News Desk

Ancient Mayan Superhighways Found in Guatemalan Rain Forest
17th December 2016 mysteriousuniverse.org | Ancient

Is there anything the Mayans didn’t do? If you said “Build the world’s first superhighways,” give your Magic 8-Ball another shake and try again because a new study has found evidence in Guatemala of a 2,000-year-old network of roads covering over 240 km (150 miles) that was used by the Mayans there for travel and for transporting goods.

Earth’s driest desert once had lakes
17th December 2016 | bbc.com | Ancient, Earth

The driest desert on Earth may once have had lakes and wetlands, scientists report.

They have found the remnants of freshwater plants and animals buried in the arid plains of Chile’s Atacama Desert.

This watery period dates to between 9,000 and 17,000 years ago.

Greenland was ice-free. Scientists worry it could be again
17th December 2016 | futurity.org | Ancient, Earth

For a period about a million years ago Greenland wasn’t covered in ice. Researchers say the discovery suggests it’s possible the ice sheet could go away again.

Before now, scientists didn’t know whether Greenland’s ice sheet was so stable that it would just weather any climate changes, or if there were ever a period in which Greenland was, if not verdant, at least a bit rocky.

Every meal eaten estimated to cost the planet 10 kilos of lost topsoil
17th December 2016 phys.org | Earth

Every meal you eat now costs the planet 10 kilos in lost topsoil.

That’s the warning of “Surviving the 21st Century” author Julian Cribb to an international soil science conference in Queenstown, New Zealand on Dec 15, 2016.

“10 kilos of topsoil, 800 litres of water, 1.3 litres of diesel, 0.3g of pesticide and 3.5 kilos of carbon dioxide – that’s what it takes to deliver one meal, for just one person,” Cribb says.

Pesticides stop bees buzzing and releasing pollen, says study
17th December 2016 | theguardian.com | Animal Life, Earth

The world’s most widely used insecticides harm the ability of bees to vibrate flowers and shake out the pollen to fertilise crops, according to preliminary results from a new study.

Monster-wheat grown by Oxford could revolutionise farming
17th December 2016 | telegraph.co.uk | Earth, Tech

A crop spray which can boost farmer’s wheat yields by one fifth, without the need for genetic modification, has been developed by scientists at Oxford University.

Researchers have found a molecule which helps plants make the best use of the sugary fuel that they generate during photosynthesis. And with more fuel, the plants can produce bigger grains.

First UK baby with DNA from three people could be born next year
17th December 2016 | theguardian.com | Tech

The first British baby made with the DNA of three people could be born next year after the UK’s fertility regulator gave the green light for clinics to seek licences for the procedure.


Alt: U.K. Fertility Clinics Can Now Apply For Licenses To Create 3-Parent Babies

A Brave New World of Human Reproduction
17th December 2016 blogs.discovermagazine.com | Tech

Advances in reproductive technology may radically change the options we have for starting a family. We’re not too far from fundamentally redefining what it means to start a family.

‘Kangaroo care’ makes premature babies healthier and wealthier, study finds
17th December 2016 | theguardian.com | Humans

Premature babies who were breastfed exclusively and kept warm through continuous skin-to-skin contact have become young adults with larger brains, higher salaries and less stressful lives than babies who received conventional incubator care, according to a study published this week.


Related: Abortion Is Found to Have Little Effect on Women’s Mental Health
Related: Autism linked to vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy, researchers find

Runners’ brains may be more connected, research shows
17th December 2016 | sciencedaily.com | Humans

Runners’ brains appear to have greater functional connectivity than non-runners’ brains, according to new research. MRI scans show that running may affect the structure and function of the brain in ways similar to complex tasks such as playing a musical instrument.

Learn a New Lingo While Doing Something Else
17th December 2016 | scientificamerican.com | Humans

Hearing a foreign language in the background can help you learn it faster, even if you are not paying attention

Baffling grammar, strange vowels, quirky idioms and so many new words—all of this makes learning a new language hard work. Luckily, researchers have discovered a number of helpful tricks, ranging from exposing your ears to a variety of native speakers to going to sleep soon after a practice session.

How Investing In Preschool Beats The Stock Market, Hands Down
17th December 2016 | npr.org | Humans

If you got 13 percent back on your investments every year, you’d be pretty happy, right? Remember, the S&P 500, historically, has averaged about 7 percent when adjusted for inflation.

What if the investment is in children, and the return on investment not only makes economic sense but results in richer, fuller, healthier lives for the entire family?

‘High social cost’ adults can be predicted from as young as three, says study
17th December 2016 | theguardian.com | Humans

20% of population uses majority of public services, research shows, indicating long-term importance of early years investment for disadvantaged children

We Unravel The Science Mysteries Of Asparagus Pee
17th December 2016 | npr.org | Humans

As Ben Franklin noted, some of you have “the Power of changing, by slight means, the smell of another discharge … our water. A few stems of asparagus eaten, shall give our urine a disagreeable odour.” Apparently this is so common a power that the 18th century French botanist Louis Lémery wrote that asparagus causes “a filthy and disagreeable smell in the urine, as everybody knows.”

Everybody except me, anyway.


Related: You can taste garlic with your feet

Earliest Europeans Did Not Use Fire for Cooking, Researchers Say
17th December 2016 | sci-news.com | Ancient

Europe’s earliest humans did not use fire, but had a balanced diet of meat and plants — all eaten raw, according to a team of researchers led by Karen Hardy of the University of York and the Autonomous University of Barcelona.

Oldest early human footprints suggest males had several ‘wives’
16th December 2016 | newscientist.com | Ancient

Three has become five. Laetoli in northern Tanzania is the site of iconic ancient footprints, capturing the moment – 3.66 million years ago – when three members of Lucy’s species (Australopithecus afarensis) strode out across the landscape.

Now something quite unexpected has come to light: the footprints of two other individuals.


Alt: ‘Lucy’ Species May Have Been Polygynous

New Research Suggests Monogamy Killed the Penis Bone in Humans
16th December 2016 gizmodo.com | Ancient

Although we call erections “boners,” anyone who has basic familiarity with human anatomy knows our slang deceives us—for unlike most mammals, men have no penis bones. For decades scientists have wondered, “Why? No? Penis Bone?” A new study published in Proceedings of the Royal Society might finally answer the mystery of what killed the penis bone: monogamy.

Daily alternative news articles at the GrahamHancock News Desk. Featuring science, alternative history, archaeology, Ancient Egypt, paranormal and much more. Check in daily for updates!