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Science (General/Chat)

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  • First comprehensive analysis of the woolly mammoth genome completed

    07/02/2015 1:34:26 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 38 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | 07-02-2015 | Provided by University of Chicago Medical Center
    The first comprehensive analysis of the woolly mammoth genome reveals extensive genetic changes that allowed mammoths to adapt to life in the arctic. Credit: Giant Screen Films © 2012 D3D Ice Age, LLC ======================================================================== The first comprehensive analysis of the woolly mammoth genome reveals extensive genetic changes that allowed mammoths to adapt to life in the arctic. Mammoth genes that differed from their counterparts in elephants played roles in skin and hair development, fat metabolism, insulin signaling and numerous other traits. Genes linked to physical traits such as skull shape, small ears and short tails were also identified. As a...
  • Robot kills a VW plant worker

    It seems to have happened as technicians were assembling the machine. "When the robot started up, it grabbed the man and thrust him against a metal slab," explains the Local. It's not clear how big the robot is, but a VW spokesperson says it is not one of the newer lightweight models designed to work alongside humans on the production line.
  • Roman Villa Reopens on Wild Tuscan Island

    07/02/2015 11:34:14 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    Discovery News ^ | Thursday, July 2, 2015 | Rossella Lorenzi
    The remains of one of the most prestigious maritime villas from Roman times are set to reopen July 2 in a small, almost uninhabited island off the Tuscan coast after been locked for 15 years. Commonly known as "Villa Domitia," the imperial complex stood magnificently 2,000 years ago on the island of Giannutri, a rocky crescent about 3 miles long with thick areas of Mediterranean vegetation... The majestic complex marks Giannutri's most glorious time. Today the southernmost island of the Tuscan archipelago is almost empty -- populated by a huge colony of seagulls and, in summer, by a group of...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Venus and Jupiter are Close

    07/02/2015 11:17:19 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 18 replies
    NASA ^ | July 02, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: On June 30, Venus and Jupiter were close in western skies at dusk. Near the culmination of this year's gorgeous conjunction, the two bright evening planets are captured in the same telescopic field of view in this image taken after sunset from Bejing, China. As the two bright planets set together in the west, a nearly Full Moon rose above the horizon to the south and east. Imaged that night with the same telescope and camera, the rising Moon from the opposite part of the sky is compared with the planetary conjunction for scale in the digitally composited image....
  • Gold coin may be key to solve Sweden's 'Pompeii'

    07/02/2015 9:31:58 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    The Local ^ | August 18, 2014 | Solveig Rundquist/Oliver Gee
    A small team of archaeologists at Kalmar County museum, in collaboration with Lund University, has been digging at the site for the past three years. The team is studying the Migration Period in Scandinavian history, from about 400 to 550 AD... While the team has found several hundred of the coin already, Monday's discovery was a big one, said archaeologist and project manager Helena Victor. "This is the first one found in an archaeological context," she told The Local. "Normally we find them while we're plowing the field. But we found this one inside a house where we found people...
  • This One Eye Color Is aAsociated with Higher Rates of Alcohol Dependence

    07/02/2015 5:51:21 AM PDT · by Oratam · 49 replies
    MSN.com ^ | July 2, 2015 | Svati Kirsten Narula
    Geneticists at the University of Vermont have revealed links between eye color and alcohol dependency, suggesting it occurs more frequently among people with blue eyes and less frequently among those with dark brown eyes. The study, which offers another piece of evidence that alcohol dependency has a genetic component, involved a sample of 1,263 individual genetic profiles. They were pulled from a database that only contains genetic profiles of people diagnosed with at least one psychiatric illness, which includes an addiction to, or dependence on, drugs or alcohol. For this study, the geneticists filtered the database for patients with alcohol...
  • The Fall and Rise and Fall of Pompeii

    07/01/2015 5:37:25 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 52 replies
    Smithsonian Magazine ^ | July 2015 | Joshua Hammer
    ...The two towns remained largely undisturbed, lost to history, through the rise of Byzantium, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. In 1738, Maria Amalia Christine, a nobleman's daughter from Saxony, wed Charles of Bourbon, the King of Naples, and became entranced by classical sculptures displayed in the garden of the royal palace in Naples. A French prince digging in the vicinity of his villa on Mount Vesuvius had discovered the antiquities nearly 30 years earlier, but had never conducted a systematic excavation. So Charles dispatched teams of laborers and engineers equipped with tools and blasting powder to the site of...
  • New Horizons [Probe] Color Images Reveal Two Distinct Faces of Pluto, Series of Spots that Fascinate

