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Science (General/Chat)

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  • Eye Problems From Space Affect At Least 21 NASA Astronauts: Study

    08/27/2014 4:22:00 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 22 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | August 27, 2014 | Elizabeth Howell on
    How does microgravity affect your health? One of the chief concerns of NASA astronauts these days is changes to eyesight. Some people come back from long-duration stays in space with what appears to be permanent changes, such as requiring glasses when previously they did not. And the numbers are interesting. A few months after NASA told Universe Today that 20% of astronauts may face this problem, a new study points out that 21 U.S. astronauts that have flown on the International Space Station for long flights (which tend to be five to six months) face visual problems. These include “hyperopic...
  • Scientists raised these fish to walk on land

    08/27/2014 3:03:48 PM PDT · by EveningStar · 23 replies
    The Verge ^ | August 27, 2014 | Arielle Duhaime-Ross
    Raising fish on land seems like the sort of idea you’d get while recovering from general anesthesia. But for three McGill University researchers, it made perfect sense. How else would you find out what behavioral and physiological changes might have taken place when fish first made the move from sea to land over 400 million years ago? "I used to look at fins and their motion, and I always thought it was so interesting and complex," says Emily Standen, lead author of a study published in Nature today, and an evolutionary biomechanics researcher who now works at the University of...
  • Giant panda ‘faked pregnancy for extra treats and nicer accommodation’

    08/27/2014 12:41:04 PM PDT · by Slings and Arrows · 45 replies
    The Telegraph [UK] ^ | 27 Aug 2014 | Mark Molloy and AFP
    The planned first ever live-broadcast of a panda giving birth has been cancelled amid claims the expectant mother faked her pregnancy. -snip- The six-year-old had shown signs of pregnancy last month, according to staff at the Chengdu Breeding Research Centre, in China's southwestern province of Sichuana. But shortly after being moved to a single room with air conditioning and around-the-clock care her “behaviour and physiological indexes returned to normal”. -snip- "They receive more buns, fruits and bamboo, so some clever pandas have used this to their advantage to improve their quality of life," said Wu Kongju, an employee at the...
  • Where's the Intelligent Design in Ohio House Bill 597?

    08/27/2014 7:41:49 AM PDT · by Heartlander · 5 replies
    Evolution News and Views ^ | August 27, 2014 | Casey Luskin
    Where's the Intelligent Design in Ohio House Bill 597? Casey Luskin August 27, 2014 5:56 AM | Permalink Just as they did back in 2006, the Darwin Lobby and the media have concocted a story that intelligent design is going to be taught in Ohio. According to a recent article in the Columbus Dispatch, "Intelligent design could be taught with Common Core's repeal," Ohio House Bill 597 "would allow intelligent design and creationism to be taught alongside evolution in science classes." You might expect that a bill to "allow intelligent design and creationism to be taught alongside evolution" would say...
  • Japan lab unable to replicate stem cell results

    08/27/2014 7:33:48 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 2 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Aug 27, 2014 10:12 AM EDT | Elaine Kurtenbach
    The Japanese laboratory that retracted a paper reporting a potentially major breakthrough in stem cell research said Wednesday its researchers have not managed to replicate the results. Scientists at the government-affiliated Riken Center for Developmental Biology said they are still trying to match results reported in two papers published by the journal Nature in January and then retracted in July. […] (Riken scientist Haruko) Obokata and other researchers in Boston and Japan participating in the project said they used a simple procedure to turn ordinary cells from mice into stem cells. They exposed cells from spleens of newborn mice to...
  • Why Government Researchers Think We May Be Living in a 2D Hologram

    08/27/2014 7:06:43 AM PDT · by Ghost of SVR4 · 39 replies
    http://motherboard.vice.com/ ^ | 4-26-2014 | JASON KOEBLER
    Operating with cutting-edge technology out of a trailer in rural Illinois, government researchers started today on a set of experiments that they say will help them determine whether or not you and me and everything that exists are living in a two-dimensional holographic universe. It sounds completely off-the-walls insane, but the incongruities between Albert Einstein's theory of relativity and some of Max Planck's discoveries about the nature of matter can only be explained if we're living in a Matrix-style holographic illusion, according to Craig Hogan, director of the Department of Energy's Fermilab Center for Particle Astrophysics. ..... If so, that...
  • Report: Response to climate-change survey led to CEO's departure from PR Giant, Edelman

