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December 21 2014

Greek Mystery Tomb Occupant to Be Revealed Soon


The identity of the skeleton found in the mysterious, richly decorated tomb in Amphipolis in northern Greece will be revealed next month, the Greek Ministry of Culture said.

According to the statement, macroscopic study of the bones, conducted by universities in Thessaloniki and Thrace, will provide answers on the individual’s sex, age and height.


Related: Rumor that Amphipolis Dead is Mother of Alexander Not Substantiated

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December 21 2014

8,000-Year-Old Olive Oil Found in Ancient Clay Pots


Ancient people pressed olive oil as far back as 8,000 years ago in Israel, a new study finds.

Researchers found residues of the Mediterranean-diet staple on ancient clay pots dating back to the 6th millennium B.C.

"This is the earliest evidence of the use of olive oil in the country, and perhaps the entire Mediterranean basin.

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December 21 2014

What was the 'Paleo diet'? There was far more than one, study suggests


The Paleolithic diet, or caveman diet, a weight-loss craze in which people emulate the diet of plants and animals eaten by early humans during the Stone Age, gives modern calorie-counters great freedom because those ancestral diets likely differed substantially over time and space, according to researchers at Georgia State University and Kent State University.

"Based on evidence that's been gathered over many decades, there's very little evidence that any early hominids had very specialized diets or there were specific food categories that seemed particularly important.

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December 21 2014

The mystery of the magical 'Ulfberht' Viking sword - Researchers close in on the German 'supermonks'


It was the sword of choice for the discerning Viking - superstrong, and almost unbeatable in battle.

Yet mystery surrounds a small number of Viking swords researchers have uncovered.

They are all inscribed with a single word - 'Ulfberht', which experts believe may reveal their maker.

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December 21 2014

Medieval City's Underground Ruins Discovered in England


Archaeologists have uncovered the network of a medieval city in England that dates back to the late 11th century.

The settlement, which includes a cathedral and a castle, is located at the historic site of Old Sarum, near Salisbury. In its heyday, the city thrived for about 300 years, but eventually declined in the 13th century, with the Roman conquest and the rise of New Sarum, the researchers said. Archaeologists have long known that the medieval city existed in Old Sarum, but this is the first detailed layout of the city ever created.

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December 20 2014

Archaeologists Discover 13,800-Year-Old Underwater Site at Haida Gwaii


An archaeological discovery from this past September could put the earliest inhabitation in Canada at around 13,800 years ago, reported CBC News. Right now it’s all on sonar images captured by an underwater robotic vehicle. Archaeologist Quentin Mackie from the University of Victoria (UVIC) and his team returned from a research trip to the Haida Gwaii archipelago in August, where they used an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) to scan the sea floor in search of evidence of ancient human inhabitation.

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December 20 2014

Digging up the 'Spanish Vikings'


The fearsome reputation of the Vikings has made them the subject of countless exhibitions, books and films - however, surprisingly little is known about their more southerly exploits in Spain.

No comprehensive archaeological study of Viking sites in Spain has ever been carried out and now a University of Aberdeen researcher plans to dig up the 'Spanish Vikings' for the first time.

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December 20 2014

Fool's Gold Preserves Some of Earth's Oldest Fossils


Fool's gold helps explain why many fossils of soft-bodied animals that lived more than 540 million years ago still survive, a new study finds.

The bacterial breakdown of ancient, wormlike animals after their deaths led to the formation of pyrite, the shiny, yellow mineral sometimes mistaken for gold. This pyrite helped preserve the fossils in three dimensions, according to research published Wednesday (Dec. 17) in the journal Nature Communications.

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December 20 2014

Prehistoric platypus-like reptile uncovered


A bizarre prehistoric platypus-like species of marine reptile with a short neck and duck-like beak has been discovered by palaeontologists in China.

The 248-million-year-old fossil, which has been named Eohupehsuchus brevicollis, belongs to a group of mysterious early Triassic marine reptiles called hupehsuchians, which have so far only been unearthed in two counties in Hubei Province.

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December 20 2014

Researchers learn more about the possible role of gamma ray bursts on life extinction in the univers


A pair of astrophysicists studying gamma ray bursts has found that such events might play a much larger role in the existence of life on Earth and other planets than has been thought. In their paper published in the journal Physical Review Letters, Tsvi Piran with the Hebrew University in Israel and Raul Jimenez from the University of Barcelona in Spain, suggest that gamma ray bursts might be responsible for past extinctions on Earth, and for limiting the possibility of life on planets near the center of galaxies.

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December 20 2014

Simulations back up theory that Universe is a hologram


A team of physicists has provided some of the clearest evidence yet that our Universe could be just one big projection.

In 1997, theoretical physicist Juan Maldacena proposed1 that an audacious model of the Universe in which gravity arises from infinitesimally thin, vibrating strings could be reinterpreted in terms of well-established physics. The mathematically intricate world of strings, which exist in nine dimensions of space plus one of time, would be merely a hologram: the real action would play out in a simpler, flatter cosmos where there is no gravity.

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December 20 2014

Could the Higgs be Part of the Matter-Antimatter Problem?


As excitement grows for the the second 3-year run of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), physicists are frantically planning the experiments that will be carried out when the particle accelerator starts slamming particles together at record energies in 2015.

One of those experiments, as discussed by a collaboration of particle physicists in a new paper published in the journal Physical Review D, could focus on why the universe is dominated by matter and not antimatter, one of the most enduring mysteries in modern physics.

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December 20 2014

Superconductivity Record Broken with Rotten-Egg Smelling Compound


For nearly 30 years, the search for a room-temperature superconductor has focused on exotic materials known as cuprates, which can carry currents without losing energy as heat at temperatures up to 164 Kelvin, or –109 C. But scientists say that they have trumped that record using the common molecule hydrogen sulphide. When they subjected a tiny sample of that material to pressures close to those inside Earth’s core, the researchers say that it was superconductive at 190 K (–83 C).

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December 20 2014

Engineers use liquid drops to make solids stiffer


Engineers at Yale University have discovered that the stiffness of liquid drops embedded in solids has something in common with Goldilocks: While large drops of liquids are softer than the solid that surrounds them, extremely tiny drops of liquid can actually be stiffer than certain solids. But when they’re “just right,” the liquid drops have the exact same stiffness as the surrounding solid.

The key is a liquid’s tendency to have as small a surface as possible — a contractile force known as “surface tension” that, for example, allows a cup of water to be filled slightly above the brim without spilling.

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December 20 2014

No more foamy beer, thanks to magnets


Few sights at a bar are more deflating than a bottle of beer overflowing with foam. This overfoaming, called gushing, arises when fungi infect the barley grains in beer’s malt base. The microorganisms latch onto barley with surface proteins called hydrophobins.


Alt: How magnets stop beer overflowing: Magnetic field reduces foam - and could make brews cheaper and less bitter too

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December 20 2014

Shrinking ship bubbles ‘could counteract climate change’


Getting ships to generate smaller bubbles as they sail across the oceans could counteract the impact of climate change, a study suggests.

Scientists from University of Leeds, UK, say this would create a brighter wake behind a vessel and reflect more sunlight back into space.


Related: Arctic still heating up twice as fast as rest of planet

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December 20 2014

Seabirds 'steer clear' of offshore wind farms


British Trust for Ornithology finds 99% of birds avoid wind turbines, easing fears over the impact of blades but caution still needed

Research by the British Trust for Ornithology and the University of the Highlands and Islands in Scotland, published this week, found most gannets would avoid even entering a wind farm area, while gulls do enter the area but then avoid flying near the spinning blades.

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