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Science (General/Chat)

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  • Prehistoric wine discovered in inaccessible caves forces a rethink of ancient Sicilian culture

    06/21/2018 12:08:22 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    The Conversation US (Creative Commons license) ^ | February 13, 2018 | Davide Tanasi
    Monte Kronio rises 1,300 feet above the geothermally active landscape of southwestern Sicily. Hidden in its bowels is a labyrinthine system of caves, filled with hot sulfuric vapors. At lower levels, these caves average 99 degrees Fahrenheit and 100 percent humidity. Human sweat cannot evaporate and heat stroke can result in less than 20 minutes of exposure to these underground conditions. Nonetheless, people have been visiting the caves of Monte Kronio since as far back as 8,000 years ago. They’ve left behind vessels from the Copper Age (early sixth to early third millennium B.C.) as well as various sizes of...
  • 4,000-Year-Old Jar Contains Italy's Oldest Olive Oil

    06/20/2018 11:40:19 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    Live Science ^ | June 1, 2018 | Laura Geggel
    An egg-shaped ceramic jar covered with ceramic "rope" once held a prize delicacy: the oldest olive oil on record in Italy... Researchers made the discovery after analyzing residue of the so-called liquid gold on the beautiful jar and two other vessels uncovered at Castelluccio, an archaeological site in Sicily. "It had the signature of Sicilian tableware dated to the end of the third and beginning of the second millennium B.C., [during the] Early Bronze Age," Davide Tanasi, an assistant professor of history at the University of South Florida, said in a statement. "We wanted to learn how it was used,...
  • Stonehenge builders used Pythagoras' theorem 2,000 years before Greek philosopher was born, experts

    06/20/2018 2:55:37 PM PDT · by BBell · 39 replies
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/ ^ | 6/20/18 | Sarah Knapton
    Stonehenge builders used Pythagoras' theorem 2,000 years before Greek philosopher was born, say experts The builders of Britain’s ancient stone circles like Stonehenge were using Pythagoras' theorem 2,000 years before the Greek philosopher was born, experts have claimed. A new book, Megalith, has re-examined the ancient geometry of Neolithic monuments and concluded they were constructed by sophisticated astronomers who understood lengthy lunar, solar and eclipse cycles and built huge stone calendars using complex geometry One contributor, megalithic expert Robin Heath has even proposed that there exists a great Pythagorean triangle in the British landscape linking Stonehenge, the site from which...
  • Why Do Genes Suggest Most Men Died Off 7,000 Years Ago?

    06/20/2018 12:59:12 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 100 replies
    Live Science ^ | June 6, 2018 | Yasemin Saplakoglu
    Modern men's genes suggest that something peculiar happened 5,000 to 7,000 years ago: Most of the male population across Asia, Europe and Africa seems to have died off, leaving behind just one man for every 17 women. This so-called population "bottleneck" was first proposed in 2015, and since then, researchers have been trying to figure out what could've caused it. One hypothesis held that the drop-off in the male population occurred due to ecological or climatic factors that mainly affected male offspring, while another idea suggested that the die-off happened because some males had more power in society, and thus...
  • Former astronaut doubts that NASA or SpaceX will make it to Mars with their shiny new rockets

    06/20/2018 12:51:12 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 45 replies
    BGR ^ | June 19th, 2018 at 10:52 AM | Mike Wehner
    Chris Hadfield, who flew to the International Space Station as part of the Canadian Space Agency, told Business Insider that making it to Mars is going to take technology that has yet to be conceived. Put simply, he doesn’t believe the new rockets being worked on by NASA, SpaceX, or Blue Origin have much chance of fulfilling their stated goals. “Personally, I don’t think any of those three rockets is taking people to Mars,” Hadfield said regarding the SpaceX Big Falcon Rocket, Blue Origin’s New Glenn, and NASA’s Space Launch System being constructed by Boeing. “I don’t think those are...
  • How to decorate like a Viking

    06/20/2018 11:02:24 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 17 replies
    Science Nordic ^ | June 19, 2018 | Vickie Isabella Westen, Translated by Catherine Jex
    The Viking Age was probably far more colourful than you might think, says conservator Line Bregnhøi from the National Museum of Denmark, and co-author on the new report... Bregnhøi and her colleague Lars Holten have used the advanced techniques now available to create the colour palette used in the reconstruction of the largest Viking building discovered in Denmark. The Royal Hall, as the building is called, was reconstructed at the Centre for Historical-Archaeological Research and Communication in Denmark (as also known as Sagnlandet Lejre). It uses the same type of paint used by upper class Vikings. However, the archaeologists behind...
  • Did Plate Tectonics Set the Stage for Life on Earth?

