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July 29 2014

Building 'invisible' materials with light


A new method of building materials using light, developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge, could one day enable technologies that are often considered the realm of science fiction, such as invisibility cloaks and cloaking devices.

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July 29 2014

'Holy grail' of battery design achieved: Stable lithium anode


Researchers report that they have taken a big step toward accomplishing what battery designers have been trying to do for decades -- design a pure lithium anode. All batteries have three basic components: an electrolyte to provide electrons, an anode to discharge those electrons, and a cathode to receive them.

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July 29 2014

World's largest solar boat on odyssey to find ancient inhabited site in Greece


The world's largest solar boat, the catamaran PlanetSolar, is to embark on a Greek mission to find one of the oldest sites inhabited by man in Europe, an organiser said on Monday.

Starting on 11 August, a team of Swiss and Greek scientists will seek a "prehistoric countryside" in the south-eastern Peloponnese peninsula, University of Geneva researcher Julien Beck told AFP. The month-long mission, jointly organised with the Swiss school of archaeology and the Greek culture ministry, will search around the Franchthi cave in the Argolic gulf, where early Europeans lived between the Palaeolithic and Neolithic periods.

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July 29 2014

Tree Rings Solve Mystery of World Trade Center Ship


In July 2010, amid the gargantuan rebuilding effort at the site of the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan, construction workers halted the backhoes when they uncovered something unexpected just south of where the Twin Towers once stood.

At 22 feet (6.7 meters) below today's street level, in a pit that would become an underground security and parking complex, excavators found the mangled skeleton of a long-forgotten wooden ship.

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July 28 2014

Egyptian Carving Defaced by King Tut's Possible Father Discovered


A newly discovered Egyptian carving, which dates back more than 3,300 years, bears the scars of a religious revolution that upended the ancient civilization.

The panel, carved in Nubian Sandstone, was found recently in a tomb at the site of Sedeinga, in modern-day Sudan. It is about 5.8 feet (1.8 meters) tall by 1.3 feet (0.4 m) wide, and was found in two pieces.

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July 28 2014

Peru: Archaeologists Uncover Ancient Astronomy Lab In Peruvian Ruins


Archeologists have stumbled upon a site where ancient people observed the stars thousands of years ago in Peru, a country famous for using drones to help uncover and map archeological treasures, as Reuters reported.

Excavators working on a complex at Licurnique, in the country’s northern region, have uncovered evidence of an “astronomical laboratory,” that dates back between 3,500 and 4,000 years.

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July 28 2014

Extinction of dinosaurs was 'colossal bad luck'


If the asteroid strike that wiped out the dinosaurs had taken place just a few million years earlier or later then the Earth might have ended up as dino-only zone, according to new research.

A study of the events leading up to the prehistoric creatures’ demise suggests that the timing of the impact was “colossal bad luck”, hitting the dinosaurs just when their food chain had been seriously weakened by environmental upheaval.

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July 28 2014

Microbe's Innovation May Have Started Largest Extinction Event on Earth


The environment can produce sudden shocks to the life of our planet through impacting space rocks, erupting volcanoes and other events.

But sometimes life itself turns the tables and strikes a swift blow back to the environment. New research suggests that the biggest extinction event on record may have been initiated by a small, but significant change to a tiny microbe.

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July 28 2014

Tasmania has prehistoric roots in North America, scientists show


Tasmania’s place in the prehistoric world seems to have become clearer with evidence that the island state was once snugly attached to western North America.

Research from the University of Tasmania found a close prehistoric connection between Tasmania and North America through the analysis of tiny minerals.

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July 28 2014

'Whistling' Volcanic Lightning Heard Halfway Around the World


The Earth sings every day, with an electric chorus. With the right tuning, radios can eavesdrop on this sizzling symphony of crackles, pops and whistles — the melody of millions of lightning bolts. A listener in New Zealand can even hear a volcano in Alaska erupt, a new study reports.

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July 28 2014

Decisions ripple through flocks of birds like a wave


Birds of a feather flock together, but perhaps not in the way we thought. An analysis of flocking starlings suggests the decision to turn spreads through the birds like a rippling wave, rather than diffusing through the group like a gas.

Asja Jelic of the Sapienza University of Rome, Italy, and her colleagues spend their nights watching starlings fly over the city.

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July 28 2014

These trees don’t mind getting robbed


Plants don’t make flowers just to make me happy, and they don’t make nectar just to feed bees, hummingbirds and other pollinators. Those nectar-filled flowers are there to lure species in where they’ll pick up some of the plant’s pollen and transport it to another flower so the plant can reproduce.

But there are some individuals that horn in on this deal — nectar robbers.

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July 28 2014

Trees save lives, reduce respiratory problems


In the first broad-scale estimate of air pollution removal by trees nationwide, scientists have calculated that trees are saving more than 850 human lives a year and preventing 670,000 incidences of acute respiratory symptoms. The study considered four pollutants for which the U.S. EPA has established air quality standards: nitrogen dioxide, ozone, sulfur dioxide, and particulate matter less than 2.5 microns (PM2.5) in aerodynamic diameter.

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July 28 2014

Army Chow Could One Day Be Made With 3D Printers


The military has always looked toward new technologies to keep its soldiers fed while in the field. Canned food, for instance, was first created to provide sustenance for Napoleon's troops. Now the U.S. Army is investigating 3D printers as a way to produce more nutritious, and hopefully tastier, military rations.

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July 28 2014

Urban growth: bio-bricks offer a whiff of the future


A sweeping tower made from over 10,000 bio-waste bricks bound with fungal fibre has been growing in the courtyard of MoMA PS1, an offshoot of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. Looking like something between a three-headed grain silo, Zhang Huan's Three Legged Buddha and a Berlin flak tower, Hy-Fi is the winner of this year's MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program (YAP), and its organic aesthetic clashes hard with the museum's red-brick frontage and the green-glass Citicorp building behind.

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July 28 2014

Magnets for fusion energy: High-temperature superconductor achieves new world record for electrical


Scientists have achieved an electrical current of 100,000 amperes, which is by far the highest in the world, by using the new idea of assembling the state-of-the-art yttrium-based high-temperature superconducting tapes to fabricate a large-scale magnet conductor.

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July 28 2014

UFOs Over Toronto Caught On Tape, Prompting Police Reports


Something was flying over Toronto on Saturday night, causing residents to contact police and take to social media with images and videos of lights in the sky.

“It was really high up, and was round, bright and shining,” Sarah Chun, who recorded videos of the lights with her iPad and posted them to YouTube, told the Toronto Star. “At first I thought it was stars or something, but it was too bright to be. I didn’t know what it was.”.

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