A huge mosaic with geometric patterns dating back to the Byzantine Period would have been used as the floor of a public building in what is today Kibbutz Bet Qama, in the B’nei Shimon region council in Israel.
YAEL YOLOVITCH, ISRAEL ANTIQUITIES AUTHORITY
Archaeologists have uncovered an “extraordinary” mosaic that would’ve been used as the floor of a public building during the Byzantine Period in what is today Israel, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced.
The colorful mosaic and public building, whose ceiling was covered in roof tiles, were uncovered in Kibbutz Bet Qama, in the B’nei Shimon regional council, prior to the construction of a road between Ma’ahaz and Devira Junction. Read more
We may be in the early stages of a disaster so profound that it could kick off a mass extinction. Does that mean humanity is doomed? No. Scientific evidence suggests that humans will survive. Read more
Scientists at Harvard University think they have found a way to possibly reverse the aging process in human organs.
Dr. Richard Lee, director of regenerative medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Amy Wagers, of the Department of Regenerative Biology at Harvard, made the discovery when they were working with younger and older mice.
They took an older mouse with the most common form of human heart failure and merged the mouse’s blood stream with that of a healthy young mouse using a Siamese twin technique known as parabiosis. They found that the older mouse’s diseased heart was able to reverse to a younger healthier condition. Read more
This is an artist’s reconstruction of an extinct marsupial lion — Thylacoleo carnifex. Artwork: Peter Schouten
Most species of gigantic animals that once roamed Australia had disappeared by the time people arrived, a major review of the available evidence has concluded.The research challenges the claim that humans were primarily responsible for the demise of the megafauna in a proposed “extinction window” between 40,000 and 50,000 years ago, and points the finger instead at climate change.
Mount Toba on the Indonesian island of Sumatra
A supervolcanic eruption thought to have nearly driven humanity extinct may not have endangered the species after all, a new investigation suggests.
Supervolcanoes are capable of eruptions dwarfing anything ever seen in recorded history, expelling thousands of times more magma and ash than even a Mount St. Helens or Pinatubo. A supervolcanic eruption could wreak as much havoc as the impact of a mile-wide asteroid,by blotting out the sun with ash, reflecting its rays and cooling the Earth — a phenomenon called a “volcanic winter.” A dozen or so supervolcanoes exist today, some of them lying at the bottom of the sea. Read more
Image: UCLA Neurology
If you were a rat living in a completely virtual world like in the movie The Matrix, could you tell? Maybe not, but scientists studying your brain might be able to. Today, researchers report that certain cells in rat brains work differently when the animals are in virtual reality than when they are in the real world. Read more
Specifically the orangutans were using sticks to pry open pulpy fruits that have “Plexiglas needles” capable of delivering a painful jab covering them. Using the tools, the orangutans were getting past handling the prickly husk and into the nutritious fruit. From an anthropological viewpoint, tool use represents an aspect of culture, since the entire group participates in a behavior that has developed over time. One unique thing to clarify is that only Sumatran orangutans have been observed to use tools, not orangutans from Borneo. Read more
An ancient astronomical alignment in southern Peru has been discovered by researchers between a pyramid, two stone lines and the setting sun during the winter solstice. During the solstice, hundreds of years ago, the three would have lined up to frame the pyramid in light. Read more
It is thought José Matada fell from the plane as its undercarriage opened for its descent into Heathrow airport. Photograph: Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images
A young man whose body was found on a pavement in west London almost certainly died after stowing away inside the landing gear of a British Airways flight from Angola in a desperate attempt to make a new life in the UK, an inquest has heard.
José Matada was either dead or at the point of death due to hypothermia and lack of oxygen when he fell from the plane as its undercarriage opened for its descent into Heathrow airport, west London coroners court was told. Read more