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Showing posts from July 7, 2016

Astronomers spy giant planet, three stars in odd celestial ballet

With three stars in the system, the massive planet would experience triple sunrises and triple sunsets during one season and all daylight in another. Since the planet's orbit is very long, each season lasts for hundreds of years. "Depending on which season you were born in, you may never know what nighttime is like," lead researcher Kevin Wagner of the University of Arizona said.


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12,000-Year-Old Shaman's Elaborate Funeral Had 6 Stages

A diminutive woman buried in a cave in Israel 12,000 years ago was likely a person of importance and was interred with great ceremony, including a feast of 86 tortoises, archaeological evidence suggests. Study lead author Leore Grosman, a professor at the Institute of Archaeology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, discovered the grave in 2005, in a cave called Hilazon Tachtit, located in western Galilee in northern Israel. The skeleton of a woman about 4 feet 9 inches (1.5 meters) tall and about 45 years old had been carefully placed in a grave pit layered with sediment, seashells, tortoise shells, chalk and bony horn cores from gazelles.


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New High-Speed Camera Is So Fast It Can See Neurons Firing

This upgrade could help researchers learn more about how the brain works and how to improve combustion-engine fuel efficiency, the scientists said. The scientists have now improved on this technique, called compressed ultrafast photography, boosting its resolution "by about 2.4 times," said study senior author Lihong Wang, an applied physicist at Washington University in St. Louis. In their latest work, the researchers started with a streak camera — an extremely fast type of camera that measures how the intensity of a pulse of light varies over time.


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Prehistoric Tattoos Were Made with Volcanic Glass Tools

Volcanic glass tools that are at least 3,000 years old were used for tattooing in the South Pacific in ancient times, a new study finds. Torrence and her colleagues Nina Kononenko, of the Australian Museum, and Peter Sheppard, of the University of Auckland in New Zealand, detailed their findings in the August issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports.


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'I Think I Can:' How Talking to Yourself Brings Self-Improvement

Twelve of the groups watched videos that trained them in a different motivational technique such as self-talk, while one group, which served as a control, only watched a basic instructional video that did not involve any such techniques. The researchers then asked the participants to play an online game that involved finding numbers on a grid and clicking on them in sequence, from 1 to 36, as quickly as possible.

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Philly's Poo: Old Toilets Reveal Early America's Secret History 

A treasure trove of artifacts tossed down the loo is revealing the secret life of pre-Revolutionary America. The nearly 300-year-old privies, which were uncovered in the heart of Philadelphia, have yielded more than 82,000 artifacts that span nearly three centuries, from the city's pre-Revolutionary roots to the modern day. Among the historic treasures were a ceramic punchbowl that provides a snapshot of Revolutionary America, shattered glasses from a back-alley tavern and the foundation of the city's first skyscraper, which was erected in 1850.


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Armor Up! Water Fleas Grow Helmets and Spines for Battle

Water fleas prepare for battle by growing armor that's customized to specific enemies, new research finds. Now, researcher Linda Weiss of Ruhr-University Bochum in Germany and her colleagues have found the neurotransmitters that help water fleas customize their bodies in response to the chemical cues in their watery environments. Daphnia is a genus comprising many species of the tiny crustaceans known as water fleas.


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Love in the Time of Tarantulas? Newfound Spider Named for Márquez

A fearsome tarantula covered in bizarre "attack" hairs has been discovered in a mountain range in Colombia. The spider's "attack" hairs, or urticating hairs, look different from all other known tarantula hairs, the researchers found. Most tarantulas "kick" their urticating hairs at enemies, but the newfound spider is the first known species in its subfamily to use its hairs in direct contact attacks, they said.


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