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November 1 2014

Bigfoot: If it exists, here's where to find it


The Gulf Coast Bigfoot Research Organization (GCBRO) is convinced that not only is there a Bigfoot, but there are in fact bigfeet scattered across the countryside, even as many as 30,000 creatures (a number they admit is a "wild guess") from the Pacific Northwest and across the South from Texas to Georgia.


Related: Bigfoot leaves an impression at expo

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November 1 2014

Study: Americans are as likely to believe in Bigfoot as in the big bang theory


Human beings are, in general, a superstitious lot. Our tendency to see patterns where they don't exist, and to falsely apply cause to effect, may have helped keep us alive back when we were little more than a band of frightened critters scurrying about the savanna. Those tendencies linger to the present day, reflected in our stubborn belief in completely irrational things: Rabbit's feet. Horoscopes. A return to the gold standard.


Related: More People Believe in Aliens and Ghosts Than God

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November 1 2014

Pope declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not 'a magician with a magic wand'


The theories of evolution and the Big Bang are real and God is not “a magician with a magic wand”, Pope Francis has declared.

Speaking at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the Pope made comments which experts said put an end to the “pseudo theories” of creationism and intelligent design that some argue were encouraged by his predecessor, Benedict XVI.


Related: Pope Francis Loves Exorcists

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November 1 2014

Scientists propose existence of parallel worlds: challenges foundations of quantum science


Academics are challenging the foundations of quantum science with a radical new theory on parallel universes. Scientists now propose that parallel universes really exist, and that they interact. They show that such an interaction could explain everything that is bizarre about quantum mechanics.

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November 1 2014

Physicists Closer To Understanding What Happened After The Big Bang


Physicists in the College of Arts and Sciences have made important discoveries regarding Bs meson particles—something that may explain why the universe contains more matter than antimatter.

Distinguished Professor Sheldon Stone and his colleagues recently announced their findings at a workshop at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. Titled “Implications of LHCb Measurements and Their Future Prospects,” the workshop enabled him and other members of the Large Hadron Collider beauty (LHCb) Collaboration to share recent data results.

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November 1 2014

Earth's Water Existed 135 Million Years Earlier than Thought


The water that supports life on Earth may have been on the planet much earlier than scientists previously thought, new research suggests.

While the environmental conditions in Earth's early years made it impossible for water to remain on the planet's surface, scientists have found evidence that the ingredients for water were protectively stored inside rocky bodies near our planet — and maybe inside Earth itself.


Alt: Oceans arrived early to Earth; Primitive meteorites were a likely source of water, study finds

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November 1 2014

Oxygen levels were only 0.1% of today's levels for roughly billion years before rise of animals


Geologists are letting the air out of a nagging mystery about the development of animal life on Earth.

Scientists have long speculated as to why animal species didn't flourish sooner, once sufficient oxygen covered the Earth's surface. Animals first appeared and began to prosper at the end of the Proterozoic period, about 600 to 700 million years ago—but what about the billion-year stretch before that, when most researchers think there was also plenty of oxygen?


Alt: Lack of oxygen delayed the rise of animals on Earth

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November 1 2014

Did Deforestation Pave the Way for Ebola Outbreak?


Deforestation is a huge global problem, because it destroys animal habitats, deprives indigenous peoples of their traditional livelihoods and contributes to climate change. But if that doesn’t tip the scale for you, here’s yet another downside to be concerned about. Deforestation might have a role in this year’s outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, which already has killed 4,500 people there. The often-fatal disease now is raising anxiety in the United States, after two Dallas nurses caught Ebola while treating a Liberian refugee who eventually died.

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November 1 2014

Our Ancestors Fought Ebola’s Ancestors


Ebola is new, and humans are new, but as far back as 23 million years ago our mammal ancestors fought, and collectively survived, an aggressive attack by archaic filoviruses whose successors would ultimately evolve to become the Ebola Virus. This is huge news, as scientists had previously believed that filoviruses first began to emerge a mere 10,000 years ago.


Alt: Ebola’s evolutionary roots more ancient than previously thought, study finds

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November 1 2014

Massive geographic change may have triggered explosion of animal life


A new analysis of geologic history may help solve the riddle of the "Cambrian explosion," the rapid diversification of animal life in the fossil record 530 million years ago that has puzzled scientists since the time of Charles Darwin.

A paper by Ian Dalziel of The University of Texas at Austin's Jackson School of Geosciences, published in the November issue of Geology, a journal of the Geological Society of America, suggests a major tectonic event may have triggered the rise in sea level and other environmental changes that accompanied the apparent burst of life.

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November 1 2014

Ice Age Extinctions Could Predict Modern Die-Offs


During the last Ice Age, huge mammals roamed North America. Those mammoths, saber-toothed cats and giant sloths disappeared about 12,000 years ago — the same time as humans arrived and Earth's climate warmed from its glacial chill.

Scientists have long debated the cause of the mass extinction, whether humans or climate change. But now, researchers are beginning to turn from investigating the cause to better understanding its impact. The loss of so many of those large species, or megafauna, could help researchers predict what will happen as modern-day mammals such as elephants, rhinoceroses and tigers disappear.

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November 1 2014

Scientists make enzyme that could help explain origins of life


Mimicking natural evolution in a test tube, scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have devised an enzyme with a unique property that might have been crucial to the origin of life on Earth.

Aside from illuminating one possible path for life's beginnings, the achievement is likely to yield a powerful tool for evolving new and useful molecules.

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November 1 2014

Fragment of ancient Australia found under Vanuatu


A fragment of ancient Australia has been found under Vanuatu in the South Pacific, raising questions about how continents are formed, researchers say.

Experts had believed that the volcanic islands, east of Australia, were isolated from continental influence.

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October 31 2014

Ancient Stone Circles in Mideast Baffle Archaeologists


Huge stone circles in the Middle East have been imaged from above, revealing details of structures that have been shrouded in mystery for decades.

Archaeologists in Jordan have taken high-resolution aerial images of 11 ancient "Big Circles," all but one of which are around 400 meters (1,312 feet) in diameter. Why they are so similar is unknown but the similarity seems “too close to be a coincidence" said researcher David Kennedy.

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October 31 2014

70,000-Year-Old Mammoth Skeleton Uncovered in Idaho


The skeleton of a mammoth was discovered this month on the banks of a reservoir in Idaho. Paleontologists have rescued part of its skull and a tusk, but there could be a lot more buried below the surface.

"We may even have a complete mammoth," said Mary Thompson, a vertebrate paleontologist and senior collections manager at the Idaho Museum of Natural History. "This is very unique for us.".

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October 31 2014

Asteroids closer to home may get us to Mars


Scanning the skies for near-earth asteroids might be the best first step for getting humans to Mars.

In a comment article in the Oct. 30 Nature, MIT planetary scientist Richard Binzel argues that NASA should abandon the Asteroid Redirect Mission, the space agency’s plan to snag a space rock and jockey it into lunar orbit for astronauts to explore.


Alt: Asteroids could be used as ‘stepping stones’ to Mars

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October 31 2014

NASA's plan to capture an asteroid? Bad idea, scientist says


NASA goal to snag an asteroid and bring a space rock close to Earth is a distraction from the effort to send humans to Mars, a top asteroid expert says.

In a commentary in the journal Nature, planetary scientist Richard Binzel of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology calls NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission (a.k.a. ARM) “a multibillion-dollar stunt.” The strongly worded text comes after a National Research Council report in June offered multiple routes to get to Mars -- including the asteroid-snagging plan -- but didn’t recommend one over any other.

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