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Sunday, Dec 11th

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Stephen Hawking warns against seeking out aliens in new film

Stephen Hawking“We come in peace” might be the traditional opening gambit for aliens in science fiction, but we should be wary about beaming back a response to any advanced life-forms in real life, Stephen Hawking has warned.

Our first contact from an advanced civilisation could be equivalent to when Native Americans first encountered Christopher Columbus and things “didn’t turn out so well”, he cautioned.

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Cracking an ice cold case: Nearly 3.2 million years ago, Lucy died. Now we know how.

Lucy died 3.2m years agoTalk about cracking a cold case: Nearly 3.2 million years ago, Lucy died. Now we may know how.

Lucy, the iconic human cousin whose skeleton was discovered in Ethiopia in 1974, died shortly after she fell out of a tree, according to a new study published Monday in the peer-reviewed British journal Nature.

More than four decades after her discovery, Lucy remains one of oldest, best and most complete skeletons of any adult, erect-walking hominid, according to John Kappelman, an anthropologist at the University of Texas and the lead author of the study. A hominid is a member of the evolutionary family that includes great apes – such as gorillas, chimps, and orangutans, humans, and their ancestors, some of which are extinct.

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Researchers confirm astronomical nature of ancient Scottish stones

Stonehenge For the first time, researchers have confirmed the astronomical accuracy of Britain's earliest stone structures. According to scientists at the University of Adelaide, the great circles traced the paths of the moon and sun at the time of their construction, 5,000 years ago.

"Nobody before this has ever statistically determined that a single stone circle was constructed with astronomical phenomena in mind -- it was all supposition," Gail Higginbottom, visiting research fellow at Adelaide and leader of the recent research effort, said in a news release.

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Chemists unveil cheaper, more efficient carbon capture technology

Carbon technologyA team of scientists in England have found a better way to capture carbon from power plant emissions.

The key to their new and improved technique is patented carbon-derived biomass material called Starbons. Starbons, which was pioneered a decade ago by scientists at the University of York, is made using biomass waste like food peelings and seaweed. Its key attribute is its porosity. Lots of tiny holes allow Starbons to capture lots of CO2.

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NASA reveals solar system Internet for interplanetary communication

Interplanetary InternetA new system deployed by NASA is expected to help the development of an interplanatery space communications system that functions much like the Internet does on Earth.

NASA installed software on the International Space Station to make communication faster and easier, and it is expected to lead to an Internet system that may cover the entire solar system in the future, the agency announced.

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Scientists find molecule light-years away that could explain Earth's origin

molecule linked to earth's originA molecule used to create plastic might hold the key to Earth's origins.

Scientists recently discovered a chiral molecule inside a gas cloud located 28,000 light-years away from Earth, and believe it shed some light on how life formed on Earth.

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Alien Civilizations May Number In The Trillions, New Study Says

Alien civilzations may number in trillionsThe possibility that we earthlings are not truly alone in the universe has gained some added credibility, thanks to a new study that coincides with NASA’s recent planetary discoveries. The research, published in the journal Astrobiology last week, suggests that more planets in the Milky Way galaxy may harbor advanced civilizations than we previously imagined.

Study co-authors Adam Frank and Woodruff Sullivan looked at recent discoveries of potentially habitable exoplanets and considered the odds of whether sophisticated civilizations existed on them in the past or present.

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