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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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December 3 2014

First study of 'Golden Age' mandolins unlocks secrets of their beauty


Some of the most elaborately decorated instruments in history were produced in 18th century Naples. The materials for varnishes and decorations used by individual mandolin masters, honed for wealthy clients in the ancient city's labyrinthine artisan quarter, have been kept secret for over 200 years. Details are disclosed for the first time by Tommaso Rovetta from the Università degli Studi di Pavia and colleagues at the Laboratorio Arvedi Research Group in Springer's journal Applied Physics A - Materials Science & Processing.

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December 3 2014

Medieval Libraries Developed A Crude GPS System To Locate Books


It wasn't easy to find a specific book on library shelves in the Middle Ages. The spine title had not yet been invented, and the books weren't published in standard sizes. But readers didn't have to spend hours searching, thanks to an ingenious system that made use of concepts similar to modern GPS.

A book was tagged with a unique identifier (a shelfmark) that was entered into a searchable database (a library catalogue), which could subsequently be consulted with a handheld device (a portable version of the catalogue).

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December 3 2014

Invisible Dark Matter May Show Up in GPS Signals


GPS satellites are crucial for navigation, but now researchers think this technology could be used for an unexpected purpose: finding traces of enigmatic dark matter that is thought to lurk throughout the universe.

Physicists estimate there is nearly six times as much dark matter in the universe as there is visible matter. But despite a decades-long search, scientists have yet to find direct evidence of invisible dark matter, and its existence is inferred based on its gravitational pull on galaxies and other celestial bodies. Without the extra force of gravity from dark matter, researchers say, galaxies wouldn't be able to hold themselves together.

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December 3 2014

Electricity-free air conditioning: A cool idea


AIR conditioning is a transformative technology. It has made the world’s torrid climes pleasanter to live in, and enabled the siesta-free working habits of the temperate regions to move closer to the equator. But cooling buildings takes a lot of energy. Heat must be pumped actively from their interiors to their exteriors. Fully 15% of the electricity used by buildings in the United States is devoted to this task. If an idea dreamed up by Aaswath Raman of Stanford University and his colleagues comes to fruition, that may change. Dr Raman has invented a way to encourage buildings to dump their heat without the need for pumps and compressors. Instead, they simply radiate it into outer space.

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December 3 2014

Rewritable Paper Could Get Us Closer to Paperless


Despite society’s move toward a fully digital world, a good deal of business is still transacted on paper. In some estimates, it’s as high as 90 percent, with a great deal of printed paper discarded after just one-time use.

That waste comes at a cost, not only for the paper but also for the ink.

Scientists at the University of California, Riverside, are working toward a solution. Professor of chemistry Yadong Yin and his colleagues developed a paper that can be written on and erased more than 20 times with no loss in contrast and resolution.

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December 3 2014

In a first, a telescope on Earth spots a 'super-Earth' transiting a sunlike star


Sen—Astronomers have made the first ever observation from a ground-based telescope of a super-Earth passing in front of a star similar to the Sun.

They used a moderate-sized instrument at the international observatory on La Palma, in the Canary Islands, to measure the tiny fade in light caused by the transit.

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December 3 2014

How Planets Get Multiple Suns Like 'Star Wars'' Tatooine


A planet may be forming in a star system with more than one sun, making it sort of like an early Tatooine, the fictional home world of Luke Skywalker in "Star Wars," new research shows.

The finding could help explain how planets orbiting multiple stars are born and, in turn, one day reveal many new potential locations of alien worlds, scientists say.


Related: Binary Earth-Size Planets Possible Around Distant Stars

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December 3 2014

Study is decoding blue light's mysterious ability to alter body's natural clock


A study funded by the National Institutes of Health is unraveling the mystery of how blue light from residential and commercial lighting, electronic devices and outdoor lights can throw off-kilter the natural body clock of humans, plants and animals, leading to disease.

Exposure to blue light is on the increase, says chemist Brian D. Zoltowski, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, who leads the study, "Protein : Protein interaction networks in the circadian clock."

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December 3 2014

How Long You Sleep May Be in Your Genes


The amount of time people spend sleeping is linked with two regions of their DNA, a new study suggests.

In the study, researchers examined data from more than 47,000 people of European ancestry who were participating in ongoing studies in Europe, the United States and Australia, and nearly 5,000 African-Americans. The researchers compared people's genetic information with how long they reported sleeping on an average night.

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December 3 2014

Unlike people, monkeys aren’t fooled by expensive brands


In at least one respect, Capuchin monkeys are smarter than humans — they don’t assume a higher price tag means better quality, according to a new Yale study appearing in the open-access journal Frontiers in Psychology.

People consistently tend to confuse the price of a good with its quality. For instance, one study showed that people think a wine labeled with an expensive price tag tastes better than the same wine labeled with a cheaper price tag. In other studies, people thought a painkiller worked better when they paid a higher price for it.

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December 3 2014

Why Do Human Children Stay Small For So Long?


Why does it take so long for human children to grow up? A male chimp and male human, for example, both end up with the same body weight but they grow very differently: at year one the human weighs twice that of the chimp but at eight the chimp is twice that of the human. The chimp then gains its adult weight by 12 – six years before the human. A male gorilla is also a faster growing primate – a 330-pound male gorilla weighs 110 pounds by its fifth birthday and 265 pounds by its tenth.

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December 3 2014

Vitamin D deficiency, depression linked


Athens, Ga. - Vitamin D deficiency is not just harmful to physical health—it also might impact mental health, according to a team of researchers that has found a link between seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, and a lack of sunlight.


Related: Concussions and depression look alike in brain scans

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December 3 2014

Vitamin supplement successfully prevents noise-induced hearing loss


A way to prevent noise-induced hearing loss has been found in a mouse using a simple chemical compound that is a precursor to vitamin B3. This discovery has important implications not only for preventing hearing loss, but also potentially for treating some aging-related conditions that are linked to the same protein.

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December 2 2014

Human Ancestors Were Consuming Alcohol 10 Million Years Ago


The holidays are packed with opportunities to raise a glass of our favorite boozy beverages and toast family, friends and good fortunes. But our ability to digest rum-spiked eggnog may be due to a massive climate shift that occurred millions of years ago.

Using the tools of paleogenetics, scientists have recently traced the evolutionary history of an enzyme that helps us metabolize ethanol, the principal type of alcohol found in adult beverages.


Alt: Ability to consume alcohol may have shaped primate evolution

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December 2 2014

Found: An Insect-Eating Plant Sealed In Amber


Thirty-five million to 47 million years ago, a carnivorous plant lived in what's now Russia. The dinosaurs were long gone, but various groups of mammals were still just evolving. The plant paid most of its attention, however, to smaller animals. Its leaves sported tentacley hairs that exuded a sticky fluid, designed to trap insects.

Then, one unlucky day, two of the plant's leaves got glopped in the sticky fluid of another plant—a tree, whose sap both killed the leaves and preserved them for human scientists to find. Now, these amber-encased leaves are science's first examples of preserved carnivorous plant traps.

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December 2 2014

American Mastodons Made Warm Arctic, Subarctic Temporary Home 125,000 Years Ago


New findings published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences byan international team of researchers, including Museum Curator Ross MacPhee, are revising estimates of the age of American mastodon fossils—and helping to resolve a quandary about how these extinct relatives of elephants once lived in the Arctic and Subarctic.

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December 2 2014

Scans map the brain as people read ‘Harry Potter’


Scientists have used a chapter of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone to identify what different regions of the brain are doing while people read.

Researchers from the machine learning department at Carnegie Mellon University performed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans on eight people as they read a chapter of the Harry Potter book.

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