Science (General/Chat)

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  • A Deep, Dark Mystery [Helium leakage from Earth's mantle in Los Angeles Basin]

    06/29/2015 4:25:13 PM PDT · by markomalley · 10 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 · 55 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 · 14 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 · 20 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 · 11 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 · 15 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 · 27 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 · 15 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...
  • Python Eats Porcupine, Regrets It Later (Here's Why)

    06/27/2015 11:54:36 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 24 replies
    Yahoo!News ^ | June 27, 2015 | Elizabeth Palermo
    Ever wonder what might happen if a python ate a porcupine? Well, wonder no more. One of these giant snakes — which kill prey by suffocating it and then consuming it whole — recently dined on a porcupine and didn't live to brag about it. On June 14, a cyclist riding along one of the mountain bike trails at the Lake Eland Game Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, spotted a very engorged snake. The cyclist snapped a few photos of the gluttonous python and posted them to social media, where they quickly attracted the attention of locals who wanted to...
  • The Remains of a 200,000 Year Old Advanced Civilization...

    06/27/2015 5:55:11 AM PDT · by stockpirate · 49 replies
    Earth We Are One ^ | May 22, 2015 | Earth We Are One
    The incredible discovery was made in South Africa, around 150 km west of port Maputo. There, we find the remains of a huge metropolis that measures, according to tests, around 1500 square kilometers. This ancient city is, according to researchers, part of an even larger community with about 10,000 square kilometers and is believed to have been constructed 160,000 to 200,000 years before Christ. The region is somewhat remote and the "circles" have often been encountered by local farmers who assumed they were made by some indigenous people in the past. But, oddly, no one ever bothered to inquire about...
  • Utilities and Transportation at Risk in the Cajon Pass [California}

    06/26/2015 7:49:42 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 14 replies
    Title: Cajon Pass, CA Description: Cajon Pass, CA, where high pressure gas lines, high voltage power lines, rail lines, fiber optics, water lines, and Interstate 15 all run over the San Andreas Fault, which runs roughly side to side across the center of this image. Location: Cajon Pass, CA, USA Date Taken: Oct 10 2008 Photographer: Don Becker Photographer Email: becker@usgs.gov Photographer Organization: U.S. Geological Survey Title: Utilities on San Andreas Fault Description: Directly on the San Andreas with high pressure gas lines underground and high voltage power lines overhead at Cajon Pass, CA Location: Cajon Pass, CA, USA Date...
  • Check out Venus and Jupiter, now unbelievably close in the night sky! (easily naked eye visible)

    06/26/2015 7:06:32 PM PDT · by ETL · 20 replies
    June 26, 2015 | self
    Look up, and somewhere in the western portion of the sky right now, or anytime in the next several weeks, an hour or so after sunset, and you'll see two very bright "star-like" objects. The brighter of the two (by a lot) is Venus, the other Jupiter. Venus, slightly smaller than Earth is currently about 51 million miles away. Jupiter, roughly 12 Earth diameters across, 560 million.
  • Sweet Tooth Causes Some Major Side Effects On your Brains! (Memory loss)

    06/26/2015 1:22:12 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 13 replies
    Sweet Tooth Causes Some Major Side Effects On your Brains! June 24, 2015 If you love your fried, fatty foods smothered in chocolate and generously dusted with icing sugar? Then, you might just have to say goodbye to mental acuity.A new research conducted in Oregon State University has revealed that a high-sugar, high-fat diet can drastically modify your gut bacteria which in turn may lead to significant losses in ‘cognitive flexibility’ – a measurement of the brain’s ability to switch between thinking about one concept to another, and to adapt to changes in the environment.The study, which was conducted on...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Planet Aurora

    06/26/2015 1:21:43 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | June 26, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What bizarre alien planet is this ? It's planet Earth of course, seen through the shimmering glow of aurorae from the International Space Station. About 400 kilometers (250 miles) above, the orbiting station is itself within the upper realm of the auroral displays, also watched from the planet's surface on June 23rd. Aurorae have the signature colors of excited molecules and atoms at the low densities found at extreme altitudes. The eerie greenish glow of molecular oxygen dominates this view. But higher, just above the space station's horizon, is a rarer red band of aurora from atomic oxygen. The...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Star Trails above Table Mountain

