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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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August 4 2014

Kangaroos win when Aborigines hunt with fire


Australia's Aboriginal Martu people hunt kangaroos and set small grass fires to catch lizards, as they have for at least 2,000 years. A University of Utah researcher found such man-made disruption boosts kangaroo populations – showing how co-evolution helped marsupials and made Aborigines into unintentional conservationists.

"We have uncovered a framework that allows us to predict when human subsistence practices might be detrimental to the environment and when they might be beneficial," says Brian Codding, an assistant professor of anthropology.

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August 4 2014

Rain of asteroids melted early Earth, boiled its oceans, study shows


When you look up at the moon’s pockmarked face, you’re actually staring at Earth’s early history. The rain of asteroids that pummeled the lunar surface hit our planet too — it’s just that erosion and plate tectonics blotted out the evidence. In fact, no rocks anywhere in the world survived to tell the story of the first 500 million years of Earth’s 4.5-billion-year existence, a tumultuous period of frequent impacts known darkly as the Hadean.

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August 3 2014

Dinosaurs shrank for 50 million years to become birds


It took 50 million years of continual shrinking to turn massive, lumbering dinosaurs into the first small flying birds.

"No other dinosaur group has undergone such a long and extended period of miniaturisation," says Mike Lee of the South Australian Museum in Adelaide. "Statistically this trend was far stronger than by chance, analogous to flipping a coin a dozen times and getting all heads.".

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August 3 2014

Extinct mega penguin was tallest and heaviest ever


Forget emperor penguins, say hello to the colossus penguin. Newly unearthed fossils have revealed that Antarctica was once home to the biggest species of penguin ever discovered. It was 2 metres long and weighed a hefty 115 kilograms.

Palaeeudyptes klekowskii lived 37 to 40 million years ago.

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August 3 2014

Scientists solve 2000-year-old mystery of the binding media in China's polychrome Terracotta Army


Even as he conquered rival kingdoms to create the first united Chinese empire in 221 B.C., China's First Emperor Qin Shihuang ordered the building of a glorious underground palace complex, mirroring his imperial capital near present-day Xi'an, that would last for an eternity.

To protect his underworld palaces, the First Emperor issued instructions that his imperial guard be replicated, down to the finest details, in red-brown terracotta clay, poised to do battle.

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August 3 2014

End of chemotherapy within 20 years as pioneering DNA project launched


Chemotherapy will be obsolete within 20 years, scientists have predicted after launching a landmark project to map 100,000 genomes to find the genes responsible for cancer and rare diseases.

By the time children born today reach adulthood, invasive drugs and their devastating side-effects, will have been replaced by sophisticated medicines that can fix individual faulty genes, according to those behind the project.

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August 3 2014

Q&A: Why Sunni Extremists Are Destroying Ancient Religious Sites in Mosul


Mosul has long been known for its religious diversity. Iraq's second largest city has been home to Persians, Arabs, Turks, and Christians of all denominations since it was first believed to have been settled in 6000 B.C. The ruins of Ninevah, one of the greatest cities in antiquity and former seat of the Assyrian Empire, lie within its modern city limits.


Related: Isis militants 'seize Iraq monastery and expel monks'

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August 3 2014

Hitchhiking robot thumbs its way across Canada


A talking robot assembled from household odds and ends is hitchhiking thousands of kilometers across Canada this summer as part of a social experiment to see if those of its kind can trust humans.

Society is "usually concerned with whether we can trust robots," Frauke Zeller, co-creator of the "hitchBot," told AFP.

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August 3 2014

The Enormous Mission to Rescue the World's Largest Tunneling Machine


Big Bertha was all set to dig a nearly two-mile tunnel in Seattle, but just 1,000 feet into her journey she hit a mysterious object that halted her progress. Now, crews are beginning the process of rescuing her, in what could be the world's largest recovery mission.

The New York Times has an in-depth account of exactly what needs to happen to get Bertha digging again, and it's a massive undertaking.

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August 3 2014

Europe makes final delivery run to space station


Europe is getting out of the outer space delivery business. The European Space Agency's final uncrewed Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) is set to blast off tonight from Kourou, French Guiana, to the International Space Station. But lessons learned from operating the craft could help astronauts return to the moon.

The final ATV mission will deliver a variety of experiments along with food, fuel and other supplies.

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August 3 2014

Companion planets can increase old worlds' chance at life


Having a companion in old age is good for people—and, it turns out, might extend the chance for life on certain Earth-sized planets in the cosmos as well.

Planets cool as they age. Over time their molten cores solidify and inner heat-generating activity dwindles, becoming less able to keep the world habitable by regulating carbon dioxide to prevent runaway heating or cooling.

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August 3 2014

101 Geysers Spotted on Saturn's Icy Moon Enceladus


The icy Saturn moon Enceladus sports at least 101 geysers, which reach all the way down to the satellite's subsurface ocean, new research suggests.

Scientists mapped out 101 geysers of water vapor and ice near Enceladus' south pole after analyzing images captured by NASA's Cassini spacecraft over a period of nearly seven years. This effort also helped astronomers trace the eruptions to their source, researchers said.

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August 3 2014

Mysterious Molecules in Space Named?


It’s a well-kept secret that the vacuum of space is not — technically speaking — a vacuum. Strong winds generated from supernova explosions push material into the interstellar medium, tainting space with the heavier elements generated by nuclear fusion. These lonely molecules account for a significant amount of all the hydrogen, carbon, silicon, and other atoms in the Universe.

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August 3 2014

Mercury's Bizarre Magnetic Field --"Powered by Liquid Iron"


Earth and Mercury are both rocky planets with iron cores, but Mercury's interior differs from Earth's in a way that explains why the planet has such a bizarre magnetic field, UCLA planetary physicists and colleagues report. Measurements from NASA's Messenger spacecraft have revealed that Mercury's magnetic field is approximately three times stronger at its northern hemisphere than its southern one. In the current research, scientists have created a model to show how the dynamics of Mercury's core contribute to this unusual phenomenon. Mercury's peculiar magnetic field provides evidence that iron turns from a liquid to a solid at the core's outer boundary, say the scientists.

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August 3 2014

Why is the Sun's atmosphere so much hotter than its surface? Nanoflares


Scientists have recently gathered some of the strongest evidence to date to explain what makes the sun's outer atmosphere so much hotter than its surface. The new observations of the small-scale extremely hot temperatures are consistent with only one current theory: something called nanoflares -- a constant peppering of impulsive bursts of heating, none of which can be individually detected -- provide the mysterious extra heat.

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August 3 2014

Scientist underlines threat of inevitable 'solar super-storms'


In this month's issue of Physics World, Ashley Dale from the University of Bristol warns of the "catastrophic" and "long-lasting" impacts of "solar super-storms" and the dangers we face if the threat continues to go unnoticed.

Dale, who was a member of an international task force – dubbed SolarMAX – set up to identify the risks of a solar storm and how its impact could be minimized, explains how it is only a matter of time before an exceptionally violent solar storm is propelled towards Earth.

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August 3 2014

Venus Express Survives Close Encounter With Hellish Atmosphere


It was a daring maneuver, but the plan to put Venus Express lower in the planet’s thick atmosphere has worked. For the past month, the European Space Agency steered the long-running spacecraft to altitudes as low as 81 miles (131 kilometers) for a couple of minutes at a time.

Now the spacecraft has been steered again to safer, higher orbits.

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