Month: September 2018

Using one-meter class telescopes at Las Cumbres Observatory in Chile, astronomers are targeting the whole disk of the nearby Andromeda Galaxy in what is arguably the most ambitious optical SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) campaign ever undertaken. It’s part of a trillion-planet survey led by the University of California in Santa Barbara. The Andromeda Galaxy
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The human brain is a remarkable thing. It can do things our primate relatives are thousands – maybe even millions – of years of evolution away from, and our most complex machines are not even close to competing with our powers of higher consciousness and ingenuity. And yet, those 100 billion or so neurons are also incredibly fragile. If
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A magnitude 7.5 earthquake has struck off the coast of the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, triggering a 1.8-metre (6-foot) tsunami. The wave tore through several of the island’s coastal cities and towns, including the capital Palu, on Friday. The devastating quake has been followed by multiple strong aftershocks, and comes shortly after a magnitude 6.1
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Reconstruction of a tomb in St. Paul’s Catacombs, Rabat, Malta.Kristina Killgrove Deep underground in the middle of the tiny island country of Malta lies a series of ancient catacombs, communal burial grounds that date back millennia. Malta has always been a way-station on journeys between Africa and southern Europe, with extraordinary diversity in its past
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A new study, published in the journal The Plant Cell, could help guide new bioengineering approaches to encourage plants to produce higher levels of oil for biofuels and other oil-based products. Previous research led by John Shanklin at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory had shown that an enzyme known to be involved in sensing
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Clever and strange, octopuses are fascinating creatures with incredible problem-solving skills and breathtaking camouflage. But overall, they are short-lived, typically around for just one to two years. That’s because they’re semelparous, which means they reproduce just once before they die. With female octopuses, once she’s laid her eggs, that’s it. In fact, the mother even stops
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Getty royalty free Along with the many other areas of life affected by not getting enough sleep, inadequate shuteye also significantly increases the chances of causing a motor-vehicle crash. By how much? A new study took a shot at quantifying an answer to that question, and the results may surprise you. Public health campaigns frequently remind us
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Across the world, the buzz of bee colonies is growing faint, and hives are failing. In what’s been described as “ecological armageddon”, this vital pollinator is vanishing. Scientists aren’t entirely sure why. Strong evidence exists linking the decline to pesticides, but new research shows another poison – one long believed to be harmless to animals
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In 1954, archaeologist Samuel Lothrop described the horror show of an ancient burial site he’d excavated in Panama. Hacking, mutilation, sacrifice, people buried alive, cannibalism, flesh stripped from bones, decapitation for the purpose of trophy-taking – it was all there. Since then, the paper has been cited over 35 times as evidence of the culture’s
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Centuries of human exploitation in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest – one of the world’s most important forests – has left it nearly empty, according to new research. More than half of the subtropical forest’s local mammal species have been wiped out since Europeans colonised the region in the 16th century, according to the study published in
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Getty images, Royalty Free Dairy products in any form have been frequently vilified in the consumer realm, as they have been thought to be the cause of gastrointestinal ailments, allergy flares, respiratory illnesses, and skin disorders, to name a few. The issue of animal abuse in the dairy industry, as well as the use of potentially
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