    06/26/2015 1:21:40 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | June 25, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Stars trail above and urban lights sprawl below in this moonlit nightscape from Cape Town, South Africa, planet Earth. The looming form of Table Mountain almost seems to hold terrestrial lights at bay while the stars circle the planet's South Celestial Pole. This modern perspective on the natural night sky was captured in June 2014, the scene composed of over nine hundred, stacked 30 second exposures. The stunning result was chosen as the winner in the Against the Lights category, a selection from over 800 entries in The World at Night's 2015 International Earth and Sky Photo Contest.
  • Researchers successfully transform liquid deuterium into a metal

    06/26/2015 11:03:27 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 14 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | 06-26-2015 | Bob Yirka
    Schematic phase diagram of hydrogen. The figure shows the four known solid phases I to IV and two observed liquid phases, together with the predicted atomic liquid. Blue rings imply rotating quantum molecules, wiggly lines imply entangled rotor state, and solid bonds are where calculation shows a covalent bond. Credit: Science 26 June 2015: Vol. 348 no. 6242 pp. 1429-1430. DOI: 10.1126/science.aac6626 (Phys.org)—A team of researchers working at Sandia National Labs working with another team from the University of Rostock in Germany, has succeeded in squeezing liquid deuterium into becoming what appeared to be a metal. In their paper published...
  • 'Lack of information can turn a passive crowd into a stampede'

    06/26/2015 10:57:36 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 14 replies
    theguardian.com ^ | February 28 2003 | Keith Still,
    Human factors are an important element in understanding how people will react to situations. The late Jonathan Sime was a Surrey-based environmental psychologist who made considerable contributions to this field. To quote...: "The most important finding of the research is the fact that the start-up time (ie, people's reaction to an alarm) is as (if not more) important as the time it takes physically to reach an exit . . . On average two-thirds of the time from onset of the alarm to reaching an exit was spent by people not moving at all. On average one-third of the time...
  • There’s a giant hole that’s draining a lake on the border of Oklahoma and Texas like it’s a bathtub

    06/25/2015 2:04:24 PM PDT · by Smittie · 50 replies
    Yahoo.com ^ | June 24, 2015 | Tanya Lewis
    Like something straight out of "The Twilight Zone", a swirling vortex has opened up in a giant lake on the border of Oklahoma and Texas. The gaping hole — which appeared recently in Lake Texoma — alarmed everyone from Twitter users to the Tulsa District US Army Corps of Engineers, who posted a YouTube video of the vortex. Below the video, they describe the hole as being "8 feet in diameter and capable of sucking in a full-sized boat."
  • Newly found ring of teeth uncovers what common ancestor of molting animals looked like

    06/25/2015 8:35:35 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 13 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | 06-24-2015 | Provided by University of Cambridge
    Hallucigenia sparsa from the Burgess Shale (Royal Ontario Museum 61513). The fossil is 15 mm long. Credit: Jean-Bernard Caron A new study of an otherworldly creature from half a billion years ago - a worm-like animal with legs, spikes and a head difficult to distinguish from its tail - has definitively identified its head for the first time, and revealed a previously unknown ring of teeth and a pair of simple eyes. The results, published today in the journal Nature, have helped scientists reconstruct what the common ancestor of everything from tiny roundworms to huge lobsters might have looked like....
  • A Brief History of Nukes in Space

    06/25/2015 8:28:21 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 4 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | David Dickinson
    In just a few short weeks, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft will make its historic flyby of Pluto and its moons. Solar panels are unable to operate in the dim nether regions of the outer solar system, and instead, New Horizons employs something that every spacecraft that has thus far ventured beyond Jupiter has carried in its tool kit: a plutonium-powered Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator, or RTG. ... One of the first spacecraft that sported an RTG was the Transit-4A satellite launched on June 29th, 1961. Another similar satellite in the series, Transit-5BN-3, was lost shortly after launch along with its plutonium-fueled...
  • Discovery of metal vessels "will change the story about Chachapoyas"

