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April 8 2015

Europeans were dark-skinned until 8,000 years ago: Pale skin brought to Europe from Near East


It has been at the root of division and persecution for centuries, but it seems that the white skin of most modern Europeans did not evolve in Europe at all.

Now genetic research has revealed that ancient European populations were dark skinned for far longer than had originally been thought.

Rather than lightening as early humans migrated north from Africa around 40,000 years ago due to lower levels of sunlight, these first Homo sapiens retained their dark skin colour.

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April 8 2015

Natural selection may be growing taller Dutch people


The Dutch have grown in average height by 20 centimeters in the last 200 years. What's behind the growth spurt?

One team of researchers hypothesizes in the April 8 Proceedings of the Royal Society B that it's reproductive advantage.


Alt: Scientists try to answer why Dutch people are so tall

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April 8 2015

Ancestors lost their ability to detect sex pheromones to make men more faithful


We are expected to spend $45 billion on perfumes by 2018, but why are humans so obsessed with smelling fragrant?

A new book suggests that our fascination with scent started with our ancient ancestors and stretches back millions of years.

It could even be the reason why we are able to live in dense societies while living a mainly monogamous lifestyle.

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April 8 2015

Geologists claim stats, science prove Jesus buried in Jerusalem with wife and supposed son


An Israeli geologist believes he has found the tomb of Jesus in Jerusalem, and this time, the tomb of his supposed son is buried along with him.

After 150 chemical tests, Canadian- Israeli filmmaker-journalist Simha Jacobovici and geoarcheologist Arye Shimron claim they’ve reached a scientific breakthrough with theological implications.


Alt: Findings Reignite Debate on Claim of Jesus’ Bones, NYT

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April 8 2015

Native American mound-builder society experienced rapid agricultural development


Researchers are saying that the mound-building Fort Ancient culture of eastern North America experienced a rapid increase in maize production, then went through a slow decline over the ensuing years.

Based on a recent &#948;13C and 87Sr/86Sr isotope analysis study of human tooth enamel sampled from burials at sites associated with the 1000 - 1750 CE Native American Fort Ancient culture.

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April 8 2015

A sledgehammer to civilisation: Islamic State’s war on culture


As masked men with sledgehammers and drills stood amid priceless antiquities in Mosul museum in late February, a narrator on this Islamic state video read a justification for what was about to come.

“The so-called Assyrians and Akkadians and others looked to gods for war, agriculture and rain, to whom they offered sacrifices,” he said. “The prophet Mohammed took down idols with his bare hands when he went into Mecca,” he added, underscoring the seventh-century precedent that the terror group has used to underpin its recent rampages.

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April 8 2015

Archaeologists uncover 4,200-year-old Tombs of ancient Egyptian priests


Though the tombs of two ancient Egyptian priests excavated recently had been vandalized and their bones scattered across the burial chamber many centuries ago, beautiful paintings on the walls and some objects are intact.

The paintings and some artifacts show the priests were involved in the sacred rite of mummification.

The remains of the deceased were in the tombs but had been strewn about. Experts believe the Sixth Dynasty tombs from about 4,200 years ago were vandalized in the Seventh or Eighth dynasties during the 21st century BC.

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April 7 2015

The forgotten pyramids of Sudan


More than 200km from the Sudanese capital Khartoum, the remains of an ancient city rise from the arid and inhospitable terrain like a science-fiction film set. Nestled between sand dunes, the secluded pyramids seem to have been forgotten by the modern world, with no nearby restaurants or hotels to cater to tourists.

The Nubian Meroe pyramids, much smaller but just as impressive as the more famous Egyptian ones, are found on the east bank of the Nile river, near a group of villages called Bagrawiyah. The pyramids get their name from the ancient city of Meroe, the capital of the Kingdom of Kush, an ancient African kingdom situated in what is now the Republic of Sudan.

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April 7 2015

Por Bajin: The mystery hidden in Siberia


ON A small island in the middle of a remote lake in Siberia lies a puzzling sight.

Welcome to the Por Bajin (also spelt Por-Bazhyn) ruins, located between the Sayan and Altai ranges, close to the Mongolian border. It’s an area almost completely unaffected by civilisation.

And nobody knows exactly what the Por Bajin is.

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April 7 2015

Ghostly Faces and Invisible Verse Found in Medieval Text


Ghostly faces and lines of verse previously invisible to the naked eye have been uncovered in the oldest surviving medieval manuscript written entirely in Welsh.

"The Black Book of Carmarthen," dating to 1250, contains texts from the ninth through 12th centuries, including some of the earliest references to Arthur and Merlin.

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April 7 2015

A medieval remedy for MRSA is just the start of it. Powdered poo, anyone?


Earlier this week, we learned that researchers at Nottingham University, having “recreated a ninth-century Anglo-Saxon remedy using onion, garlic and part of a cow’s stomach” were then astonished to find it almost completely wiped out the superbug, MRSA.


Related: Archaeologists unearth medieval graveyard beneath Cambridge College

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April 7 2015

Meet the World’s New Oldest Living Person


The last two known people on Earth born in 1898 have passed away just five days apart, according to the Gerontology Research Group.

Following the death of 117-year-old Japanese woman Misao Okawa last Wednesday, Gertrude Weaver of Camden, Ark., became the world’s new oldest living person at 116 years old. But she passed away Monday morning at the Silver Oaks Health and Rehabilitation Center after complications due to pneumonia.

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April 7 2015

Facebook use linked to depressive symptoms


The social media site, Facebook, can be an effective tool for connecting with new and old friends. However, some users may find themselves spending quite a bit of time viewing Facebook and may inevitably begin comparing what's happening in their lives to the activities and accomplishments of their friends.

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April 7 2015

A dark night is good for your health


Today most people do not get enough sleep. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has called insufficient sleep an epidemic. While we are finally paying attention to the importance of sleep, the need for dark is still mostly ignored.

That’s right. Dark. Your body needs it too.


Related: Night Owls Face Higher Risk Of Metabolic Syndrome Than Early Birds, Regardless Of Sleep Quality

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April 7 2015

Computers that mimic the function of the brain


Researchers are always searching for improved technologies, but the most efficient computer possible already exists. It can learn and adapt without needing to be programmed or updated. It has nearly limitless memory, is difficult to crash, and works at extremely fast speeds. It's not a Mac or a PC; it's the human brain. And scientists around the world want to mimic its abilities.

Both academic and industrial laboratories are working to develop computers that operate more like the human brain.

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April 7 2015

Planes Without Pilots


Mounting evidence that the co-pilot crashed a Germanwings plane into a French mountain has prompted a global debate about how to better screen crewmembers for mental illness and how to ensure that no one is left alone in the cockpit.

But among many aviation experts, the discussion has taken a different turn. How many human pilots, some wonder, are really necessary aboard commercial planes?

One? None?

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April 7 2015

Self-Driving Car Completes Landmark Cross-Country Trip


A self-driving vehicle that made its debut at CES 2015 just completed a 9-day road trip across the United States — and it wasn’t made by Google.

The car equipped by Delphi, an automotive technology company headquartered in England, completed a 9-day trip from San Francisco to New York City, logging nearly 3,400 miles and operating under full automation through 99 percent of the trip.

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