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February 20 2014

2,300-year-old village discovered near ‘Burma Road’


The remnants of a rural settlement that was occupied for approximately two centuries during the Second Temple Period have been uncovered.

The find was made during an Israel Antiquities Authority archaeological salvage excavation, before the start of work on a natural gas pipeline to Jerusalem as part of a national project directed by Israel Natural Gas Lines (INGL).

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February 20 2014

British Neolithic farmers preferred milk over fish


The appearance of farming, from its inception in the Near East around 12 000 years ago to the northwestern extremes of Europe by the fourth millennium BCE or shortly thereafter has led to various models being created to explain the Neolithisation of northern Europe; however, resolving these different scenarios has proved problematic due to poor faunal preservation and a need to have a quantitative methodology to examine disparate locations.

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February 20 2014

Evolution stuck in slime for a billion years


Tasmanian researchers have revealed ancient conditions that almost ended life on Earth, using a new technique they developed to hunt for mineral deposits.

The first life developed in the ancient oceans around 3.6 billion years ago, but then nothing much happened. Life remained as little more than a layer of slime for a billion years. Suddenly, 550 million years ago, evolution burst back into action – and here we are today. So what was the hold-up during those ‘boring billion’ years?.

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February 20 2014

It's up, up and away for ancient trapped helium at Yellowstone


Talk about passing gas: Vast stores of helium are escaping from the steam vents and hot springs of Yellowstone National Park after being trapped within Earth's crust for up to 2 billion years, according to new research.

In a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature, researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey determined that the famed national park was releasing hundreds -- if not thousands -- of times more helium than anticipated.

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February 20 2014

Is the Universe Dying? Will It Be Reborn?


We can see on Earth and off the Earth—in the stars, for example—a cycle of birth, stasis, degeneration, and death.

The universe is expanding and it is unclear what the result of that expansion may ultimately be.

Some physicists believe our universe, and perhaps other universes, may be subject to a cycle of life and death.

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February 19 2014

The mammoth asteroid set to fly by Earth last night just disappeared


Last night, a giant asteroid was supposed to streak by the Earth, close enough for us to catch a glimpse as it zipped by. Except it never showed, and now astronomers say they have no idea just where the 900-foot asteroid has gone.

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February 19 2014

Can Volcanic Magma Power The Future?


It's not often that an idea that's initially deemed a failed experiment ends up ultimately being hailed as a breakthrough. But that's exactly what happened when, five years ago, a team of scientists in Iceland, drilling deep within the Earth’s crust, hit upon molten rock.

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February 19 2014

Cern considers building huge physics machine


The possibility of building an underground "atom-smasher" four times the size of the Large Hadron Collider is to be explored by experts.

The decision follows a high level meeting of scientists last week in Geneva, near the European particle physics centre, Cern.

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February 19 2014

Are We Living in a Black Hole?


Let's rewind the clock. Before humans existed, before Earth formed, before the sun ignited, before galaxies arose, before light could even shine, there was the Big Bang. This happened 13.8 billion years ago.

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February 19 2014

Earth is prepared enough for the next asteroid strike


The next Russian-style meteor strike may come as a complete surprise, and maybe that's OK. A study of a potential early-warning system has found that it will miss more than half of incoming space rocks the size of the one that burst apart above Chelyabinsk, Russia, a year ago. However, the chances of such a meteor causing a dangerous impact are so low that catch-all warning systems are not worth the cost.

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February 19 2014

Lettuce-Based Electric Wires Sprout in the Lab


LONDON — Move over, copper wires. The next generation of electricity cables may well be made from lettuce, based on the innovation of a U.K. researcher. The advance could pave the way to biological computers and bio-robots of the future.

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February 19 2014

Why rhyming phrases are more persuasive


Want to convince someone of something? Make up a rhyme. They may think it's cutesy, but they'll still believe it more readily than if it were stated plainly. At least until they are asked to think about it a little.

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February 19 2014

'Acne Bacteria' Hopped from Humans to Grapevines


Grapevines can't grow zits, but they do carry bacteria related to the acne-causing pathogen found on human skin, according to a new report describing the first known case of a bacterium transferring from a human to a plant.

The bacteria species Propionibacterium acnes plagues the skin of humans worldwide, and has always been thought of as an exclusively human-seeking pathogen.

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February 19 2014

Elephants Console Each Other


Elephants, both African and Asian, have long been considered empathetic animals. They help baby elephants stuck in mud holes, use their trunks to lift other elephants that are injured or dying, and even reportedly reassure distressed individual elephants with a gentle touch of their trunk.


What is an elephant handshake? (+video)

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February 19 2014

Finnish reindeer sprayed with glow-in-the-dark liquid to prevent accidents


Glowing reindeer can be spotted in northern Finland thanks to a reflective spray which makes them more visible in a bid to prevent car accidents, Finnish reindeer breeders said on Tuesday.

"We are hoping that it is so useful that we can use the spray in the entire region and on all reindeer, from young to old," said Anne Ollila, head of Finland's Reindeer Herders' Association.

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February 19 2014

This App Trains You to See Farther


When a major league baseball pitcher throws a 95-mph fastball, only about 400 milliseconds—the duration of a blink—pass before the ball rockets over the plate. And a batter gets less than half that time to decide whether to swing, and where. Baseball players, then, could reap huge benefits from being able to probe a baseball farther from their eyes. And that inspired Aaron Seitz, a neuroscientist at the University of California, Riverside, who has created a new, publicly available app that conditions users to see farther on or off the baseball diamond.

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February 19 2014

Cats and Dogs May See in Ultraviolet


A house cat's bizarre antics may be more than just feline folly. The kitty may be seeing things that human eyes can't.

Unlike humans, many animals see in ultraviolet, and a study now suggests that cats, dogs and other mammals can, too. Knowing these animals see things invisible to humans could shed some light on the animals' behavior, the researchers say.

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February 19 2014

How Calico Cats Could Help Cure Obesity


Calico cats, with their funky mix of orange, black and white fur, could one day help humans to lose weight.

Couch potato kitties hardly seem suited to the task, but the connection comes from their unique chromosome structure, according to research presented today at the 58th Annual Biophysical Society Meeting in San Francisco.

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