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June 24 2014

Underwater Cave Full of Ancient Bones to Be Mapped in 3D


The bones of ground sloths, saber-toothed cats and other creatures of the Ice Age have been discovered in a deep underwater cavern on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, but the exploration of the site is actually happening on the surface, hundreds of miles away, in a lab in San Diego.

Spelunkers first discovered the cave, called Hoyo Negro, seven years ago, but it was accessible only to specially trained cave divers.

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June 24 2014

Skulls with a mix of Neandertal and Primitive Traits Illuminate Human Evolution


Ancient skulls discovered in a Spanish cave exhibit a mix of Neandertal and more primitive characteristics, implying that Neandertals developed their defining traits in stages.

From studying a collection of skulls in a Spanish cave researches have identified both Neandertal-driven features as well as features linked with more primitive humans in these bones.

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June 24 2014

Evolution depends on rare chance events, 'molecular time travel' experiments show


Chance events may profoundly shape history. What if Franz Ferdinand's driver had not taken a wrong turn, bringing the Duke face to face with his assassin? Would World War I still have been fought? Would Hitler have risen to power decades later?

Historians can only speculate on what might have been, but a team of evolutionary biologists studying ancient proteins has turned speculation into experiment.

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June 24 2014

Stone Age worm egg hints at origins of modern scourge


The law of unintended consequences may have a longer history than we thought. At a Neolithic settlement in the region where early farmers pioneered crop irrigation systems, a team has found the oldest example of a water-borne disease that today affects 210 million people worldwide.

Schistosomiasis is caused by parasitic flatworms, contracted when humans wade in warm freshwater inhabited by snails that carry the parasite. It can lead to anaemia, kidney failure and death.

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June 24 2014

These Students Want to Send a Time Capsule to Mars


WASHINGTON — A student-led project aims to send a time capsule to Mars for future explorers to discover, its organizers announced today (June 23).

Time Capsule to Mars (TC2M), a project of the nonprofit organization Explore Mars, plans to land three small satellites, known as CubeSats, on the surface of the Red Planet within the next five years. The satellites will contain images, videos and other forms of expression from people around the globe, according to the project's organizers.

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June 23 2014

'Enigma Man' may be new human species that lived until 11,000 years ago


With Enigma Man we follow the groundbreaking research of Aussie paleoanthropologist Darren Curnoe and his Chinese colleague, paleontologist Ji Xueping.

Their study of ancient human remains found in a remote cave in South-west China looks at the idea there may have been another species of human existing alongside our ancestors as recently as 11,000 – 14,000 years ago.

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June 23 2014

A Mysterious Sound Is Driving People Insane — And Nobody Knows What's Causing It


Dr. Glen MacPherson doesn't remember the first time he heard the sound. It may have started at the beginning of 2012, a dull, steady droning like that of a diesel engine idling down the street from his house in the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia. A lecturer at the University of British Columbia and high school teacher of physics, mathematics and biology, months passed before MacPherson realized that the noise, which he'd previously dismissed as some background nuisance like car traffic or an airplane passing overhead, was something abnormal.


Related: Can you hear The Hum? Mystery noise which drives sufferers mad could be heard in Plymouth area

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June 23 2014

Simulating time travel: Doctor Who meets Professor Heisenberg


University of Queensland researchers have simulated time travel using light particles. Lead author and PhD student Martin Ringbauer, from UQ's School of Mathematics and Physics, said the study used photons – single particles of light – to simulate quantum particles traveling through time and study their behavior, possibly revealing bizarre aspects of modern physics.

"The question of time travel features at the interface between two of our most successful yet incompatible physical theories – Einstein's general relativity and quantum mechanics," Mr Ringbauer said.

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June 23 2014

A wrinkle in time: Finding the ice age in urban Los Angeles


Just beyond the traffic and palm trees of Wilshire Boulevard, hidden beneath the shadows of nondescript office buildings, lie the tar-slicked bones of many thousand long-dead creatures.

These unfortunates found themselves mired in the sticky bitumen of La Brea’s tar pits tens of thousands of years ago during the last glacial period. They have remained there ever since, providing scientists with an unrivaled window into the past, even as the city of Los Angeles materialized around them.

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June 23 2014

'Mystery coin' found in Jersey hoard


A "mystery coin" has been uncovered as part of work to discover the secrets of the world's largest Celtic coin hoard.

The hoard of some 70,000 coins and jewellery pieces was found by two metal detector enthusiasts in 2012.

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June 23 2014

After 450 Years, Archaeologists Still Hunting for Magnificent Sultan’s Heart


On a rainy day in February, a black Subaru purrs along a country road through the sodden farmland east of Pecs, in rural southern Hungary.

"Back in Süleyman's day, all this would have been much more heavily wooded," says Norbert Pap, a professor of political geography at the nearby University of Pécs. "Oak forests mainly, broken up with meadows and cornfields and vineyards, although as you draw nearer to Szigetvar the land opened up further and became more marshy."

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June 23 2014

The Hidden Ancient Empire of Iraq


The Akkadian Empire (2334-2154 BCE), carved out in blood by the army of Sargon the Great, put the lion’s share of Mesopotamia under the control of a single ruler. It doesn’t come up in popular culture really often, but Akkad’s cultural and historical significance is huge

So you’d think, given the empire’s importance, that we would have some idea of where the ruins of the imperial capital, Akkad, generally regarded as one of the largest cities in the ancient world, are. And you’d be wrong. We have no idea.

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June 23 2014

Summer Solstice: How Did the Stone Age Figure It Out?


When is the Summer Solstice? That time of the year when the Northern Hemisphere is angled toward the sun? When the day is the longest and when the night is the shortest? When the season changes into Summer? June 21st? Such astronomical knowledge is taught in grade school. However, observers in the Stone Age had no idea about the tilt of the Earth.

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June 23 2014

The Ancient Egyptian invention that made everything else possible


At the dawn of civilization, settlers on the Nile River made use of an everyday material to do something amazing

The history of Egypt boggles the mind. By any standard the scale of achievement was enormous, but through it all, it seems clear that the economy remained rooted in agriculture. It was the everyday business of the ancient Egyptians to produce food. This they did using a system that was the envy of all.

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June 23 2014

Ancient Inca roads win coveted World Heritage status


UN cultural agency UNESCO on Saturday granted its coveted World Heritage status to a vast and ancient Inca road system spanning six countries in South America.

The listing of the Qhapaq Nan roads will boost efforts to preserve and promote the network — an engineering marvel comparable to the vast road system of the Roman Empire.

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June 23 2014

Noah's Search: Probing Satellite Imagery for Lost Ark


Moviegoers were recently treated to "Noah," an epic story of bravery and sacrifice from the Old Testament, a saga in which the titular character takes on the divine mission to build an ark to save creation from an apocalyptic deluge.

Outside the big screen, speculation has swirled for decades that the leftovers of Noah's Ark hug the heights of Mt. Ararat in eastern Turkey — at a spot known as the Ararat anomaly. In true detective jargon, call it an "anomaly of interest."

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June 23 2014

Rare Fossil 'Mona Lisa' Meteorites May Be Evidence Of Ancient Cosmic Collision


They're being likened to the Mona Lisa -- four fossil meteorites that may be linked to an ancient cosmic crash in the early universe.

Dr. Philipp Heck, curator of meteorites and polar studies at the Field Museum in Chicago, made the comparison to the iconic Leonardo da Vinci portrait -- and not without reason.

“They are so rare and so unique.”

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