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April 4 2015

Drywall makes good composting material, study shows


It's not out of a zombie film but it's close: used drywall can help bring dead soils back to life, according to a new University of Alberta study.

M. Anne Naeth, a researcher with the Department of Renewable Resources, and her team wondered whether drywall, with its decomposable materials chock-full of nutrients, would be a good compost additive for use on reclaimed land sites.

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April 4 2015

'Beige' fat-burning cells in humans identified


For the first time, a research team has isolated energy-burning 'beige' fat from adult humans, which is known to be able to convert unhealthy white fat into healthy brown fat. The scientists also found new genetic markers of this beige fat.

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April 4 2015

What did they actually eat at the Last Supper?


As Christians around the world celebrate Holy Week in preparation for Easter, new research has taken a second look at what Jesus and his disciples might have eaten at the Last Supper, finding that it might not be exactly what you would expect.

Generoso Urciuoli, an archaeologist at the Petrie center in Italy and author of the Archeoricette blog on ancient food, told Discovery News on Thursday that the menu likely consisted of a bean stew, lamb, olives, bitter herbs, a fish sauce, unleavened bread, dates and aromatized wine.

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April 4 2015

'Jesus is a MYTH': Christ stories appeared decades after his death, and he was probably many people


Jesus Christ was not a real person and is probably the result of a combination of stories about several different individuals, according to a writer and leading atheist activist.

David Fitzgerald, a San Francisco based author, believes he has compiled compelling evidence that proves Jesus did not exist.


Related: GHMB Community Interview with Peter Gandy on the mystery and history of Jesus
Related: GHMB Interview with Tim Freke on a historical Jesus, and the Mystery Experience

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April 4 2015

Mysterious cave in Yellowstone at center of legal dispute


GARDINER, MONT. — Court filings made public on Monday reference a treasure trove of one-of-a-kind artifacts described as an “American Pompeii” at the center of a legal dispute between the federal government and a Montana rancher, lifting the veil on a long-secret research project at the edge of Yellowstone National Park.

At stake is ownership of hundreds or perhaps thousands of well-preserved animal remains, including fossils of long-extinct mammals, as well as what researchers believe are among the earliest tools and ceremonial objects ever found in the region.


Related: 300,000 year-old eggshells aid in re-construction of Palaeolithic environment

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April 4 2015

Why Did A Group Of Medieval Monks See Part Of The Moon Explode?


In 1178, a group of monks at Canterbury saw the moon suddenly explode into sparks, "writhe," and "take on a blackish appearance." What the hell did they see?

Throughout history people were always mistaking astronomical events for supernatural signs. Sometimes the signs were interpreted as good omens. More often, strange lights in the sky were considered portents of evil.

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April 4 2015

NASA takes its 'flying saucer' for a test spin


On Tuesday afternoon, just about lunch time, a "flying saucer" was undergoing a spin test in a clean room at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

The saucer is technically a 15-foot wide, 7,000-pound aerodynamic test vehicle. It is designed to help engineers try out new technologies for landing spacecraft, and someday people, on Mars.


Related: Planetary Society: We Can Afford to Orbit Humans at Mars by 2033

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April 4 2015

Strange 'Hollows' on Mercury Revealed by NASA Probe as Mission End Nears


Mercury, the barren planet closest to the sun, may seem like a dead world, but new images taken by a NASA probe nearing the end of its life reveal the planet may still be undergoing geological activity.

The new images — taken by NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft — show that Mercury has strange features known as "hollows" (irregularly shaped, flat-floored depressions) that are only a few tens of meters deep and no more than a kilometer in diameter, scientists with the mission said.

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April 4 2015

Twin-sunned 'Tatooine' planets may be widespread, say scientists


Earth-like worlds with two suns in their skies, like Luke Skywalker's home planet of Tatooine in the "Star Wars" films, may be widespread throughout the Milky Way galaxy.

Although a number of gaseous exoplanets have already been spotted in two-star systems, many astronomers had thought that rocky, potentially habitable worlds could not take shape in an environment with such complex and chaotic orbital dynamics.

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April 3 2015

Star's birth glimpsed 'in real time'


Astronomers have witnessed a key stage in the birth of a very heavy star, using two radio telescope views of the process taken 18 years apart.

The young star is 4,200 light-years from Earth and appears to be surrounded by a doughnut-shaped cloud of dust.

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April 3 2015

Black holes don’t erase information, scientists say


Shred a document, and you can piece it back together. But send information into a black hole, and it's lost forever. A new study finds that -- contrary to what some physicists have argued for the years -- information is not lost once it has entered a black hole. The research presents explicit calculations showing how information is, in fact, preserved.

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April 3 2015

Why underground moon cities are slightly less implausible now


THE WOODLANDS, Texas — Earth's moon is rife with huge lava tubes – tunnels formed from the lava flow of volcanic eruptions – and new theoretical work suggests that these features could be large enough to house structurally stable lunar cities for future colonists.

Data from NASA's Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission suggests that lava tubes on the moon could have diameters in excess of more than half a mile (1 kilometer).

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April 3 2015

NASA’s Curiosity Eyes Prominent Mineral Veins on Mars


Two-tone mineral veins at a site NASA’s Curiosity rover has reached by climbing a layered Martian mountain offer clues about multiple episodes of fluid movement. These episodes occurred later than the wet environmental conditions that formed lake-bed deposits the rover examined at the mountain’s base.


Alt: Curiosity Has Hit a Martian Mineral Jackpot

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April 3 2015

DNA can't explain all inherited biological traits, research shows


Characteristics passed between generations are not decided solely by DNA, but can be brought about by other material in cells, new research shows.

Scientists studied proteins found in cells, known as histones, which are not part of the genetic code, but act as spools around which DNA is wound. Histones are known to control whether or not genes are switched on.

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April 3 2015

Artificial Sweeteners May Change Our Gut Bacteria in Dangerous Ways


Many of us, particularly those who prefer to eat our cake and look like we have not done so, have a love-hate relationship with artificial sweeteners. These seemingly magical molecules deliver a dulcet taste without its customary caloric punch. We guzzle enormous quantities of these chemicals, mostly in the form of aspartame, sucralose and saccharin, which are used to enliven the flavor of everything from Diet Coke to toothpaste. Yet there are worries. Many suspect that all this sweetness comes at some hidden cost to our health, although science has only pointed at vague links to problems.

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April 3 2015

Can less TV time cut diabetes risk?


For each hour a person spends watching TV daily, his or her risk of developing diabetes increases by as much as 3.4 percent.

In the same study, researchers also report that a well-known lifestyle intervention already proven to increase physical activity levels and decrease weight has now been shown to successfully reduce participants’ time spent sitting and watching television.

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April 3 2015

AI interns: Software already taking jobs from humans


People have talked about robots taking our jobs for ages. Problem is, they already have – we just didn't notice

FORGET Skynet. Hypothetical world-ending artificial intelligence makes headlines, but the hype ignores what's happening right under our noses. Cheap, fast AI is already taking our jobs, we just haven't noticed.


Related: Video games beat interviews to recruit the very best

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