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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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July 6 2014

Are Cities Evolving Into Hive Organisms?


Today, more than half of the human population lives in hive-like warrens called cities. Does this mean we are on the tipping point of becoming colony animals the way bees and ants did? It's not entirely impossible. We talked to scientists to find out whether urban humans are evolving into superorganisms.

Before we consider whether humans could form hive minds or colony societies, we first need a working definition of what it means to be an individual.

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July 6 2014

Imperiled Amazon Indians Make 1st Contact with Outsiders


Indigenous people with no prior contact to the outside world have just emerged from the Amazon rainforest in Brazil and made contact with a group of settled Indians, after being spotted migrating to evade illegal loggers, advocates say.

The news, which was released yesterday (July 2), comes after sightings of the uncontacted Indians in Brazil near the border with Peru, according to the group Survival International. Officials with the organization had warned last month that the isolated tribes face threats of disease and violence as they moved into new territory and possibly encountered other people.

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July 6 2014

Whales as ecosystem engineers: Recovery from overhunting helping to buffer marine ecosystems


A review of research on whales shows that they have more a powerful influence on the function of oceans, global carbon storage, and the health of commercial fisheries than has been commonly assumed. The continued recovery of great whales from centuries of overhunting may help to buffer marine ecosystems from destabilizing stresses, including climate change, reports a global team of scientists.

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July 6 2014

Wastewater from energy extraction 'triggers US quake surge'


Massive injections of wastewater from the oil and gas industry are likely to have triggered a sharp rise in earthquakes in the state of Oklahoma.

Researchers say there has been a forty-fold increase in the rate of quakes in the US state between 2008-13.

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July 6 2014

Dark snow: The troubling phenomenon that is accelerating glacier melting


When American geologist Ulyana Horodyskyj set up a mini weather station at 5,800m on Mount Himlung, on the Nepal-Tibet border, she looked east towards Everest and was shocked. The world’s highest glacier, Khumbu, was turning visibly darker as particles of fine dust, blown by fierce winds, settled on the bright, fresh snow. “One-week-old snow was turning black and brown before my eyes,” she said.

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July 6 2014

Biggest void in universe may explain cosmic cold spot


IT HAS been called a bruise on the sky – a curious cold spot in the afterglow of the big bang that has sparked wild cosmic theories attributing it to a run-in with another universe or a wrinkle in space-time.

Now it seems the answer may be a little more mundane: the biggest known hole in the universe.

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July 6 2014

Have We Been Interpreting Quantum Mechanics Wrong This Whole Time?


For nearly a century, “reality” has been a murky concept. The laws of quantum physics seem to suggest that particles spend much of their time in a ghostly state, lacking even basic properties such as a definite location and instead existing everywhere and nowhere at once. Only when a particle is measured does it suddenly materialize, appearing to pick its position as if by a roll of the dice.

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July 6 2014

Astronomy: Planets in chaos


Not so long ago — as recently as the mid-1990s, in fact — there was a theory so beautiful that astronomers thought it simply had to be true.

They gave it a rather pedestrian name: the core-accretion theory. But its beauty lay in how it used just a few basic principles of physics and chemistry to account for every major feature of our Solar System. It explained why all the planets orbit the Sun in the same direction; why their orbits are almost perfectly circular and lie in or near the plane of the star's equator.

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July 6 2014

Magnetic bubble may give space probes a soft landing


PARACHUTES made of plasma trapped in a magnetic field could soon be helping space probes glide safely back to Earth.

Two private aerospace companies have won NASA contracts to demonstrate magnetoshell aerocapture, a way of shrouding a falling spacecraft in a magnetic bubble akin to the plasma shield around Earth. But whereas Earth's magnetosphere protects it from solar radiation, a similar bubble around a spacecraft creates drag, slowing it down. If a test next year proves successful, the technique could help future probes land heavy loads on Mars or bring back human missions to deep space.

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July 6 2014

Young sun's violent history solves meteorite mystery


Astronomers using ESA's Herschel space observatory to probe the turbulent beginnings of a Sun-like star have found evidence of mighty stellar winds that could solve a puzzling meteorite mystery in our own back yard.

In spite of their tranquil appearance in the night sky, stars are scorching furnaces that spring to life through tumultuous processes – and our 4.5 billion-year-old Sun is no exception. To glimpse its harsh early days, astronomers gather clues not only in the Solar System but also by studying young stars elsewhere in our Galaxy.

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July 6 2014

Right Now, On the Moon, Dust is Quietly Levitating


Right now, a couple of feet above the surface of the Moon, a layer of dust is levitating. This is not a new development. Early photos of the Moon show the same phenomenon. What makes this dust float without air?

If we see dust floating around on Earth, we imagine that the wind is picking it up and throwing it around.

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July 6 2014

Why Alien Life Hunt Should Focus on Impact Craters


Asteroid and comet impacts can trigger widespread havoc, killing off life on a global scale. Now, one new study reveals that the molten wreckage of these explosions can entomb the remains of life that once dwelt in the blast zones and preserve them for millions of years, while another study hints that these impacts could even create novel habitats where life can flourish.

These findings suggest that impact craters on alien worlds might be good places to look for past and present signs of life, researchers say.

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July 6 2014

Odd Exoplanet Find Hints at Many Earth-Like Worlds


Astronomers have for the first time detected a rocky alien world in an Earth-like orbit around just one star in a two-star system.

The new find suggests that such worlds may be common, and the strategy used to discover the planet could help reveal more exoplanets in the future, researchers say.

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July 5 2014

First life-friendly exoplanet may not exist after all


Type the name "Gliese 581 d" into a search engine, and you'll find hundreds of tantalising images of an Earth-like world. The exoplanet has been a top contender for the most life-friendly world beyond our solar system since it was discovered in 2007. There's just one problem – it probably doesn't exist.

New analysis of the Gliese 581 star system suggests that signals previously attributed to two of its six suspected planets actually come from sunspot-like regions on the star itself.

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July 5 2014

Discovery expands search for Earth-like planets: Newly spotted frozen world orbits in a binary star


A newly discovered planet is expanding astronomers’ notions of where Earth-like—and even potentially habitable—planets can form, and how to find them. At twice the mass of Earth, the planet orbits one of the stars in the binary system at almost exactly the same distance from which Earth orbits the sun.

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July 5 2014

Plants respond defensively to the sound of caterpillars eating their leaves


Plants respond defensively to the sounds that caterpillars make when eating their leaves, research has discovered.

Scientists at the University of Missouri (UM) found that plants produce more mustard oil, a chemical that is unappealing to many caterpillars, when exposed to the feeding vibrations caused by caterpillars chewing.

For the study, caterpillars were placed on Arabidopsis, a small flowering plant related to cabbage and mustard.

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July 5 2014

Want to improve your cognitive function? Try some whole body vibration!


Have you ever seen those old movies of people using body vibration machines for “exercise” (see photo)? Well, apparently the principle behind those machines isn’t total BS. Although whole body vibration (WBV) might not make you lose weight or get in better shape, it can actually provide some of the same brain-stimulating benefits as exercise. More specifically, as shown by this study, WBV can improve one’s attention and inhibition (the ability to tune out irrelevant stimuli). The authors hypothesize that WBV improves these aspects of cognitive function by producing similar physiological responses as exercise, including increased oxygen uptake and heart rate. I’ll shake on that!.

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