    06/24/2015 8:52:00 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 33 replies
    Peru This Week ^ | June 23, 2015 | Hillary Ojeda
    Metals had never been found in Chachapoyas before the finding of these two vessels. They might not be as sacred as the Holy Grail, but two metal vessels recently discovered in Chachapoyas are turning heads in regards to understanding the region’s ancient history. “The Finding of these vessels will change the story about Chachapoyas” the Decentralized Department of Culture of the Amazonas head, Jose Santos Trauco Ramos, told El Comercio. The discovery of two silver vessels in the Soloco Purunllacta in Chachapoyas of the Amazonas department are unlike anything the archaeological team has found in its history. Investigations until this...
  • Well-preserved ancient Roman ship found in waters off Sardinia coast

    06/24/2015 8:48:04 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 24 replies
    Telegraph UK ^ | June 23, 2015 | Nick Squires
    A remarkably well-preserved ancient Roman ship has been discovered on the seabed off the coast of Sardinia. The 2,000-year-old wreck was found at a depth of 150ft by a specialised diving unit of the Italian police, working in collaboration with archaeologists, in the strait that separates Sardinia from Corsica. The ship was carrying a load of terracotta tiles, which are also in a good state of preservation. The roof tiles, believed to have been produced in or around Rome, were packed into the hold of the vessel, which is 60ft long and 23ft wide. They were probably going to be...
  • Pachycephalosaurus: Jurassic World’s ‘Racist’ Dinosaur

    06/24/2015 5:12:51 PM PDT · by nickcarraway · 21 replies
    Age: Extinct, since the Late Cretaceous. Appearance: Thick-headed dinosaur, hence the name, which means “thick-headed lizard”. Thick-headed as in stupid? Well, they weren’t clever, but it’s really because they had spiky, domed skulls to protect their tiny brains. They’re dinosaurs. What else are they like? Socially aggressive, accidentally racist. How can a dinosaur be racist? It’s due to their appearance in the blockbuster Jurassic World. From what I’ve seen, the dinosaurs in Jurassic World are equal-opportunity devourers. True, but early on in the film, after some pachycephalosauruses have escaped their sector, a character utters the line: “The pachys are out...
  • Britain faces FREEZING winters as slump in solar activity threatens 'little Ice Age'

    06/24/2015 1:05:21 PM PDT · by Kartographer · 26 replies
    UK Express ^ | 6/24/15 | Nathan Rao
    Climate experts warn the amount of light and warmth released by the sun is nosediving to levels "not seen for centuries". They fear a repeat of the so-called 'Maunder Minimum' which triggered Arctic winter whiteouts and led to the River Thames freezing 300 years ago. The Met Office-led study warns although the effect will be offset by recent global warming, Britain faces years of unusually cold winters. A spokesman said: "A return to low solar activity not seen for centuries could increase the chances of cold winters in Europe and eastern parts of the United States but wouldn't halt global...
  • Causality

    06/24/2015 10:12:38 AM PDT · by blueunicorn6 · 10 replies
    The Universe | 6/24/2015 | blueunicorn6
    Causality is the relationship between cause and effect. This thing (cause) made this happen (effect). Now, I am not a Southerner. I have no vested history with the ConfederateFlag/Battle Flag of The Northern Virginia Army. What I find galling about this issue is the deliberate ignorance of Causality by too many. Did Dylan dispshirt kill nine Americans of African descent (effect) as a reaction to the flag (cause)? Or, did Dylan dispshirt kill nine Americans of African descent (effect) so he could be famous (cause)? It is disingenuous in the extreme, and intellectually lazy, to assert that a flag caused...
  • Jawbone Lifts Lid on Human-Neanderthal Sex

    06/24/2015 6:50:32 AM PDT · by Sopater · 39 replies
    Newser ^ | Jun 23, 2015 9:50 AM CDT | Arden Dier
    (Newser) – A jawbone found in Romania more than a decade ago provides the first genetic evidence that humans and Neanderthals knocked boots in Europe before the latter disappeared between 35,000 and 40,000 years ago. Scientists who came across the bone of one of the earliest modern humans in Europe in a cave known as Pestera cu Oase noticed it had both modern human and Neanderthal traits. Now, a study of the bone's DNA—made possible by recent technological advances—explains why. "The sample is more closely related to Neanderthals than any other modern human we've ever looked at before," Harvard researcher...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Triple Conjunction Over Galician National Park

