Free Republic 3rd Quarter Fundraising Target: $88,000 Receipts & Pledges to-date: $26,725
30%  
Woo hoo!! And the first 30% is in!! Thank you all very much!! God bless.

Science (General/Chat)

Brevity: Headers | « Text »
  • Mystery ancient human ancestor found in Australasian family tree

    07/26/2016 2:56:25 AM PDT · by Candor7 · 15 replies
    New Scientist ^ | 25 July 2016 | Alice Klein
    Who’s your daddy? An unknown hominin species that bred with early human ancestors when they migrated from Africa to Australasia has been identified through genome mapping of living humans. The genome analysis also questions previous findings that modern humans populated Asia in two waves from their origin in Africa, finding instead a common origin for all populations in the Asia-Pacific region, dating back to a single out-of-Africa migration event. Modern humans first left Africa about 60,000 years ago, with some heading west towards Europe, and others flowing east into the Asia-Pacific region. Previous research looking at the genomes of people...
  • Scientists Say A Mystery Species Bred with Ancient Humans in Distant Past

    07/25/2016 7:47:39 PM PDT · by Fractal Trader · 54 replies
    Ancient Origins ^ | 26 July 2016 | April Holloway
    A new study of the genomes of Australasians has revealed sections of DNA that do not match any known hominin species. The dramatic findings mean that a mystery species bred with ancient humans in the distant past and that our family tree is much more complex than previously believed. New Scientist reports that the unknown species bred with early human ancestors when they migrated from Africa to Australasia. The surprising finding, published in the journal Nature Genetics , was made by Jaume Bertranpetit at Pompeu Fabra University in Spain and his colleagues, who examined the genomes of living Indigenous Australians,...
  • NASA is going under the sea … and you’ll never guess why

    07/25/2016 3:50:05 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 20 replies
    It will be a 16-day mission that started July 21. The crew will test out tools and techniques for future space exploration. They will also test a telemedicine device and, while they’re down there anyway, collect a few samples for marine biology and geology studies. “NEEMO 21 astronauts and crew will pioneer complex tasks on the seafloor utilizing the most advanced underwater navigation and science tools which are methodically choreographed to mimic a Mars exploration traverse,” NEEMO Project Lead Bill Todd said in the statement. “Equipment can fail, communication can be challenging and tasks can take longer than expected. Other...
  • High tech for the criminals among us (3D printing)

    07/22/2016 1:24:58 PM PDT · by pa_dweller · 2 replies
    Benzinga ^ | 7/22/16 | Wayne Duggan
    3D printing technology allows users to easily replicate small items like paper clips, coat hangers and broken refrigerator door handles. Unfortunately, some creative criminals have taken advantage of the declining price of 3D printers to make the lives of law enforcement officers extremely difficult. Security company G4S has discovered criminals are using 3D printers to aid in stealing shipments of goods. In as little as 10 minutes, criminals can print replacement cargo seals, decoy security devices and replica locks and keys. After breaking into cargo containers, the criminals use the 3D-printed items to help cover their tracks. For law enforcement...
  • Social Intelligence Test

    Test how well you can read emotions of others just by looking at their eyes. The ability to read the emotions of others is linked to "social intelligence" which, in turn, is linked to performance on team-based problem solving tasks. The test typically takes 10 minutes to complete. Take the test.
  • Super-hard metal 'four times tougher than titanium'

    07/22/2016 7:58:20 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 53 replies
    BBC ^ | 07/22/2016 | Helen Briggs
    A super-hard metal has been made in the laboratory by melting together titanium and gold. The alloy is the hardest known metallic substance compatible with living tissues, say US physicists. The material is four times harder than pure titanium and has applications in making longer-lasting medical implants, they say. Conventional knee and hip implants have to be replaced after about 10 years due to wear and tear. Details of the new metal - an alloy of gold and titanium - are revealed in the journal, Science Advances. Prof Emilia Morosan, of Rice University, Houston, said her team had made the...
  • Detector’s last experiment narrows search for dark matter

