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September 25 2014

UNESCO to host meeting on controversial 'memory of water' research


The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is potentially wading into hot water next month when it hosts a meeting set up by Nobelist Luc Montagnier to discuss his controversial research on what has become known as "the memory of water."


Related: Think You Know Everything About Water? Well, You Don’t

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September 25 2014

On a Shoestring, India Sends Orbiter to Mars on Its First Try


The Mars Orbiter Mission, or MOM, was intended mostly to prove that India could succeed in such a highly technical endeavor — and to beat China. As Mr. Modi and others have noted, India’s trip to Mars, at a price of $74 million, cost less than “Gravity,” the Hollywood movie. NASA’s almost simultaneous — and far more complex — mission to Mars cost $671 milliony.


Related: How India Mounted the World’s Cheapest Mission to Mars

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September 25 2014

Air-sniffing space probe arrives in Mars orbit. What will it smell?


Mars has welcomed a new robotic visitor from Earth.

After a 10-month journey through deep space, NASA's MAVEN probe arrived in Mars orbit late Sunday (Sept. 21), on a mission to help scientists figure out why the Red Planet changed from a relatively warm and wet place in the ancient past to the cold, arid world it is today.

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September 25 2014

Coronal mass ejections at Mars


Looking across the Mars landscape presents a bleak image: a barren, dry rocky view as far as the eye can see. But scientists think the vista might once have been quite different. It may have teemed with water and even been hospitable to microbial life. What changed?

One theory is that the continuous blast of solar particles from the sun – the constant stream of solar wind, coupled with more extreme explosions such as coronal mass ejections – might have been the culprit.

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September 25 2014

Seat of Selflessness Found in Brains of Extreme Altruists


Altruism has posed a puzzle for psychologists and evolutionary biologists for centuries. Why is it that humans will help others even to their own detriment?

A new study sheds light on the answer to that question by studying the brains of extreme altruists – people on the extreme end of the caring continuum. In this case researchers chose to study people who donated a kidney to a complete stranger.

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September 25 2014

Native tribes from Canada, U.S. sign treaty to restore bison to Great Plains


Native tribes from the U.S. and Canada signed a treaty Tuesday establishing an inter-tribal alliance to restore bison to areas of the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains where millions of the animals once roamed.

Leaders of about a dozen tribes from Montana and Alberta signed the pact during a daylong ceremony on Montana's Blackfeet Reservation, organizers said.

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September 25 2014

Plan Will Protect 770,000 Square Miles of Ocean, Working With World's Governments


The National Geographic Society announced a major expansion Monday of its campaign to help protect the planet's most species-rich marine areas, with a goal of convincing governments to officially safeguard more than 770,000 square miles (two million square kilometers) of ocean.


Related: U.S. Creates Largest Protected Area in the World, 3X Larger Than California

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September 25 2014

Threatened birds of prey 'vanish'


Two of the rarest birds of prey in England, which had been satellite tagged, have vanished in unexplained circumstances, conservationists say.

The young female hen harriers had left their nest sites in Lancashire only a few weeks ago.

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September 25 2014

Cause of Mysterious Butterfly-Shaped Radar Blob Found


A mysterious butterfly-shaped cloud spotted over St. Louis last week was built from actual butterflies, the National Weather Service said.

In a rare coincidence, a giant swarm of migrating monarch butterflies resembled a butterfly on radar for a short time Friday afternoon (Sept. 19). Forecasters suspect a giant cluster of monarchs was flying between 5,000 feet and 6,000 feet (1,525 meters to 1,825 meters) above the ground, heading south to Mexico. Though small, their fluttering wings are good radar targets, the National Weather Service (NWS) said on Facebook. No one saw the butterflies, but the radar signals suggest the "targets" were flapping, flat and biological, similar to a monarch.

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September 25 2014

Brazil releases 'good' mosquitoes to fight dengue fever


Brazilian researchers in Rio de Janeiro have released thousands of mosquitoes infected with bacteria that suppress dengue fever.

The hope is they will multiply, breed and become the majority of mosquitoes, thus reducing cases of the disease.

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September 25 2014

Ancient African fish dust nourishes Amazon


The Amazon is being fertilised by the remains of ancient fish from Africa.

The nutrient-rich material is being carried in millions of tonnes of dust blown across the Atlantic from the Sahara every year.

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September 25 2014

Enigmatic fossils could be oldest known animals


Scientists have discovered some of the oldest multicellular organisms - and possibly the world's first animals - in 600 million year old Ediacaran fossils from China.

A detailed examination of the unusual, small, spheroidal fossilised organisms concludes that they could be the ancient precursors to animals, or a type of multicellular algae.

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September 25 2014

Fossil feces tell ancient human cultures apart


On Vieques Island off the coast of Puerto Rico, two ancient South American tribes coexisted for more than 1000 years, from 5 to 1170 C.E. The Saladoids were known for their white and red painted pottery, as well as their openness to learning from other cultures. The Huecoids, in contrast, were mysterious craftsmen who skillfully carved semiprecious stones and kept to themselves.

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September 25 2014

Did British soldiers plunder Amphipolis Tomb in 1916?


A photograph has emerged depicting soldiers from a regiment of the British Army, proudly holding skulls found around the Amphipolis Tomb in Greece, raising questions about whether they may have plundered the tomb nearly a century ago.

The King's Shropshire Light Infantry (KSLI), a regiment of the British Army formed in 1881, was posted to Thessalonika in Greece in 1915 at the request of the Greek Prime Minister and spent nearly three years fighting the Bulgarians in Macedonia.

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September 25 2014

5 of 6 Syrian World Heritage sites ‘exhibit significant damage’


In war-torn Syria, five out of six World Heritage sites now “exhibit significant damage” and some structures have even been “reduced to rubble”, according to new high-resolution satellite image analysis conducted by the nonprofit, nonpartisan American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

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September 24 2014

Nazca Lines of Kazakhstan: More Than 50 Geoglyphs Discovered


More than 50 geoglyphs with various shapes and sizes, including a massive swastika, have been discovered across northern Kazakhstan in Central Asia, say archaeologists.


Pictures here

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September 24 2014

Beyond Angkor: How lasers revealed a lost city


Deep in the Cambodian jungle lie the remains of a vast medieval city, which was hidden for centuries. New archaeological techniques are now revealing its secrets - including an elaborate network of temples and boulevards, and sophisticated engineering.

In April 1858 a young French explorer, Henri Mouhot, sailed from London to south-east Asia. For the next three years he travelled widely, discovering exotic jungle insects that still bear his name.

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