    06/24/2015 4:04:07 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | June 24, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What are those bright objects hovering over the horizon? Planets -- and the Moon. First out, the horizon featured is a shoreline of the Atlantic Ocean that occurs at the Galicia National Park in northern Spain. Next furthest out, on the left, is the Moon. Easily the brightest object on the night sky, the Moon here was in only a crescent phase. The next furthest out, on the right, is the planet Venus, while planet Jupiter is seen at the top of the triangle. The long exposure from our rapidly rotating Earth made all of celestial objects -- including...
  • Lab Tests Confirm KFC ‘Fried Rat’ Is Actually Chicken

    06/24/2015 12:09:35 AM PDT · by nickcarraway · 34 replies
    KFOR ^ | JUNE 22, 2015 | M.DELATORRE
    The alleged fried rat that was found by a KFC customer is nothing more than another piece of chicken in the bucket. Last week, a California man named Devorise Dixon claimed that a piece of meat that came in his KFC meal was a fried rat. “It was very nasty,” he said. “I spit it out. I looked down at my hand and I realized that it was in the shape of a rat with a tail and everything in it.” Independent lab results showed that the breaded lump was, in fact, a piece of chicken. KFC spokesman Rodrigo Coronel...
  • About Time: Is the June 30th Leap Second the Last?

    06/23/2015 12:59:23 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 16 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | on June 23, 2015 | David Dickinson
    Chances are, you’ll soon be hearing that we’re tacking on an extra second to the very end of June 30th, though the reason why is a bit more complex... The whole affair was addressed in 1956 by the International Committee for Weights and Measures, which defined what was known as the ephemeris, or astronomical second as a fraction—1/31,556,925.9747th to be precise—of the tropical year set at noon on January 1st 1900. Now, this decision relied on measurements contained in Simon Newcomb’s 1895 book Tables of the Sun to describe the motion of the Earth. Extrapolating back, a day was exactly...
  • Duke Engines' incredibly compact, lightweight valveless axial engine

    06/23/2015 12:50:20 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 66 replies
    www.gizmag.com ^ | September 3, 2014 | By Loz Blain
    New Zealand's Duke Engines has been busy developing and demonstrating excellent results with a bizarre axial engine prototype that completely does away with valves, while delivering excellent power and torque from an engine much smaller, lighter and simpler than the existing technology. We spoke with Duke co-founder John Garvey to find out how the Duke Axial Engine project is going. The Duke Axial Engine is lighter, more compact and already slightly more powerful than a typical equivalent engine, even though this is just a prototype Duke Engines' 3-liter, five cylinder test mule is already making a healthy 215 horsepower and...
  • Like being there: Walking through an ancient Roman town

    06/23/2015 12:17:15 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 19 replies
    Popular Archaeology ^ | Sunday, June 21, 2015 | editors
    ...for the archaeologist of 20 years ago, might have been the stuff of science fiction. Who would have known then that scientists would resurrect in startling detail an entire ancient Roman town after only fractional excavation? And who would have known that thousands of people from nearly every corner of the world would be able to 'walk' through that town without ever physically setting foot within?  This, however, is exactly what has happened for an obscure archaeological site located in Portugal -- a relatively small ancient Roman town whose few visible remains have attracted comparatively few visitors -- at least...
  • Footprints found on a remote B.C. island could be 13,000 years old -- the oldest in North America

    06/23/2015 12:01:15 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    Canadian Press ^ | Tuesday, June 23, 2015 | Dirk Meissner
    Evidence of what could be the oldest footprints in North America has been discovered below the shoreline of a remote British Columbia island. Fossilized human footprints believed to be of a man, woman and child and estimated to be more than 13,000 years old were discovered at Calvert Island, which is located on B.C.'s central coast and is accessible only by boat or float plane. Remnants of an ancient campfire were found nearby. Archeologist Duncan McLaren said radiocarbon dating indicates the charcoal materials are 13,200 years old, and he is preparing to duplicate those tests to confirm the results... Fossilized...
  • Scarlet Macaw Skeletons Point to Early Emergence of Pueblo Hierarchy

    06/23/2015 11:56:23 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    New work on the skeletal remains of scarlet macaws found in an ancient Pueblo settlement indicates that social and political hierarchies may have emerged in the American Southwest earlier than previously thought. Researchers determined that the macaws, whose brilliant red and blue feathers are highly prized in Pueblo culture, were persistently traded hundreds of miles north from Mesoamerica starting in the early 10th century, at least 150 years before the origin of hierarchy is usually attributed. The findings, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggest that the acquisition and control of macaws, along with other valued...
  • Gold Sun Disc from time of Stonehenge revealed to the public

