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October 28 2014

Space travel damages sperm cells. Houston, we have a problem


Spending a lot of time in the space may damage sperm cells and can also lead to infertility, reveals a new study.

Researchers at the University of Kansas have found that zero gravity situations in the space can affect male as well as female reproductive organs.


Alt: Space may make astronauts infertile, scientists fear, telegraph.co.uk

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October 28 2014

Giant Sunspot Keeps Firing Off Huge Solar Flares


The largest sunspot observed on the sun in more than 20 years has been firing off powerful solar flares for the past week, and it's still producing strong solar storms.

Today, the huge sunspot erupted with a large solar flare, peaking at around 10:47 a.m. EDT (1447 GMT). The flare caused a strong radio blackout on Earth, according to the National Weather Service's Space Weather Prediction Center. This solar flare is the fourth X-flare (the most powerful kind of solar storms) in as many days.

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October 28 2014

Astronomical Find: Ancient Greek Wine Cup May Show Constellations


A 2,600-year-old two-handled wine cup currently on display at the Lamia Archaeological Museum in Greece has long been thought to depict a random assortment of animals.

But the piece of ancient pottery, called a skyphos,may actually contain one of the earliest Greek depictions of the constellations, a new analysis shows.

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October 28 2014

Tomb of Jesus Christ: Shingo, Japan


The small village of Shingo in Japan’s Aomori Prefecture is known not only for its cattle ranches and yam production, but thanks to one rogue cosmoarcheologist the village is also home to the supposed Tomb of Jesus Christ.

According to apocryphal religious writings known as the Takenouchi Documents, it was not Jesus who was crucified on that bloody Golgotha, but in fact it was his younger brother, Isukiri.

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October 28 2014

Turin shroud was made for medieval Easter ritual, historian says


When it is exhibited next year in Turin, for the first time in five years, 2 million people are expected to pour into the city to venerate a four-metre length of woven cloth as the shroud in which Jesus Christ was wrapped after his crucifixion, and on to which was transferred his ghostly image.

Despite the fact that the cloth was radiocarbon-dated to the 14th century in 1988, an array of theories continue to be presented to support its authenticity – including, this year, the idea from scientists at the Politecnico di Torino that an earthquake in AD 33 may have caused a release of neutrons responsible for the formation of the image.

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October 28 2014

Gladiator Gatorade? Ancient Athletes Had A Recovery Drink, Too


So it's A.D. 150, and you've just had a long day at the gym (or ludus), thrusting and parrying with your fellow Roman gladiators. What do you reach for to replenish your sapped strength? A post-workout recovery drink, of course.

Modern-day athletes often nurse their muscles with supplement shakes or chocolate milk after a workout. Similarly, gladiators, the sports stars of the Roman Empire, may have guzzled a drink made from the ashes of charred plants — a rich source of calcium, which is essential for building bones.

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October 28 2014

Revisiting the Age of the Sphinx Controversy with Robert Bauval and Robert Schoch


Nostalgic for the halycon days of the 'alternative Egypt' craze of the 1990s? It seems that two decades later, it's due for a comeback. We already know that Graham Hancock is revisiting the areas covered in his hugely influential Fingerprints of the Gods - presumably including ancient Egypt - in a 2015 release titled Magicians of the Gods. And now two other big names of alternative Egyptology, Robert Bauval and Robert Schoch, have announced they are teaming up to write a book on the 'Age of the Sphinx' controversy.

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October 28 2014

King Tutankhamun did not die in chariot crash, virtual autopsy reveals


A ‘virtual autopsy’ of King Tutankhamun has revealed that he is unlikely to have died in a chariot crash, as has previously been suggested, because he suffered from serious genetic physical impairments.

The autopsy, composed of more than 2,000 computer scans, was carried out alongside a genetic analysis of Tutankhamun’s family, which supports evidence his parents were brother and sister.

