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September 22 2014

Brazil building Amazon observation tower to monitor climate change impact


Brazil is building a giant observation tower in the heart of the Amazon to monitor climate change and its impact on the region's sensitive ecosystem, a newspaper has reported.


Related: New Photos Show Another Troubling Contact with Isolated Tribe

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September 21 2014

First eyewitness accounts of mystery volcanic eruption


New light has been shed on one of the biggest volcanic eruptions in the last 500 years—the so-called 'Unknown eruption'—thanks to an unusual collaboration between a historian and a team of earth scientists at the University of Bristol, UK.

This eruption occurred just before the 1815 Tambora volcanic eruption which is famous for its impact on climate worldwide, with 1816 given memorable names such as 'Eighteen-Hundred-and-Froze-to-Death', the 'Year of the Beggar' and the 'Year Without a Summer' because of unseasonal frosts, crop failure and famine across Europe and North America.

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September 21 2014

Gravity Moved Continents on Early Earth


Plate tectonics is the movement of the crust that builds mountains and opens ocean basins. How this gargantuan process got started on early Earth has been quite a mystery. Now, a new computer model suggests the motion started because of gravity: Whole continents flattened out under their own weight.

That's not how the Earth's crust gets jostled today. Currently the continents and ocean basins all float on the mantle, the layer beneath the crust, which flows like putty.

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September 21 2014

Pharaoh-Branded Amulet Found at Ancient Copper Mine in Jordan


While exploring ancient copper factories in southern Jordan, a team of archaeologists picked up an Egyptian amulet that bears the name of the powerful pharaoh Sheshonq I.

The tiny artifact could attest to the fabled military campaign that Sheshonq I waged in the region nearly 3,000 years ago, researchers say.

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September 21 2014

‘Lost chapel’ skeletons found holding hands after 700 years


Archaeologists from the University of Leicester uncover a trove of relics and remains at Chapel of St. Morrell in Leicestershire.

Some relationships last a lifetime– and University of Leicester archaeologists have discovered that they can last even longer than that after unveiling two skeletons at a lost chapel in Leicestershire that have been holding hands for 700 years.

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September 21 2014

Stanford research shows that working together boosts motivation


When people are treated as partners working together with others – even when physically apart – their motivation increases, according to new Stanford research.

As the study noted, people undertake many activities in life on their own but with others in mind – a researcher writes a paper on a new medical treatment and knows that others are working on the same problem. A student writes an essay for class and understands that other students are writing their own essays.

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September 21 2014

Internet Trolls Are Narcissists, Psychopaths, and Sadists


In this month's issue of Personality and Individual Differences, a study was published that confirms what we all suspected: internet trolls are horrible people.

Let's start by getting our definitions straight. An internet troll is someone who comes into a discussion and posts comments designed to upset or disrupt the conversation. Often, it seems like there is no real purpose behind their comments except to upset everyone else involved. Trolls will lie, exaggerate, and offend to get a response.

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September 21 2014

A more efficient, lightweight and low-cost organic solar cell: Researchers broke the 'electrode barr


For decades, polymer scientists and synthetic chemists working to improve the power conversion efficiency of organic solar cells were hampered by the inherent drawbacks of commonly used metal electrodes, including their instability and susceptibility to oxidation. Now for the first time, researchers have developed a more efficient, easily processable and lightweight solar cell that can use virtually any metal for the electrode, effectively breaking the 'electrode barrier.'.

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September 21 2014

From toilet to table, overcoming the ‘yuk’ factor


Human excrement spread by poor sanitation was to blame for over 9,000 cholera deaths in Haiti, but now, thanks to a simple measure to transform it into nutrient-rich compost, cleanliness has improved - and some enterprising Haitians are able to grow their own fresh food.

Like an oasis in the middle of the desert, Francois France's garden is probably the greenest area in Cite Soleil, the biggest slum in Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas.

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September 21 2014

Ig Nobel Prize winners stop bleeding with pork, make sausage from poop


Would you eat sausage made with bacteria from dirty diapers? Do you fear your cat is making you depressed? Did the “Grilled Cheesus” episode of “Glee” make you wonder whether Finn had lost his marbles?

Scientists have done the research and produced answers to these questions – and plenty more like them. Their work was celebrated Thursday night at the 24th installment of the Ig Nobel Prizes.

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September 21 2014

Creating a 'Bitcoin Island' just off the English coast


Nestled between Ireland and England is the Isle of Man, a self-governing country with a population of just over 80,000. Despite its small size it has its own parliament and sets its own laws; the Queen appears on the back of bank notes here, but tellingly does so without her crown.

This freedom has advantages. It attracted a thriving financial services industry in the 1970s with low taxation, then with a permissive attitude to gambling during the last decade it lured lucrative online betting companies. It's now attempting a hat-trick with crypto-currencies like Bitcoin.

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September 21 2014

Chin strap makes electricity from chewing


Engineers in Canada have built a chin strap that harnesses energy from chewing and turns it into electricity.

They say the device could one day take the place of batteries in hearing aids, earpieces and other small gadgets.

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September 21 2014

A real tiny page turner: The world’s smallest book is produced for $15,000


Two brothers from Canada have come up with a novel idea - a book so small you need an electron microscope to read it.

Teeny Ted from Turnip Town, currently the world's smallest book, is a reproduction of a 30-page tale that fits on the width of a human hair.

The reproduction, which is printed with pure crystalline silicon, cost a staggering $15,000 (around £9,250) to create.

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September 21 2014

Mystery of strange pattern in ground near Coventry


Mystery surrounds a strange pattern carved into the ground near Coventry.

The spiral shape was spotted on satellite maps by a historian researching the fabled Knights Templar, who founded the tiny hamlet of Temple Balsall, near Balsall Common, 1,000 years ago.

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September 21 2014

Scientists twist radio beams to send data: Transmissions reach speeds of 32 gigibits per second


Researchers twist four radio beams together to achieve high data transmission speeds. The researchers reached data transmission rates of 32 gigabits per second across 2.5 meters of free space in a basement lab. For reference, 32 gigabits per second is fast enough to transmit more than 10 hour-and-a-half-long HD movies in one second and is 30 times faster than LTE wireless.

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September 21 2014

Japanese construction giant Obayashi announces plans to have a space elevator up and running by 2050


Once the realm of science fiction, a Japanese company has announced they will have a space elevator up and running by the year 2050.

If successful it would revolutionise space travel and potentially transform the global economy.

The Japanese construction giant Obayashi says they will build a space elevator that will reach 96,000 kilometres into space.

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September 21 2014

India scents victory in Asian space race to Mars


The 1.3-tonne spacecraft, carrying an unmanned probe, is set to enter a Mars orbit after 10 months in space. It is India’s first mission to the planet and will search for evidence of life.


Related: How to Get to Mars: NASA and India Face Big Tests at Red Planet

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