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Early farmers may have polluted the sea 4000 years ago

Posted on 4 Oct 2017 in Archaeology, Journalism

Humans have been polluting the environment for at least 4000 years. So say scientists who have analysed sediment from the South China Sea – but not everyone is convinced. Image: Pai Shih

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Ancient ‘sea woodlice’ had surprisingly complicated guts

Posted on 28 Sep 2017 in Earth Science, Journalism, Palaeontology

A rare glimpse inside a 510-million-year-old digestive system suggests feeding was a complicated business for the first arthropods. Even this early in animal evolution, some animals had a variety of structures in their gut for storing and processing food. Image: James St. John

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The fossil finder extraordinaire who’s rewriting human evolution

Posted on 27 Sep 2017 in Human Origins, Journalism, Uncategorized

Lee Berger is the palaeoanthropologist behind the recent discoveries of not one but two new species of human ancestor. The finds were so remarkable that, by some accounts, they are rewriting the story of human evolution, and Berger, his team and his methods are at the centre of it. Image: pijpers662

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Bare bones: Five human ancestors known only from a few fossils

Posted on 27 Sep 2017 in Human Origins, Journalism

Some of our ancestors are known only by the merest fossils – a toe bone here, a jaw fragment there. In those cases, it’s all we have to build the story of human evolution. But with spectacular recent finds such as Australopithecus sediba and Homo naledi, that story is starting to be rewritten in ways we never imagined. Image: James St. John

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It takes 30 seconds for your fingerprint to grip your smartphone

Posted on 25 Sep 2017 in Journalism, Physics

Your fingers take time to engage in full contact with a touchscreen. In some cases, even 30 seconds or more after placing a dry finger on the glass, your skin is still adjusting. This can lead to problems using fingerprints to access phones and getting screens to respond to your touch. Image: chadmiller

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