Month: September 2020

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There are competing hypotheses around the decline of the Indus Valley Civilization in South Asia some 3,000 years ago, but a new mathematical proof has identified that climate change could have been responsible. Mathematical scientist Nishant Malik from the Rochester Institute of Technology crunched the numbers and found new evidence to back up the idea
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Picking the kids up from school takes on a different meaning for crocodylian parents. In this photo, taken by India-based photographer Dhritiman Mukherjee, a male freshwater gharial shows us why. Bobbing in the waters of northern India’s National Chambal Sanctuary, the croc waits as more than 100 of his month-old children clamber onto his back for safe
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According to ancient legend, a beautiful maiden named Ashima drowned in a river, and turned into stone. This, it has been said for centuries, is how China’s stunning Stone Forest of Shilin first took shape. According to new research, however, there’s another explanation for the phenomenon that gives stone forests their surreal and otherworldly forms,
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NASA on Thursday announced it was in the market for Moon rocks, and wants to pay companies to scoop out the dirt, take a photo, and then have it ready for collection by a future mission. The contract doesn’t actually involve getting to the Moon itself – a feat only achieved by the national space
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Often it’s the most minute scientific measurements that are the most important, and researchers have developed a new, super-small device that’s capable of detecting magnetic fields even when they’re extremely faint. The device, a new kind of superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID), is just 10 nanometres high, or around a thousandth of the thickness of a human
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The Nancy Roman Telescope has reached another milestone in its development. NASA has announced that the space telescope’s primary mirror is now complete. The 2.4 meter (7.9 foot) mirror took less time to develop than other mirrors because it wasn’t built from scratch. It’s a re-shaped and re-surfaced mirror that came from the National Reconnaissance Office.
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Trees that grow quickly die younger, risking a release of carbon dioxide that challenges forecasts that forests will continue to be a “sink” for planet-warming emissions, scientists said Tuesday. Tree cover absorbs a significant proportion of carbon dioxide emitted by burning fossil fuels and plays a crucial role in projections for our ability to wrestle
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“Zombie” wildfires that were smoldering beneath the Arctic ice all winter suddenly flared to life this summer when the snow and ice above it melted, new monitoring data reveal. And this year has been the worst for Arctic wildfires on record, since reliable monitoring began 17 years ago. Arctic fires this summer released as much carbon in the first
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A growing body of drug research has shown that experiences with psychedelic drugs can be both positive and negative – scary and uncomfortable for some, but leading to improvements in well-being and relationships for others. These substances also show promising early results for treating mental disorders, in controlled doses. So why the disparity between the
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Two hundred ancient mammoth skeletons have been discovered beneath an airport construction site north of Mexico City – the largest collection of mammoth bones ever found. Archaeologists at Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History first realised the area might hide mammoth remains after they found two human-dug mammoth traps in November as part of
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Our natural inclination to help others in need runs extremely deep within our mammalian heritage – there’s many examples of altruism in primates and it’s even been demonstrated in mice. This generosity, prevalent across human cultures, has psychological and health benefits for us all as individuals. Now researchers have also found evidence that generosity helps people in societies live
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SpaceX says early tests of its rapidly growing fleet of internet-providing satellites are yielding promising results. Internal tests of a beta version of internet service from the company’s Starlink project show “super low latency and download speeds greater than 100” megabits per second, Kate Tice, a SpaceX senior certification engineer, said during a live broadcast
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You’d think a plant scientist would feel at home on a farm, but Neil Stewart was used to working with potatoes, not human cadavers.  Fascinated by environmental contaminants, Stewart was on tour at the University of Tennessee’s ‘body farm’ – more formally known as the Anthropology Research Facility – where forensic anthropologists study the effects
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Modern-day drone sensors can sometimes detect what’s invisible to the human eye, such as the remains of a historical city called Etzanoa or the ‘Great Settlement’ in the fields of Wichita, Kansas – remains that have been buried for hundreds of years. Researchers think they’ve found what’s known as a ‘council circle’ monument in Etzanoa, and while