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Daily alternative news articles at the News Desk for GrahamHancock.com. Featuring alternative history, science, archaeology, ancient egypt, paranormal & supernatural, environment, and much more. Check in daily for updates!

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August 12 2014

Traffic light hackers could cause jams across the US


BRANDEN GHENA pulls his car up under a traffic light in a city in Michigan. He plugs a radio transmitter into the car's power adapter, connects it to his laptop and, with a few keyboard strokes, takes control of every traffic light in town.

"We were able to advance the light," Ghena says of the experiment, which took place in May. "We could make it turn green."

Ghena, an electrical engineer at the University of Michigan, and his team were exploiting a vulnerability in the light's traffic controller.

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August 12 2014

Machine predicts heart attacks 4 hours before doctors


WHEN someone shouts "Code Blue!" in a hospital, it usually means a patient needs immediate help. An algorithm may be able to make that call 4 hours earlier to head off dangerous situations.

Code Blue events, which include cardiac or respiratory arrest, can be difficult to anticipate. Doctors use a scorecard, known as the Modified Early Warning Score, to estimate the severity of a patient's status by looking at vital signs like heart rate, blood pressure and temperature. Knowing that certain patients are at high risk helps hospitals to lower rates of arrest and shorten hospital stays.

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August 12 2014

Brainy Machines Need An Updated IQ Test, Experts Say


For decades, researchers have used the Turing test to evaluate how well a machine can think like a human. But this gauge of artificial intelligence is 60 years old, and is in dire need of an update, experts say.

To develop a replacement, a group of scientists is planning a one-day workshop at the 2015 meeting of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) January 25-29 in Austin, Texas.

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August 12 2014

Scientists Create a 3-D Model That Mimics Brain Function


Bioengineers produced a kind of rudimentary gray matter and white matter in a dish, along with rat neurons that signaled one another across the doughnut’s center. When the scientists dropped weights on the material to simulate traumatic injury, the neurons in the three-dimensional brain model emitted chemical and electrical signals similar to those in the brains of injured animals.

It is the first time scientists have been able to so closely imitate brain function in the laboratory, experts said.

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August 12 2014

Two-headed dolphin found on Turkey beach


A two-headed dolphin has washed up on a beach in Western Turkey, local media has reported.

The private Dogan news agency said the remains of conjoined dolphin calf were discovered on a beach in Dikili, near the Aegean city of Izmir last week by a Tugrul Metin, gym teacher who was holidaying in the area.

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August 12 2014

World's Oldest European Eel Dies at 155


There was mournful news out of Sweden with the announcement that the world's oldest known European eel had passed away recently at the age of 155, after living through two world wars, the Cold War, disco, punk, grunge, and the advent of the Internet.

'Ale' the Eel was thrown into the well of a cottage in the town of Brantevik in 1859, by a young boy who was merely following the common practice at the time of putting eels in wells so they would eat any insects that might contaminate the water source.

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August 12 2014

Should We Be Exploring The Oceans Instead Of Space?


For some, the irony is almost too much to bear. While Congress is eager to fund a $2 billion expedition to search for oceans beneath Europa, some 95% of Earth's oceans are unexplored. Given the role of oceans in regulating climate, and their untapped potential for food and health, is it time to rethink our priorities?

This debate has been going on for half a century.

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August 12 2014

Seagrass fish feeding grounds 'lost like rain forests'


Underwater fish "meadows" are being lost at the same rate as the Amazon rain forests, researchers have warned.

Seagrass is a key habitat for feeding and sheltering young fish, including plaice, haddock and pollock.

But every hour an area the size of two football pitches is destroyed.

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August 12 2014

Trapped atmospheric waves triggering more weather extremes: Trend expected to continue


Weather extremes in the summer -- such as the record heat wave in the United States that hit corn farmers and worsened wildfires in 2012 -- have reached an exceptional number in the last ten years. Human-made global warming can explain a gradual increase in periods of severe heat, but the observed change in the magnitude and duration of some events is not so easily explained.

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August 12 2014

Ancient civilizations battled climate change long before cars, factories, new study shows


In what is now the Middle East, some of the most ancient, productive farming societies going back as far as 12,000 years ago had to deal with the powerful effects of climate change – similar to what modern society fear today, according a new study.

A team of German researchers working out of Tübingen University collected and examined over 1000 ancient grains of barley from 33 locations across the ancient breadbasket region of which once was the Ancient Near East.

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August 12 2014

Megascale icebergs ran aground near Greenland in last 800,000 years


Scientists have found between Greenland and Spitsbergen the scours left behind on the sea bed by gigantic icebergs. "Whenever icebergs run aground, they leave scours on the seabed. Depending on their depth and location, those markings may continue to exist over long periods of time," explained the lead author. Found at a depth of 1,200 metres, the newly found five lineaments are the deepest iceberg scours found to date in the Arctic.

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August 12 2014

Ancient life forms fed through fractal arms


Is it a tree? Is it a fern? No, it's a rangeomorph, one of the first complex organisms to evolve on Earth. A new analysis of their fossils suggests that rangeomorphs' strange bodies evolved to absorb as much food as possible from the surrounding water.

Rangeomorphs ruled the oceans for around 40 million years, beginning 575 million years ago, in a period called the Ediacaran.

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August 12 2014

Flowering plants revolutionised life on Earth


New evidence from liverworts and beetles shows how the rise of flowering plants 100 million years ago created ideal conditions for a boom in terrestrial life.

Both beetles and liverworts (small moss-like plants) increased in species diversity in response to new ecosystems created by flowering plants, according to two new studies published this week co-authored by Museum scientists.

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August 11 2014

British police raid pub in search for 'Holy Grail'


British police raided an English country pub this week in search of a stolen wooden relic believed by some to be the Holy Grail - a cup from which, according to the Bible, Jesus is said to have drunk at his final meal before crucifixion.

The Grail has captivated religious experts for centuries, spawning myriad theories about its location and inspiring numerous fictional accounts from the Middle Ages onwards.

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August 11 2014

A 300-Year-Old Mexican Jesus Statue Has Real Human Teeth, X-Rays Show


The restoration of a venerated 18th century statue of Christ in Mexico has revealed a somewhat creepy detail — the figure contains real human teeth, and the chompers appear to be in pristine condition.

Researchers at Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) said this week they made the discovery after performing X-rays on the Lord of Patience, as the figure is known, during a restoration operation.

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August 11 2014

Net Loss: Is the Internet Killing Solitude and Downtime?


When it comes to information and connection, we rarely want for anything these days. And that’s a problem, argues journalist Michael Harris in his new book The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We’ve Lost in a World of Constant Connection. Harris suggests that modern technology, especially the smartphone, has taken certain kinds of absence from our lives—it has eliminated our time for solitude and daydreaming, and filled even short moments of quiet with interruptions and distractions. Harris worries that these “absences” have fundamental value in human lives, and maintains that we ought to try to hold on to them.


Related: Hit the Reset Button in Your Brain, NYT

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August 11 2014

BPA-Free Plastic Containers May Be Just as Hazardous


In 2012 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned the sale of baby bottles that contain bisphenol A (BPA), a compound frequently found in plastics. The ban came in response to studies that found the chemical mimics estrogen and could harm brain and reproductive development in fetuses, infants and children. Since then store shelves have been lined with BPA-free bottles for babies and adults alike. Yet, recent research reveals that a common BPA replacement, bisphenol S (BPS), may be just as harmful.

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