    08/26/2014 2:48:29 PM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 7 replies
    PR Week ^ | 08/2014 | Lindsay Stein and Frank Washkuch ,
    Edelman global CEO Richard Edelman said in a conversation with an editor of Vice’s Motherboard blog that former US CEO Mark Hass was fired from the agency in part because of the way he responded to an investigation into PR agencies’ work with climate-change deniers. Quoted by Motherboard senior editor Brian Merchant, the chief executive of the world’s largest PR agency said, "We fired the head of our US [division] in part because of that stupid note he wrote, about, you know, how we don’t answer these kinds of things." In response to inquiries from the Climate Investigations Center that...
  • N.C. State students develop nail polish to detect date rape drugs

    08/26/2014 12:31:37 PM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 30 replies
    Washington Times ^ | 8-25-14 | Jessica Chasmer
    Four male students at North Carolina State University have developed a prototype for a new nail polish line that changes color when it comes into contact with date rape drugs. Ankesh Madan, Tasso Von Windheim, Tyler Confrey-Maloney, and Stephan Gray founded Undercover Colors, coined as “the first fashion company working to prevent sexual assault,” The Mary Sue reported. A woman paints her nails with the polish, and when her nails come into contact with a liquid, the color will change if drugs like Rohypnol, Xanax, or GHB are present. “In the U.S., 18% of women will be sexually assaulted in...
  • Historian Claims The Louvre Museum Holds Ancient Amphipolis Tomb Treasures

    08/26/2014 10:56:38 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 6 replies
    greece.greekreporter.com ^ | Aug 26, 2014 | by Daphne Tsagari
    A prominent Greek historian claims that it is possible for the Louvre Museum in Paris to possess artifacts from the ancient Greek tomb currently being excavated by archaeologists in Amphipolis, Greece. The fame of the ancient Greek treasures allegedly hidden in the Amphipolis tomb has recently raised concerns whether the monument will be found intact, or if it had been looted in the past. Historian, Sarantis Kargakos, speaking to Antenna TV, said that the tomb has been looted in the past and that the monument’s interior won’t be intact. “At the spot where Ancient Amphipolis is found, a village named...
  • Greek archaeologists enter large underground tomb [Amphipolis update]

    08/26/2014 10:13:43 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 12 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | 08/25/2014 | Staff
    Archaeologists excavating an ancient tomb under a massive burial mound in northern Greece have entered the underground structure, which appears to have been looted in antiquity. The Culture Ministry said Monday that archaeologists have partially investigated the antechamber of the tomb at Amphipolis and uncovered a marble wall concealing one or more inner chambers. However, a hole in the decorated wall and signs of forced entry outside the huge barrel-vaulted structure indicate the tomb was plundered long ago. The excavation will continue for weeks. The tomb dates between 325 B.C.—two years after the death of ancient Greek warrior-king Alexander the...
  • How Long Do CDs Last? It Depends, But Definitely Not Forever

    08/26/2014 9:52:12 AM PDT · by a fool in paradise · 57 replies
    NPR ^ | August 18, 2014 5:21 PM ET | Laura Sydell
    Many institutions have their archives stored on CDs — but the discs aren't as stable as once thought. There is no average life span for a CD, says preservationist Michele Youket, "because there is no average disc." --- Back in the 1990s, historical societies, museums and symphonies across the country began transferring all kinds of information onto what was thought to be a very durable medium: the compact disc. Now, preservationists are worried that a lot of key information stored on CDs — from sound recordings to public records — is going to disappear. Some of those little silver discs...
  • RoboBrain marks the dawn of cloud robotics

    08/26/2014 5:56:19 AM PDT · by TigerLikesRooster · 9 replies
    Load The Game ^ | August 25, 2014 | Emily Smith
    RoboBrain marks the dawn of cloud robotics Posted by: Emily Smith August 25, 2014 in Tech RoboBrain is the new attempt of artificial intelligence researchers to create a cloud-based database that would help out existing and future robots. In theory, RoboBrain is supposed to be a massive database of all the information robots have been taught so far and offers the possibility of increasing that knowledge as well. The main idea behind RoboBrain is that the cumulative knowledge robots have been able to gather should be collected in the same place, namely cloud storage, and made available to every robot...
  • The story of the A-10 and why the F-35 cannot replace it. (video)

