphins, known as squalodelphinids, according to new findings.

The desert is a haven for marine fossil hunters — paleontologists have found whales with fossilized baleen, a giant raptorial sperm whale and a dolphin that resembles a walrus, researchers say.

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September 11 2014

Remarkable 17th Century Maps Of The Earth's Interior


Born in 1601, Athanasius Kircher has been hailed as the "last Renaissance Man" owing to his scholarly works in fields as diverse as biology, geology, medicine and technology. Among his most remarkable books was Mundus Subterraneus, a study of the Earth's interior that might have inspired Jules Verne.

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September 11 2014

Ozone layer showing 'signs of recovery', UN says


The ozone layer that shields the earth from cancer-causing ultraviolet rays is showing early signs of thickening after years of depletion, a UN study says.

The ozone hole that appears annually over Antarctica has also stopped growing bigger every year.

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September 11 2014

Iceland Eruption, Largest for a Century, Shows No Signs of Stopping


The largest lava eruption for over a century is currently underway in central Iceland.

Since August 31, liquid rock has been streaming from a mile-long fissure in the plains around Bardarbunga, the country’s second highest volcano. Ármann Höskuldsson, a volcanologist from the University of Iceland, says that the fissure has now spewed more lava, by area, than any eruption since the 19th century.

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September 11 2014

In Bankrupt Detroit, Nature Reclaims Debris Mounds on Vacant Land


DETROIT—On a bright, breezy morning this summer, Orin Gelderloos, a biologist, climbs a steep hillside through a thicket of trees, flowers, and tall grass. He notes the precipitous ravines and admires the elevated view in the otherwise flat terrain.

"This is a very, very interesting combination of things," says Gelderloos, a professor of biology and environmental studies at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. He identifies nine species of plants and six species of trees growing from the mound. "It's a fascinating area.".

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September 11 2014

China Is Mass-Producing Islands To Extend Its Strategic Borders


A dramatic change is taking place in the South China Sea where, since the beginning of this year, Beijing has created at least five new islands by dredging rock and sand and pumping it into reefs to form new land. By doing so, the Chinese are sending a blunt message to its neighbors and the U.S.: Keep out.

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September 11 2014

Internet titans protest ‘fast lanes’ in favor of Net neutrality


Streaming television titan Netflix is among the dozens of websites displaying a dreaded spinning wheel icon Wednesday to rally support for blocking Internet "fast lanes."

It's part of a massive Internet Slowdown protest — joined by dozens of top Internet firms and advocacy groups, including WordPress and the American Civil Liberties Union.

The spinning symbols — usually used to denote a slow-loading page — will not actually slow website performance, but they will link to battleforthenet.com/sept10th, where there are ways to take action to defend Net neutrality.

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September 10 2014

Stonehenge researchers discover site is much larger than previously thought


Stonehenge stood at the heart of a sprawling landscape of chapels, burial mounds, massive pits and ritual shrines, according to an unprecedented survey of the ancient grounds.

Researchers uncovered 17 new chapels and hundreds of archaeological features around the neolithic standing stones on Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire, including forms of monuments that have never been seen before.


Pictures here

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September 10 2014

Three Short Walks Reverse Harmful Effects Of 3 Hours Of Prolonged Sitting


People who sit for prolonged periods, for example office workers at a desk, have a higher chance of experiencing negative health conditions but a study by scientists at Indiana University suggests that just 3 walks of 5 minutes distributed throughout 3 hours of prolonged sitting reverses harm caused to leg arteries.

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September 10 2014

Bacteria from bees possible alternative to antibiotics


Thirteen lactic acid bacteria found in the honey stomach of bees have shown promising results in a series of studies. The group of bacteria counteracted antibiotic-resistant MRSA in lab experiments. The bacteria, mixed into honey, has healed horses with persistent wounds. The formula has previously been shown to protect against bee colony collapse.

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September 10 2014

Oy Vey! European Jews Are All 30th Cousins, Study Finds


If you're European Jewish and meet another European member of the community, odds are you're at least 30th cousins.

A study by an international team suggests the central and eastern European Jewish population, known as Ashkenazi Jews, from whom most American Jews are descended, started from a founding population of about 350 people between 600 and 800 years ago. Further, that group of Jews who experienced this "bottleneck" was of approximately evenly mixed Middle Eastern and European descent.

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