Tuesday, Oct 06th

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Bones in South African cave reveal new human relative

bones of early relative found in so. AfricaScientists say they've discovered a new member of the human family tree, revealed by a huge trove of bones in a barely accessible, pitch-dark chamber of a cave in South Africa.

The creature shows a surprising mix of human-like and more primitive characteristics — some experts called it "bizarre" and "weird."

And the discovery presents some key mysteries: How old are the bones? And how did they get into that chamber, reachable only by a complicated pathway that includes squeezing through passages as narrow as about 7½ inches (17.8 centimeters)?


Hypervelocity stars travel across the Universe, perhaps with aliens in tow

hypervelocity starsThe stillness of the night sky is deceiving. Because of the sheer vastness of space, stars appear unmoving like celestial fixtures. In actuality, though, they're zipping through the cosmos - some at ridiculously high speeds: thousands, and even tens of thousands of kilometres per second.

That's roughly 100,000 times faster than the speediest train and 1,000 times faster than the fastest spacecraft that's ever flown. That's fast enough for a few spins around Earth in the time it takes to put on your socks. The point is, that's fast.


Largest-yet monument unearthed at Stonehenge

Stonehenge monumentStonehenge is the gift that keeps on giving -- the gifts being expansive, mysterious arrangements of massive stones.

Researchers in England recently found another monument at Stonehenge, just two miles from the original stone circle. Scientists say it may be the largest collection of stones at the site, and unlike anything else in the world.

The ancient monument was discovered buried beneath a grassy ridge at the southern edge of Durrington Walls, a sizable Neolithic settlement near Wiltshire, England. None of the stones have yet been unearthed, but were studied using ground-penetrating radar.


Ion collider produces droplets of primordial goo

primordial liquid produced in labhe Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider just spit out tiny droplets of a liquid researchers say resembles the seeds of the cosmos, a primordial goo created by the Big Bang, which existed only briefly before cooling into the matter that helped birth stars, galaxies and planets.

Scientists have reported seeing the tiny liquid droplets before, but this time, researchers got a better look at the production process.


Hawking: Info Can Escape Black Holes

Stephen HawkingStephen Hawking announced during a lecture at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden on Tuesday that he has potentially solved the Information Paradox. The paradox a conflict between the quantum mechanics and general relativity models that has vexed physicists for more than four decades.

The Information Paradox arises from black holes -- specifically what happens to information about the physical state of objects that fall into one. The quantum mechanical model posits that the information remains intact while general relativity argues that it is indeed obliterated under the black holes immense gravitation. But Hawking has developed a third opinion: the information never actually makes it into the black hole. "I propose that the information is stored not in the interior of the black hole as one might expect, but on its boundary, the event horizon," he said.


Astronomers spot 20 million year young, 'Jupiter-like' planet

New Jupiter-like planetAstronomers have spotted a Jupiter-like planet that could hold the answer to how our solar system was formed.

The planet 51 Eridani b is roughly twice the size of Jupiter and young by planetary standards, at 20 million years old. At 800 degrees Fahrenheit, the planet's surface is still glowing with heat from its creation and offers clues about how it was formed, according to a study published in the journal Science on Thursday.


Scientists say fetal tissue essential for medical research

Scientists need fetal tissue for researchThe furor on Capitol Hill over Planned Parenthood has stoked a debate about the use of tissue from aborted fetuses in medical research, but U.S. scientists have been using such cells for decades to develop vaccines and seek treatments for a host of ailments, from vision loss to cancer and AIDS.

Anti-abortion activists triggered the uproar by releasing undercover videos of Planned Parenthood officials that raised questions of whether the organization was profiting from the sale of fetal tissue. Planned Parenthood has denied making any profit and said it charges fees solely to cover its costs.


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