    07/01/2015 5:03:19 PM PDT · by Pyro7480 · 22 replies
    NASA ^ | 07/01/2015 | n/a
    New color images from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft show two very different faces of the mysterious dwarf planet, one with a series of intriguing spots along the equator that are evenly spaced. Each of the spots is about 300 miles in diameter, with a surface area that’s roughly the size of the state of Missouri. Scientists have yet to see anything quite like the dark spots; their presence has piqued the interest of the New Horizons science team, due to the remarkable consistency in their spacing and size. While the origin of the spots is a mystery for now, the...
  • Bulgarian Archaeologist Discovers Previously Unknown Ancient Thracian Fortress...[on] Ropotamo River

    07/01/2015 4:58:52 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    Archaeology in Bulgaria ^ | June 30, 2015 | Ivan Dikov
    An ancient fortress unknown to Bulgarian and international archaeology has been discovered in the thick and almost subtropical forests along the Ropotamo River in Southeast Bulgaria, the National Museum of History in Sofia has announced. The discovery has been made by Dr. Ivan Hristov, Deputy Director of the National Museum of History, who has also been excavating several other archaeological sites along Bulgaria's Southern Black Sea coast, including the Talaskara Fortress on Cape Chervenka (Chrisosotira). The previously unknown fortress, which appears to have been inhabited by Ancient Thracians, has been found in "the jungle of the Ropotamo" River, in the...
  • New study shows South Africans using milk-based paint 49,000 years ago

    07/01/2015 4:51:34 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    EurekAlert! ^ | June 30, 2015 | Jim Scott, University of Colorado at Boulder
    While the use of ochre by early humans dates to at least 250,000 years ago in Europe and Africa, this is the first time a paint containing ochre and milk has ever been found in association with early humans in South Africa, said Paola Villa, a curator at the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History and lead study author. The milk likely was obtained by killing lactating members of the bovid family such as buffalo, eland, kudu and impala, she said... The powdered paint mixture was found on the edge of a small stone flake in a layer of...
  • Stephen Hawking Pops In For Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook Q&A, Asks About 'Gravity And Other Forces'

    07/01/2015 4:36:32 PM PDT · by nickcarraway · 3 replies
    NBC Bay Area ^ | Wednesday, Jul 1, 2015 | Riya Bhattacharjee
    When Mark Zuckerberg does Townhall Q&As on Facebook to hear from users, he gets thousands of questions. Sometimes famous people ask questions. On Tuesday, Stephen Hawking asked him a question. "I would like to know a unified theory of gravity and the other forces. Which of the big questions in science would you like to know the answer to and why?" the world-famous physicist posted on Facebook through a verified account. His question received over 6,000 likes. "I don't think Mark would wanna answer this," one Facebook user joked. "Mr. Hawking wins the best question Q&A award," another quipped. "Epic,...
  • Ancient footprint discovery leaves lasting impression at Vindolanda

    07/01/2015 4:25:50 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    Vindolanda Trust ^ | Tuesday, June 30, 2015 | Sonya Galloway
    Nowhere gets you closer to the Romans on Hadrian's Wall than the fort and settlement of Vindolanda, the extraordinary hoard of personal artefacts gives you a unique insight into the lives of people living here 2000 years ago. The latest addition to the collection of artefacts from the current excavation has certainly made an impression on everyone. Someone 2000 years ago quite literally put their foot in it and as a result a volunteer digging at the site has unearthed a tile with a clear imprint of a human foot that accidentally, or perhaps mischievously stood on the freshly made...
  • 5,500-Year-Old Fingerprint Found on Ceramic Vessel

