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Showing posts from September 7, 2015

Hidden Blue Paint Found in Ancient Mummy Portraits

A stash of 1,900-year-old Egyptian mummy paintings that sat mostly undisturbed for 100 years is helping researchers understand how ancient artists used a fashionable pigment called Egyptian blue. Researchers previously thought that ancient painters reserved Egyptian blue for eminent occasions because, as the first man-made blue pigment, it took effort to make it. But in an analysis of 15 paintings, scientists found five contained the pigment. Intriguingly, the blue pigment was used for preliminary sketches and color modulation, meaning it was hidden beneath other colors used later during the painting process.


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Oxygen Oasis Discovered in Antarctic Lake

A little oxygenated slice of paradise survives deep in an icy Antarctic lake, providing a window into what life on Earth may have been like before oxygen permeated the atmosphere. Earth's atmosphere was relatively oxygen-free until about 2.4 billion years ago, when photosynthetic bacteria started pumping out oxygen as a waste product in the process of transforming sunlight into energy. This "Great Oxidation Event" reflects the point at which oxygen became widespread, but researchers now think photosynthetic bacteria evolved at least half a billion years earlier.


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Hummingbirds Use Hawks for Home Security

Tiny hummingbird nests, with their coffee-bean-size eggs, are a tempting treat for predators. About 80 percent of the hummingbird nests built in the Chiricahua Mountains of Arizona are clustered near hawk nests, the researchers said. Outside of hawk territory, the daily survival rate drops to a mere 6 percent, one study found.


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Smart phone ingredient found in plant extracts

Scientists in Germany have come up with a method for extracting the precious element germanium from plants. Now scientists at Freiburg University of Mining and Technology think they have found a revolutionary way to obtain it from their own soil - with a little help from the natural world. Biology professor Hermann Heilmeier is one of the scientists using common plants for this uncommon process.

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How Old Are You Really? Genes Reveal 'Biological Age'

By reading a "signature" based on 150 of a person's genes, researchers can determine the individual's biological age, which may be different from his or her chronological age, according to a new study. Moreover, a person's biological age is a better measure for determining a person's health than is chronological age, these researchers say. In the study, people's biological age was more closely tied to their risk of TK and TK than was their chronological age.

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