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March 16 2014

Your voice betrays your personality in a split second


You had me at "Hello"! It turns out our opening words speak volumes – people take less than a second to form an impression of someone's personality based on their voice alone.

We know that our voices can transmit subtle signals about our gender, age, even body strength and certain personality traits, but Phil McAleer at the University of Glasgow and his colleagues wondered whether we make an instant impression.

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March 16 2014

In a bad mood? Your social networks might be to blame


The next time you feel compelled to share your misery on Facebook, spare a thought for your friends. For mood on social networks is contagious, and spreads to those you are connected to, scientists say.

Researchers in the US analysed over a billion updates from a million or so Facebook users and found that negative posts had a domino effect, causing similarly downbeat posts from others.

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March 16 2014

The Science of ‘Paying It Forward’


ONE morning in December of 2012, at the drive-through window of a Tim Hortons coffee shop in Winnipeg, Manitoba, a customer paid for her order and then picked up the tab for the stranger in the car behind her in line. Then that customer paid the bill for the following customer in line — and so on, for the next 226 customers, in a three-hour sequence of spontaneous generosity.

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March 16 2014

Innovative solar-powered toilet developed by CU-Boulder ready for India unveiling


A revolutionary University of Colorado Boulder toilet fueled by the sun that is being developed to help some of the 2.5 billion people around the world lacking safe and sustainable sanitation will be unveiled in India this month.

The self-contained, waterless toilet, designed and built using a $777,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has the capability of heating human waste to a high enough temperature to sterilize human waste and create biochar.

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March 16 2014

Georgia: What’s Worth More – Gold or Knowledge about Human Origins?


A classic conflict is building in Georgia that pits matters of general interest against private gain, revolving around what many archeologists contend is the world’s oldest gold mine. Scientists and others want to preserve the area for further excavation and study. But the company that holds the mining rights to the site is more interested in seeing its investment pay off.

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March 16 2014

3,000-year-old human remains found in Peru are first from pre-Incan culture


Peruvian officials announced on Friday that archeologists unearthed a burial site this week near the city of Cusco containing human remains that were more than 3,000 years old.

According to the Peruvian news agency Andina, this is the first discovery of human remains from the ancient Marcavalle society, a pre-Incan culture about which very little is known.

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March 16 2014

Gobekli Tepe – Developing tourism &amp; the Urfa region


Göbekli Tepe has become a major factor in the development of the Urfa region. This rising public interest is reflected in a growing stream of visitors on-site.

For this reason, it has become essential that a) adequate facilities are provided for the visiting public and b) sufficient measures are taken to ensure the protection and preservation of the ancient structures.

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March 16 2014

What killed off the giant beasts – climate change or man?


They were some of the strangest animals to walk the Earth: wombats as big as hippos, sloths larger than bears, four-tusked elephants, and an armadillo that would have dwarfed a VW Beetle. They flourished for millions of years, then vanished from our planet just as humans emerged from their African homeland.

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March 16 2014

Ancient Whale Fossils Reveal Early Origin of Echolocation


An ancient whale used sound beams to navigate and stalk prey 28 million years ago, an analysis of a new fossil suggests.

The new whale species, called Cotylocara macei, contains air pockets in the skull similar to those used by porpoises and dolphins to send out focused sound beams.

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March 16 2014

New Pygmy Tyrannosaur Found, Roamed the Arctic


A great discovery came in a small package for paleontologists who've unearthed a new species of tiny tyrannosaur in northern Alaska.

Dubbed Nanuqsaurus hoglundi, the polar pygmy measured about 20 feet (6 meters) long, about half the size of its close relative Tyrannosaurus rex.

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March 15 2014

Woolly Mammoth Clone Is Now Possible, Say Scientists


Scientists now say they've got enough blood and bone to bring an Ice Age icon kicking and stomping into the modern age.

All thanks to a remarkably well-preserved mammoth found in Siberia last summer.

"The data we are about to receive will give us a high chance to clone the mammoth," Radik Khayrullin, of the Russian Association of Medical Anthropologists, told the Siberian Times.

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March 15 2014

Human Ancestor's Skeleton Dated to 3 Million Years


For more than a decade, anthropologists have debated the age of the Australopithecus fossil called “Little Foot,” as they excavated the nearly complete skeleton of the extinct potential ancestor of humans. Now scientists say they have conclusively shown the specimen is about 3 million years old.

A recent analysis of stone surrounding the fossils found evidence of the bones’ age and suggested Little Foot may be the oldest nearly complete Australopithecus skeleton ever found.

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March 15 2014

Secrets of Chinese Terra-Cotta Warrior Weapons Revealed


One of the most astounding archaeological discoveries of the 20th century is arguably the life-size terra-cotta army buried alongside China's first emperor. Now, scientists have figured out how the bronze triggers for the crossbows of the 8,000 terra-cotta warriors were manufactured.

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March 15 2014

Why Do 16th-Century Manuscripts Show Cats With Flaming Backpacks?


A series of 16th-century manuscripts that have been making waves on the Internet look like a Monty Python version of the Renaissance: They show cats outfitted with flaming backpacks, attacking castles and villages.

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March 15 2014

Gravitational waves: have US scientists heard echoes of the big bang?


There is intense speculation among cosmologists that a US team is on the verge of confirming they have detected "primordial gravitational waves" – an echo of the big bang in which the universe came into existence 14bn years ago.

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March 15 2014

Animals 'scared' by bursts of light from power cables


Animals around the world could be scared away from power cables because these give off UV flashes invisible to humans, scientists have said.

Several species' vision was studied by an international team to identify this ultra-violet (UV) sensitivity.

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March 15 2014

Sponges May Have Breathed Life into Ancient Oceans


You may owe your life to the lowly sea sponge.

Flourishing in extreme, deep-ocean environments hundreds of millions of years ago, sponges may have helped produce the oxygen requisite for the explosion of more complex life forms on Earth, a new study suggests.

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March 15 2014

Forests Around Chernobyl Aren’t Decaying Properly


Nearly 30 years have passed since the Chernobyl plant exploded and caused an unprecedented nuclear disaster. The effects of that catastrophe, however, are still felt today. Although no people live in the extensive exclusion zones around the epicenter, animals and plants still show signs of radiation poisoning.

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