    07/01/2015 4:17:51 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 12 replies
    Discovery News ^ | June 26, 2015 | Rossella Lorenzi
    Danish archaeologists doing a survey ahead of the construction of the Femern Belt link scheme, an immersed tunnel that will connect the German island of Fehmarn with the Danish island of Lolland, have found a 5,500-year old-ceramic vessel bearing the fingerprint of the artisan who made it. The vessel is known with the name "funnel beaker," a kind of ceramics which features a flat bottom with a funnel shaped neck. Such earthenware is characteristic of the Funnel Beaker Culture (4000 – 2800 B.C.), which represents the first farmers in Scandinavia and the north European plain. It was found in pieces...
  • Jerusalem family finds 2,000-year old mikveh underneath living room

    07/01/2015 4:11:41 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 20 replies
    Ha'aretz ^ | Tammuz 14, 5775 (July 1, 2015) | Nir Hasson
    A Jerusalem family ripping up its living room floor found a staircase lost for 2,000 years, leading to a large ritual bath carved out of bedrock. It took the family some years to call in the authorities and show them the discovery beneath their house, in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Ein Kerem. Throughout the interim, the family blocked off the entrance to the mikveh with wooden doors, and simply continued to live over it. When they did call in the Israel Antiquities Authority, beneath the doors, the archaeologists found the carved stone staircase leaving to a big mikveh, 3.5 meters...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Venus, Jupiter, and Noctilucent Clouds

    07/01/2015 3:18:08 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    NASA ^ | July 01, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Have you seen the passing planets yet? Today the planets Jupiter and Venus pass within half a degree of each other as seen from Earth. This conjunction, visible all over the world, is quite easy to see -- just look to the west shortly after sunset. The brightest objects visible above the horizon will be Venus and Jupiter, with Venus being the brighter of the two. Featured above, the closing planets were captured two nights ago in a sunset sky graced also by high-level noctilucent clouds. In the foreground, the astrophotographer's sister takes in the vista from a bank...
  • US Vaccine Researcher Sentenced to Prison for Fraud

    07/01/2015 3:13:54 PM PDT · by nickcarraway · 7 replies
    Nature ^ | 01 July 2015 | Sara Reardonc
    The case of Dong-Pyou Han illustrates the uneven nature of penalties for scientific misconduct.Rare is the scientist who goes to prison on research misconduct charges. But on 1 July, Dong-Pyou Han, a former biomedical scientist at Iowa State University in Ames, was sentenced to 57 months for fabricating and falsifying data in HIV vaccine trials. Han has also been fined US$7.2 million and will be subject to three years of supervised release after he leaves prison. His case had a higher profile than most, attracting interest from a powerful US senator. Han’s harsh sentence raises questions about how alleged...
  • Giant sinkholes spotted on Rosetta's comet

    07/01/2015 2:40:21 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 4 replies
    On average, each of these quasi-circular holes are as wide as two football fields placed together, and some are as deep as the Washington monument is tall. ... The pits can be found clustered in just a few regions on the comet's surface. There are small groups of them on both the "head" and "body" of the rubber-duck-shaped comet, but nearly all of them appear in the comet's northern hemisphere. Cameras on Rosetta's OSIRIS instrument have spotted dust jets shooting out of some of the deeper depressions, but those that are more shallow do not seem to be active. The...
  • Toyota’s new hydrogen-powered car has a record-setting range

    07/01/2015 2:37:08 PM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 30 replies
    Business Insider ^ | 07/01/2015 | Graham Rapier
    Toyota has been very vocal about its lofty plans for the new Mirai. After severing ties with Tesla in 2014, Toyota has shifted its focus toward fuel cells and away from all-electric cars. On Wednesday, Toyota announced that the Mirai had achieved an EPA-estimated range of 312 miles. That’s the longest range of any zero-emission vehicle on the market today, including electric vehicles. “Toyota realized in the early 90’s that electrification was key to the future of the automobile,” said Toyota’s North America CEO Jim Lentz in a statement “Just as the Prius introduced hybrid-electric vehicles to millions of customers...
  • Flatworm uses 'hypodermic penis' to inject sperm into own head