    08/26/2014 4:58:24 AM PDT · by servo1969 · 46 replies
    wimp.com ^ | 8-26-2014 | wimp.com
    Pierre Sprey is one of the original designers of the A-10 Warthog during the 1970s. He provides insight into why the aircraft is so loved by ground troops in the military, and why its recent retirement from Air Force operations is so hotly debated.
  • 5 Landing Site Candidates Selected for Rosetta’s Historic Philae Comet Lander

    08/25/2014 3:43:19 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 1 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | August 25, 2014 | Ken Kremer on
    The ‘Top 5’ landing site candidates have been chosen for the Rosetta orbiters piggybacked Philae lander for humankind’s first attempt to land on a comet. See graphics above and below. The potential touchdown sites were announce today, Aug. 25, based on high resolution measurements collected by ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft over the past two weeks since arriving at the bizarre and pockmarked Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on Aug. 6, 2014. ... Their goal was to find a ‘technically feasible’ touchdown site that was both safe and scientifically interesting. “The site must balance the technical needs of the orbiter and lander during all phases...
  • Army Hypersonic Missile Fails in Second Test

    08/25/2014 12:43:28 PM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 13 replies
    Washington Free Beacon ^ | 08/25/2014 | Bill Gertz
    The Army’s test of an advanced hypersonic weapon failed shortly after takeoff early Monday, the Pentagon said in a statement. The failure is a setback for a key part of the Pentagon’s strategic weapon program of building arms that can attack any point on earth in 30 minutes. The missile carrying the weapon was intentionally blown up shortly after launch, the Pentagon said. “Due to an anomaly, the test was terminated near the launch pad shortly after liftoff to ensure public safety,” the Pentagon said in a brief statement. “There were no injuries to any personnel.” “Program officials are conducting...
  • How long to go 80 miles at 80MPH?

    08/25/2014 11:19:44 AM PDT · by econjack · 164 replies
    Facebook ^ | Augusts 5, 2014 | unknown
    A difficult math question. One would hope that these two did not finish high school. If they did, public education needs to refund our money. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10202517290999274
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Arp 188 and the Tadpole's Tail

    08/24/2014 9:23:44 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    NASA ^ | August 25, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Why does this galaxy have such a long tail? In this stunning vista, based on image data from the Hubble Legacy Archive, distant galaxies form a dramatic backdrop for disrupted spiral galaxy Arp 188, the Tadpole Galaxy. The cosmic tadpole is a mere 420 million light-years distant toward the northern constellation Draco. Its eye-catching tail is about 280 thousand light-years long and features massive, bright blue star clusters. One story goes that a more compact intruder galaxy crossed in front of Arp 188 - from right to left in this view - and was slung around behind the Tadpole...
  • Fire Stone: First Fire-Scorched Petrified Wood Found

    08/24/2014 6:27:23 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 27 replies
    LiveScience ^ | August 12, 2014 | Becky Oskin
    After serving nearly 30 years as a doorstop for a nuclear physicist, a hunk of petrified wood from Arizona has finally been recognized as a one-of-a-kind find. The 210-million-year-old piece of wood contains the first fossilized fire scar ever discovered... Evidence for ancient forest fires predates the dinosaurs, but the clues come from charcoal, not from marks on fossilized trees. Charcoal remains of Earth's oldest fires date back more than 400 million years. No one has ever spotted a fire scar on petrified wood before, said lead study author Bruce Byers, a natural resources consultant from Falls Church, Virginia. That's...
  • The heat is on. Bureau of Meteorology ‘altering climate figures’ — The Australian

    08/24/2014 3:09:59 PM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 26 replies
    joannenova.com.au ^ | August 23rd, 2014 | Joanne
    Congratulations to The Australian again for taking the hard road and reporting controversial, hot, documented problems, that few in the Australian media dare to investigate. How accurate are our national climate datasets when some adjustments turn entire long stable records from cooling trends to warming ones (or visa versa)? Do the headlines of “hottest ever record” (reported to a tenth of a degree) mean much if thermometer data sometimes needs to be dramatically changed 60 years after being recorded?One of the most extreme examples is a thermometer station in Amberley, Queensland where a cooling trend in minima of 1C per...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Mercury's Transit: An Unusual Spot on the Sun

