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October 23 2014

Thoroughly modern humans interbred with Neanderthals


When humans hooked up with Neanderthals, we could have wooed them with music and fancy jewellery.

The oldest DNA of a modern human ever to be sequenced shows that the Homo sapiens who interbred with the Neanderthals were very modern – not just anatomically but with modern behaviour including painting, modern tools, music and jewellery.


Alt: 45,000-year-old man was human-Neanderthal mix

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October 23 2014

Myth Busted: Ancient Humans May Not Have Been Redheads


Ancient humans found with red hair weren't necessarily redheads in life, but may have acquired their carrot tops after death, a new study finds.

A team of researchers examined the processes that degrade locks, ranging from exposure to the sun's powerful rays or being eaten away by microbes. These processes, many of which begin while a person or animal is still alive, can leave hair with an unnatural, reddish hue.

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October 23 2014

Seeking 'absolute zero', copper cube gets chillingly close


An Italian lab has cooled a copper vessel with a volume of a cubic meter to within a tiny fraction of "absolute zero", setting a world record, the National Nuclear Physics Institute said Tuesday.

"No experiment on Earth has ever cooled a similar mass or volume to temperatures this low; similar conditions are also not expected to arise in Nature".

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October 23 2014

Scientists look to mine metals from plants


Inside a lab at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, soil samples sit under a row of a glowing light bulbs hanging from a track only a short distance above them. In another room, a centrifuge hums as beakers of Nyquil-colored liquids sit on a nearby shelf. Standard white lab coats hang on hooks outside.

This generic-looking lab feels worlds away from the gritty, dusty mines of Australia—but this is where scientists hope to chart a new path for the industry here, and across the world.

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October 23 2014

Milk Grown in a Lab Is Humane and Sustainable. But Can It Catch On?


The world's first test-tube hamburger has already been synthesized and cooked at a cost of more than $300,000. Now a pair of young bioengineers in Silicon Valley are trying to produce the first glass of artificial milk, without a cow and with the help of genetically engineered yeast.

Like the creators of in vitro burgers, the scientists behind yeast-culture dairy are concerned about animal welfare and agricultural sustainability—but also about creating a food that will find a mass market.

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October 23 2014

Did Mammals Sleep Through Cosmic Impact That Ended Dinosaurs?


A shrewlike creature in Madagascar that can hibernate for at least nine months of the year without waking may help reveal how mammals survived the cataclysm that ended the age of dinosaurs, researchers suggest.

These findings could also help lead to a way to put astronauts in a state of suspended animation on journeys in deep space and for victims of medical emergencies, scientists added.

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October 23 2014

Swimming Mammoths Beat Humans to California


VANCOUVER — A fossil tusk rescued from the sea proves mammoths swam to Southern California's Channel Islands much earlier than thought.

The new fossil is one of two recently discovered tusks that challenge the idea that climate change killed off the Channel Islands' pygmy mammoths, said Daniel Muhs, a geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Denver, who described the find Sunday (Oct. 19) here at the Geological Society of America's annual meeting. The pint-size beasts disappeared from the islands about 12,000 years ago.

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October 23 2014

Bigger Than A T. Rex, With A Duck's Bill, Huge Arms And A Hump


Scientists announced Tuesday they've solved the mystery of the Mongolian ostrich dinosaur.

The mystery began in 1965, when fossil hunters found a pair of 6-foot-long, heavily clawed arm bones in Mongolia's Gobi desert. Nobody had seen anything like them before. Now, scientists say, they've got the rest of the beast ... and dinosaur textbooks may need to be rewritten.


Alt: Humpback Dino Was Literally Unsinkable

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October 23 2014

UF study: Megalodon shark became extinct 2.6 million years ago


A new University of Florida study dismisses claims that megalodon is still alive by determining a date of extinction for the largest predatory shark to ever live.

Researchers from UF and the University of Zurich hope the study appearing online today in the journal PLOS ONE showing the species became extinct 2.6 million years ago will clarify public confusion. The study may also one day help scientists better understand the potential widespread effects of losing the planet’s top predators.


Alt: Solved: When Earth's Largest Shark Disappeared

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October 23 2014

Ancient Finned Predator Feasted on Sharks


VANCOUVER — With fangs and the first sawlike teeth on Earth, the biggest predator in the swamps of the early Permian Period ate anything it wanted.