    07/01/2015 2:24:31 PM PDT · by dynachrome · 43 replies
    The Guardian ^ | 7-1-15 | Philip Oldfield
    The pursuit of reproductive success in the animal kingdom sometimes calls for extreme measures. But few creatures can match the hermaphrodite flatworm, which scientists have discovered can reproduce by injecting sperm into its own head. The tiny aquatic worm, Macrostomum hystix, is able to self-fertilise because it produces both eggs and sperm. Although it prefers to reproduce with other flatworms, when no mating opportunities are present it resorts to using its needle-like penis to inject sperm into its own head. The sperm then swim down the creature’s transparent body to fertilise eggs in the tail region, leading to viable offspring.
  • Iron Age warrior lived with arrowhead in spine

    07/01/2015 7:20:54 AM PDT · by dware · 28 replies
    Live Science via Fox News ^ | 07.01.2015 | Laura Geggel
    A horrific spinal injury caused by a bronze arrowhead didn't immediately kill an Iron Age warrior, who survived long enough for his bone to heal around the metal point, a new study of his burial in central Kazakhstan finds. "This found individual was extremely lucky to survive," said study researcher Svetlana Svyatko, a research fellow in the school of geography, archaeology and paleoecology at Queen's University Belfast in Northern Ireland. "It's hard to get a vertebral wound without damaging the main blood vessels, which would have resulted in an immediate death."
  • Rice University installs powerful electron microscope with sub-nanoscale resolution

    07/01/2015 5:12:17 AM PDT · by RoosterRedux · 15 replies
    Rice University has installed the Titan Themis scanning/transmission electron microscope, which will enable scientists from Rice as well as academic and industrial partners to view and analyze materials at angstrom-scale (one-tenth of a nanometer) resolution, about the size of a single hydrogen atom. Images will be captured with a variety of detectors, including X-ray, optical and multiple electron detectors and a 4K-resolution camera (will create 4K ultra HD images). The microscope gives researchers the ability to create three-dimensional structural reconstructions and carry out electric field mapping of subnanoscale materials. Electron microscopes use beams of electrons rather than light to illuminate...
  • Ohio Senator Rob Portman statement on Supreme Court same sex marriage ruling.

    06/30/2015 3:28:36 PM PDT · by Cap'n Crunch · 23 replies
    Senator Portman website ^ | June 26, 2015 | Senator Portman
    June 26, 2015 Portman Statement on Legalization of Same-Sex Marriage “The issue of marriage equality is one that divides people of principle, and I understand that. In 2013, I decided to support marriage equality after I came to understand this issue better in the context of my own family. I can't help but view today's Supreme Court decision through that same lens. And as a father, I welcome today's decision. As I have said before, I would have preferred for this issue to be resolved by the democratic process in the states because I think you build a more lasting...
  • US Military's Hypersonic Jet Could Fly 5 Times the Speed of Sound

    06/30/2015 1:54:10 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 64 replies
    www.livescience.com ^ | June 30, 2015 07:14am ET | by Elizabeth Howell
    The U.S. military is reportedly developing a hypersonic jet plane that could soar at up to five times the speed of sound — faster than a bullet, which generally travels at Mach 2, or twice the speed of sound. The new hypersonic vehicle, which could take flight by 2023, builds upon research from a 2013 test flight of an experimental hypersonic vehicle, the X-51A Waverider, according to Military.com. The $300 million X-51A program began in 2004. The program's final test flight occurred May 1, 2013, when the unmanned Waverider reached a top speed of Mach 5.1 (more than five times...
  • Scientists name the deepest cave-dwelling centipede after Hades—the Greek god of the underworld

    06/30/2015 1:48:02 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 7 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | 06-30-2015 | Provided by Pensoft Publishers
    The newly discovered Hades centipede. Credit: J. Bedek An international team of scientists has discovered the deepest underground dwelling centipede. The animal was found by members of the Croatian Biospeleological Society in three caves in Velebit Mts, Croatia. Recorded as deep as -1100 m the new species was named Geophilus hadesi, after Hades, the God of the Underworld in the Greek Mythology. The research was published in the open access journal ZooKeys. Lurking in the dark vaults of some of the world's deepest caves, the Hades centipede has also had its name picked to pair another underground-dwelling relative named after...
  • Fallen Egypt archaeologist wants international Grand Museum [ Zahi Hawass is back! ]