    08/24/2014 1:39:14 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | August 24, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What's that dot on the Sun? If you look closely, it is almost perfectly round. The dot is the result of an unusual type of solar eclipse that occurred in 2006. Usually it is the Earth's Moon that eclipses the Sun. This time, the planet Mercury took a turn. Like the approach to New Moon before a solar eclipse, the phase of Mercury became a continually thinner crescent as the planet progressed toward an alignment with the Sun. Eventually the phase of Mercury dropped to zero and the dark spot of Mercury crossed our parent star. The situation could...
  • Before He Died, Richard III Lived Large

    08/24/2014 10:48:27 AM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 35 replies
    The Smithsonian ^ | 8-19-14 | Rachel Nuwer
    Bone chemistry sheds light on the monarch's shifting diet throughout his brief life Richard III was only 32 years old when he was struck down at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485. But according to new research, the King of England at least enjoyed some good eating throughout his life—especially in the few years leading up to his death. Scientists from the British Geological Survey and the University of Leicester analyzed Richard III's teeth, his femur and his ribs to see what they could reveal about the monarch's diet, Phys.org reports. They used isotope analysis to identify chemical signatures...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Spectre of Veszprem

    08/23/2014 8:24:37 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 2 replies
    NASA ^ | August 23, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The city of Veszprem, Hungary was only briefly haunted by this mysterious spectre. On the morning of August 11, its monstrous form hovered in the mist above municipal buildings near the town center. A clue to its true identity is offered by the photographer, though, who reports he took the picture from the top of a twenty story building with the rising Sun directly at his back. That special geometry suggests this is an example of an atmospheric phenomenon called the Glory or sometimes "the Spectre of the Brocken". Also seen from mountain tops and airplanes when looking opposite...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Comet Jacques, Heart and Soul

    08/23/2014 8:13:44 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | August 22, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: On July 13th, a good place to watch Comet Jacques was from Venus. Then, the recently discovered visitor (C/2014 E2) to the inner solar system passed within about 14.5 million kilometers of our sister planet. But the outbound comet will pass only 84 million kilometers from our fair planet on August 28 and is already a fine target for telescopes and binoculars. Two days ago Jacques' greenish coma and straight and narrow ion tail were captured in this telescopic snapshot, a single 2 minute long exposure with a modified digital camera. The comet is flanked by IC 1805 and...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Venus and Jupiter at Dawn

    08/23/2014 8:06:08 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | August 21, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: On Monday morning, Venus and Jupiter gathered close in dawn skies, for some separated by about half the width of a full moon. It was their closest conjunction since 2000, captured here above the eastern horizon before sunrise. The serene and colorful view is from Istia beach near the city of Capoliveri on the island of Elba. Distant lights and rolling hills are along Italy's Tuscan coast. Of course, the celestial pair soon wandered apart. Brighter Venus headed lower, toward the eastern horizon and the glare of the Sun, while Jupiter continues to rise a little higher now in...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- In the Center of the Lagoon Nebula

    08/23/2014 8:02:31 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 1 replies
    NASA ^ | August 20, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The center of the Lagoon Nebula is a whirlwind of spectacular star formation. Visible near the image center, at least two long funnel-shaped clouds, each roughly half a light-year long, have been formed by extreme stellar winds and intense energetic starlight. The tremendously bright nearby star, Herschel 36, lights the area. Walls of dust hide and redden other hot young stars. As energy from these stars pours into the cool dust and gas, large temperature differences in adjoining regions can be created generating shearing winds which may cause the funnels. This picture, spanning about 5 light years, combines images...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Contrasting Terrains on Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    08/23/2014 7:58:55 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 21 replies
    NASA ^ | August 19, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Where should Philae land? As ESA's robotic spacecraft Rosetta circles toward Comet 67P/ Churyumov-Gerasimenko, a decision must eventually be made as to where its mechanical lander should attempt to touch-down. Reaching the comet earlier this month, Rosetta is sending back detailed pictures of the comet's unusual nucleus from which a smooth landing site will be selected. Pictured above, near the image top, the head of the comet's nucleus shows rugged grooves, while near the image bottom, the body shows a patch-work of areas sometimes separated by jagged hills. Some of the patch-work areas apparent on both the head and...
  • The Space Shuttle On Rails

