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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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September 18 2014

Each tree species has unique bacterial identity, microbiome research shows


Each tree species has its own bacterial identity. That's the conclusion of University of Oregon researchers and colleagues from other institutions who studied the genetic fingerprints of bacteria on 57 species of trees growing on a Panamanian island.

"This study demonstrates for the first time that host plants from different plant families and with different ecological strategies possess very different microbial communities on their leaves".

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September 18 2014

Boosting armor for nuclear-waste eating microbes


A microbe developed to clean up nuclear waste and patented by a Michigan State University researcher has just been improved.

In earlier research, Gemma Reguera, MSU microbiologist, identified that Geobacter bacteria's tiny conductive hair-like appendages, or pili, did the yeoman's share of remediation. By increasing the strength of the pili nanowires, she improved their ability to clean up uranium and other toxic wastes.

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September 18 2014

This Bizarre Organism Builds Itself a New Genome Every Time It Has Sex


Oxytricha trifallax lives in ponds all over the world. Under an electron microscope it looks like a football adorned with tassels. The tiny fringes are the cilia it uses to move around and gobble up algae. What makes Oxytricha unusual, however, is the crazy things it does with its DNA.

Unlike humans and most other organisms on Earth, Oxytricha doesn’t have sex to increase its numbers. It has sex to reinvent itself.

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September 18 2014

How drugs are entering UK water systems through urine


As drugs - both legal and illegal - pass through us, they enter the UK's waterways. But can this really lead to a change in the feeding habits, and even the sex, of wildlife?

"At a biochemical, molecular level, a fish is extraordinarily similar to you and I," he explains. "So almost every drug target in a human - receptors, enzymes, ion channels - is present in fish. And they do the same thing."


Related: Should We All Take a Bit of Lithium?

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September 18 2014

Artificial sweeteners may promote diabetes, claim scientists


Artificial sweeteners may contribute to soaring levels of diabetes, according to a controversial study that suggests the additives could exacerbate the problem they are meant to tackle.

Researchers in Israel found that artificial sweeteners used in diet drinks and other foods can disrupt healthy microbes that live in the gut, leading to higher blood sugar levels – an early sign of diabetes.


Related: Sugar substitutes linked to obesity

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September 18 2014

People are attracted to the body odor of others with similar political beliefs


A new study reveals that people find the smell of others with similar political opinions to be attractive, suggesting that one of the reasons why so many spouses share similar political views is because they were initially and subconsciously attracted to each other's body odor.

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September 18 2014

How Smiling Can Backfire


You may fool others, but it is hard to fool yourself

If you’re reading this at a desk, do me a favor. Grab a pen or pencil and hold the end between your teeth so it doesn’t touch your lips. As you read on, stay that way—science suggests you’ll find this article more amusing if you do. Why? Notice that holding a pencil in this manner puts your face in the shape of a smile. And research in psychology says that the things we do—smiling at a joke, giving a gift to a friend, or even running from a bear—influence how we feel.

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September 18 2014

Teen drug and alcohol use continues to fall, new federal data show


Drug and alcohol use among America's teens continues to trend downward, according to new numbers released today by the Department of Health and Human Services. From 2002 to 2013, the average American teenager's odds of regular (at least monthly) tobacco use nearly halved. Recreational use of prescription painkillers saw a similar decline.

Teen marijuana use, a contentious topic now that several states have legalized marijuana sales, is also on the decline.

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September 18 2014

What’s Up With That: Why Do All My Friends Like the Same Music?


Music has chemistry, both in maintaining friendships and helping us forge new ones. But science is still pretty far behind in understanding music’s power to create social bonds. “To this day, it hasn’t struck people that there must have been tremendous evolutionary pressure for music,” said Petr Janata, a psychologist who studies music and the brain at UC Davis. But this doesn’t mean we are completely without answers. Since at least the late ’80s, researchers have been studying how music affects peoples’ social lives.

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September 18 2014

It's Thanks to Evolution That No Two Faces Are Alike, Study Finds


From bug eyes to aquiline noses, square jaws to chin dimples, no two faces are alike. That diversity may have evolved to make it easier to recognize other people, researchers reported on Tuesday.


Related: Human faces are so variable because we evolved to look unique

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September 18 2014

Europeans drawn from three ancient 'tribes'


The modern European gene pool was formed when three ancient populations mixed within the last 7,000 years, Nature journal reports.

Blue-eyed, swarthy hunters mingled with brown-eyed, pale skinned farmers as the latter swept into Europe from the Near East.

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September 18 2014

Stonehenge: children revealed to be the metal workers of prehistoric Britain


Scientists believe that some 4,000 years ago children as young as 10 wrecked their eyesight embellishing weapons and jewellery with minute scraps of gold, creating dazzling pieces so fine that the detail can barely be picked out with the naked eye. They were some of the best prehistoric metal work ever found in Britain.

The children may have been working in Brittany, where the largest concentration of daggers decorated with the tiny gold pins have been found, but the finest of all was excavated more than 200 years ago from a burial mound half a mile from Stonehenge.

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September 17 2014

Massive 5,000-Year-Old Stone Monument Revealed in Israel


A lunar-crescent-shaped stone monument that dates back around 5,000 years has been identified in Israel.

Located about 8 miles (13 kilometers) northwest of the Sea of Galilee, the structure is massive — its volume is about 14,000 cubic meters (almost 500,000 cubic feet) and it has a length of about 150 meters (492 feet), making it longer than an American football field. Pottery excavated at the structure indicates the monument dates to between 3050 B.C. and 2650 B.C., meaning it is likely older than the pyramids of Egypt. It was also built before much of Stonehenge was constructed.

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September 17 2014

Ancient Mexican Tequila Worked as Food, Energy Drink


Less than an hour's drive from the heart of Mexico City lies the expansive ruins of Teotihuacan, a massive city of nearly 120,000 people who built pyramids, temples and palaces before disappearing around 650 A.D.

This civilization, which pre-dates the Aztecs, remains a mystery in many ways. But new research has found they brewed a tequila-like drink called pulque as a source of food and nutrition, not just to forget their woes.


Related: Ancient People of Teotihuacan Drank Milky Alcohol, Pottery Suggests

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September 17 2014

Cross-bred crops get fit faster


Genetic engineering lags behind conventional breeding in efforts to create drought-resistant maize.

Old-fashioned breeding techniques seem to be leading genetic modification in a race to develop crops that can withstand drought and poor soils.

As the climate warms and rainfall becomes more erratic, farmers worldwide will increasingly need crops that can thrive in drought conditions.

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September 17 2014

Earthworms as nature's free fertilizer


Earthworm presence in the soil increases crop yield, shows a new study that was published this week in Scientific Reports. "This is not unexpected," says Jan Willem van Groenigen, associate professor in the Soil Biology group of Wageningen University, and lead author of the study. "People have known for millennia that earthworms can be good for plant growth. However, we did not know how strong this effect is, nor how it works. That is what we studied."

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September 17 2014

This Crocodile Uses Tools To Capture Its Prey


With their powerful jaws and their ability to grow up to 10 feet long, this South Asian crocodile looks like a powerful hunter. But its not just their size or their teeth that makes their hunting style so successful. It's their strategy. They're using tools.

The Mugger (Crocodylus palustris) is medium-sized crocodile that is found mostly in India, but also surrounding countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and even as far north as Iran.

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