    07/21/2016 3:26:53 PM PDT · by DUMBGRUNT · 17 replies
    berkeley news ^ | 21 July 2016 | Robert Sanders
    sources of noise caused by electrons building up on the inner Teflon coating of the tank holding a third-of-a-ton of cooled liquid xenon. If a WIMP collided with of a xenon atom within the tank, powerful sensors inside would detect the tiny flash of light and electrical charge created.
  • Remembering Mount Pinatubo 25 Years Ago: Mitigating a Crisis

    07/20/2016 9:05:03 PM PDT · by JimSEA · 10 replies
    USGS ^ | 6/13/2016 | USGS
    The world’s largest volcanic eruption to happen in the past 100 years was the June 15, 1991, eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines. Bursts of gas-charged magma exploded into umbrella ash clouds, hot flows of gas and ash descended the volcano’s flanks and lahars swept down valleys. The collaborative work of scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) saved more than 5,000 lives and $250 million in property by forecasting Pinatubo's 1991 climactic eruption in time to evacuate local residents and the U.S. Clark Air Force Base that happened to...
  • Vast asteroid created 'Man in Moon's eye' crater

    07/20/2016 5:42:28 PM PDT · by MtnClimber · 17 replies
    BBC ^ | Rebecca Morelle
    One of the Moon's biggest craters was created by an asteroid more than 250km (150 miles) across, a study suggests. It smashed into the lunar surface about 3.8 billion years ago, forming Mare Imbrium - the feature also known as the right eye of the "Man in the Moon". Scientists say the asteroid was three times bigger than previously estimated and debris from the collision would have rained down on the Earth. The asteroid was so big it could be classified as a protoplanet - a space rock with the potential to become a fully formed world. Lead author Prof...
  • Study: grazing cows are worse for the environment

    07/20/2016 6:51:12 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 31 replies
    TheLocal.ch ^ | 20 Jul 2016 11:46 GMT+02:00
    An animal rights group is up in arms after a study suggested that beef from cows that graze naturally outside has a higher environmental impact than beef from cows fattened on farms. The study, published by the Swiss federal government’s agricultural research body, Agroscope, last month, compared the environmental effect of cows raised on alpine pastures in the summer and those reared on farms complying with the Terra-Suisse label. The report found that, since cows reared on pastures graze on natural grasses, they take around 20 months to reach the required weight for slaughter, compared with 15 months for cows...
  • Attempt to explain away ‘dark energy’ takes a hit

    07/19/2016 12:47:11 PM PDT · by MtnClimber · 41 replies
    Science ^ | 19 Jul, 2016 | Adrian Cho
    For nearly 20 years, physicists have known that the expansion of the universe has begun to speed up. This bizarre acceleration could arise because some form of mysterious dark energy is stretching space. Or, it could signal that physicists' understanding of gravity isn't quite right. But a new study puts the screws on a broad class of alternative theories of gravity, making it that much harder to explain away dark energy. The study is also path setting because it exploits an effect called weak lensing in which the gravity from closer galaxies distorts the images of more distant ones. "That's...
  • Chemists create vitamin-powered battery

    07/19/2016 8:44:18 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 5 replies
    sciencemag.org ^ | Jul. 19, 2016 , 11:00 AM | By Naomi Lubick
    In the latest version of an organic flow battery—which uses carbon-based organic compounds instead of metal ions to carry charges—scientists have introduced a molecule similar to the core of vitamin B2 to carry energy. Like other flow batteries, this one stores energy in two liquids and generates an electrical current as the liquids flow past each other, trading electrons across a membrane. Because the liquids can be housed in large tanks, these batteries have the potential to store days’ worth of energy from renewable sources such as wind and solar. The liquids typically use metals, such as vanadium, to shuttle...
  • USGS: Some Earthquakes on San Andreas Fault Are Triggered by Gravitational Tug Between Sun and Moon

    07/18/2016 7:49:56 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 49 replies
    Los Angeles Times ^ | 07/18/2016 | Rosanna Xia
    Like sea levels, the surface of the Earth also goes up and down with the tides, flexing the crust and stressing the faults inside.... “...[T]he moon, when it's pulling in the same direction that the fault is slipping, causes the fault to slip more – and faster,” said Nicholas van der Elst, a U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist... ... Like ocean tides, the strongest Earth tides occur when the sun and moon are aligned, and the weakest occur when they are 90 degrees apart. The same gravitational forces stretch and compress the Earth’s crust (though the rock moves less dramatically than...
  • Report: Brady grants NFLPA permission to continue Deflategate appeal

