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Thursday, Apr 24th

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Scientists discover oldest footprints outside of Africa

oldest human footprintsA new study published in PLOS ONE details the oldest human footprints found outside of Africa.  Found and studied by archaeologists from the British Museum, the footprints are estimated to be anywhere from 780,000 to one million years old.

The footprints were discovered pressed into estuary mudflats along the coast of Happisburgh, England, a small village in low-lying Norfolk county. Happisburgh had previously been identified as one of the earliest sites of human activity outside of Africa, when ancient flint tools were discovered there in 2010.

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New ice-dating technology gives insight on past climate

ice-datingScientists have successfully dated 120,000-year-old Antarctic ice using a new method called radiometric krypton dating. The technique will allow them to study ice that is more than 1 million years old, which will reveal important details about the planet’s ancient climate cycles, according to a report released Monday.

Accurately dating ancient ice is critical because it contains little air bubbles that scientists can analyze to construct a record of the composition of the atmosphere throughout history. Ice cores can be used to determine the composition of the air as well as temperature at the time.

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Poll: Big Bang a big question for most Americans

big bang theoryWhile scientists believe the universe began with a Big Bang, most Americans put a big question mark on the concept, an Associated Press-GfK poll found.

Yet when it comes to smoking causing cancer or that a genetic code determines who we are, the doubts disappear.

When considering concepts scientists consider truths, Americans have more skepticism than confidence in those that are farther away from our bodies in scope and time: global warming, the age of the Earth and evolution and especially the Big Bang from 13.8 billion years ago.

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Michigan boy stumbles across mastodon tooth near home

Mastodon tooth foundWhen 9-year-old Phillip Stoll first came across a 10,000-year-old mastodon tooth while exploring in a creek in his backyard, he and his mother thought it might be a car part or unusually shaped rock.

Phillip found the item last summer near his Windsor Township home. “It felt weird,” he said. “I had to see what it was. I pulled it out and brought it to my mom.”

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In a cloning first, scientists create stem cells from adults

cloned stem cellScientists have moved a step closer to the goal of creating stem cells perfectly matched to a patient's DNA in order to treat diseases, they announced on Thursday, creating patient-specific cell lines out of the skin cells of two adult men.

The advance, described online in the journal Cell Stem Cell, is the first time researchers have achieved "therapeutic cloning" of adults. Technically called somatic-cell nuclear transfer, therapeutic cloning means producing embryonic cells genetically identical to a donor, usually for the purpose of using those cells to treat disease.

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Scientists Discover 'Earth-Like' Planet

earth-like planet discoveredLife on Earth might not be alone.

Scientists have discovered a rocky, Earth-sized planet that might also be home to water – a critical component for life as we know it.

The planet, Kepler-186f, is the fifth and outermost world orbiting a slow-burning, red-dwarf sun known as Kepler-186. It’s about 500 light years away from Earth, making it invisible to the naked eye.

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'Blood moon' eclipse seen over Americas

Blood moon eclipseSkywatchers in the Americas have caught a rare celestial show caused by the Earth's shadow falling across the Moon.

The Moon changed colour from orange to blood red or brown in a total lunar eclipse.
The total lunar eclipse unfolded over three hours as the Moon moved into the Earth's shadow.

From 08:06 BST (07:06 GMT) our planet's natural satellite was fully eclipsed for more than 75 minutes and shrouded in a reddish glow.

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