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April 9 2014

Message in a Bottle May Be World's Oldest


More than 100 years ago, a young German man named Richard Platz stuffed a message into a brown beer bottle, then tossed the bottle into the Baltic Sea during a nature hike.

Platz, the 20-year-old son of a baker, had no way of knowing that his message would survive two world wars, the Great Depression and the Cold War — not to mention more than a century of brutal winters and ocean storms.

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April 9 2014

No Bones About It: Technology Made Ancient Humans Less Active


Human bones can serve as a historical record of their owners' lifestyles, and now ancient human skeletons from Central Europe may reveal how humans shifted from rugged nomads to plow-pushers, researchers say.

Leg bones of people living in the Danube River valley became weaker after 5,300 B.C., around the time when agriculture emerged in Europe, a new study suggests.

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April 9 2014

Genome analysis confirms humans and Neandertals interbred


Study rules out alternative explanation for genetic similarities between the archaic hominid and people in Europe and Asia today

Technical objections to the idea that Neandertals interbred with the ancestors of Eurasians have been overcome, thanks to a genome analysis method described in the April 2014 issue of the journal GENETICS.

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April 9 2014

Mummies in the CT scanner: disease, beauty tips and jewellery exposed


The "astonishingly well preserved" Egyptian singer Tamut wore a glamorous wig, was adorned with amulets but suffered furred arteries and may have died of a heart attack

For a stylish Ancient Egyptian lady the thought of appearing in public without her wig may have proved horrifying.

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April 9 2014

Massive Turquoise Trade Network of Ancient Pueblos Revealed


About a millennium ago, the ancestral Pueblo Indians in the Chaco Canyon in northwestern New Mexico obtained their precious turquoise using a large trade network spanning several states, new research reveals.

In the new study, researchers traced Chaco Canyon turquoise artifacts back to resource areas in Colorado, Nevada and southeastern California.

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April 9 2014

Flint tools dated 14,000 years ago


Primitive tools dug up by archaeologists in South Lanarkshire have been dated at 14,000 years old - making them the earliest evidence of humans in Scotland.

The discovery follows a study of more than 5,000 flint artefacts recovered from fields at Howburn, near Biggar, from 2005 to 2009.

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April 9 2014

Do the ancient stone walls of Saksaywaman in Peru contain hidden communication?


Lying on the northern outskirts of the city of Cusco in Peru, lies the remarkable walled complex of Saksaywaman (Sacsayhuaman), believed to have been built by the Inca. The site is famous for its remarkable large dry stone walls with boulders carefully cut to fit together tightly without mortar, displaying a precision of fitting that is unmatched in the Americas.

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April 9 2014

Surprise finding as ancient Egyptian sarcophagus is found in Israel


Archaeologists made a rare and unexpected discovery during a natural gas pipeline salvage excavation in Jezereel Valley, Israel, when they came across a 3,300-year-old Egyptian sarcophagus complete with human remains and numerous grave goods. It is the first time in around fifty years that an anthropoidal (person-shaped) coffin has been found in present-day Israel.

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April 8 2014

NASA photo captures strange bright light coming out of Mars


A NASA camera on Mars has captured what appears to be artificial light emanating outward from the planet's surface.

The photo, beamed millions of miles from Mars to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., was taken last week, apparently by one of two NASA rovers on the red planet.

Although the space agency hasn't issued any official statement yet about the phenomenon, bloggers and NASA enthusiasts have started chiming in.

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April 8 2014

Hummingbirds: still evolving endless forms most wonderful


A newly-published comprehensive family tree for hummingbirds traces the rapid and ongoing birth of new species throughout this modern family's 22-million-year history. The findings indicate that hummingbird diversification is driven primarily by two elements: by their exploitation of new niches created by the Andean uplift and expansion into new geographic regions, and by their unique relationship to flowering plants.

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April 8 2014

Fate of European bees better than feared


The decline in European bee populations is not as bad as feared, the European Union's executive says, as it published a report into bee health in 17 EU member states.

'We can take some encouragement from the limited winter bee mortality in several major beekeeping countries,' said EU Health Commissioner Tonio Borg on Monday, adding however, that some states 'show high winter bee mortality'.

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April 8 2014

Earthquake Deflection Takes Tiny Step


This week a massive quake off the coast of Chile killed six and forced hundreds of thousands to evacuate in fear of a tsunami. The shaking evoked memories of the events off the coast of Japan in 2011 that triggered meltdowns at a nuclear power plant that the country is still struggling with.

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April 8 2014

Flimsy rocks allowed Earth's plates to start moving


Fragile things can be useful. Earth's surface is a lively place, made up of shifting plates of rock. Now it seems the surface only moves because it is partly made of flimsy rocks that have been damaged in the planet's heart.

Uniquely in the solar system, Earth's crust is divided into several sections.

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April 8 2014

StoreDot has plans for 30-second battery charge


You heard it last month, last week and most probably will hear the same message tomorrow: battery-bothered ordinary citizens wish that the best and brightest in labs could just take their hands off the next big things and turn to every person's need for an easier time powering up their devices and keeping them running when most needed.

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April 8 2014

Trees go high-tech: Process turns cellulose into energy storage devices


A fundamental chemical discovery should allow tress to soon play a major role in making high-tech energy storage devices. A method has been discovered to turn cellulose -- the most abundant organic polymer on Earth and a key component of trees –- into the building blocks for supercapacitors.

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April 8 2014

Harvesting water from fog


PH2OG Water is a startup project coming out of Princeton University's eLab that harvests water from clouds in the mountains of the Caribbean island of St. Vincent and distills it into pure, premium drinking water. The idea originated in a social entrepreneurship class taught at the University in 2011.

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April 8 2014

Hole Found in Natural Protective Layer of Earth’s Atmosphere


Scientists have discovered a hole in the atmosphere that allows ozone-depleting compounds and other chemicals to bypass the atmosphere’s natural “washing machine” layer.

The lowest layer of Earth’s atmosphere, known as the troposphere, is full of hydroxyl (OH) radicals which are known as the detergent of the atmosphere.

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April 8 2014

Fire It Up! LHC Begins Long Restart


To prepare humanity’s most complex machine for its next round of awesome physics, it’s not simply a question of flicking the ‘on’ switch.

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) near Geneva, Switzerland, has begun its long restart process after being powered down in February 2013 for repairs and upgrades. The whole startup process isn’t expected to be complete until early 2015.

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News desk archive...

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