    07/18/2016 3:33:25 PM PDT · by detective · 6 replies
    MSN News ^ | July 18,2016 | Zack Cox
    Tom Brady will sit out the first four games of the upcoming NFL season, but Deflategate hasn’t officially been put to rest quite yet. The New England Patriots quarterback has granted the NFL Players Association permission to continue fighting his four-game suspension, a source told ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio, even after announcing he is done doing so himself.
  • Kepler confirms more than 100 planets in single trove

    07/18/2016 10:38:40 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 19 replies
    phys.org ^ | July 18, 2016 | Provided by: W. M. Keck Observatory
    Image montage showing the Maunakea Observatories, Kepler Space Telescope, and night sky with K2 Fields and discovered planetary systems (dots) overlaid. An international team of scientists discovered more than 100 planets based on images from Kepler operating in the 'K2 Mission'. The team confirmed and characterized the planets using a suite of telescopes worldwide, including four on Maunakea (the twin telescopes of Keck Observatory, the Gemini­North Telescope, and the Infrared Telescope Facility). The planet image on the right is an artist's impression of a representative planet. Credit: Karen Teramura (UHIfA) based on night sky image of the ecliptic plane by...
  • Lightweight Telescopes In CubeSats Using Carbon Nanotube Mirrors

    07/18/2016 9:25:20 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 6 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | 07/14/2016 | Matt Williams
    Using carbon nanotubes, the Goddard team – which is led by Dr. Theodor Kostiuk of NASA’s Planetary Systems Laboratory and Solar System Exploration Division – have created a revolutionary new type of telescope mirror. These mirrors will be deployed as part of a CubeSat, one which may represent a new breed of low-cost, highly effective space-based telescopes. This latest innovation also takes advantage of another field that has seen a lot of development of late. CubeSats, like other small satellites, have been playing an increasingly important role in recent years. Unlike the larger, bulkier satellites of yesteryear, miniature satellites are...
  • CRS-9 Technical Webcast (While We Slept)

    07/18/2016 2:20:28 AM PDT · by knarf · 17 replies
    youtube ^ | July 17, 2016 | SP0ACE X
    start at the 16 minute mark
  • Orchid or demon: Flower of a new species of orchid looks like a devil's head

    07/17/2016 6:26:09 PM PDT · by JimSEA · 26 replies
    Science Daily ^ | 7/16/2016 | Pensoft Publishers
    A lone and unique population of about 30 reddish to dark violet-maroon orchids grows on the small patch of land between the borders of two Colombian departments. However, its extremely small habitat is far from the only striking thing about the new species. A closer look at its flowers' heart reveals what appears to be a devil's head. Named after its demonic patterns, the new orchid species, Telipogon diabolicus, is described in the open access journal PhytoKeys. Discovered by Dr Marta Kolanowska and Prof Dariusz Szlachetko, both affiliated with University of Gdansk, Poland, together with Dr Ramiro Medina Trejo, Colombia,...
  • Personal Communication from Dr. Sircus on Muslim terrorism

    07/16/2016 6:35:08 AM PDT · by dennisw · 4 replies
    Dr Sircus ^ | July 15, 2016 | Dr Sircus
    This actually started as a dear IMVA letter but evolved into an open question, which I am struggling to resolve. The International Medical Veritas Association (IMVA) was started in 2004. Veritas is Latin for truth and I have done my best to represent that in the world of medicine. I have kind of a built in truth meter in my mind/heart, which has served me well in my personal and professional life.My Natural Allopathic Medicine protocol has matured into a potent map for the treatment of disease but in the future, I will be writing more about health-care then...
  • Progress in The Development of New Drugs in Alzheimer’s Disease

