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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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August 21 2014

Solar energy that doesn’t block the view


A team of researchers at Michigan State University has developed a new type of solar concentrator that when placed over a window creates solar energy while allowing people to actually see through the window.

It is called a transparent luminescent solar concentrator and can be used on buildings, cell phones and any other device that has a clear surface.

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August 21 2014

This extreme Antarctic insect has the tiniest genome


The Antarctic midge is a simple insect: no wings, a slender black body and an adult life span of not much more than a week.

So perhaps it's fitting the bug is now on record as the owner of the tiniest insect genome ever sequenced. At just 99 million base pairs of nucleotides (DNA's building blocks), the midge's genome is smaller than that of the body louse and far more miniscule than the human genome, which has 3.2 billion base pairs. (Though the midge's genome still dwarfs the smallest of all genomes on record, which belongs to a bacterium that lives inside insects and contains just 160,000 base pairs.).

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August 21 2014

Giant Rats Trained to Sniff Out Tuberculosis in Africa


MAPUTO, Mozambique—On a recent Friday morning, at a laboratory in southern Africa, Tariq correctly identified all six spit samples known to be positive for tuberculosis, the world's second most fatal infectious disease.

Tariq is no scientist, though. He's a lab rat—an African giant pouched rat, to be exact. Every weekday, the trained rodent and eight of his brethren take turns in a glass-sided cage at Eduardo Mondlane University's College of Veterinary Medicine.

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August 21 2014

One Year After Discovery, Crowdsourcing the Olinguito


One year ago today, researchers announced that they had discovered a new species - Bassaricyon nbelina, nicknamed the olinguito. It was the first time that scientists had named a new carnivous mammal found in the Americas in 35 years.

Discovering the olinguito, which lives in Ecaduor and Colombia and belongs to the same family as raccoons, took scientists a decade. It turned out that museum collections throughout the world had mislabeled olinguito skulls for years.

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August 21 2014

When A Machine Studied Fine Art Paintings, It Saw Things Art Historians Had Never Noticed


The task of classifying pieces of fine art is hugely complex. When examining a painting, an art expert can usually determine its style, its genre, the artist and the period to which it belongs. Art historians often go further by looking for the influences and connections between artists, a task that is even trickier.

So the possibility that a computer might be able to classify paintings and find connections between them at first glance seems laughable. And yet, that is exactly what Babak Saleh and pals have done at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

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August 21 2014

Pygmies' small stature evolved many times


“Small is beautiful,” argued the British economist E. F. Schumacher back in the 1970s; although he was referring to ecologically appropriate technologies rather than people, the same might be true for humans living in tropical rainforests. Pygmies, small-statured hunter-gatherers such as this woman from the Batwa people of Uganda pictured above, live in Africa, Asia, and the Americas, and many researchers have suggested that their diminutive size is an evolutionary adaptation to the rigors of rainforest life.

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August 21 2014

8,000-year-old mutation key to human life at high altitudes


In an environment where others struggle to survive, Tibetans thrive in the thin air of the Tibetan Plateau, with an average elevation of 14,800 feet. A new study is the first to find a genetic cause for the adaptation and demonstrate how it contributes to the Tibetans’ ability to live in low oxygen conditions.

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August 21 2014

The Secret Science Boards of TED And The Question of Consciousness


There’s a shadowy group lurking in the squeaky clean corridors of the scientific information conglomerate known as TED. Here in the cockles of this monolithic shaft of Copernican cocksuredness hides a gloaming collection of secret scientists who decide the fate of the information you’re allowed to hear. They have no name, so we shall call them the Anonymous Society of Scientist (A.S.S. for short). We may have never known of A.S.S.’s existence if not for the hell raised over the removal of two popular TEDx Whitechapel speeches by Scientist, Dr. Rupert Sheldrake and best-selling author, Graham Hancock.

