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We've been making a mess on Mars, but the Red Planet is kind enough to tidy up after us. A study of the scorch marks left by the Curiosity rover and Phoenix lander as they touched down on the surface of Mars has revealed that they fade over time and should take an average of around 2.6 years to disappear.
It takes a lot of ingenuity – not to mention a massive quantity of sheer force – to get satellites into orbit. Now space engineers are applying comparable ingenuity to the challenge of getting their missions out of there, too.
In a landmark decision, Russian space agency Roscosmos and its US counterpart NASA have agreed to build a new space station after the current International Space Station (ISS) expires. The operation of the ISS was prolonged until 2024.
Facebook's ambitious plan to bring internet to the entire world with a fleet of broadband-beaming unmanned aerial vehicles has taken a step closer to fruition. The company's vice president of engineering, Jay Parikh, told The Wall Street Journal that Facebook is planning "a real test flight" of its solar-powered internet drone this summer.
Related: Leave Facebook if you don't want to be spied on, warns EU
A Japanese robot maker says he's designed a personal robot that could be the "next smartphone."
While companies like Amazon are chomping at the bit to launch drone delivery services in the United States, packages are already soaring through the air in China.
Firefighters use water or chemicals to put out fires, but two engineering students at George Mason University have shown that it’s possible to extinguish a blaze using nothing but sound. Seth Robertson and Viet Tran built a device that looks like a traditional fire extinguisher connected to a power unit the size of a small messenger bag, that uses booming bass notes to snuff out flames.
Music displays all the harmony and discord the auditory world has to offer. The perfect pair of notes at the end of the Kyrie in Mozart’s Requiem fills churches and concert halls with a single chord of ringing, echoing consonance. Composers such as Arnold Schönberg explored the depths of dissonance — groups of notes that, played together, exist in unstable antagonism, their frequencies crashing and banging against each other. Dissonant chords are difficult to sing and often painful to hear.
Although music perception and practice are well preserved in human evolution, the biological determinants of music practice are largely unknown. According to a latest study, music performance by professional musicians enhanced the activity of genes involved in dopaminergic neurotransmission, motor behavior, learning and memory. Interestingly, several of those up-regulated genes were also known to be responsible for song production in songbirds, which suggests a potential evolutionary conservation in sound perception and production across species.
New research has found that children who are adopted have slightly higher IQs than siblings who remained with their biological parents. The study, published in PNAS, was designed to tease apart genetic and environmental influences on intelligence. The results suggest that the education level of the parents who raise the child can have an impact on IQ, but there is still a strong relationship between the intelligence of the child and his or her biological parents.
Suspending teenagers from school for using marijuana isn’t likely to stop other teens from doing the same. In fact, school suspensions probably lead to more—not less—pot use among students.
Vampires walk among us. But these people aren’t the stuff of nightmares – far from it actually. Just sit down for a drink with one of them and ask for yourself. That’s if you can find one. They aren’t necessarily looking to be found.
For three decades, archaeologist Anabel Ford has been exploring and studying the ancient Maya site of El Pilar, but until now she has never encountered anything like the ‘Citadel’.
Related: Geopolitics in Aztec-era Mesoamerica
Public outrage erupted today over rumours which emerged in the media reporting that further damage occurred to Tutankhamun’s funerary collection during its transportation between museums.
Related: Remarkably Preserved 18th Dynasty Tombs Found in Luxor
It didn't take long for the scientific community to react. Two weeks after the sacking of the 300 year-old Mosul Museum by a group of ISIS extremists went viral on Youtube, researchers from the ITN-DCH, IAPP and 4D-CH-WORLD projects launched Project MOSUL to virtually restore damaged artefacts and make them accessible from virtual museums.
Of all the famed underground cities pockmarking the landscape in Turkey’s Cappadocia region, perhaps the most remarkable is the underground network called Derinkuyu. When swelled to capacity, it could house 20,000 people in its 18 stories of living quarters, shops and escape routes. Today, it’s recognized as one of the jewels of this Turkish archaeological wonderland.
Alt: Massive ancient underground city discovered in Turkey's Nevsehir
About 7000 years ago in Italy, early farmers practiced an unusual burial ritual known as “defleshing.” When people died, villagers stripped their bones bare, pulled them apart, and mingled them with animal remains in a nearby cave. The practice was meant to separate the dead from the living, researchers say, writing in the latest issue of the journal Antiquity.
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