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Ancient military network discovered in northern Syria

Ancient military network discovered in northern Syria

Science
Dec. 21 (UPI) -- Researchers have discovered a network of military structures and remains in northern Syria dating to 4,000 years ago.The ancient surveillance and communication network was discovered a team of French and Syrian researchers who meticulously examined satellite and aerial imagery of the region's rocky terrain. The team detailed their discovery in a paper published this week in the French journal Paléorient.The network extends across 2,700 square miles of a region known as "Marges arides de Syrie du Nord," which translates to "margins arid northern Syria." The region's name refers to its position between the Fertile Crescent, a region rich in human history, which lies to the west, and the steppes to the east, a less hospitable place, inhabited historically by nomads.Both aeria
Fungal disease poses global threat to snakes

Fungal disease poses global threat to snakes

Science
A potentially deadly fungal disease poses a significant threat to snakes all over the world, new research suggests. The pathogen, has been found in 23 species of wild snake in the US and three in Europe. The fungus causes lesions on the snake's body, leading to infection and death. This study argues that all snakes could become or are already infected.The report has been published in the journal Science Advances. Fungal afflictions have had devastating impacts on a number of different species in recent years. Chytrid fungus has reduced frog populations all around the world, while white nose syndrome has killed millions of bats in the US.Now researchers have evidence of what's termed snake fungal disease (SFD) in a number of populations in Europe and the US. Found predominantly in rat snak...
Chocolate poisoning risk to dogs at Christmas

Chocolate poisoning risk to dogs at Christmas

Science
Chocolate poisoning is a risk to the family dog at Christmas, say vets. They warn that dogs are four times more likely to fall ill from eating it at this time of year. A study found hundreds of cases of dogs needing veterinary treatment after stealing chocolate Santas, selection boxes, chocolate oranges and even a mug of hot chocolate.Vets are trying to get the message across that it should be kept out of reach from the family pet.While dogs like the taste of chocolate, it can make them ill, even in small quantities.''The take home message is firstly to make sure that people recognise that chocolate is a potential problem and to be vigilant with their chocolate gifts over the holiday period,'' said Dr Philip Jones, lecturer in veterinary epidemiology and public health at the University of ...
NASA considering missions to comet and Saturn's Moon Titan

NASA considering missions to comet and Saturn's Moon Titan

Science
Dec. 20 (UPI) -- NASA is considering possible missions a comet and Titan, Saturn's largest moon. The space agency selected the two concept finalists on Wednesday.The selected missions were two of 12 proposals submitted as part NASA's New Frontiers program."This is a giant leap forward in developing our next bold mission of science discovery," Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington, said in a news release. "These are tantalizing investigations that seek to answer some of the biggest questions in our solar system today."The Comet Astrobiology Exploration Sample Return mission, or CAESAR concept, proposes a NASA-funded visit to 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the comet visited by the European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft and Philae lande...
UK plan to tackle plastic waste threat

UK plan to tackle plastic waste threat

Science
A four-point plan for tackling plastic waste has been outlined by the Environment Secretary Michael Gove. He told BBC News that he wants to reduce the amount of plastic used in the UK, and to make it simpler for people to recycle. Environmentalists fear Mr Gove will be reluctant to set tighter rules for firms which benefit from the current use of plastics.The Environment Secretary outlined his thoughts during an informal meeting.He says he wants to:Cut the total amount of plastic in circulation. Reduce the number of different plastics in use, because that will help recycling firmsImprove the rate of recycling, which has been slipping recently. And make it easier for individuals to know what goes into the recycling bin and what goes into general rubbish.Reality Check: Are seafood lovers eat...