    08/23/2014 4:25:33 AM PDT · by WhiskeyX · 11 replies
    Txchnologist ^ | July 14th, 2014 | Txchnologist staff
    On a clear July day in 1966, New York Central Railroad engineer Don Wetzel and his team boarded a specially modified Buddliner railcar. Bolted to the roof above them were two GE J47-19 jet engines. Wetzel throttled the engines up and tore down a length of track from Butler, Indiana, to Stryker, Ohio, at almost 184 mph, piloting the experimental vehicle into the record books as the world’s fastest jet-powered train.
  • Pomegranate peel may cure deadly brain disorders (Alzheimer's and Parkinson's)

    08/23/2014 3:43:03 AM PDT · by Innovative · 20 replies
    Business Standard ^ | Aug 23, 2014 | IANS
    Two years of research by a Nigerian scientist has shown that sufferers of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease could be helped by punicalagin, a compound extracted from pomegranates. Olumayokun Olajide from the University of Huddersfield in West Yorkshire showed how punicalagin could inhibit inflammation in specialised brain cells known as micrologia. He also found the painful inflammation that accompanies illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis and Parkinson's disease could be reduced using the same drug. "We do know that regular consumption of pomegranate has a lot of health benefits, including prevention of neuro-inflammation related to dementia," Olajide added.
  • Oldest Yet Known Metal Object Discovered in the Middle East

    08/22/2014 8:00:53 PM PDT · by fatez · 70 replies
    Live Scient ^ | August 22, 2104 | Charles Q. Choi
    A copper awl is the oldest metal object unearthed to date in the Middle East. The discovery reveals that metals were exchanged across hundreds of miles in this region more than 6,000 years ago, centuries earlier than previously thought, researchers say.
  • NASA to send rats to space to test micro-gravity

    08/22/2014 3:29:20 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 23 replies
    indianexpress.com ^ | August 22, 2014 4:49 pm
    NASA is planning to send rats to the International Space Station (ISS) for a longer duration of up to three months to better understand the long-term effects of micro-gravity on living organisms. While rodents have flown on space shuttle flights in the past, those missions have only lasted a week or two. The new mission, however, could range between 30 and 90 days, depending on the availability of spacecraft to ferry them on the round-trip, ‘Space.com’ reported. “This will allow animals to be studied for longer period of time on space station missions,” said Julie Robinson, NASA’s chief scientist for...
  • Stolen Meteorite Found at a Tennis Court

    08/22/2014 1:48:23 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 4 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | August 22, 2014 | Jason Major on
    Here’s a bit of good news: the Serooskerken meteorite, which was stolen from the Sonnenborgh Museum and Observatory in Utrecht, Netherlands on Monday night, has been recovered. It was found in a bag left in some bushes alongside a tennis court and turned in to the police. It’s not quite “game, set, match” though; unfortunately the meteorite was broken during the theft. (See a photo here via Twitter follower Marieke Baan.) Still, the Sonnenborgh Museum director is glad to have the pieces back, which he said will remain useful for research and can still be exhibited.
  • Scientists develop a water splitter that runs on an ordinary AAA battery

    08/22/2014 10:51:36 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 95 replies
    Phys.org ^ | 08-22-2014 | Provided by Stanford University
    In 2015, American consumers will finally be able to purchase fuel cell cars from Toyota and other manufacturers. Although touted as zero-emissions vehicles, most of the cars will run on hydrogen made from natural gas, a fossil fuel that contributes to global warming. Now scientists at Stanford University have developed a low-cost, emissions-free device that uses an ordinary AAA battery to produce hydrogen by water electrolysis. The battery sends an electric current through two electrodes that split liquid water into hydrogen and oxygen gas. Unlike other water splitters that use precious-metal catalysts, the electrodes in the Stanford device are made...
  • Before they left Africa, early modern humans were 'culturally diverse'

