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March 18 2014

Chicken DNA 'suggests Columbus was first'


New research on the DNA on ancient bones from domesticated chickens confirms Columbus beat Polynesians to South America, say researchers.

But not everyone is convinced by the new findings published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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March 18 2014

Storms expose ancient human remains on Cornish beach


Efforts are under way to identify ancient human remains found on a Cornish beach.

Archaeologists believe the bones, exposed by storms in a cliff at Harlyn bay near Padstow, could be those of a young iron age or bronze age woman.

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March 18 2014

3,200-year-old skeleton found with cancer


Archaeologists have found the 3,200-year-old skeleton of a man with a spreading form of cancer, the oldest example so far of a disease often associated with modern lifestyles, scientists said Monday.

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March 18 2014

Frozen Antarctic moss brought back to life after 1,500 years


British scientists have successfully revived mosses that have been frozen under the Antarctic ice for 1,500 years.

The researchers thawed out the ancient vegetation and were surprised to see new shoots rapidly appear.

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March 18 2014

Why Did New Zealand's Moas Go Extinct?


For millions of years, nine species of large, flightless birds known as moas (Dinornithiformes) thrived in New Zealand. Then, about 600 years ago, they abruptly went extinct. Their die-off coincided with the arrival of the first humans on the islands in the late 13th century, and scientists have long wondered what role hunting by Homo sapiens played in the moas’ decline.

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March 18 2014

How Elephant Armies Built the Ancient World


Without elephants, the ancient Library of Alexandria might not have existed. Every war has, as a byproduct, cultural and technological innovation: in our world, the US Civil War led to medical advancements and the Cold War put us in space. In the classical era, it was the race to build elephant armies that changed the world.

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March 18 2014

Older adults: Build muscle and you'll live longer


The more muscle mass older Americans have, the less likely they are to die prematurely, new research shows. The findings add to the growing evidence that overall body composition -- and not the widely used body mass index, or BMI -- is a better predictor of all-cause mortality. "In other words, the greater your muscle mass, the lower your risk of death," said the study's co-author.

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March 18 2014

Snail Venom As A Potential Solution To Addicting Pain Killers


The venom of earth's more exotic and dangerous creatures has long been used as medicine. Though snails aren't typically thought of as a source, one type, the cone snail, injects its prey with paralyzing poison 100 times as powerful (in terms of numbing pain) as morphine and gabapentin without the addictive qualities.

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March 18 2014

Voracious Worm Evolves to Eat Biotech Corn Engineered to Kill It


One of agricultural biotechnology’s great success stories may become a cautionary tale of how short-sighted mismanagement can squander the benefits of genetic modification.

After years of predicting it would happen — and after years of having their suggestions largely ignored by companies, farmers and regulators — scientists have documented the rapid evolution of corn rootworms that are resistant to Bt corn.

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March 18 2014

High-tech materials purify water with sunlight


Sunlight plus a common titanium pigment might be the secret recipe for ridding pharmaceuticals, pesticides and other potentially harmful pollutants from drinking water. Scientists combined several high-tech components to make an easy-to-use water purifier that could work with the world's most basic form of energy, sunlight, in a boon for water purification in rural areas or developing countries.

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March 18 2014

Earthquakes Caused by Clogged Magma a Warning Sign of Eruption, Study Shows


New research in Geophysical Research Letters examines earthquake swarms caused by mounting volcanic pressure which may signal an imminent eruption. The research team studied Augustine Volcano in Alaska which erupted in 2006 and found that precursory earthquakes were caused by a block in the lava flow.

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March 18 2014

Tiny Planet Mercury Is Shrinking Fast


The surface of Mercury is shrinking faster than previously thought, photos from a NASA spacecraft orbiting the tiny planet reveal.

The first comprehensive survey of the surface of Mercury by NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft shows that planet's crust has contracted as it cooled by as much as 4.4 miles (7 kilometers), significantly more than previous estimates. The findings clear up a long-standing clash between scientists' understanding of the heat production and loss and the contraction of Mercury.

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March 18 2014

First hints of waves on Titan's seas


After years of searching, planetary scientists think they may finally have spotted waves rippling on the seas of Titan, Saturn’s largest moon. If confirmed, this would be the first discovery of ocean waves beyond Earth.

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March 18 2014

Hunt for water intensifies—on two planets


Scientists are using a promising new theory to track down hidden water both on Earth – where fresh water is becoming dangerously scarce in some regions – and in the quest for life on the red planet, Mars.

The latest Earth-based groundwater theories may aid mankind in its quest for water on other planets, says Professor Craig Simmons of the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training (NCGRT) and Flinders University.

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March 18 2014

To Protect Earth from Killer Asteroids, Humanity Must Take the Long View


The toughest part about defending Earth against hazardous space rocks may be overcoming human nature.

Our species tends to tackle problems as they come up, defusing dangers deemed immediate and extreme. But effectively protecting the planet from asteroids will require constant vigilance over the long haul, experts say, since the threat of a major cosmic impact will never go away.

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March 18 2014

US Navy reveals plot to beam power from SPACE using giant orbiting solar panels


US Navy bosses have revealed futuristic plans to beam power from space.

They believe large arrays of space solar modules could send solar power to Earth.

The radical scheme could be used to power military installations and even cities.

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March 17 2014

Cosmic inflation: 'Spectacular' discovery hailed


Scientists say they have extraordinary new evidence to support a Big Bang Theory for the origin of the Universe.

Researchers believe they have found the signal left in the sky by the super-rapid expansion of space that must have occurred just fractions of a second after everything came into being.

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March 17 2014

Cavemen's 'rock' music makes a comeback


Thousands of years after they resonated in caves, 24 stone chimes used by our prehistoric forefathers will make music once more in a unique series of concerts in Paris.

Known as lithophones, the instruments have been dusted off from museum storage to be played in public for the first time to give modern Man an idea of his ancestral sounds.

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