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August 21 2014

EXCAVATIONS BEGIN AT GUNUNG PADANG


Graham Hancock writes: I have just heard from my friend, geologist Danny Hilman Natawidjaja, head of the research team investigating the mysterious ancient site of Gunung Padang in Indonesia (see here for background http://bit.ly/1eEDRN6),who tells me there have been major developments that will allow him and his colleagues to move forward rapidly with their vitally important work. "My independent research team (TTRM)," Danny writes, "has just became the National Research Team (TIMNAS) with additional members from around Indonesia under the the ministry of education and culture. A couple weeks ago the president of Indonesia gave an order to the chief general of the Indonesian Land Troop Army (TNI AD) to back-up research activities in Gunung Padang. It has been already a week that 300 army personel have been deployed around Gunung Padang to serve the needs of local people and help with research activities. The chief general, Gatot Nurmantyo, had just been appointed, and Gunung Padang is his first assignment directly from the president himself. The National Research Team has just formed and awaits funding. But in the meantime I and my team have no choice but to get started using the available army task force. Fortunately the ministry has given us permission to go ahead while the National Team gets ready for action. We will start digging tomorrow (21 August 2014). Surely, we have identified a couple locations of possible access to the chambers but of course subsurface geological geophysical data have never been simple...always some complications and surprises...we’ll see. So, wish me luck!" End of message from Danny Hilman Natawidjaja to Graham Hancock dated 20 Aug 2014.

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August 20 2014

Lessons From The Last Time Civilization Collapsed


Consider this, if you would: a network of far-flung, powerful, high-tech civilizations closely tied by trade and diplomatic embassies; an accelerating threat of climate change and its pressure on food production; a rising wave of displaced populations ready to sweep across and overwhelm developed nations. Sound familiar?

While that laundry list of impending doom could be aimed at our era, it's actually a description of the world 3,000 years ago. It is humanity's first "global" dark age as described by archaeologist and George Washington University professor Eric H. Cline in his recent book 1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed

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August 20 2014

Homo floresiensis: scientists clash over claims 'hobbit man' was modern human with Down's syndrome


A furious international dispute has erupted over the publication of a paper that claims the hobbit man of Flores was a modern human who had Down's syndrome. Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) this month, the research has been denounced by scientists around the world. The tiny Homo floresiensis, discovered on Flores, an island in Indonesia, is definitely a member of a distinct ancient species of hominins, they insist.

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August 20 2014

Did Vedism come from ancient Egypt (a), vice versa (b), or did they both come from Atlantis (c)?


Pop quiz (that you will never be given within the halls of academia):

Choose the best answer:
a) Vedism came from the sacred myths of ancient Egypt.
b) The sacred myths of ancient Egypt came from Vedism.
c) They both came from some even earlier, now unknown predecessor civilization (which, for want of a better term, some have called "Atlantis").
d) None of the above.

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August 20 2014

Hallucigenia revealed: The most surreal creature from strangest period in history of life on Earth


If Salvadore Dali were God, he would surely have designed an animal that looked like Hallucigenia. It has been described as the most surreal creature that lived in the strangest period in the history of life on Earth, more than 500 million years ago.

After more than four decades of studying fossilised imprints, scientists believe they have finally nailed Hallucigenia’s position in the tree of life, and in the process discovered its only living descendants.

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August 20 2014

Toothless 'dragon' pterosaurs once ruled skies worldwide, study says


Ancient winged reptiles called pterosaurs were so successful that they ruled Earth's skies for tens of millions of years, according to a study published in the journal ZooKeys.

The fearsome fliers, part of a family of pterosaurs named Azhdarchidae, get their name from azdarha, the Persian word for "dragon." Unlike earlier pterosaurs, they had no teeth, and they dominated from late in the Cretaceous period (around 90 million years ago) until the extinction event that also killed off the dinosaurs some 66 million years ago.

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August 20 2014

Surprise! Mathematical model reveals unexpected findings on happiness


Do you remember the last time you were dreading something, only to have it turn out to be a pleasant surprise? Maybe it was a bad summer blockbuster you were forced to watch, or a blind date set up by your parents.

You turn up, grumbling and prepared to hate every second of it. But then, a funny thing happens: you crack a smile – laugh out loud, even – and before you know it, you’re having a grand old time.

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August 20 2014

Bone chemistry reveals royal lifestyle of Richard III


A recent study by the British Geological Survey, in association with researchers at the University of Leicester, has delved into the bone and tooth chemistry of King Richard III and uncovered fascinating new details about the life and diet of Britain's last Plantagenet king. The study, published in Elsevier's Journal of Archaeological Science indicates a change in diet and location in his early childhood, and in later life, a diet filled with expensive, high status food and drink.

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August 20 2014

‘Jaws of an earth monster’ among treasures discovered at newly unearthed Mayan cities


Archaeologists have unearthed two ancient Mayan cities hidden for centuries in thick vegetation in the heart of the Yucatan peninsula.

Aerial photographs helped the researchers locate the sites in the southeastern part of Mexico’s Campeche state, near a large Mayan site discovered last year by the same team.

No other site has been found in this 1,800-square-mile area between the Rio Bec and Chenes regions.

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News desk archive...

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