    06/23/2015 11:48:41 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    Popular Archaeology ^ | Friday, June 19, 2015 | Wiltshire Museum
    Rare Bronze Age gold artifact found in burial mound in Wiltshire, U.K. For the first time, an early Bronze Age sun-disc from Monkton Farleigh in Wiltshire, U.K., is being exhibited for public view at the Wiltshire Museum, in time for this year's summer solstice. It is one of only 6 sun-disc finds and is one of the earliest metal objects found in Britain. Made in about 2,400 BC, soon after the sarsen stones were erected at Stonehenge, it is thought to represent the sun. The sun-disc was initially found in 1947 in a burial mound at Monkton Farleigh, just over...
  • Early European modern human had a close Neanderthal ancestor

    06/23/2015 11:44:59 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    Popular Archaeology ^ | Monday, Jun 22, 2015 | Max Planck Institute, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
    DNA analysis of a 40,000-year-old human jawbone from Romania suggests that an early modern group of humans interbred with Neanderthals soon after their first arrival in Europe. Researchers have concluded that an early modern human who lived in present-day Romania about 40,000 years ago had a Neanderthal ancestor who lived just 4 to 6 generations back in the individual's family tree. Co-led by Svante Pääbo of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany and Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigator David Reich at Harvard Medical School, along with researchers at the Key Laboratory of Vertebrate Evolution and...
  • STUDY: SCANT EVIDENCE THAT MEDICAL POT HELPS MANY ILLNESSES

    06/23/2015 10:26:07 AM PDT · by C19fan · 54 replies
    AP ^ | June 23, 2015 | Lindsey Tanner
    Medical marijuana has not been proven to work for many illnesses that state laws have approved it for, according to the first comprehensive analysis of research on its potential benefits. The strongest evidence is for chronic pain and for muscle stiffness in multiple sclerosis, according to the review, which evaluated 79 studies involving more than 6,000 patients. Evidence was weak for many other conditions, including anxiety, sleep disorders, and Tourette's syndrome and the authors recommend more research.
  • How an Actress Made $1B Tapping Into a Chemophobe Nation’s Fears

    06/23/2015 9:27:01 AM PDT · by Rio · 106 replies
    Chem.Info ^ | 6/22/2015 | Meagan Parrish
    If you wanted to clear a room full of nervous mothers of small children you could to it by yelling one word: “Chemicals!” Jessica Alba — famous for her roles in “Fantastic Four” and “Little Fockers” — knows this, and has built a booming business around modern, hand-wringing parents who worry about the prevalence of chemicals in everything, from toys to food. The company she co-founded, called The Honest Co., launched in 2012 selling personal care and home products for little ones like diapers, bath products, laundry detergent and more — all made with nontoxic ingredients. The company now touts...
  • Amazon Echo (Loving A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) or Household Imperial Probe Droid?)

    06/23/2015 8:40:53 AM PDT · by Enlightened1 · 24 replies
    Amazon ^ | 06/23/15
    "The Echo may be the closest thing we’ll have to a Star Trek computer at home." – CNET "Echo could hear my voice even when music was playing loudly…" – USA Today "With Amazon Echo, it was love at first sight." – Re/code What is Amazon Echo? Amazon Echo is designed around your voice. It's hands-free and always on. With seven microphones and beam-forming technology, Echo can hear you from across the room—even while music is playing. Echo is also an expertly tuned speaker that can fill any room with immersive sound. Echo connects to Alexa, a cloud-based voice service,...
  • Ceres Spots Continue to Mystify in Latest Dawn Images

    06/23/2015 6:34:16 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 17 replies
    NASA-JPL ^ | June 22, 2015 | Staff
    The closer we get to Ceres, the more intriguing the distant dwarf planet becomes. New images of Ceres from NASA's Dawn spacecraft provide more clues about its mysterious bright spots, and also reveal a pyramid-shaped peak towering over a relatively flat landscape. "The surface of Ceres has revealed many interesting and unique features. For example, icy moons in the outer solar system have craters with central pits, but on Ceres central pits in large craters are much more common. These and other features will allow us to understand the inner structure of Ceres that we cannot sense directly," said Carol...