    07/15/2016 9:06:35 PM PDT · by Alannnnnn · 13 replies
    BOC Sciences Blog ^ | 27th, June, 2016 | BOC Sciences
    Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is an age-related neurodegenerative disease that is characterized by a progressive loss of memory associated with other cognitive sphere deficits interfering with social and occupational functioning. The global prevalence of AD was estimated at 26.55 million in 2006. During several years preceding the diagnosis of dementia, there is a gradual cognitive decline with a continuum from the predementia stage to the other stages of the disease. Current treatment strategies address impairments of cholinergic and glutamatergic systems. The cholinergic hypothesis was initially presented over 25 years ago and suggests that a dysfunction of acetylcholine containing neurons in the...
  • Soon a NASA astronaut will get to sequence DNA in space

    07/15/2016 10:53:19 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 13 replies
    foxnews.com ^ | ·Published July 15, 2016 | Rob Verger
    Very early Monday morning, a SpaceX rocket is scheduled to blast off for the International Space Station, and among the cargo it will be lifting up will be a small DNA sequencer. That tiny device will let NASA astronaut Kate Rubins sequence DNA in space, the first time that’s happened. Rubins is a 37-year-old microbiologist who, until she launched up to the station earlier this month from Kazakhstan, had never been to space before. Her career had seen her studying dangerous pathogens like ebola and smallpox, and as a doctoral student, she focused on cancer biology. The small sequencer set...
  • Tears of the Sun--The gold rush at 17,000ft in the Andes

    07/15/2016 1:58:05 AM PDT · by dennisw · 12 replies
    THE NEW YORKER | APRIL 20, 2015 | BY WILLIAM FINNEGAN
    http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/04/20/tears-of-the-sunCan only post the URL.... Great read about gold mining in the Peruvian Andes mountains.They use mercury to extract the gold from the ore and the mining is mostly informal as in unregulated. Mining is done by individuals and small operations.
  • New, Massive Earthquake Threat Could Lurk Under South Asia

    07/14/2016 1:06:38 PM PDT · by JimSEA · 15 replies
    National Geographic ^ | 7/11/2016 | Michael Greshko
    A new GPS study of Bangladesh, India, and Myanmar (Burma) has found startling evidence that the northeastern corner of the Indian subcontinent is actively colliding with Asia, potentially posing a major earthquake risk to one of the world’s most densely populated regions. A new GPS study of Bangladesh, India, and Myanmar (Burma) has found startling evidence that the northeastern corner of the Indian subcontinent is actively colliding with Asia, potentially posing a major earthquake risk to one of the world’s most densely populated regions. The years-long analysis is the first to incorporate GPS data from Bangladeshi tracking stations. It is...
  • Space Plane': fly anywhere in the world in four hours

    07/14/2016 12:27:35 PM PDT · by Candor7 · 26 replies
    The Telegraph ( UK) ^ | 14 July 2016 , 11:38am | Helena Horton
    Could we soon be saying goodbye to long-haul flights? One company has taken an important step in making this dream come true. Oxford's Reaction Engines Ltd (REL) announced it has received a €10,000 development contract with ESA, so it can work on its revolutionary Synergistic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine (SABRE). This technology can work both in the Earth's atmosphere and in space - which is crucial to space planes. ( scroll down for video explanation of technology)
  • 'Extinct' Volcano Near Rome Rumbles to Life

    07/14/2016 5:58:12 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 15 replies
    A volcano outside Rome, long thought extinct, is rumbling to life. But don't panic: The volcano isn't likely to blow its top for at least another 1,000 years. Colli Albani is a volcanic complex of hills located 19 miles (30 kilometers) from the center of Rome. There are no historical records of eruptions from Colli Albani, so it was long thought to be extinct, according to the American Geophysical Union (AGU). Now, researchers have reported in the journal Geophysical Research Letters that Colli Albani just doesn't erupt that often. In fact, it enters an eruptive phase every 31,000 years or...
  • New 'large and bright' dwarf planet discovered in our solar system (unnamed,700 year solar orbit)

    07/13/2016 7:24:27 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 22 replies
    Yahoo News ^ | 7/11/16 | Fox News
    Using a telescope at the top of Mauna Kea, Hawaii, scientists have discovered a new dwarf planet in our solar system, a body about 435 miles across that lacks a name and that researchers still know little about. The new dwarf planet, dubbed 2015 RR245, has such a huge, highly elliptical orbit that it takes an astonishing 700 Earth years to complete one trip around the sun, and it ventures over 120 times further away from the sun than our planet does. "The icy worlds beyond Neptune trace how the giant planets formed and then moved out from the Sun....
  • Vanity: We don't prosecute espionage, why care about stealing an election?