    08/21/2014 9:55:57 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 30 replies
    Phys dot org ^ | August 18th, 2014 | Oxford University
    Researchers have carried out the biggest ever comparative study of stone tools dating to between 130,000 and 75,000 years ago found in the region between sub-Saharan Africa and Eurasia. They have discovered there are marked differences in the way stone tools were made, reflecting a diversity of cultural traditions. The study has also identified at least four distinct populations, each relatively isolated from each other with their own different cultural characteristics. The research paper also suggests that early populations took advantage of rivers and lakes that criss-crossed the Saharan desert. A climate model coupled with data about these ancient water...
  • Pamela Anderson, Carey Hart Slam ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in Online Rants

    08/21/2014 2:46:52 PM PDT · by EveningStar · 31 replies
    Us Weekly ^ | August 21, 2014 | Javy Rodriguez
    Cool it! While Hollywood has accepted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in droves, uploading often-creative, LOL videos and nominating each other, Pamela Anderson and Carey Hart took to their social media pages to criticize the viral campaign, meant to raise funds for Lou Gehrig's disease research. On Wednesday Aug. 20, Anderson, a longtime supporter of animal rights, posted a Facebook message criticizing ALS researchers for their research practices... The next morning, on Thursday, Aug. 21, Hart similarly railed against those who have hopped on the ice bucket bandwagon...
  • Watson, Dawkins: What Is It with Scientists Who Become Crusading Atheists and Raging Bigots?

    08/21/2014 11:35:46 AM PDT · by Heartlander · 9 replies
    Evolution News and Views ^ | August 21, 2014 | Wesley J. Smith
    Watson, Dawkins: What Is It with Scientists Who Become Crusading Atheists and Raging Bigots? Wesley J. Smith August 21, 2014 11:00 AM | Permalink First, there was James Watson who came out as a eugenicist and also remarked about how "some anti-Semitism is justified" (he later apologized). Now Richard Dawkins has let out his own inner bigot by claiming that women have an ethical duty to abort Down babies. From the Telegraph story: Richard Dawkins, the atheist writer, has claimed it is "immoral" to allow unborn babies with Down's syndrome to live. The Oxford professor posted a message on Twitter saying would-be parents who...
  • Neanderthals Died Out 10,000 Years Earlier Than Thought, With Help From Modern Humans

    08/21/2014 10:35:33 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 50 replies
    Nationalgeographic.com ^ | 08-20-2014 | Dan Vergano
    New fossil dates show our ancient cousins disappeared 40,000 years ago. The Neanderthals died out about 10,000 years earlier than previously thought, new fossil dating suggests, adding to evidence that the arrival of modern humans in Europe pushed our ancient Stone Age cousins into extinction. (Read "Last of the Neanderthals" in National Geographic magazine.) Neanderthals' mysterious disappearance from the fossil record has long puzzled scholars who wondered whether the species went extinct on its own or was helped on its way out by Europe's first modern human migrants. "When did the Neanderthals disappear, and why?" says Tom Higham of the...
  • Ecosystem found under Antarctic ice sheet raises hopes for alien life

    08/21/2014 3:30:31 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 8 replies
    Daily Telegraph (UK) ^ | 7:04PM BST 20 Aug 2014 | Sarah Knapton
    An entire ecosystem has been discovered under the Antarctic, raising hopes that life could exist in extreme environments, such as other planets in the solar system. Researchers have discovered that tiny life-forms are thriving in a lake under half a mile of pack ice, even though the habitat has not seen sunlight or fresh air for a million years. The discovery has led to excitement among the scientific community who had previously theorized that microorganisms may be able to survive by evolving novel ways to generate energy. And it raises the possibility that similar life could exist on Mars or...
  • Will there be Affirmative Action Quotas of Human Employees, vs Robots 'Having It All'?

