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April 23 2014

'Gospel of Jesus's Wife': Doubts Raised About Ancient Text


The authenticity of the "Gospel of Jesus's Wife" has been debated since the papyrus was revealed in 2012. Now, new information uncovered by Live Science raises doubts about the origins of the scrap of papyrus.

The gospel, written in the ancient Egyptian language Coptic, has made headlines ever since Harvard University professor Karen King announced its discovery.

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April 23 2014

Neanderthals Lived in Small, Isolated Populations, Gene Analysis Shows


Modern humanity's ancient cousins, the Neanderthals, lived in small groups that were isolated from one another, suggests an investigation into their DNA. The analysis also finds that Neanderthals lacked some human genes that are linked to our behavior.

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April 23 2014

Aboriginal people – how to misunderstand their science


Just one generation ago Australian schoolkids were taught that Aboriginal people couldn't count beyond five, wandered the desert scavenging for food, had no civilisation, couldn't navigate and peacefully acquiesced when Western Civilisation rescued them in 1788.

How did we get it so wrong?

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April 23 2014

First Eurasians left Africa up to 130,000 years ago


Scientists have shown that anatomically modern humans spread from Africa to Asia and Europe in several migratory movements. The first ancestors of today’s non-African peoples probably took a southern route through the Arabian Peninsula as early as 130,000 years ago, the researchers found.

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April 23 2014

Two Saiti tombs unearthed near Egypt's Minya


A Spanish-Egyptian team has uncovered two 26th Dynasty tombs during excavation work at Al-Bahnasa archaeological site in Minya.

Al-Bahnasa was known in the ancient Egyptian era as the town of Pr-Medjet, developing in the Graeco-Roman period to be the city of Oxyrhynchus.

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April 23 2014

Asteroid impact risks 'underappreciated'


A visualisation showing where sizeable asteroids have hit the Earth in recent years has been released by the B612 Foundation.

The US-based group, which includes a number of former Nasa astronauts, campaigns on the issue of space protection.

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April 23 2014

Asteroids cause dozens of nuclear-scale blasts in Earth's atmosphere


Asteroids caused 26 nuclear-scale explosions in the Earth's atmosphere between 2000 and 2013, a new report reveals.

Some were more powerful – in one case, dozens of times stronger – than the atom bomb blast that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945 with an energy yield equivalent to 16 kilotons of TNT.

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April 23 2014

Mystery of 'ocean quack sound' solved


The mystery of a bizarre quacking sound heard in the ocean has finally been solved, scientists report.

The noise - nicknamed "the bio-duck" - appears in the winter and spring in the Southern Ocean. However, its source has baffled researchers for decades.

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April 23 2014

Mega-Heatwaves Mechanism Pinpointed


The 'mega-heatwaves' that parched Europe in 2003 and Russia in 2010 were exacerbated by a vicious feedback loop between soil and atmosphere, researchers report today in Nature Geoscience. Drying ground added more heat into air close to Earth's surface, a process that repeated over time to produce record-breaking warmth that shrivelled crops, set forests ablaze and claimed tens of thousands of lives.

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April 23 2014

Piece of Africa Found Under Alabama


Geoscientists have identified a chunk of Africa stuck onto the southeastern United States.

A long mysterious zone of unusual magnetism that stretches from Alabama through Georgia and offshore to the North Carolina coast appears to be the suture between ancient rocks that formed when parts of Africa and North America were pressed together 250 million years ago. If so, Africa could have left a lot more behind in the American southeast when the conjoined continents rifted apart and formed the Atlantic Ocean.

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April 23 2014

Bottom's Up: Feds Approve Powdered Alcohol


In a move that's likely to sow panic among parents of teenagers, the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau has approved the sale of powdered alcohol.

In other words, a tiny pouch of powdered mix can instantly turn any drink — water, juice or soda — into an alcoholic cocktail. It can even be added to food: Just sprinkle it on your pancakes or cereal for a boozy breakfast.

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April 23 2014

Mantis shrimp stronger than airplanes


Inspired by the fist-like club of a mantis shrimp, a team of researchers led by University of California, Riverside, in collaboration with University of Southern California and Purdue University, have developed a design structure for composite materials that is more impact resistant and tougher than the standard used in airplanes.

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April 23 2014

Solar-Panel Windows Made Possible by Quantum Dot Breakthrough


Windows that double as solar panels could soon be a reality following a breakthrough in quantum dot research that could have significant implications on the way the sun's energy is harvested in the future.

Researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory and the University of Milano-Bicocca synthesised a new generation of quantum dots that they were able to embed in a transparent polymer to capture the sun's energy.

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April 23 2014

Left To Their Own Devices, Robots Evolve Into Diverse Populations


There are a few different ways you can study evolution. You could live for months at a time in a tent on tiny island with an isolated population and no fresh water. Or you could program a computer model and some squirrel-sized robots to act out a thousand generations of sex and death in the comfort of your own lab.

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April 23 2014

Revealed: Scientists ‘edit’ DNA to correct adult genes and cure diseases


A genetic disease has been cured in living, adult animals for the first time using a revolutionary genome-editing technique that can make the smallest changes to the vast database of the DNA molecule with pinpoint accuracy.

Scientists have used the genome-editing technology to cure adult laboratory mice of an inherited liver disease by correcting a single “letter” of the genetic alphabet which had been mutated in a vital gene involved in liver metabolism.

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April 23 2014

The mind readers


Thousands remain trapped between life and death. Three scientists are working to free them.

“Imagine you wake up, locked inside a box,” says Adrian Owen. “It’s only just big enough to hold your body but sufficiently small that you can’t move.

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April 22 2014

Monkeys Can Do Math


It looks like a standardized test question: Is the sum of two numbers on the left or the single number on the right larger? Rhesus macaques that have been trained to associate numerical values with symbols can get the answer right, even if they haven’t passed a math class. The finding doesn’t just reveal a hidden talent of the animals—it also helps show how the mammalian brain encodes the values of numbers.

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April 22 2014

Meaningful Activities Protect the Brain From Depression


Our entire lives, when you think about it, are built around rewards—the pursuit of money, fun, love, and tacos.

How we seek and respond to those rewards is part of what determines our overall happiness. Aristotle famously said there were two basic types of joy: hedonia, or that keg-standing, Netflix binge-watching, Nutella-from-the-jar selfish kind of pleasure, and eudaimonia, or the pleasure that comes from helping others, doing meaningful work, and otherwise leading a life well-lived.

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News desk archive...

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