    07/13/2016 10:47:48 AM PDT · by Attention Surplus Disorder · 18 replies
    7/13/2016 | Attention Surplus Disorder
    So we've now established that well over 1000 instances of espionage ain't spit. A capital offense in time of war and of course we would have to establish that the US is in some kind of war, a lengthy discussion no doubt. But war or peace, espionage is among the most serious offenses a person can choose to commit. And anyone who thinks there isn't a very plausible nexus between well over 200 messages from Benghazi "we have no security here, you have to do something" and the eventual attack there is IMO quite naive. Stealing an election is like...
  • NASA shuts down live International Space Station feed as 'mysterious UFO enters Earth's atmosphere'

    07/13/2016 6:18:18 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 94 replies
    Mirror UK ^ | Updated 13:17, 13 Jul 2016 | By Elle Griffiths
    The incident caused speculation online - and is not the first time NASA have been accused of tampering with the feed. Trending Theresa May Pokemon GO Dallas police shooting Weather Angela Eagle Alton Sterling Technology Money Travel Fashion Mums Home News Weird News UFOs NASA shuts down live International Space Station feed as 'mysterious UFO enters Earth's atmosphere' 22:16, 12 Jul 2016 Updated 13:17, 13 Jul 2016 By Elle Griffiths The incident caused speculation online - and is not the first time NASA have been accused of tampering with the feed 2602 shares 227 comments Play 1:31 / 1:31 Fullscreen...
  • This battery breakthrough could change the world

    07/12/2016 6:07:12 PM PDT · by Swordmaker · 88 replies
    GearBurn ^ | July 12, 2016 | By Wiehahn Diederichs
    Well it seems the battery gods have heard our call and bestowed upon us a miracle.Researchers at the University of California Irvine (UCI) may have discovered a way to drastically increase the life of modern day batteries. And the best part is that they stumbled upon this solution by accident.To be more specific, the discovery was made by fifth-year PhD student, Mya Le Thai. Mya was working on an electrolyte gel that was to substitute the electrolyte liquid currently found in batteries in an attempt to make it more affordable. But in a coincidental twist of fate (thank you...
  • Health Buzz: Redhead Gene Linked to Higher Skin Cancer Mutation Risk

    07/12/2016 5:00:16 PM PDT · by SMGFan · 45 replies
    A new study indicates that having the gene for red hair, pale skin and freckles corresponds with a larger number of genetic mutations that can lead to skin cancer. In fact, the findings indicate, those with the redhead variant of the MC1R gene had 42 percent more mutations than those without it, which equates to 21 extra years of sun exposure. Redheads with freckles and pale skin have two copies of the gene, but non-redheads with just one copy could be at risk, according to the findings.
  • Astronomers discover new distant dwarf planet beyond Neptune

    07/12/2016 10:41:36 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 27 replies
    phys.org ^ | July 12, 2016 | Provided by: CFH Telescope
    Discovery images of RR245. The images show RR245's slow motion across the sky over three hours. Credit: OSSOS team ================================================================================================ An international team of astronomers have discovered a new dwarf planet orbiting in the disk of small icy worlds beyond Neptune. The new object is roughly 700 kilometers in size and has one of the largest orbits for a dwarf planet. Designated 2015 RR245 by the International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Center, it was found using the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope on Maunakea, Hawaii, as part of the ongoing Outer solar system Origins Survey (OSSOS). "The icy worlds beyond Neptune trace how...
  • Astronauts are returning from space with mysterious eye problems