    06/20/2018 9:33:45 AM PDT · by ETL · 36 replies
    Space.com ^ | June 19, 2018 | Lisa Kaspin-Powell, Astrobiology Magazine
    A new study suggests that rapid cooling within the Earth's mantle through plate tectonics played a major role in the development of the first life forms, which in turn led to the oxygenation of the Earth's atmosphere. The study was published in the March 2018 issue of Earth and Planetary Science Letters. Scientists at the University of Adelaide and Curtin University in Australia, and the University of California at Riverside, California, USA, gathered and analyzed data on igneous rocks from geological and geochemical data repositories in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden and the United States. They found that over the...
  • Could aliens harness stars to keep ahead of expanding universe?

    06/20/2018 8:29:23 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 70 replies
    phys.org ^ | June 20, 2018 | by Bob Yirka
    Credit: CC0 Public Domain _____________________________________________________________________________ Dan Hooper, a senior scientist with Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory has written a paper outlining a way future aliens could keep their civilizations alive in spite of the isolation due to an expanding universe. In his paper uploaded to the arXiv preprint server, he suggests they might consider collecting and storing stars. A Dyson sphere is a theoretical structure able to house a star. Originally proposed by Freeman Dyson, the sphere was originally envisioned as a group of satellites completely encompassing a star to capture all of its energy. That energy could then be...
  • Magical Wind Power: Illusions versus Reality

    06/20/2018 8:14:39 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 24 replies
    American Thinker ^ | 06/20/2018 | John Droz Jr.
    The number-one challenge of our times is to separate the wheat from the chaff. To assist in this task, we are blessed with more information than ever before – but we are also simultaneously burdened with more misinformation than any prior generation has ever had to deal with. We look back and wonder how trusting citizens were so easily victimized by snake oil salesmen, but today, in the golden age of cons, we are being duped on a daily basis. As a representative matter (and a national issue of great significance), let's look at what's happening with industrial wind energy....
  • Study: Radiocarbon Dating Inaccurate in the Holy Land

    The analysis was made by comparing Jordanian juniper trees that grew between roughly 1600 and 1910 A.D., according to the researchers... The researchers results indicated that, like in many other parts of the globe, the growing season fluctuates enough to tilt the results. Thus, the traditional Carbon-14 calibration curve for the Northern Hemisphere is not entirely accurate for southern Jordan, Israel and Egypt. The offset averages about 19 years, the researchers said... The paper contends that massive timeline restructuring could be in the offing, for events both major and minor. “Although, overall, the Carbon-14 offset identified here produces what may...
  • Rat Bones Reveal How Humans Transformed Their Island Environments

    06/19/2018 9:20:09 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 1 replies
    Smithsonian ^ | June 6, 2018 | Lorraine Boissoneault
    For the Polynesian islands, that meant the arrival of agricultural crops like breadfruit, yams and taro, as well as domesticated animals like dogs, pigs and chicken. The early settlers also used slash-and-burn agriculture to remove forests and fertilize the soil and likely hunted many seabirds to extinction. To get a more precise view of how human behavior impacted the islands, Swift and her colleagues used stable isotope analysis. Carbon analysis is based on the way plants process carbon dioxide: most agricultural products are classified as C3 plants, while tropical grasses are usually C4 plants. If rat bones show a higher...
  • Ancient agricultural activity caused lasting environmental changes

    06/19/2018 9:14:11 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 12 replies
    Eurekalert ^ | June 13, 2018 | U of British Columbia
    For the study, the researchers performed stable isotope analyses on 712 animal bones collected from at least 90 archaeological sites in Ireland. The researchers found significant changes in the nitrogen composition of soil nutrients and plants that made up the animals' diet during the Bronze Age. The researchers believe the changes were the result of an increase in the scale and intensity of deforestation, agriculture and pastoral farming. While these results are specific to Ireland during the Bronze Age, Guiry said the findings have global implications. "The effect of human activities on soil nitrogen composition may be traceable wherever humans...
  • Ovarian cancer cells switched off by 'unusual' mechanism

    06/19/2018 12:39:54 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 6 replies
    medicalxpress.com ^ | 06/19/2018 | by Kate Wighton, Imperial College London
    Cancer cells (blue) are deactivated. Credit: Imperial College London ______________________________________________________________________ Scientists at the Ovarian Cancer Action Research Centre at Imperial College London have discovered a mechanism that deactivates ovarian cancer cells. The findings, published in EMBO Reports, could lead to better treatments for women with ovarian cancer. The research has found a new mechanism for a protein named OPCML. This protein is known as a tumour suppressor, as it prevents cells turning cancerous. However OPCML is usually lost in cancer patients. Scientists have now found that when OPCML is put back into cancer cells, it cleverly deactivates a type...
  • 'Kiss of death' cancer: How computational geeks may have uncovered a therapy for a deadly disease