    08/21/2014 1:28:02 AM PDT · by lee martell · 21 replies
    Aug. 21, 2014 | lee martell
    We get closer having the ability to implement a fully automated, robotized, dehumanized society every day. Google has been testing self driving cars in select areas of the country for the last six or seven years. Only now, has the driverless car become something more than an engineers fantasy. McDonald's Restaurants and other fast food retailers are preparing themselves to be forced to offer a minimum wage that usually comes only after several skill sets have been mastered by a seasoned employee. The restaurants prepare for this change by wheeling in a few automated order taking machines. Drones may soak...
  • Strangest Creature of Ancient Earth linked to Modern Animals

    08/20/2014 9:14:51 PM PDT · by null and void · 47 replies
    Scientific Computing ^ | Tue, 08/19/2014 - 3:08pm | University of Cambridge
    Fossil Hallucigenia sparsa from the Burgess Shale Courtesy of M. R. Smith / Smithsonian InstituteThe spines along its back were thought to be legs, its legs thought to be tentacles along its back, and its head was mistaken for its tail. The animal, known as Hallucigenia due to its otherworldly appearance, had been considered an ‘evolutionary misfit’ as it was not clear how it related to modern animal groups. Researchers from the University of Cambridge have discovered an important link with modern velvet worms, also known as onychophorans, a relatively small group of worm-like animals that live in tropical...
  • A Piece of Vesta Has Been Stolen!

    08/20/2014 7:31:51 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 28 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | August 20, 2014 | Jason Major on
    On Aug. 19 a burglary was reported at the Sonnenborgh Museum and Observatory in Utrecht, Netherlands, and one of the items missing is a meteorite that is thought to have originated from the asteroid Vesta. Seen above in a photo from the museum’s collection, the Meteorite of Serooskerken was recovered from a rare fall in 1925 in the province of Zeeland. Only five meteorites have ever been found in the Netherlands, making the Serooskerken specimen somewhat of a national treasure – not to mention a valuable piece of our Solar System’s history! About 5–6% of all the meteorites found on...
  • Modern Humans Arrived in Europe Earlier Than Previously Thought, Study Finds

    08/20/2014 2:50:07 PM PDT · by Fractal Trader · 55 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | 20 August 2014 | GAUTAM NAIK
    A new study concludes that modern humans arrived in Europe much earlier than previously believed, and clarifies more specifically the long time period they overlapped with Neanderthals. The significant overlap bolsters a theory that the two species met, bred and possibly exchanged or copied vital toolmaking techniques. It represents another twist in an enduring puzzle about human origins: why we triumphed while the better adapted and similarly intelligent Neanderthals died out. The study was published Wednesday in the journal Nature. Neanderthals are our closest known extinct relatives, with about 99.5% of DNA in common with humans. They had a brain...
  • Where It All Leads: Professor Death Supports Doctor Death

    08/20/2014 5:30:53 AM PDT · by Heartlander · 5 replies
    Evolution News and Views ^ | August 19, 2014 | Wesley J. Smith
    Where It All Leads: Professor Death Supports Doctor Death Wesley J. Smith August 19, 2014 2:21 PM | Permalink It is time to start calling Peter Singer "Professor Death."The Princeton moral philosopher -- surely a misnomer in his case -- is the world's foremost proponent of infanticide. He typically uses examples of disabled babies, but the reason he believes they can be killed is that they are supposedly not "persons." Thus, Singer has refused to state that killing a baby because she was ugly would be wrong.Professor Death also supports euthanasia, both voluntary and non-voluntary against ill human non-persons, such as Alzheimer's patients.He has...
  • Iceland evacuates areas close to rumbling volcano

    08/19/2014 8:05:07 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 24 replies
    yahoo.com ^ | 5 hours ago
    Iceland on Tuesday began evacuating areas close to its largest volcano after warnings of a possible eruption, four years after millions of air travellers were grounded by a huge ash cloud from another peak. Scientists believe the ash from an eruption at Bardarbunga, a huge volcano under Iceland's largest glacier, the Vatnajokull in the south of the country, could disrupt transatlantic and northern European air traffic. They also fear floods from melting ice could cause serious damage to the country's infrastructure. On Tuesday, police announced that they had "decided to close and evacuate the area north of Vatnajokull as a...
  • Curiosity Rover Stalled By Sandy Trap On Mars' 'Hidden Valley'