    07/12/2016 5:55:08 AM PDT · by LibWhacker · 37 replies
    Business Insider ^ | 7/11/16 | Fiona MacDonald
    Space does plenty of whacky things to astronauts' bodies, like deteriorating their muscle mass and making them on average 5 centimeters (2 inches) taller. But scientists have uncovered another, more subtle side effect — space is totally ruining astronauts' perfect eyesight. In fact, 80 percent of astronauts who come back from long-duration missions display symptoms of a mysterious eye condition that causes nearsightedness, Shayla Love reports for The Washington Post. While it's a myth that all astronauts have to have natural 20/20 vision (they're allowed to have corrective laser surgery) by the time they launch, their vision does need to...
  • Rare Noah's Ark Mosaic Uncovered in Ancient Synagogue in Israel

    07/11/2016 1:33:40 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 34 replies
    Yahoo News ^ | 7/11/16 | Kacey Deamer - Live Science
    Mosaics depicting prominent Bible scenes were uncovered during annual excavations of an ancient synagogue in Israel's Lower Galilee. During the excavation in June, archaeologists found two new panels of a mosaic floor in a Late Roman (fifth-century) synagogue at Huqoq, an ancient Jewish village. One panel showed Noah's ark with pairs of animals, such as lions, leopards and bears. The other panel depicted soldiers being swallowed by large fish, surrounded by overturned chariots in the parting of the Red Sea. Such images are extremely rare for the time period, according to excavation director Jodi Magness, of the University of North...
  • Neanderthal Man Floated Into Europe, Say Spanish Researchers

    01/16/2006 3:13:24 PM PST · by blam · 48 replies · 1,140+ views
    The Guardian (UK) ^ | 1-16-2006 | Giles Tremlett
    Neanderthal man floated into Europe, say Spanish researchers Giles Tremlett in Madrid Monday January 16, 2006 The Guardian (UK) Spanish investigators believe they may have found proof that neanderthal man reached Europe from Africa not just via the Middle East but by sailing, swimming or floating across the Strait of Gibraltar. Prehistoric remains of hunter-gatherer communities found at a site known as La Cabililla de Benzú, in the Spanish north African enclave of Ceuta, are remarkably similar to those found in southern Spain, investigators said. Stone tools at the site correspond to the middle palaeolithic period, when neanderthal man emerged,...
  • Carthage Archaeologists Dig Up Smart Cooling System For Chariot Racers

    07/09/2016 8:36:53 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 18 replies
    Haaretz ^ | June 30, 2016 | Philippe Bohstrom
    On the north coast of Africa lie the ruins of a city that came within a hairbreadth of defeating the might of Rome. Now archaeologists digging at the famous Circus of Carthage have revealed a startlingly advanced system to cool down horses and chariots during races... Key to the discovery of the clever cooling system at the Circus of Carthage, the biggest sporting arena outside Rome, was the detection of water resistant mortar... The discovery was made at the spina, the median strip of the circus, around the ends of which the charioteers would turn during races. The spina would...
  • St David link to 6th Century Pembrokeshire burial site

    07/09/2016 8:29:59 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    BBC ^ | 1 July 2016 | unattributed
    Skeletons uncovered at a Pembrokeshire burial site may be the remains of contemporaries of the Patron Saint of Wales, archaeologists believe. The discovery was made during the third and final excavation at St Patrick's Chapel at Whitesands Bay, St Davids. It found Christian burial sites dating from the early-6th Century when St David was a bishop. This means a medieval plot found during a previous dig there was not the earliest use of the site. Phil Bennett, cultural heritage manager for the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority, which supported the dig, said: "Without doubt some of the people buried in...
  • Rites of the Scythians

    07/09/2016 3:17:30 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 25 replies
    Archaeology ^ | Monday, June 13, 2016 | Andrew Curry
    ...As he and his team began to slice into the mound, located 30 miles east of Stavropol... It took nearly a month of digging to reach the bottom. There, Belinski ran into a layer of thick clay that, at first glance, looked like a natural feature of the landscape, not the result of human activity. He uncovered a stone box, a foot or so deep, containing a few finger and rib bones from a teenager... Nested one inside the other in the box were two gold vessels of unsurpassed workmanship. Beneath these lay three gold armbands, a heavy ring, and...
  • Etruscan Code Uncracked

