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Ancient Stone Weapons Find in South Africa Hints at Complex Society

Posted November 15th, 2012 at 1:30 pm (UTC-5)
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Archaeologists digging at a site on the southern coast of South Africa have found a trove of sophisticated stone tools they believe were made 50,000 years before the technology to create them emerged in Europe and other regions of Africa. The finding, reported in the journal Nature, could mean that the first modern humans evolved […]

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Newly Identified Gene Is Part of What Makes Us Human

Posted November 14th, 2012 at 4:30 pm (UTC-5)
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What makes us human? An international team of researchers has found a clue: A gene carried only by people – not apes or other animals – appears to have played a crucial role in the rapid evolutionary changes in the human brain that allowed us to use complex tools and language. Reseachers from the University […]

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New Super-Earth May Be Just Right to Support Life

Posted November 9th, 2012 at 1:10 pm (UTC-5)
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An international team of astronomers says it has found a new planet – a relatively near 42 light years away – that could have liquid water and an Earth-like climate. The dwarf star known as HD 40307 was already known to have three planets orbiting it. Using a new and more sensitive technique for analyzing […]

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Drink Black Tea, Prevent Diabetes?

Posted November 7th, 2012 at 6:40 pm (UTC-5)
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Coffee or tea? Tea – especially black tea – might be a better choice. A mathematical analysis found that the prevalence of type 2 diabetes is low in countries where people drink a lot of black tea. The disease — a chronic, life-threatening condition that reduces the body’s ability to turn sugar, or glucose, into […]

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Study: Arabica Coffee Could Go Extinct in the Wild

Posted November 7th, 2012 at 4:40 pm (UTC-5)
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Coffee, the world’s favorite beverage, could be a victim of climate change, warn scientists in England and Ethiopia. Arabica coffee provides about 70 percent of the world’s commercial production, and although it is grown on plantations around the world, its natural range is restricted primarily to the highlands of southern Ethiopia. It is highly sensitive […]

New Evidence Shows Surprising Reach of Eastern US Quake

Posted November 6th, 2012 at 5:20 pm (UTC-5)
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Last year’s 5.8 magnitude earthquake in Mineral, Virginia, was felt over an area much larger than previously thought. In a new study, scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey report landslides triggered by the quake four times farther away from the epicenter, and over an area 20 times larger than expected, based on studies of other […]

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Heart Could Power its Own Pacemaker

Posted November 6th, 2012 at 1:10 pm (UTC-5)
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Patients whose hearts need a bit of help keeping the beat are often given a pacemaker, which delivers electrical pulses to regulate heartbeats. The tiny electronic devices, surgically implanted beneath the skin on the chest, must be replaced every five to seven years when their batteries run out. But an experimental device that converts energy […]

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Folk Remedies Repel Mosquitoes

Posted November 5th, 2012 at 5:00 pm (UTC-5)
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Some people in Africa and India have traditionally burned oil from seeds of the Jatropha curcas shrub in their lamps to keep mosquitoes away. U.S. Department of Agriculture scientists now know why it works so well. Chemist Charles Cantrell analyzed properties of the smoke and identified a number of active compounds that repel insects, including […]

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Space Shuttle Atlantis Makes Final Voyage to Permanent Home

Posted November 2nd, 2012 at 1:30 pm (UTC-5)
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After traveling about 200-million kilometers during 33 trips into space, the U.S. space shuttle Atlantis is making one final voyage. Early Friday morning, the last of NASA’s three surviving space shuttles to be retired from service left the Kennedy Space Center’s huge Vehicle Assembly Building in Florida for a relatively short 16-kilometer ride to the […]

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Spacewalkers Bypass Space Station Coolant Leak

Posted November 1st, 2012 at 9:05 pm (UTC-5)
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Two spacewalking astronauts made repairs to a leaky radiator system outside the International Space Station Thursday, a short while after maneuvering the station to avoid a menacing piece of space debris. In a six-hour procedure, space station commander Sunita Wiliams and Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide successfully reconfigured ammonia coolant lines to bypass the suspect radiator, […]

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