But when Dimetrodon waddled on land 290 million years ago, there weren't enough tasty herbivores to go around, according to an idea proposed in the 1970s by famed paleontologist E. C. Olson. "There were too many meat eaters," said Robert Bakker, the curator of paleontology at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. "There was a meat deficit all over the world.".

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October 23 2014

Stegosauruses Were Champion Fighters With Their Spiked Tails


With it’s teeny-tiny head and massive spiked tail, the Stegosaurus is instantly identifiable to dinosaur fans. But to predators like the Allosaurus, the Stegosaurus would have been identifiable as lunch.

Unfortunately for the Allosaurus, it turns out that those spikes on the Stegosaurus tail weren’t just for show. Even with a powerful tail, Stegosauruses were assumed to be fairly slow and lumbering, and none too bright, with a brain the size of a tangerine.

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October 23 2014

Are goats the answer to the reed choking US east coast marshes?


Over the past 30 years, land managers in the eastern US and Canada have spent countless man-hours and millions of dollars trying to tame a pernicious, invasive reed known as Phragmites australis.

Toxic herbicides, controlled burns, and even bulldozers have been the go-to solutions to the problem. But recent research out of Duke University suggests another, less aggressive fix: goats.


Related: 'Shrinking Goats' the Next Side Effect of Climate Change

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October 23 2014

500-Year-Old Traces of Monster Hawaii Tsunami Discovered


A powerful earthquake in Alaska sent towering waves up to 30 feet (9 meters) tall crashing down on Hawaii about 500 years ago, leaving behind fragments of coral, mollusk shells and coarse beach sand in a sinkhole located on the island of Kauai, new research finds.

The quake, likely a magnitude 9.0, sent the mighty waves toward Hawaii sometime between 1425 and 1665, the study found. It's possible that another large Alaskan earthquake could trigger a comparable tsunami on Hawaii's shores in the future, experts said.

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October 23 2014

Missing Amphipolis Sphinx Head Discovered


Another amazing discovery has surfaced on the Amphipolis dig, Greece. The missing head of the Sphinx “guarding” the tomb’s entrance was finally discovered inside the third chamber.

Missing-Head-of-Amphipolis-Discovered2The Sphinx’s head is intact, with minimal breakage on the nose. It has a height of 0.60m and it is assigned to the body of the eastern Sphinx. Made of marble, the head has signs of red color on its curly hair (falling onto its left shoulder) that is tied with a white stripe. It carries a pole and archaeologists characterize it as a sculpture of exceptional art.

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October 23 2014

Jerusalem Stone May Answer Jewish Revolt Questions


JERUSALEM — Israeli archaeologists said Tuesday they have discovered a large stone with Latin engravings that lends credence to the theory that the reason Jews revolted against Roman rule nearly 2,000 ago was because of their harsh treatment.

Israel's Antiquities Authority said the stone bears the name of the Roman emperor Hadrian and the year of his visit to Jerusalem, a few years before the failed Bar Kochba revolt in the second century A.D.

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October 23 2014

Gladiators were 'mostly vegetarian'


Roman gladiators had a diet that was mostly vegetarian, according to an analysis of bones from a cemetery where the arena fighters were buried.

The study has been carried out by academics from the Medical University of Vienna in Austria and the University of Bern in Switzerland. They found the gladiator diet was grain-based and mostly meat-free.

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October 22 2014

Special $2.99 offer on Kindle editions of "War God"


I've persuaded the US publishers of my War God series of novels to offer the Kindle editions of both Volume 1 (War God: Nights of the Witch) and volume 2 (War God: Return of the Plumed Serpent) for just US$2.99 for a limited period. This special price, equivalent to less than the cost of a gallon of gas or a cup of coffee per book, will only be available for the next few days, and in the US only. Please note --You don't need to own a Kindle to read a Kindle book -- the Kindle app is available free of charge for many other mobile devices.

Links to all editions (print and Kindle) of the War God series, along with chapters free to read online, a video trailer and other background material, can be found here: http://www.grahamhancock.com/wargod/

And here are the specific links to the US Kindle editions, currently under special offer:
Volume 1: War God: Nights of the Witch: http://amzn.to/1tIZQ1D
Volume 2: War God: Return of the Plumed Serpent http://amzn.to/1onsu6o

1 minute 40 secs video trailer for the "War God" series: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LL55JKleYA4

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