    08/19/2014 3:39:13 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 63 replies
    designntrend.com ^ | Aug, 19, 2014, 02:53 PM | Mary Nichols ,
    The 1-ton Curiosity rover had been heading for Mount Sharp - a 3.4-mile-high (5.5 kilometers) mountain in the center of Mars' Gale Crater - via 'Hidden Valley' - a low-lying sandy landscape about the length of a football field. However, Curiosity turned back shortly after entering the valley's northeastern end earlier this month after finding that the sand surprisingly slippery, NASA officials said. 'We need to gain a better understanding of the interaction between the wheels and Martian sand ripples, and Hidden Valley is not a good location for experimenting,' Curiosity project manager Jim Erickson, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory...
  • Biological information: New perspectives from intelligent design

    08/19/2014 11:24:31 AM PDT · by Heartlander · 11 replies
    Human Events ^ | 8/19/2014 | Robert J. Marks II
    Biological information: New perspectives from intelligent design By: Robert J. Marks II A diverse group of scientists gathered at Cornell University in 2011 to discuss their research into the nature and origins of biological information. The symposium brought together experts in computer science, numerical simulation, thermodynamics, evolutionary theory, whole organism biology, developmental biology, molecular biology, genetics, physics, biophysics, mathematics, and linguistics. The proceedings of this symposium have recently been published for public consumption in a book. There is a wrinkle, though, which may make this technical volume of unusual interest to Human Events readers. Most of these researchers, with Ph.D.’s...
  • The 3 Dumbest Things About Whole Foods Market

    08/19/2014 10:43:58 AM PDT · by EveningStar · 96 replies
    Forbes ^ | August 18, 2014 | Steven Salzberg
    I have a love-hate relationship with Whole Foods Market. On the one hand, I love their fresh produce, their baked goods, and many other food choices there. On the other hand, they have embraced anti-science positions in the interest of keeping everything "natural."
  • Fowl play: Neanderthals were first bird eaters (Update)

    08/18/2014 8:00:35 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 17 replies
    Phys dot org ^ | August 07, 2014 | Brian Reyes
    Neanderthals may have caught, butchered and cooked wild pigeons long before modern humans became regular consumers of bird meat, a study revealed on Thursday. Close examination of 1,724 bones from rock doves, found in a cave in Gibraltar and dated to between 67,000 and 28,000 years ago, revealed cuts, human tooth marks and burns, said a paper in the journal Scientific Reports. This suggested the doves may have been butchered and then roasted, wrote the researchers—the first evidence of hominids eating birds. And the evidence suggested Neanderthals ate much like a latter-day Homo sapiens would tuck into a roast chicken,...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Star Trails Over Indonesia

    08/18/2014 7:00:19 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | August 18, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Both land and sky were restless. The unsettled land included erupting Mount Semeru in the distance, the caldera of steaming Mount Bromo on the left, flowing fog, and the lights of moving cars along roads that thread between hills and volcanoes in Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park in East Java, Indonesia. The stirring sky included stars circling the South Celestial Pole and a meteor streaking across the image right. The above 270-image composite was taken from King Kong Hill in mid-June over two hours, with a rising Moon lighting the landscape.
  • Cancer Screening in Seniors Yields Few Benefits

    08/18/2014 6:42:51 PM PDT · by Innovative · 63 replies
    Medpage Today ^ | Aug 18, 2014 | Charles Bankhead
    Screening older patients for cancer provided minimal benefit at considerable cost and increased use of invasive procedures, reported investigators in two separate studies. "It is particularly important to question screening strategies for older persons," Gross continued. "Patients with a shorter life expectancy have less time to develop clinically significant cancers after a screening test and are more likely to die from noncancer health problems after a cancer diagnosis."
  • The Evil that Men Do: How Bad Governments Create Poverty

    08/18/2014 1:10:03 PM PDT · by Politically Correct · 19 replies
    Pharoah, let my people go: How did ancient Egypt become a land of slaves building fantastic monuments to dictatorial leaders? The land of Egypt was rich and fertile, a seeming paradise for egalitarian living. Stephanie Pappas writes in Live Science about how despots “evolved” in ancient societies, but that’s a misleading use of the term; it actually was a series of bad choices by free people. She writes how Simon Powers at the University of Lausanne came up with a mathematical model to explain the shift from egalitarianism to despotism. Whether it actually explains them could be disputed, but he...