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Showing posts from November 30, 2016

Human ancestor 'Lucy' adept at tree climbing as well as walking

By Jon Herskovitz AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Scientists using sophisticated scanning technology on the fossil bones of the ancient human ancestor from Ethiopia dubbed "Lucy" have determined that she was adept at climbing trees as well as walking, an ability that in her case may have proven fatal. Researchers on Wednesday announced the results of an intensive analysis of the 3.18 million-year-old fossils of Lucy, a member of a species early in the human evolutionary lineage known as Australopithecus afarensis. The scans of Lucy's arm bones showed they were heavily built, like chimpanzees, indicating that members of this species spent significant time climbing in trees and used their arms to pull themselves up in the branches.


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Science panel urges rewrite of food allergy warning labels

WASHINGTON (AP) — "Made in the same factory as peanuts." ''May contain traces of tree nuts." A new report says the hodgepodge of warnings that a food might accidentally contain a troublesome ingredient is confusing to people with food allergies, and calls for a makeover.


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Gatlinburg Burning: How a Tennessee Wildfire Spread So Fast

Great Smoky Mountain National Park is closed, and thousands of residents in the nearby towns of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, have fled their homes after a wildfire from the park turned into a rapidly spreading inferno last night (Nov. 28). At least 14,000 people have evacuated from the two resort towns, and hundreds of structures have been damaged or destroyed, according to the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency. Most of East Tennessee has been in exceptional or severe drought all summer, said Sam Roberts, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service forecast office in Morristown, Tennessee.


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Antarctic Ice Shelf Could Collapse Within 100 Years, Study Finds

A massive iceberg splintered off one of West Antarctica's largest glaciers last year, and now, scientists have discovered the "troubling" reason why, they said. In 2015, an iceberg measuring almost 225 square miles (580 square kilometers) broke off from the Pine Island Glacier, which forms part of the ice shelf that bounds the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Recently, while reviewing satellite images taken before the giant iceberg broke off, researchers found evidence of a rift at the very base of the ice shelf.


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Calf Bones Bolster Evidence Plymouth Settlement Was Pilgrims' First

Nearly 400 years after the first Thanksgiving, researchers have uncovered evidence of the Pilgrims' original 1620 settlement in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Archaeologists discovereda calf's remains and 17th-century artifacts at an archaeological site on Burial Hill in Plymouth — thought to be the location of the first Pilgrim settlement. The bones of the calf, dubbed Constance, were found buried in a deep pit and offered the first clear evidence that the dig site was the original settlement, because Native Americans did not have domestic cattle, said David Landon, an archaeologist at the University of Massachusetts and leader of the dig.


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Nesting Doll Pyramid: Ancient Mayan Structure Found Inside Chichen Itza

What do a Russian nesting doll and a Mayan pyramid have in common? Archaeologists have confirmed that the iconic Pyramid of El Castillo in eastern Mexico is actually a pyramid within a pyramid within a pyramid. In the 1930s, the first hidden pyramid was revealed within the Kukulkan tomb at Chichén Itzá in Mexico, which researchers estimate was built between about A.D. 850 and A.D. 900.


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Sweat Detectors? Tiny Sensors Use Perspiration to Track Health

A new study finds that a tiny adhesive sensor can read what's going on in your body based on your sweat, and relay information about your well-being wirelessly to a smartphone. Perspiration is a rich chemical full of molecules ranging from simple electrically charged ions to more complex proteins that can shed light on what is happening inside the human body. Doctors can use sweat to diagnose certain diseases, uncover drug use and reveal insight into athletic performance.


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