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October 27 2014

Stone Age tools: Innovation was local, not imported, in Eurasia more than 300,000 years ago


The analysis of artifacts from a 325,000-year-old site in Armenia shows that human technological innovation occurred intermittently throughout the Old World, rather than spreading from a single point of origin, as previously thought.

The study, published today in the journal Science, examines thousands of stone artifacts retrieved from Nor Geghi 1, a unique site preserved between two lava flows dated to 200,000-400,000 years ago. Layers of floodplain sediments and an ancient soil found between these lava flows contain the archaeological material.

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October 27 2014

Vatican Library digitizes ancient manuscripts, makes them available for free


One of the oldest libraries on the planet is digitizing its archive of ancient manuscripts — and they’re all available to view free of charge.

The Vatican Apostolic Library is undertaking an extensive digital preservation of its 82,000 document collection. Over the course of a few years, with the assistance of Japanese company NTT DATA, the library has catalogued nearly 4,500 manuscripts online — and it hopes to reach the 15,000 mark within the next four years.

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October 27 2014

100-year-old notebook found encased in Antarctic ice is part of Robert Scott's expedition team


Robert Scott was a British explorer who died with his several of his companions on his second expedition to the Antarctic due to starvation, exhaustion and the extremely cold weather. More than 100 years after his death, an artifact from his ill-fated Terra Nova Expedition of 1910-1913 has emerged.

In a statement released on Oct. 20, New Zealand's Antarctic Heritage Trust said that a notebook from Scott's last expedition was discovered trapped in ice in a hut.

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October 27 2014

Supervolcano Cleared in Neanderthals' Demise


VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Neanderthals disappeared from Europe 40,000 years ago, about the same time as the region's biggest volcanic blast in the last 200,000 years. But don't blame the volcano, a new study suggests.

Most of the eruption's climate-cooling pollution spread east, away from Neanderthal territory, according to research presented Monday (Oct. 20) here at the Geological Society of America's annual meeting.

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October 27 2014

Earth hit by double asteroids 458 million years ago


Some 458 million years ago, Earth was whacked in a double asteroid strike, leaving craters visible in Sweden today, space scientists reported on Thursday.

The event, they said, can be traced to "one of the largest cosmic catastrophes" in the history of the Solar System—a mighty collision in the asteroid belt around 12 million years earlier.

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October 27 2014

Complex Life Owes Its Existence To Parasites?


Is complex life rare in the cosmos? The idea that it could be rests on the observation that the existence of life like us – with large, energy hungry, complicated cells – may be contingent on a number of very specific and unlikely factors in the history of the Earth. Added together they suggest that places like this could be exceedingly unusual across the universe. As I’ve pointed out in a previous post, there are some potential flaws to such arguments, largely because of the ways in which we make post-hoc inferences.

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October 27 2014

Hip-hop therapy is new route to mental wellbeing, say psychiatrists


From its roots in rap, graffiti, DJing and breakdancing in the Bronx borough of New York in the 1970s, hip-hop has grown to become a global cultural and commercial powerhouse. But now UK researchers believe they have found a new use for it: as a treatment for mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and depression.

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October 27 2014

This video game might be the future of ADHD and Alzheimer's treatment


On October 6th, I find myself in the gleaming office of a Boston biotech. I've been seated in a clear plastic chair, where I am about to try an experimental medicine for a brain disorder I don't have.

The space is home to PureTech Ventures, the parent company of Akili Interactive Labs, which makes the new medicine. Since December, children in Florida and North Carolina have also tried the treatment as part of a formal clinical trial for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The medicine is unusual because of its delivery system: an iPad or iPhone.


Related: Can Video Games Curb Racism?

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October 27 2014

In the Future We’ll Search in Three Dimensions


Search engines have come to define how most of us interact with digital information. But, if you think about it, they’re still pretty limited. We can search for words and, in recent years, Google Images allows us to search by picture. Want to search, though, for the flavor of apple, or the notes of the song you can’t remember the name to? You’re still out of luck.

However, researchers are making headway in another kind of novel search — searching by 3-D object. And that’s only going to become more useful in a world with growing access to 3-D printers.

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