    06/30/2015 12:24:47 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 17 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | 06-30-2015 | By Brian Rohan
    In this June 18, 2015 photo, Zahi Hawass, Egypt's former head of antiquities, stands next to his new book, "The legend of Tutankhamun," as he speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in his office in Cairo. For more than a decade, he was the self-styled Indiana Jones of Egypt, presiding over its antiquities and striding through temples and tombs as the star of TV documentaries that made him an international celebrity. But four years after the 2011 uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak and nearly ended his own career, Hawass can be found in a cramped office, lamenting...
  • Samsung develops lithium-ion battery with nearly double the life

    06/30/2015 12:08:20 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 20 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | 06-30-2015 | Bob Yirka
    A team of researches affiliated with Samsung's Advanced Institute of Technology, along with colleagues from other institutions in Korea has found a way to greatly extend lithium-ion battery life. In their paper published in the journal Nature Communications, the team describes their new technique and the results they achieved using it. Consumers want their phone batteries to last longer—that is no secret, and battery life has been extended, but mostly due to improved efficiency of the electronics that depend on it. Researchers at phone companies and elsewhere have been working hard to find a way to get more power out...
  • Many Options, No Single Solution to Nation's Traffic Snarls

    06/30/2015 10:47:03 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 38 replies
    ABC News ^ | June 27, 2015 | Joan Lowy
    The problem is clear: Traffic congestion will become significantly worse and more widespread without big changes in how people and products get around. Build more roads. Build more public transit. Rely on new technology. The possible solutions are many, but none is easy or cheap. A few ways to ease the nation's gridlock: ——— PUBLIC TRANSIT RENAISSANCE Ridership on public buses, trains and subways has reached its highest level nationally since the 1950s, and transit boosters cite this as evidence that expanded service and routes is a good investment. The nation's driving capital, Los Angeles, is making a multibillion-dollar investment...
  • Spiky monsters: New species of 'super-armored' worm discovered

    06/30/2015 9:59:45 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 29 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | 06-29-2015 | Provided by University of Cambridge
    Collinsium ciliosum, a Collins' monster-type lobopodian from the early Cambrian Xiaoshiba biota of China. Credit: Javier Ortega-Hernández A new species of 'super-armoured' worm, a bizarre, spike-covered creature which ate by filtering nutrients out of seawater with its feather-like front legs, has been identified by palaeontologists. The creature, which lived about half a billion years ago, was one of the first animals on Earth to develop armour to protect itself from predators and to use such a specialised mode of feeding. The creature, belonging to a poorly understood group of early animals, is also a prime example of the broad variety...
  • Asteroid Day Takes Aim at Our Cosmic Blind Spot: Threats From Above

    06/30/2015 5:08:46 AM PDT · by Old Sarge · 8 replies
    NBC ^ | 29 JUN 2015 | Alan Boyle
    Scientists and spacefliers will be focusing attention on near-Earth objects when the first-ever Asteroid Day plays out on Tuesday — not so much to raise money, but to raise awareness about the potential threat from above and what to do about it. That last part is the hard part, says Tom Jones, a planetary scientist and former NASA astronaut who's an adviser for Asteroid Day. He told NBC News that the biggest consciousness-raiser hit us two years ago, in the form of a nuclear-scale meteor blast that shook the Russian city of Chelyabinsk. "That was a crystallizing event for people...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- An Unusual Mountain on Asteroid Ceres

    06/29/2015 9:49:58 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 18 replies
    NASA ^ | June 30, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What created this large mountain on asteroid Ceres? No one is yet sure. As if in anticipation of today being Asteroid Day on Earth, the robotic spacecraft Dawn in orbit around Ceres took the best yet image of an unusually tall mountain on the Asteroid Belt's largest asteroid. Visible at the top of the featured image, the exceptional mountain rises about five kilometers up from an area that otherwise appears pretty level. The image was taken about two weeks ago from about 4,400 kilometers away. Although origin hypotheses for the mountain include volcanism, impacts, and plate tectonics, clear evidence...
  • History of Geology: Outburst flood from Glacier de Tete Rousse: A past and future threat