    06/19/2018 12:01:45 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 3 replies
    medicalxpress.com ^ | June 19, 2018 | Monash University
    L-R: Dr Sungyoung Shim and Dr Lan Nguyen. Credit: Monash University __________________________________________________________________________ It's called the 'kiss of death'. Triple negative breast cancer has no targeted drug therapy and, as such, the only hope for these patients is chemotherapy. Triple negative breast cancer is aggressive and deadly. Patients are currently treated by chemotherapy but there is no guarantee of success—and unfortunately, for those that chemotherapy does not work, the survival rate remains only 12 months. Doctors are turning to combination therapies—cocktails of drugs—in an effort to kill the cancer. However there is no reliable way to predict which combinations, amongst...
  • 5,000 year-old stone balls continue to baffle archaeologists

    06/19/2018 11:52:09 AM PDT · by ETL · 67 replies
    FoxNews.com/Science ^ | June 18, 2018 | Tom Metcalfe, Live Science Contributor
    Some of the most enigmatic human-made objects from Europe's late Stone Age — intricately carved balls of stone, each about the size of a baseball — continue to baffle archaeologists more than 200 years after they were first discovered. More than 500 of the enigmatic objects have now been found, most of them in northeast Scotland, but also in the Orkney Islands, England, Ireland and one in Norway. Archaeologists still don't know the original purpose or meaning of the Neolithic stone balls, which are recognized as some of the finest examples of Neolithic art found anywhere in the world. But...
  • Florida man wrangles alligator from 10-foot python's deadly grip in Everglades

    06/19/2018 11:06:22 AM PDT · by ETL · 47 replies
    FoxNews.com/Science ^ | June 19, 2018 | Kaitlyn Schallhorn
    An Everglades alligator owes its life to a Florida trapper after it was rescued from the suffocating clutches of a 10-foot python. Mike Kimmel, owner of Martin County Trapping and Removals and Martin County Wildlife Rescue, came across the massive python in the dark night of the Everglades already wrapped around a 4-foot alligator this weekend. In a video posted to his Facebook page, Kimmel was seen wrangling the python from the bushes and held it up until it dropped the smaller alligator, which quickly scampered away. The freed alligator has some company; Kimmel told Fox News it was the...
  • Hat Trick: Researchers Solve a Lingering Mystery About Easter Island’s Statues

    06/19/2018 10:54:24 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 28 replies
    Seeker ^ | June 23, 2018 | Glenn McDonald
    Carved from sharp volcanic rock and more than 700 years old, the stone formations can weigh upwards of 13 tons. Archaeologists have long wondered how these stone hats, which sit atop the heads of the famous Easter Island statues, were put into place with 13th-century technology... Rapa Nui, or Easter Island, rises from the waves about 2,000 miles from Chile. The island's famous statues have been studied by various teams of archaeologists and geologists since the 18th century. Previous studies determined that the statues are made of from one quarry on the island, while the hats come from a different...
  • Mysterious Mars rock formation has explosive explanation

    06/18/2018 10:27:05 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 2 replies
    CNET ^ | June 18, 2018 9:31 AM PDT | Amanda Kooser /
    The Medusae Fossae Formation rises near the equator of Mars. The soft rock has been carved by wind erosion into a collection of ridges, valleys and striking mesas. It's massive. It's strange. And scientists are now tracing its origin to explosive volcanic activity in Mars' deep past. NASA has referred to Medusae Fossae as "an enigmatic pile of eroding sediments." UFO enthusiasts once spotted what they believed to be a UFO there, which is mainly a testament to the exotic shapes formed in the wind-blasted area. A study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets now traces Medusae Fossae...
  • New research unveils true origin of ancient turquoise

    06/18/2018 1:37:26 PM PDT · by BBell · 19 replies
    New research published today in the journal Science Advances overturns more than a century of thought about the source of turquoise used by ancient civilizations in Mesoamerica, the vast region that extends from Central Mexico to Central America. For more than 150 years, scholars have argued that the Aztec and Mixtec civilizations, which revered the precious, blue-green mineral, acquired it through import from the American Southwest. However, extensive geochemical analyses reveal that the true geologic source of Aztec and Mixtec turquoise lies within Mesoamerica. Geochemist Alyson Thibodeau, assistant professor of earth sciences at Dickinson College, and a team of researchers...
  • Human activity making mammals more nocturnal, study finds

    06/18/2018 12:09:32 PM PDT · by BBell · 16 replies
    Research involving 62 species found mammals spent relatively less time being active during the day when humans were nearbyHuman disturbance is turning mammals into night owls, with species becoming more nocturnal when people are around, research has revealed. The study, encompassing 62 species from around the globe, found that when humans were nearby, mammals spent relatively less time being active during the day and were more active at night - even among those already classed as nocturnal. Experts say such a shift might not only affect particular animals themselves – for example impacting their ability to navigate or find food...