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October 19 2014

U.S. Tornadoes Form in Swarms


Over the past couple of decades, tornado season has seen a lot more variation than it used to. Not only have some of the earliest and latest starts to the tornado season been recorded since the mid-1990s, but tornadoes are seeming to cluster together so that there are fewer days with tornadoes, but more tornadoes on the days that do have them, a new study finds.


Related: NASA now says vast methane cloud over U.S. southwest is for real

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October 19 2014

Australian volcanic mystery explained


Scientists have solved a long-standing mystery surrounding Australia’s only active volcanic area, in the country’s southeast.

The research explains a volcanic region that has seen more than 400 volcanic events in the past four million years.


Related: Iceland Is Experiencing Its Biggest Continuous Volcanic Eruption in Centuries
Related: Japan's Volcanoes Made More Jittery by 2011 Quake

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October 19 2014

Japan approves construction of maglev bullet train that will travel 178 miles in 40 minutes


When it comes to building high-speed trains Japan is continuing to embarrass the rest of the world, with the latest line, approved by the government this Friday, capable of travelling the 178 miles from Tokyo to Nagoya in just 40 minutes

This is less than half the time it currently takes the celebrated Shinkansen bullet train to travel the route, with trains on the Chuo Shinkansen line reaching speeds of 300 mph thanks to their maglev (magnetic levitation) technology.

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October 19 2014

E-citizens unite: Estonia opens its digital borders


ESTONIA flung open its digital borders last week. The eastern European country invited anyone, anywhere, to open a bank account or start a business. By the end of the year, anyone with an internet connection will be able to live their financial life in Estonia, all without being physically present.

Such e-residency, as it is known, is a step towards a world where a person's online identity matters just as much as their offline identity; where the location of data, rather than documents, is more important.

"This is the beginning of the erosion of the classic nation state hegemony".

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October 19 2014

New Solar Battery Could Generate Cheaper Clean Energy


A new kind of solar cell could store electrical energy without any help from traditional batteries, according to a new study.

Researchers at Ohio State University, in Columbus, have developed what they're calling the world's first solar battery — a hybrid device that combines the energy-capturing abilities of a solar cell with the energy-storing capabilities of a battery.

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October 19 2014

New way of syncing music to video will revolutionise TV ads


Tiny tweaks to the soundtrack can make TV adverts much more memorable, increasing their commercial impact.

The necessary adjustments are imperceptible to the ear and eye. But Andy Rogers (pictured above and right) – in the last stages of his PhD project at the University – has proved that there are considerable perceptual improvements if the synchronisation between the music and the visual content of the commercial is altered by just tenths of a second.

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October 19 2014

Man flu is real: Scientists say men have weaker immune systems


There is such a thing as man flu, with men less resistant to pneumonia and other respiratory illnesses, according to new research.

Scientists from Harvard University have discovered that the female sex hormone oestrogen fortifies the immune system, and men are suffering for its absence.

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October 19 2014

Sugary soft drinks may be linked to accelerated DNA ageing – study


Research finds that people who reported drinking 350ml of fizzy drink per day had DNA changes typical of cells 4.6 years older

Consumption of sugary soda drinks such as cola and lemonade may be linked to accelerated DNA ageing, say researchers who have studied the impact of the drinks in more than 5,000 people.


Related: Don’t drink the (warm) water, study says

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October 19 2014

If Earth’s magnetic field flips, will cancer rates spike?


Imagine waking up one morning to discover that all compasses pointed south instead of north. Researchers say it’s not as bizarre as it sounds.

Earth’s dipole magnetic field, like that of a bar magnet, remains about the same intensity for thousands to millions of years, but for incompletely known reasons it occasionally weakens and, presumably over a few thousand years, reverses direction.

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October 19 2014

Kuiper Belt Missions Could Reveal the Solar System’s Origins


January 20, 2014, was going to be either a very good or a very bad day for the men and women working on the Rosetta space probe. The 3,000-kilogram robotic spacecraft had been launched by the European Space Agency nearly 10 years earlier and was en route to an August encounter with an obscure comet bearing the unwieldy name 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P for short). If all went according to plan, Rosetta would do something that has never been attempted before: it would loop into a tight orbit around the comet, deploy a lander named Philae to touch down on its surface, and shadow the frozen body as it crackled to life, warmed by the heat of the sun.

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October 19 2014

Cell-Like Structure Found within 1.3-Billion-Year-Old Martian Meteorite


A team of scientists from the United Kingdom and Greece led by Dr Elias Chatzitheodoridis of the National Technical University of Athens has found a mysterious oval structure embedded deep within a famous Martian meteorite called Nakhla.

Multiple fragments of the Nakhla meteorite fell to Earth on June 28, 1911 near the village of El-Nakhla in Egypt. Its crystallization age has been determined to be 1.38 billion years.

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October 19 2014

Deep space 'snowball' nears close shave with Mars


A comet the size of a small mountain is about to skim past Mars, and NASA hopes its spacecraft will be able to photograph the once-in-a-million-years encounter.

The comet, known as Siding Spring (C/2013 A1), is set to hurtle past Mars at a close distance of about 88,000 miles (141,600 kilometers).

The closest pass is expected to happen Sunday at 2:27 pm (1827 GMT).

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October 18 2014

Who owns the moon?


Whether you're into mining, energy or tourism, there are lots of reasons to explore space. Some "pioneers" even believe humanity's survival depends on colonising celestial bodies such as the moon and Mars, both becoming central hubs for our further journey into the cosmos. Lunar land peddlers have started doing deals already – a one-acre plot can be yours for just £16.75.

More seriously, big corporations, rich entrepreneurs and even US politicians are eyeing up the moon and its untapped resources.

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October 18 2014

Now We Know What Killed The Ancient 'Ice Princess,' And Why She Had That Marijuana


Did a dying Siberian maiden who lived 2,500 years ago self-medicate with marijuana? New research by Russian scientists shows that's a likely possibility.

The mummified body of the Siberian "ice princess" -- so well preserved that tattoos on her skin were still visible when she was found -- was unearthed in an icy plateau in eastern Russia's Altai Mountains back in 1993. Since then, scientists have gained a good understanding of who the ice princess was, and how she and her people lived.


Alt: MRI reveals ancient Siberian ‘princess’ had breast cancer

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October 18 2014

Sophisticated spears: Unusual ridge on 200,000-year-old arm bone suggests Neanderthals threw weapons


Ancient human remains of what has been dubbed the 'oldest Parisian' have been uncovered in silts close to the River Seine in France.

Archaeologists unearthed 200,000-year-old left arm bones at Tourville-la-Rivière which are believed to belong to a young Neanderthal.

An unusual raised ridge on the upper-arm bone suggests that the Neanderthal suffered should muscle damage from repeatedly throwing a spear.

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October 18 2014

Russian Archaeologists Discover Cave Paintings Dated 3000 BC


Russian archaeologists have discovered ancient cave paintings dating back to 3000 BC in a gorge in southern Russia, they said.

One of the paintings discovered in the gorge features a hunting scene as well as figures that appear to be from another world — leading scholars to conclude the paintings may have been used in ancient rituals, Interfax reported.

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October 18 2014

California archaeologists uncover 90-year-old movie prop


Hidden for more than 90 years beneath the rolling sand dunes of Guadalupe, California, an enormous, plaster sphinx from the 1923 blockbuster movie "The Ten Commandments" has been rediscovered and is now above ground.

The roughly 15-foot-tall (4.6 meters) sphinx is one of 21 that lined the path to Pharaoh's City in the 1923 silent hit.

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