    07/09/2016 1:51:42 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 36 replies
    Archaeology ^ | Monday, June 13, 2016 | Rossella Lorenzi
    An inscribed stone slab unearthed at an Etruscan site in Tuscany is proving to contain one of the most difficult texts to decipher. It was believed that the sixth-century B.C. stela would shed light on the still-mysterious Etruscan language, but so far it remains a puzzle. “To be honest, I’m not yet sure what type of text was incised on the stela,” says Rex Wallace, professor of classics at the University of Massachusetts. Inscribed with vertical dots and at least 70 legible letters, the four-foot-tall and two-foot-wide slab had been buried for more than 2,500 years in the foundations of...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Noctilucent Clouds Tour France

    07/09/2016 10:05:29 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 2 replies
    NASA ^ | Saturday, July 09, 2016 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Bright noctilucent or night shining clouds are not familiar sights from northern France. But these electric-blue waves coursed through skies over the small town of Wancourt in Pas-de-Calais on July 6, just before the dawn. From the edge of space, about 80 kilometers above Earth's surface, the icy clouds still reflect sunlight even though the Sun itself is below the horizon as seen from the ground. Usually spotted at high latitudes in summer months the diaphanous apparitions are also known as polar mesospheric clouds. The seasonal clouds are understood to form as water vapor driven into the cold upper...
  • The Space History Sale (incredible auction on Appollo 11 anniversary!)

    07/08/2016 10:30:05 AM PDT · by bigbob · 6 replies
    Bohhams Auctions ^ | 7-6-16 | Bonhams
    "We are pleased to be presenting our eighth annual Space History Auction to take place this year on the 47th anniversary of the first manned lunar landing, completed by Astronauts Neil Armstong and Buzz Aldrin during the Appollo 11 mission on July 20, 1069." (excerpt from the pdf auction catalog). More at the link.
  • A bug in fMRI software could invalidate 15 years of brain research

    07/08/2016 7:45:39 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 17 replies
    sciencealert ^ | 6 JUL 2016
    There could be a very serious problem with the past 15 years of research into human brain activity, with a new study suggesting that a bug in fMRI software could invalidate the results of some 40,000 papers. That's massive, because functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is one of the best tools we have to measure brain activity, and if it’s flawed, it means all those conclusions about what our brains look like
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Swirling Core of the Crab Nebula

    07/07/2016 10:04:25 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    NASA ^ | Friday, July 08, 2016 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: At the core of the Crab Nebula lies a city-sized, magnetized neutron star spinning 30 times a second. Known as the Crab Pulsar, it's actually the rightmost of two bright stars, just below a central swirl in this stunning Hubble snapshot of the nebula's core. Some three light-years across, the spectacular picture frames the glowing gas, cavities and swirling filaments bathed in an eerie blue light. The blue glow is visible radiation given off by electrons spiraling in a strong magnetic field at nearly the speed of light. Like a cosmic dynamo the pulsar powers the emission from the...
  • Neanderthal bones show signs of cannibalism

    07/07/2016 1:18:52 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 41 replies
    The remains that were found were radiocarbon-dated to be about 40,500 to 45,500 years old, and it was determined that Neanderthals butchered and used the bones of their peers as tools, according to a press release from the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen. The findings were published in the journal Scientific Reports. The team identified 99 "uncertain" bone fragments as belonging to Neanderthals, which would make this the greatest trove of Neanderthal remains ever found north of the Alps. The findings also shed light on the genetics of this lost human species, adding to previously collected data on Neanderthal genes....
  • Harappan Workshops Excavated in Northwest India

    07/07/2016 8:14:17 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 16 replies
    Archaeology ^ | Wednesday, July 06, 2016 | editors
    A 5,000-year-old industrial production center featuring furnaces, hearths, and mud-brick structures has been found in northwest India between two channels of the Ghaggar River. According to a report in Frontline, the settlement, occupied for more than 1,000 years, lacked the fortification walls, streets at right angles, citadel, and area for traders and craftsmen usually seen in Harappan sites. One of the furnaces, used for smelting gold and copper, had a platform where the smith could sit and blow through an underground tube to the fire pit. Nearby hearths were used to produce gold jewelry and copper fish hooks and spear...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Altiplano Night