    06/29/2015 5:53:09 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 13 replies
    History of Geology ^ | August 2010 | David Bressan
    Before 1878, in a period with increased rate of ablation, a supraglacial lake formed in the centre of the glacier, this lake subsequently became covered by ice and snow. The collapse of the glacier tongue in 1892 finally released the accumulated water, a large cavity 40m in diameter and 20m high containing estimated 20.000 cubic meters water at the glacier terminus remained as testimony. From this lower cavity, an 85m long intraglacial conduit led to the upper cavity (the former lake) with an additional volume of 80.000 cubic meters. [History of Geology: Outburst flood from Glacier de Tete Rousse: A...
  • A Deep, Dark Mystery [Helium leakage from Earth's mantle in Los Angeles Basin]

    06/29/2015 4:25:13 PM PDT · by markomalley · 32 replies
    UC Santa Barbara ^ | 6/29/15 | Julie Cohen
    UC Santa Barbara geologist Jim Boles has found evidence of helium leakage from the Earth’s mantle along a 30-mile stretch of the Newport-Inglewood Fault Zone in the Los Angeles Basin. Using samples of casing gas from two dozen oil wells ranging from LA’s Westside to Newport Beach in Orange County, Boles discovered that more than one-third of the sites — some of the deepest ones — show evidence of high levels of helium-3 (3He).Considered primordial, 3He is a vestige of the Big Bang. Its only terrestrial source is the mantle. Leakage of 3He suggests that the Newport-Inglewood fault is deeper...
  • Artificial Intelligence Machine Gets Testy With Its Programmer

    06/29/2015 10:36:07 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 56 replies
    WSJ ^ | 1:56 pm ET Jun 26, 2015 | By Amir Mizroch
    Researchers have shown that machines are inching closer to self-learning, and perhaps even copping a little attitude. Over at Google, a computer program using a database of movie scripts was asked again and again by researchers to define morality. It struggles to do so, and in a conversation recorded by its human engineers, becomes exasperated and ends the conversation by lashing out at its human inquisitor. Here’s part of the exchange, as related in a paper presented this week: Human: Tell me the definition of morality. Machine: I don’t have ethics. Human: Look, I need help; I need to know...
  • Evidence Of A Holocene Meteorite Impact Event Near Nalbach (Saarland, Germany)

    06/29/2015 9:19:36 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 16 replies
    Academia ^ | 2015 | Kord Ernstson
    The widespread occurrence of peculiar samples in the Nalbach area covering many square kilometers and exhibiting convincing indications of high temperatures and high pressures, in particular the mineralogical evidence of strong shock, establishes a meteorite impact event in the Holocene as a matter of fact according to the generally accepted opinion that shock metamorphism in rocks proves a meteorite impact. The young Holocene age is concluded from the concentration of the peculiar finds in the upper soil layers, the very fresh status of the impact glasses and the young appearance of the now discovered probable impact crater. Using impact scaling...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Sunspot Group AR 2339 Crosses the Sun

    06/29/2015 7:18:10 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | June 29, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: How do sunspots evolve? Large dark sunspots -- and the active regions that contain them -- may last for weeks, but all during that time they are constantly changing. Such variations were particularly apparent a few weeks ago as the active region AR 2339 came around the limb of the Sun and was tracked for the next 12 days by NASA's Solar Dynamic Observatory. In the featured time lapse video, some sunspots drift apart, while others merge. All the while, the dark central umbral regions shift internally and their surrounding lighter penumbras shimmer and wave. The surrounding Sun appears...
  • Hill fort said to be where King Arthur's Guinevere was born has lasted 3,000 years... under siege

    06/29/2015 7:09:11 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 28 replies
    Guardian UK ^ | Saturday, June 27, 2015 | Robin Stummer
    A powerful group of senior archaeologists are sharpening their trowels to fight "ethically unacceptable" plans they say will destroy one of the nation's greatest Iron Age treasures. Old Oswestry Hill Fort, an imposing ancient feature that dominates the skyline on the fringe of the Shropshire market town, is on the frontline of an increasingly bitter struggle pitting historians and residents against the local authority and central government. At stake is the ancient rural surroundings of the hill fort, an elaborate, 3,000-year-old earthwork dubbed "the Stonehenge of the Iron Age". It is said to have been the birthplace of Queen Ganhumara...
  • Pope Francis Appoints Population Control Extremist to Vatican Post

