Easter Island's ancient inhabitants weren't so lonely after all
By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - They lived on a remote dot of land in the middle of the Pacific, 2,300 miles (3,700 km) west of South America and 1,100 miles (1,770 km) from the closest island, erecting huge stone figures that still stare enigmatically from the hillsides. But the ancient Polynesian people who populated Easter Island, or Rapa Nui, were not as isolated as long believed. ...
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 14:31:41 -0400
Fixing 'Ebolanomics' in pursuit of vaccines and drugs
By Kate Kelland and Ben Hirschler LONDON (Reuters) - As researchers from Africa to China to America race to develop vaccines and treatments to fight Ebola, health experts are grappling with the economics of a disease that until this year had been off the drug industry's radar. Whether or not effective drugs come in time to turn around the world's worst epidemic of the virus ravaging three West African countries, the world will want stockpiles to protect against inevitable future outbreaks, experts say. ...
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 10:48:56 -0400
Old, cold and bold: Ice Age people dwelled high in Peru's Andes
By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In a bleak, treeless landscape high in the southern Peruvian Andes, bands of intrepid Ice Age people hunkered down in rudimentary dwellings and withstood frigid weather, thin air and other hardships. Scientists on Thursday described the world's highest known Ice Age settlements, two archaeological sites about 2.8 miles (4.5 km) above sea level and about 12,000 years old packed with artifacts including a rock shelter, stone tools, animal bones, food remnants and primitive artwork. ...
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 14:02:34 -0400
French entrepreneurs launch test to detect pork in food
By Lucien Libert ASNIERES France (Reuters) - Two French entrepreneurs have launched a portable device to test for the presence of pork in food for use by Muslims who abide by dietary laws. With France's five million Muslims making up about eight percent of the overall population, the test, similar in size to a pregnancy test, aims to help consumers detect traces of pork not just in food, but also in cosmetics or medicines. The kit comes with a small test tube in which a food sample is mixed with warm water. ...
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 09:59:35 -0400
The beast with the behemoth arms: A dinosaur mystery is solved
By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In July 1965, two gigantic fossilized dinosaur arms replete with menacing claws were unearthed in the remote southern Gobi desert of Mongolia. Measuring 8 feet (2.4 meters), they were the longest arms of any known bipedal creature in Earth's history. But nearly everything else was missing, leaving experts baffled about the nature of this beast with the behemoth arms. Half a century later, the mystery has been solved. ...
Wed, 22 Oct 2014 13:48:37 -0400
Swimming Mammoths Beat Humans to California
A fossil tusk rescued from the sea proves mammoths swam to Southern California's Channel Islands much earlier than thought. The new fossil is one of two recently discovered tusks that challenge the idea that climate change killed off the Channel Islands' pygmy mammoths, said Daniel Muhs, a geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Denver, who described the find Sunday (Oct. 19) here at the Geological Society of America's annual meeting. "This new find suggests they had to have lived during a period even warmer than the present," Muhs told Live Science.
Fri, 24 Oct 2014 07:38:40 -0400
Real-Life Tractor Beam Pulls in Particles
The invisible force that pulls in the Millennium Falcon spacecraft to the Death Star in "Star Wars" movies is still far from becoming a reality, but physicists have developed a miniature version of sorts: a tractor beam that can reel in tiny particles. "Because lasers retain their beam quality for such long distances, this could work over meters," study researcher Vladlen Shvedov, research fellow at the Australian National University, said in a statement. They used the light beam to suck in tiny glass spheres, each of which measured about 0.2 millimeters (0.008 inches) wide. Not only did the researchers move the glass spheres farther than had been demonstrated in previous experiments, but they used a different technique altogether.
Fri, 24 Oct 2014 07:38:22 -0400
Myth Busted: Ancient Humans May Not Have Been Redheads
Ancient humans found with red hair weren't necessarily redheads in life, but may have acquired their carrot tops after death, a new study finds. Silvana Tridico is a forensic scientist at Curtin University in Perth, Australia, and co-author of the study. "There aren't too many people who do it at the level I do it at," Tridico said. In the study, Tridico and her colleagues examined about 450 hairs from a variety of animals, including ancient humans, modern humans and woolly mammoths.
Fri, 24 Oct 2014 07:30:43 -0400
Wow! This Hubble Telescope Photo of Mars with a Comet Is Amazing
The famed Hubble Space Telscope has captured a jaw-dropping view of a comet making an incredibly close flyby of Mars. The planet glows red, and Comet Siding Spring's bright nucleus and diffuse tail stand out against a host of background stars glimmering behind the two cosmic bodies. "The Mars and comet images have been added together to create a single picture to illustrate the angular separation, or distance, between the comet and Mars at closest approach," NASA officials said in a statement. "The solid icy comet nucleus is too small to be resolved in the Hubble picture.
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 16:33:45 -0400
Buzz Aldrin Says One-Way Trips to Mars Could Actually Work
Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin wants to send people on a trip to Mars, and he doesn't want them to come home at least not at first. The time and resources that will be used to get humans to the Red Planet only make sense if the astronauts stay there and help to jump-start an outpost on the new world, Aldrin said during a panel here at MIT's AeroAstro 100 conference Wednesday (Oct. 22).
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 16:33:41 -0400
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