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Showing posts from October 6, 2016

Scientists announce discovery of Brazil's largest dinosaur

SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazilian scientists on Wednesday announced the discovery of what they say is the largest dinosaur ever found in South America's biggest country.


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Apes show complex cognitive skills watching 'King Kong' videos

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Scientists using homemade videos featuring a person in a King Kong costume have documented a remarkable cognitive skill shared by chimpanzees, bonobos and orangutans: the human-like ability to recognize when someone else's beliefs are wrong. As individual apes were shown videos featuring a human actor and a costumed ape-like King Kong character, researchers tracked their eye movements. In the video, the human watches King Kong hide an object in one of two boxes.


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The First People to Settle Polynesia Came from Asia

The first settlers of the far-flung Pacific islands of Tonga and Vanuatu likely arrived from Taiwan and the northern Philippines between 2,300 and 3,100 years ago, a new genetic analysis suggests. Ancient DNA extracted from skeletons at two archaeological sites on the islands helps paint this picture of how the remotest reaches of the Pacific were first colonized. "The people of Vanuatu today are descended from Asia first of all.


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Meet Granddad: Weird, Ancient Reptile Gave Rise to Mammals

Two weird, mammal-like reptiles that sort of looked like scaly rats, each smaller than a loaf of bread, roamed ancient Brazil about 235 million years ago, likely dining on insects the predators snagged with their pointy teeth, a new study finds.


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Are the Nobel Prizes Missing Female Scientists?

The Nobel Prize has a woman problem. A total of 203 people have won the Nobel Prize in physics, but only two were women (Marie Curie in 1903 and Maria Goeppert-Mayer in 1963). Science writer and physicist Matthew Francis wrote on his blog, Galileo's Pendulum, that the prize favors men of European descent, and European and American researchers in general.


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Science of Disbelief: When Did Climate Change Become All About Politics?

Barely over a quarter of Americans know that almost all climate scientists agree that climate change is happening and that humans are to blame, a new Pew Research Center survey finds. While 55 percent of liberal Democrats say climate scientists are trustworthy, only 15 percent of conservative Republicans say the same. The findings are in line with the results of other surveys of the politics of climate change, said Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.


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Spooky Satellite Photo Shows Hurricane Matthew's 'Skull'

An overhead satellite image of Hurricane Matthew battering Haiti is disturbing people across the internet for an unusual reason: The image bears an uncanny resemblance to a skull or spooky goblin face. The sinister satellite image, which was posted on Twitter Tuesday (Oct. 4) by Stu Ostro, a meteorologist at The Weather Channel, went viral, with users likening the creepy face to the Grinch or a skull. The seeming row of teeth in the storm's creepy face are actually convection clouds, Paul Meyer, an atmospheric scientist at NASA's Earth Science Office, told CNN.


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Great Scott! How to Get the 'Back to the Future' Self-Lacing Shoes

"Power laces — all right!" In "Back to the Future Part II," teenage time traveler Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) was understandably impressed by a pair of sneakers that conformed to his feet and laced themselves automatically. It only took 27 years, but Nike has produced those science-fiction kicks and is putting them up for grabs. The limited-edition release of the 2016 Nike Mag offers the self-lacing sneakers through an online lottery in collaboration with the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research.


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Boom Times 3: Volcano Triplets Spotted Erupting (Photo)

Three active volcanoes simultaneously erupting and unleashing giant plumes of smoke were spotted by a NASA satellite as it passed over a remote archipelago in the South Atlantic Ocean. The three stratovolcanoes — a type of composite volcano built of layers of lava, ash and stone — are located on the South Sandwich Islands, which are about 1,700 miles (2,800 kilometers) southeast of Buenos Aires, Argentina. On Sept. 29, NASA's Aqua satellite captured the plumes from these volcano triplets in a false-color image.


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Humans May Have Reached Maximum Life Span

The oldest known person was Jeanne Calment, a French woman who died in 1997 at age 122. However, the new findings don't mean that researchers know for sure that humans will never live longer than 122 years, said Steven Austad, a professor of biology and aging at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, who was not involved in the study. In the new study, the researchers looked at the Human Mortality Database, an international database with detailed mortality data that's maintained by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley and the Max Plank Institutes in Germany.


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What's Out There? 'Star Men' Doc Tackles Life Questions Through Science

Instead, he was surprised to see that the film is actually centered on the 50-year friendship among himself and three colleagues — Roger Griffin, Donald Lynden-Bell and Wallace (Wal) Sargent — who worked together at Caltech in the early 1960s.


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