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April 14 2015

Why we have chins: Our chin comes from evolution, not mechanical forces


Why are modern humans the only species to have chins? Researchers say it's not due to mechanical forces, such as chewing, but may lie in our evolution: As our faces became smaller, it exposed the bony prominence at the lowest part of our heads.

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April 14 2015

Strange rituals or cannibalism? Neanderthals manipulated bodies of adults and children shortly after


Neanderthals from the French region of Poitou-Charentes cut, beat and fractured the bones of their recently deceased companions, as revealed by the fossil remains of two adults and a child found at the Marillac site. These manipulations have been observed at other Neanderthal sites, but scientists still do not know whether they did this for food or ceremony. Scientists have discovered a large quantity of bone remains of these hominids.

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April 13 2015

The Divine Spark: Psychedelics, Consciousness, and the Birth of Civilization, by Graham Hancock


This is taken from the introduction of The Divine Spark: A Graham Hancock Reader: Psychedelics, Consciousness, and the Birth of Civilization. See more at The Divine Spark Library Page

I've been very lucky; I feel I've been blessed; I've lived a blessed life. I'm grateful to the universe for giving me the chance to live this life.

But why am I here? Why are you here? Why are we all here on planet earth? Why are we conscious? What are our lives for?

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April 13 2015

Bright future for ‘dark sky’ sites as astrotourism grows in appeal


They are the darkness seekers – and they are growing in number.

On Black Fell, looking down on Northumberland’s beautiful Kielder Water reservoir, a group of people wait in a car park next to a strange wooden building with a minimalist design beamed down from the future.

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April 13 2015

Asking Advice Makes a Good Impression


What do you do when you cannot figure out how to finish a tricky task at work? Or you are lost on back roads? Or you are trying a new do-it-yourself project in your house and just cannot seem to make it look like the photograph that inspired you on Pinterest? In life when you are stuck, there are many solutions. For example, you could invest more time and effort by brainstorming alternative approaches, using trial and error or looking up tricks of the trade online.

But one thing most people know to avoid for sure: asking for advice.

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April 13 2015

The Science Of Why You Should Spend Your Money On Experiences, Not Things


Most people are in the pursuit of happiness. There are economists who think happiness is the best indicator of the health of a society. We know that money can make you happier, though after your basic needs are met, it doesn't make you that much happier. But one of the biggest questions is how to allocate our money, which is (for most of us) a limited resource.


Related: Sexy men make others take bigger risks with money

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April 13 2015

Brain Sarcasm Centre “Totally Found”


A new study published in the journal Neurocase made headlines this week. Headlines like: “Sarcasm Center Found In Brain’s White Matter“. The paper reports that damage to a particular white matter pathway in the brain, the right sagittal stratum, is associated with difficulty in perceiving a sarcastic tone of voice.

The authors, studied 24 patients who had suffered white matter damage after a stroke.

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April 13 2015

Procrastination Is Not Great for Your Heart


People who are self-admitted procrastinators are also more likely to have heart disease, according to a study published online this week in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine. Fuschia M. Sirois of Bishop's University in Quebec, who led the research, gave a group of people with hypertension and cardiovascular disease and a group of healthy people a variety of questionnaires, including one designed to measure their proclivity toward putting things off.

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April 13 2015

Bundle Of Joyful Microbes: Mom's DNA Alters Baby's Gut Bacteria


Right after birth, trillions of microbes rush into a baby's gut and start to grow. Most of these critters come from the mom's skin, birth canal and gut.

But exactly which types of bacteria take up residence in an infant's gut can depend on the mother's DNA, scientists reported Thursday.

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April 13 2015

The pill can change the shape of your brain, new study suggests


New research suggests that the synthetic steroids delivered by the female contraceptive pill can shrink certain regions of the female brain and could also be altering their function.

Neuroscientists from the University of California, Los Angeles in the US took brain scans of 90 women who were either currently using the pill or not, and found that two key brain regions were thinner in pill users - the lateral orbitofrontal cortex and the posterior cingulate cortex.

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April 13 2015

Plants can take up nicotine from contaminated soils and from smoke


Passive smoking isn't only something that people have to cope with, but plants too. This is because some plants are actually able to take up nicotine from cigarette smoke, while others that grow in contaminated soil absorb it via the roots as well. This might explain why high concentrations of nicotine are often found in spices, herbal teas and medicinal plants, despite the fact that this alkaloid is no longer permitted in insecticides.


Related: Fruity! How ‘transgender’ avocado trees change their sex overnight in a matter of hours

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April 13 2015

We can fix the Great Barrier Reef


Leading coral reef scientists say Australia could restore the Great Barrier Reef to its former glory through better policies that focus on science, protection and conservation.

In a paper published in the journal Nature Climate Change, the authors argue that all the stressors on the Reef need to be reduced for it to recover.

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April 13 2015

Scientists explore 2,000 miles of the ocean floor -- and you can too


Now you can explore the ocean floor without leaving your desk.

The U.S. Geological Survey this week posted thousands of photos and videos of the U.S. coastline and adjacent seafloor, allowing users to explore sections of the Pacific, Atlantic and Gulf coasts in an interactive map. Most of the areas covered in the new imagery have never been seen before.

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April 13 2015

New study explains source of Earth’s mysterious ringing


Scientists have come up with an explanation of why the Earth rings like a bell.

It’s long been known that earthquakes can cause the Earth to oscillate, or ring, for days or months, but in the late 1990s, seismologists discovered that the planet constantly vibrates at very low frequencies, even when there are no earthquakes. This ever-present background tremor can’t be felt by humans, but can be detected by sensitive seismic instruments.

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April 13 2015

This Mountain On Mars Is Leaking


As the midsummer Sun beats down on the southern mountains of Mars, bringing daytime temperatures soaring up to a balmy 25ºC (77ºF), some of their slopes become darkened with long, rusty stains that may be the result of water seeping out from just below the surface.

These dark lines, called recurring slope lineae (RSL) by planetary scientists, are some of the best visual evidence we have of liquid water existing on Mars today.

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April 13 2015

Looking into the voids could help explain dark energy


HOLES in the universe could help explain why it's ripping apart. The number and size of cosmic voids could shed light on the mysterious dark energy that is causing the universe to grow at an ever-increasing pace.

In the late 1990s, astronomers realised that the expansion of the universe was accelerating and attributed this to the inherent "dark energy" of space-time.

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April 13 2015

Why more matter than antimatter? For ultra-cold neutrino experiment, successful demonstration


Nuclear physicists announced the first scientific results from the Cryogenic Underground Observatory for Rare Events (CUORE) experiment. CUORE is designed to confirm the existence of the Majorana neutrino, which scientists believe could hold the key to why there is an abundance of matter over antimatter.

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