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Daily alternative news articles at the News Desk for GrahamHancock.com. Featuring alternative history, science, archaeology, ancient egypt, paranormal & supernatural, environment, and much more. Check in daily for updates!

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February 28 2015

One day we could borrow ‘antifreeze’ proteins from ticks to resist cold


Feeling a bit nippy? For now you'll have to stick to your hat and scarf to warm up, but one day some antifreeze proteins from a fish or a tick might do the trick.

In a preliminary study published Wednesday in PLOS ONE, researchers report using specially bred mice -- ones spliced with the genes that give ticks antifreeze cells -- to show that mammals can benefit from the proteins that other species use to keep from icing over.

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February 28 2015

Fungus plays 'biomusic' duet


A duet for slime mould and piano will be premiered at an arts festival this weekend, giving new meaning to the term "culture".

Festival director and musician Eduardo Miranda has put the decomposition into composition: his new work uses cultures of the fungus Physarum polycephalum.

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February 28 2015

Plants Don't Have Mouths, But They Can Sing


A small red alligator clip connects to one of the plant's leaves. Another "grounding" cord is wedged into the soil, at the plant's roots. Both cords connect to a biofeedback machine, which is more typically used to measure changes in the body, such as heart rate, via electrical sensors.

Today, that machine is synced with a synthesizer, which supposedly translates the plant's energy levels, as measured through biofeedback, into audible tones, which are then played through speakers.

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February 28 2015

To save the rainforest, let the locals take control


SATELLITE images of the Amazon rainforest are startling. Islands of green are surrounded by brown areas of land cleared for farming. In places, the brown advances, year by year. But in others, the forest holds firm. Why the difference? Mostly, the surviving green areas belong to local tribes.


Related: King of deforestation cut down: Can logger’s arrest stem tide of destruction in Amazon? - "HE’s known as the King of Deforestation and is thought to be responsible for 20 per cent of recent destruction in the Brazilian Amazon. Ezequiel Antonio Castanha was arrested this weekend for operating a network that illegally seized government lands, cleared them and sold them to cattle grazers"

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February 27 2015

Vertical farm can make 44,000 pounds of tomatoes on the side of a parking lot


The Wyoming town of Jackson gets long and bitter winters. One mile above sea level in a landlocked state, months of heavy snow leave the town unable to grow much of its own produce, forcing it to import fresh fruit and vegetables from other states or other countries. But the creators of a new initiative called Vertical Harvest — a multi-story greenhouse built on the side of a parking lot — hope that one of the world's few vertical farms can help feed the town with tomatoes, herbs, and microgreens.

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February 27 2015

DNA discovery: British people ate imported wheat 8,000 years ago


DNA evidence suggests the hunter-gatherers of Britain were importing wheat from their agrarian neighbors on mainland Europe as much as 8,000 years ago.


Alt: DNA recovered from underwater British site may rewrite history of farming in Europe

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February 27 2015

This 1750 BC Babylonian Tablet Is An Ancient Customer Service Complaint


The ancient Babylonians may not have had Yelp or customer service call centers, but they still recorded their complaints. They just had to do it on clay tablets, like this one, in which a buyer complains about receiving the wrong grade of copper ore.

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February 27 2015

Ancient Bolivians Stripped Flesh from Dead Bodies in Ritual Complex


At an ancient ritual complex in Bolivia, archaeologists discovered the ruins of a room where dead bodies were dissolved down to their bones in sizzling pots of caustic chemicals.

People traveling in llama caravans may have brought their deceased relatives to be "defleshed" in this way at the complex (on purpose) so they could leave with the plaster-coated bones as relics, according to a new study.

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February 27 2015

Prehistoric Crocodile Paradise Discovered in Peru


Northeastern Peru was a crocodile paradise 13 million years ago, as researchers have found the remains of seven different croc species that simultaneously thrived at the once swampy and food-filled site.

The discovery, reported in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, is the largest known number of crocodile species to have ever co-existed in one place at any time in Earth’s history.

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February 27 2015

Fossil reveals hippos related to whales


An ancient relative of the hippopotamus likely swam from Asia to Africa some 35 million years ago, long before the arrival of the lion, rhino, zebra and giraffe, suggests a new study.

Analysis of the previously unknown, long-extinct animal also confirms that cetaceans -- the group to which whales, dolphins and porpoises belong -- are in fact the hippo's closest living cousins.


Related: Baby Woolly Rhino Discovered In Siberia Is The First Ever Found

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February 27 2015

Disappearing lakes stoke megafauna debate


New research into central Australia's ancient lakes has found evidence that climate change contributed to the extinction of the continent's megafauna.

Dr Joshua Larsen from The University of Queensland's School of Geography Planning and Environmental Management, said water resources I Australia were changing significantly about 48,000 years ago when humans arrived and megafauna became extinct.

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February 27 2015

Earth's Worst Mass Extinction Preserved Ancient Footprints


Earth's worst mass extinction may have created ideal conditions for preserving the ancient footprints of giant reptiles on the muddy ocean floor, according to a new study.

Researchers found a spike in fossilized tracks of tetrapods (these early four-limbed vertebrates include amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals) during the early Triassic period, roughly 250 million years ago. This increase may be the result of a mass extinction at the end of the Permian period that wiped out worms and other tiny creatures that typically churn up ocean sediments, leaving behind sticky seafloor conditions that preserved the wading and swimming habits of ancient giant reptiles, the scientists said.

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February 27 2015

Drilling ancient African lakes sheds light on human evolution


How was human evolution and migration influenced by past changes in climate?

This question has led Aberystwyth University researchers to drill day and night to great depths in a dried up lake in east Africa.

The Chew Bahir Drilling Project, in a remote part of south Ethiopia, will provide a sedimentary record of changes in rainfall, temperature and vegetation, spanning the last 500,000 years of human evolution.

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February 27 2015

Study Suggests Chemical "Emulsifiers" In Food Are Disrupting Gut Microbes And Making Us Fat


Emulsifiers are ubiquitous in food products because they help otherwise unmixable ingredients blend together – making salad dressings, ice cream and cream cheese smooth. But in a recent experiment, mice got fat and developed health problems after being fed two common synthetic emulsifiers in doses comparable to those people might be exposed to in processed foods.


Related: Microbes in the Gut Are Essential to Our Well-Being

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February 27 2015

Is the 'love hormone' a buzz kill -- and maybe a treatment for alcoholism?


Love may be intoxicating. But when mixed with alcohol, the hormone that love spurs in humans seems to have the opposite effect: It's downright sobering.

A new study finds the much-ballyhooed "love hormone," oxytocin, appears to dampen the effects of alcohol, and suggests it could someday play a role in treating alcohol dependence and withdrawal.


Related: Heavy Drinkers Have Lowest IQs

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February 27 2015

Study links psychedelic drug use to reductions in psychological distress and suicidal behavior


The National Institute of Mental Health has called for novel ways of thinking about suicidal behavior and new avenues for its prevention. “Treatments involving classic psychedelics may represent one such approach,” according to a new study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

The study found that people who used classic psychedelic drugs tended to have lower levels of psychological distress, and were less likely to experience suicidal thoughts, suicidal planning, or attempt suicide.

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February 27 2015

Music Made for Cats Wins Feline Approval


Music that incorporates everything from purrs to meow-like sounds is gaining feline fans, according to a new study that suggests cats enjoy tunes that are crafted just for them.

The study, which has been accepted for publication in the journal Applied Animal Behavioral Science, adds to the growing body of evidence that many animals respond favorably to species-specific music. This is music that takes into account a particular animal's favorite sounds, hearing range, commonly used tones and other factors.

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