    06/28/2015 8:23:31 PM PDT · by Enlightened1 · 19 replies
    Breirtbart ^ | Austin Ruse
    A scientist who believes the world is overpopulated by 6 billion people has been appointed by Pope Francis to the Pontifical Academy of Science. The Holy See Press office made the announcement today that besides being one of four official presenters of the Pope’s controversial encyclical on the environment Thursday in Vatican City, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber is to join 80 other scientists who are official advisers to the Vatican on scientific matters. As Breitbart News reported last week, Schellnhuber said in a 2009 speech at the Copenhagen Climate Conference that global warming would devastate Earth’s population and “In a very...
  • Google’s artificial-intelligence bot says the purpose of living is 'to live forever'

    06/28/2015 7:35:41 PM PDT · by Enlightened1 · 31 replies
    Business Insideer ^ | 06/27/15 | Nathan McAlone
    This week, Google released a research paper chronicling one of its latest forays into artificial intelligence. Researchers at the company programmed an advanced type of “chatbot” that learns how to respond in conversations based on examples from a training set of dialogue. And the bot doesn’t just answer by spitting out canned answers in response to certain words; it can form new answers from new questions. This means Google's researchers could get a little creative with it, and they certainly did — they asked the bot everything from boring IT questions to inquiries about the meaning of life. The responses...
  • RSS gives defunct ASI wing a job: Search for Dwarka, Rama Setu

    06/28/2015 3:09:23 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 12 replies
    DNA India ^ | Sunday, June 28, 2015 | Rohinee Singh
    The defunct underwater wing of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is set for a revival with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the government keen to establish the scientific veracity of Dwarka, the mythological submerged capital of Lord Krishna's kingdom, and the Rama Setu, a set of limestone shoals believed to date back to the Ramayana... "The National Institute of Oceanography has the expertise. They will be training our fleet of young divers," said Dr RS Fonia, ASI joint director general. The ministry of culture, the nodal ministry for ASI, is also looking at options to bring on board...
  • Why Time Will Stop For a Leap Second

    06/28/2015 11:19:44 AM PDT · by Lonesome in Massachussets · 16 replies
    National Geographic ^ | June 26, 2015 UTC | Jane J. Lee
    Just as leap years keep our calendars lined up with Earth's revolution around the sun, leap seconds adjust for Earth's rotation. This kind of fine-tuning wasn't much of an issue before the invention of atomic clocks, whose ticks are defined by the cycling of atoms. Cesium-based clocks, one kind of atomic clock, measure the passage of time much more precisely than those based on the rotation of our planet, so adding a leap second allows astronomical time to catch up to atomic time. Most of us won't notice the addition, which happens at 23:59:59 coordinated universal time (UTC), or 7:59...
  • Archaeologists find Bronze Age food at prehistoric settlement "comparable to the Mary Rose"

    06/28/2015 11:17:16 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 12 replies
    Culture24 ^ | June 25, 2015 | Ben Miller
    An "extraordinary testimony" to the lives of prosperous people in Bronze Age Britain could lie under the soil of a 1,100-square metre site destroyed in a fire 3,000 years ago, say archaeologists who are about to start digging within a brick pit near Peterborough. Must Farm -- part of the Flag Fen Basin, and the site where nine pristine log boats were famously unearthed in 2011 -- was protected by a ring of wooden posts before a dramatic fire at the end of the Bronze Age caused the dwelling to collapse into the river. Its submergence preserved its contents, creating...
  • Mysterious 2,000-year-old marble dolphin surfaces near Gaza

    06/28/2015 11:11:16 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 28 replies
    Times of Israel ^ | June 25, 2015 | Ilan Ben Zion
    You would think that 12 miles inland from the Mediterranean Sea is the last place to find a dolphin clutching a fish between its jaws. Hewn from marble, the 2,000-or-so-year-old statuette surfaced during archaeological excavations near Kibbutz Magen, bordering the Gaza Strip, in March of this year. The discovery of the dolphin statue amid the ruins of a late Byzantine and early Islamic site in the northern Negev was only announced this week by Israel's Antiquities Authority. Alexander Fraiberg, head archaeologist with the IAA team, said he believes the sculpture dates to the Roman era, but was incorporated into a...
  • Dundee experts recreate face of Saxon man at Lincoln Castle

