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July 30 2014

Got Milk? Northern Europeans Drank Dairy Much Earlier Than Thought


Farming, including raising cows and consuming dairy products, reached far northern Europe much earlier than thought, according to new research.

Agriculture first took hold about 11,000 years ago in resource-rich, mild climate lands stretching between the Eastern Mediterranean and Persian Gulf. Researchers agree farming and animal husbandry spread northwest through Europe from the Fertile Crescent.

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July 30 2014

Violent aftermath for the warriors at Alken Enge


Denmark attracted international attention in 2012 when archaeological excavations revealed the bones of an entire army, whose warriors had been thrown into the bogs near the Alken Enge wetlands in East Jutland after losing a major engagement in the era around the birth of Christ. Work has continued in the area since then and archaeologists and experts from Aarhus University, Skanderborg Museum and Moesgaard Museum have now made sensational new findings.

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July 30 2014

Was Six-Million-Year-Old Turd Auctioned for $10,000 a Faux Poo?


This past Saturday, a private collector paid $10,370 at auction for what was touted as a six-million-year-old turd. Billed in the auction house catalog as fossil feces measuring "an eye-watering 40 inches in length" and believed to be "possibly the longest example of coprolite ever to be offered at auction"—the squiggle certainly looked the part.

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July 29 2014

Ancient Earth fossils could be found on the moon


Signs of ancient life could be littered across the moon, just waiting for an intrepid explorer to find them. That's according to physicists who tested what would happen if a chunk of rock containing microscopic fossils from Earth were to be launched into space and smash into the lunar surface. Finding one could give us a pristine glimpse into past life on Earth.

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July 29 2014

Will Astronomers Ever Discover Planet X?


In 2005 and 2006, our understanding of the solar system changed in two dramatic ways: astronomers discovered Eris, which would have been the tenth planet, and then—in anticipation of discovering hundreds of similar mini-planets in the outer solar system—reclassified both Pluto and Eris as dwarf planets.

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July 29 2014

Pollution Made It To The South Pole Before The First Explorers Did


The first explorer to ever set foot on the untouched South Pole did so over 100 years ago, in 1911. Although the area may have looked pristine, it had already been contaminated by lead.

A group of research scientists led by Joe McConnell from the Desert Research Institute and Tom Neumann of NASA Goddard just published a new study in Scientific Reports detailing the results of an ice core sampling expedition that traces components found in the ice over the last 400 years.

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July 29 2014

If you can run for 5 minutes a day, you may add years to your life


People who jogged or ran for as little as five minutes a day reduced their risk of premature death by nearly one-third and extended their lives by about three years, according to a new study.

Researchers examined the exercise habits of more than 55,000 adults in the Dallas area who were monitored for six to 22 years. About 24% of the adults described themselves as runners.

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July 29 2014

How facial features drive our first impressions


Whether it's a curled lip or a keen cheekbone, we all make quick social judgements based on strangers' faces.

Now scientists have modelled the specific physical attributes that underpin our first impressions.

Small changes in the dimensions of a face can make it appear more trustworthy, dominant or attractive.

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July 29 2014

Fist bumps, high-fives spread fewer germs than handshakes, study says


To fight the spread of germs, doctors should ditch the handshake and greet their patients with a fist bump instead, a new study says.

Through a series of tests, researchers at the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences at Aberystwyth University in Wales documented that fist bumps are 20 times more hygienic than handshakes. They are also 10 times cleaner than high-fives.

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July 29 2014

Ketamine can be a wonder drug for ER patients, physicians


For critically ill patients arriving at the emergency department, the drug ketamine can safely provide analgesia, sedation and amnesia for rapid, life-saving intubation, despite decades-old studies that suggested it raised intracranial pressure. A systematic review of 10 recent studies of what many emergency physicians regard as a 'wonder drug' has been recently published for review.

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July 29 2014

Elephants Might Be Able To Self-Medicate To Induce Labor


We know that animals have found ways to get themselves drunk or high by eating certain plants or fermented fruit, but recently, scientists have started studying the self-medication of animals — a branch of science dubbed zoopharmacognosy. This is how we discovered elephants might have a way to bring on labor.

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July 29 2014

Eggshells act like 'sunblock', study suggests


The eggshells of wild birds may act like "sunblock", scientists have said.

A range of UK birds' eggs showed adaptations in pigment concentration and thickness to allow the right amount of sun to reach the embryos inside.

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July 29 2014

Social Octopus Species Shatters Beliefs About Ocean Dwellers


If recent octopus discoveries have taught us anything, it's that these eight-armed ocean dwellers are smart. They can use tools, change color in an instant, and commission their arms to solve problems. But they generally do all this as loners.

Now, new research into a surprisingly social octopus is shattering even the most expansive ideas of known octopus behavior.

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July 29 2014

A Tentacled, Flexible Breakthrough


LIVORNO, Italy — For years, roboticists have yearned to develop a flexible machine that can explore tight spaces, repair dangerous equipment and potentially even conform to the human body.

Now one of the first members of this new breed of robots is almost here. It has sinewy arms, a powerful grip and the ability to work underwater without coming up for air.

Yes, it is an octopus.

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July 29 2014

Japan Wants 2020 Robot Olympics Alongside Human Olympics


"In 2020 I would like to gather all of the world's robots and aim to hold an Olympics where they compete in technical skills," said Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last week.

It's about time!

There have been, and are, all kinds of competitive robotics events that take place all over the world.

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July 29 2014

Building 'invisible' materials with light


A new method of building materials using light, developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge, could one day enable technologies that are often considered the realm of science fiction, such as invisibility cloaks and cloaking devices.

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July 29 2014

'Holy grail' of battery design achieved: Stable lithium anode


Researchers report that they have taken a big step toward accomplishing what battery designers have been trying to do for decades -- design a pure lithium anode. All batteries have three basic components: an electrolyte to provide electrons, an anode to discharge those electrons, and a cathode to receive them.

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