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October 29 2014

1,000 Years of Scientific Texts From The Islamic World Are Now Online


Between the 9th and 19th centuries, Arabic-speaking scholars translated Greek, Latin and even Sanskrit texts on topics such as medicine, mathematics and astronomy, fostering a vibrant scientific culture within the Islamic world. Some of the most influential texts are now available at the Qatar Digital Library.

The library, a joint project of the British Library and the Qatar Foundation, offers free access to 25,000 pages of medieval Islamic manuscripts.

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October 29 2014

How did complex life evolve? The answer could be inside out


A new idea about the origin of complex life turns current theories inside out. In the open access journal BMC Biology, cousins Buzz and David Baum explain their 'inside-out' theory of how eukaryotic cells, which all multicellular life -- including us -- are formed of, might have evolved.

Scientists have long pondered the question of how simple "prokaryotic" cells, like bacteria, which are little more than a membrane-bound sack, evolved into more complex eukaryotic cells, which contain numerous internal membrane compartments.

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October 29 2014

Microscopic “walkers” find their way across cell surfaces


Nature has developed a wide variety of methods for guiding particular cells, enzymes, and molecules to specific structures inside the body: White blood cells can find their way to the site of an infection, while scar-forming cells migrate to the site of a wound. But finding ways of guiding artificial materials within the body has proven more difficult.

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October 29 2014

Dying Scientist Reveals Details on UFOs, Area 51 and Aliens


He was primarily known as a respected scientist who worked for a number of top military contractors and as one of the inventors of the Stinger missile … until he recorded a video on his deathbed. With its release on YouTube, Boyd Bushman is now famous for revealing details about his personal experiences at Area 51 with aliens and UFOs.

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October 29 2014

Avalanche on an asteroid, due to close pass with Earth


On Friday the 13th in April 2029, a football field–sized asteroid named Apophis is expected to pass, with luck, within a hair’s breadth of Earth. The space rock won’t do any damage to Earth—it’s predicted to pass at a safe distance of at least 35,000 kilometers—but the reverse may not be true. A new study finds that the near miss could trigger tiny avalanches on Apophis.

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October 29 2014

Reducing population is no environmental 'quick fix', modelling research shows


New multi-scenario modelling of world human population has concluded that even stringent fertility restrictions or a catastrophic mass mortality would not bring about large enough change this century to solve issues of global sustainability.

Published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, ecologists Professor Corey Bradshaw and Professor Barry Brook from the University of Adelaide's Environment Institute say that the "virtually locked-in" population growth means the world must focus on policies and technologies that reverse rising consumption of natural resources and enhance recycling, for more immediate sustainability gains.

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October 29 2014

Melting Cave Ice Is Taking Ancient Climate Data with It


On a recent visit to Crystal Ice Cave in Idaho, climate and cave researchers had to wade through frigid, knee-deep water to reach the ice formations that give the cave its name. Cavers are good-humored about the hardships of underground exploration, but this water was chilling for more than one reason: it was carrying away some of the very clues they had come to study.

Ice is an invaluable source of information about the earth's past.

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October 29 2014

Giant tortoise makes 'miraculous' stable recovery


Where once there were 15, now more than 1,000 giant tortoises lumber around Espanola, one of the Galapagos Islands.

After 40 years' work reintroducing captive animals, a detailed study of the island's ecosystem has confirmed it has a stable, breeding population.

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October 29 2014

Chimps plan ahead for a good breakfast


New research by the University of California, Davis, shows that chimpanzees plan ahead, and sometimes take dangerous risks, to get to the best breakfast buffet early.

The study co-authored by Leo Polansky, an associate researcher in the UC Davis anthropology department, reveals that chimpanzees will find a place to sleep en route to breakfast sites and risk travel in the dark when predators are active to obtain more desired, less abundant fruits such as figs.

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October 29 2014

How culture influences violence among the Amazon's ‘fierce people'


When Yanomamo men in the Amazon raided villages and killed decades ago, they formed alliances with men in other villages rather than just with close kin like chimpanzees do. And the spoils of war came from marrying their allies’ sisters and daughters, rather than taking their victims’ land and women.

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October 29 2014

Two genes linked with violent crime


A genetic analysis of almost 900 offenders in Finland has revealed two genes associated with violent crime.

Those with the genes were 13 times more likely to have a history of repeated violent behaviour.


Alt: Murderers May Be Hardwired to Kill

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October 29 2014

Not Everyone Wants to Be Happy


Everyone wants to be happy. It's a fundamental human right. It's associated with all sorts of benefits. We, as a society, spend millions trying to figure out what the key to personal happiness is. There are now even apps to help us turn our frowns upside down. So everyone wants to be happy—right?

Well, maybe not.

A new research paper by Mohsen Joshanloo and Dan Weijers from Victoria University of Wellington, argues that the desire for personal happiness, though knitted into the fabric of American history and culture, is held in less esteem by other cultures.

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October 29 2014

Does having children make us any happier?


The birth of a first and a second child briefly increases the level of their parents’ happiness, but a third does not, according to new research. Those who have children at an older age or who are more educated have a particularly positive response to a first birth. Older parents, between the ages of 35 -- 49, have the strongest happiness gains around the time of birth and stay at a higher level of happiness after becoming parents, the research indicates.

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October 29 2014

Guzzling milk might boost your risk of breaking bones


It's seen as one of life's more wholesome tipples. But drinking milk in large quantities may not be as good for general health and bones as we thought, according to a study of thousands of Swedish people. However, other researchers have criticised the study for raising more questions than it answers.


Alt: Heavy milk drinking may double women’s mortality rates

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October 28 2014

Plants can actually take care of their offspring – here’s how


Plants may not travel around as animals do, but they have evolved many strategies that allow them to cope and make the most of the environment they live in. Examples can be found everywhere. For instance, succulence is the special characteristic that cacti have to store water and then use it as a reserve in their dry habitats. And there are plants that produce seeds that are dispersed by wind, allowing them to travel farther than they could possibly have gone otherwise.

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October 28 2014

Telltale Signs of Life Could Be Deepest Yet


Telltale signs of life have been discovered in rocks that were once 12 miles (20 kilometers) below Earth's surface — some of the deepest chemical evidence for life ever found.

Researchers found carbon isotopes in rocks on Washington state's South Lopez Island that suggest the minerals grew from fluids flush with microbial methane. Methane from living creatures has distinct levels of carbon isotopes that distinguish it from methane gas that arises from rocks. (Isotopes are atoms of the same element with different numbers of neutrons in their nuclei.).

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October 28 2014

Feathers in flight inspire anti-turbulence technology


Inspired by nature's own anti-turbulence devices – feathers – researchers have developed an innovative system that could spell the end of turbulence on flights.

Researchers from the Unmanned Systems Research Team at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, have lodged a provisional patent on the system, which mimics the way feathers help birds detect disturbances in the air.

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