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When over 200 members of a small Philippine island’s goat population end up strangled with their stomachs ripped open and vital organs removed and the killings just happen to coincide with occurrences of a full moon, there are plenty of mythical creatures to suspect. Filipino folklore has stories of the Sigbin, a goat-like blood sucker with large ears, and the Aswang, a vampire-werewolf combination. But on Sibale Island in the Romblon province, they blame werewolves.
Related: Islanders prepare to fight ‘wolves’
Otzi’s human genome was decoded from a hip bone sample taken from the 5,300 year old mummy. However the tiny sample weighing no more than 0.1 g provides so much more information. A team of scientists analyzed the non-human DNA in the sample. They found evidence for the presence of Treponema denticola, an opportunistic pathogen involved in the development of periodontal disease.
A wall painting, dating back over 4,300 years, has been discovered in a tomb located just east of the Great Pyramid of Giza.
A new species of prehistoric, four-winged dinosaur discovered in China may be the largest flying reptile of its kind.
Animals have used the same technique to search for food that's in short supply for at least 50 million years, a study suggests.
Archaeologists in Norway made an extremely rare discovery when they found an ancient skull believed to date back 8,000 years at a dig site in Stokke, southwest of Oslo. According to a news report in The Local, the skull was found to contain a grey, clay-like substance inside it, which is thought to be the preserved remains of the individual’s brain. If analyses confirm this to be the case, it will constitute one of the oldest brains ever found. Being able to study a preserved brain enables scientists to piece together the individual’s last hours and may also reveal any diseases or pathological conditions such as tumours and haemorrhaging.
Jericho, a Palestinian city on Israel’s disputed West Bank, is the world’s oldest continuously occupied human settlement. Thousands of years before the first proper city was founded in southern Mesopotamia, Jericho’s settlers were hunting game, raising crops, making pottery, and doing very unusual things to the skulls of their dead: covering them in plaster shaped to match the outline of their original faces, putting shells over the eyes, making them suitable for display. It was an act of love or grief or religious fervor, or some no-longer-understood mix of the three.
Researchers studying a collection of skulls in a Spanish cave identified both Neanderthal-derived features and features associated with more primitive humans in these bones. This “mosaic pattern” supports a theory of Neanderthal evolution that suggests Neanderthals developed their defining features separately, and at different times – not all at once.
A recent archeological dig in Mexico shows that gomphotheres — an extinct elephant-like animal believed to have disappeared from North America long before humans got there — actually roamed the continent longer than previously thought. Incredibly, the new evidence suggests these large mammals were hunted by the Clovis people.
Related: Ancient Native Americans Ate Pachyderms; Site Challenges Theory of Where New World Culture Began
Beneath the freeways of East St. Louis in Illinois there lie the ruins of a city built nearly a millennium ago, around towering earthen pyramids. Today called Cahokia, it held as many as 40 thousand people, and their influence spread throughout the southeast U.S. — mostly due the popularity of a game called chunkey.
Sparkly, gold grills aren't just for Flavor Flav; ancient Celts may have sought out flashy smiles as well. Archaeologists have unearthed a dental implant in a grave in France that dates to the third century B.C.
When the going gets tough, the tough get... prejudiced
Puritans, Goths, avant-garde artists, hell-raising poets and fashion icon Coco Chanel all saw something special in it. Now black, that most enigmatic of colours, has become even darker and more mysterious.
The website of Scientific American currently has an excellent feature and interview with 'maverick biologist' Rupert Sheldrake, via science writer John Horgan. Though he considers himself a 'psi skeptic', Horgan's piece is warm and open-minded (we find out that Sheldrake does a good impression of his late friend, Terence McKenna) - very pleasant to see these 'heretical' topics discussed in such a convivial manner for a change.
People tend to choose friends that are genetically similar to themselves, so much so that a person's social circle could be made up of their fourth cousins, scientists say.
It probably won’t come as a surprise that smoking a joint now and then will leave you feeling … pretty good, man. But smoking a lot of marijuana over a long time might do just the opposite. Scientists have found that the brains of pot abusers react less strongly to the chemical dopamine, which is responsible for creating feelings of pleasure and reward. Their blunted dopamine responses could leave heavy marijuana users living in a fog—and not the good kind.
Scientists at a British university have made a major breakthrough in revealing how cannabis could be used as a treatment to prevent the growth of cancer.
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