    06/28/2015 11:04:22 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 18 replies
    University of Dundee ^ | Wednesday, June 3, 2015 | Roddy Isles
    The work has been carried out by specialists in the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification (CAHID) at the University of Dundee, one of the world's leading centres for facial reconstruction. Caroline Erolin, Lecturer in Forensic and Medical Art at CAHID, said, "His grave lay slightly under an important sarcophagus burial, which had resulted in excellent preservation of his skull making it the best candidate among the skeletons for facial reconstruction." ... "The burial of this man was one of eight burials which were interred inside a small stone church or chapel which predates Lincoln Castle and was previously unknown,"...
  • Army shipped live anthrax for 10 years, couldn't effectively kill bacteria - CDC

    06/28/2015 10:14:09 AM PDT · by JoeProBono · 7 replies
    rt.com ^ | June 18, 2015
    A US Army research facility mistakenly shipped live anthrax to labs in the US and abroad for more than 10 years because of ineffective sterilization methods for killing the deadly bacteria, according to a federal report obtained by USA Today. In the three-page report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the US Army facility in Utah was cited for three violations of federal regulations for working with potential bioterror agents, and was ordered to cease shipment of “inactivated” anthrax specimens immediately. The Dugway Proving Ground’s Life Science Test Facility is at the center of the scandal. It was...
  • SpaceX Launch Ends in Failure

    06/28/2015 9:31:41 AM PDT · by Enlightened1 · 46 replies
    Live Leak ^ | 06/28/15
    SpaceX just failed at its third attempt..
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- All the Colors of the Sun

    06/27/2015 9:16:14 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 20 replies
    NASA ^ | June 28, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: It is still not known why the Sun's light is missing some colors. Here are all the visible colors of the Sun, produced by passing the Sun's light through a prism-like device. The spectrum was created at the McMath-Pierce Solar Observatory and shows, first off, that although our white-appearing Sun emits light of nearly every color, it does indeed appear brightest in yellow-green light. The dark patches in the above spectrum arise from gas at or above the Sun's surface absorbing sunlight emitted below. Since different types of gas absorb different colors of light, it is possible to determine...
  • Simulation of space debris orbiting Earth

    06/27/2015 8:59:24 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 51 replies
  • DARPA Wants to Create Synthetic Organisms to Terraform and Change the Atmosphere of Mars

    06/27/2015 8:25:48 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 56 replies
    Hacked ^ | 6/25/15 | Giulio Prisco
    DARPA Wants to Create Synthetic Organisms to Terraform and Change the Atmosphere of Mars Biotech, Space, Synthetic Biology June 25, 2015 by Giulio Prisco 435SHARES TwitterLinkedinFacebook The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) believes that it's on the way to creating synthetic organisms capable of terraforming Mars into a planet that looks more like Earth, Motherboard reports.Speaking at a recent biotech conference hosted by DARPA, Alicia Jackson, deputy director of DARPA’s Biological Technologies Office (BTO) said: For the first time, we have the technological toolkit to transform not just hostile places here on Earth, but to go into space not...
  • Science inches closer to 'home brew' heroin

    06/27/2015 5:04:42 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 18 replies
    latimes.com ^ | Eryn Brown
    The development, reported in the journal Science, fills a gap in researchers' understanding of the biochemistry of poppies that could help scientists fine-tune and manufacture painkillers and other useful poppy-derived compounds. That could lead to safer and more effective therapies. But it could also smooth the way for people to start producing morphine on their own -- perhaps even at home, much as hobbyists use yeast to brew beer or make wine -- expanding and localizing opiate production and getting more people hooked on drugs like heroin. ... Before the release of the new study, said senior author and University...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Stars of a Summer's Triangle

    06/27/2015 3:42:59 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 13 replies
    NASA ^ | June 27, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Rising at the start of a northern summer's night, these three bright stars form the familiar asterism known as the Summer Triangle. Altair, Deneb, and Vega are the alpha stars of their respective constellations, Aquila, Cygnus, and Lyra, nestled near the Milky Way. Close in apparent brightness the three do look similar in these telescopic portraits, but all have their own stellar stories. Their similar appearance hides the fact that the Summer Triangle stars actually span a large range in intrinsic luminosity and distance. A main sequence dwarf star, Altair is some 10 times brighter than the Sun and...