    07/07/2016 7:14:08 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | Thursday, July 07, 2016 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The Milky Way is massively bright on this cold, clear, altiplano night. At 4,500 meters its reflection in a river, a volcanic peak on the distant horizon, is captured in this stitched panorama under naturally dark skies of the northern Chilean highlands near San Pedro de Atacama. Along the Solar System's ecliptic plane, the band of Zodiacal light also stands out, extending above the Milky Way toward the upper left. In the scene from late April, brilliant Mars, Saturn, and Antares form a bright celestial triangle where ecliptic meets the center of the Milky Way. Left of the triangle,...
  • Massive 'Lava Lamp' Blobs Deep Inside Earth Have Scientists Puzzled

    07/07/2016 5:53:44 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 26 replies
    livescience.com ^ | 07/05/2016 | Greg Uyeno
    Two continent-size blobs of hot — and possibly molten — rock can be found deep underground, about halfway to the center of the Earth, according to a new study. These curious structures — each of which is so large that it would be 100 times taller than Mount Everest... One of the blobs is located beneath the Pacific Ocean, and the other can be found beneath the Atlantic. These underground structures start where the Earth's mantle meets the core, but they send "plumes" up through the rock like a Lava Lamp, the researchers said. ... Different types of seismic waves...
  • Archaeology suggests no direct link between climate change and early human innovation

    07/06/2016 5:10:19 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    Phys dot org ^ | Wednesday, July 6, 2016 | PLoS ONE
    Archaeological sites suggest climate may not have been directly linked to cultural and technological innovations of Middle Stone Age humans in southern Africa... The Middle Stone Age marked a period of dramatic change amongst early humans in southern Africa, and climate change has been postulated as a primary driver for the appearance of technological and cultural innovations such as bone tools, ochre production, and personal ornamentation. While some researchers suggest that climate instability may have directly inspired technological advances, others postulate that environmental stability may have provided a stable setting that allowed for experimentation. However, the disconnection of palaeoenvironmental records...
  • Engineers design programmable RNA vaccines: Tests in mice show they work against Ebola, influenza...

    07/06/2016 1:39:08 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 14 replies
    phys.org ^ | July 4, 2016 | Provided by: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    MIT engineers have developed a new type of easily customizable vaccine that can be manufactured in one week, allowing it to be rapidly deployed in response to disease outbreaks. So far, they have designed vaccines against Ebola, H1N1 influenza, and Toxoplasma gondii (a relative of the parasite that causes malaria), which were 100 percent effective in tests in mice. The vaccine consists of strands of genetic material known as messenger RNA, which can be designed to code for any viral, bacterial, or parasitic protein. These molecules are then packaged into a molecule that delivers the RNA into cells, where it...
  • The wizard war in orbit (part 3), SIGINT satellites go to war

    07/06/2016 10:06:05 AM PDT · by Purdue77 · 7 replies
    The Space Review ^ | 5 July 2016 | Dwayne A. Day
    By early 1968, the United States military was involved in an escalating ground and air war in Vietnam. American aircraft were being shot down at the rate of nearly one a day, and Operation Rolling Thunder, the bombing of North Vietnam, was in full swing as B-52s unloaded racks of bombs over the jungle. The US Air Force was engaged in a constant battle against Vietnamese SA-2 surface to air missiles (SAMs), jamming them and spoofing them, electrons dueling invisibly in the air. American airmen with the job of physically destroying the missiles, going by the name Wild Weasels, went...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Arp 286: Trio in Virgo

    07/06/2016 6:12:48 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | Wednesday, July 06, 2016 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: A remarkable telescopic composition in yellow and blue, this scene features a trio of interacting galaxies almost 90 million light-years away, toward the constellation Virgo. On the right, two, spiky, foreground Milky Way stars echo the trio galaxy hues, a reminder that stars in our own galaxy are like those in the distant island universes. With sweeping spiral arms and obscuring dust lanes, NGC 5566 is enormous, about 150,000 light-years across. Just above it lies small, blue NGC 5569. Near center, the third galaxy, NGC 5560, is multicolored and apparently stretched and distorted by its interaction with NGC 5566....