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The place spacecraft go to die

The place spacecraft go to die

Science
China's Tiangong-1 space station is currently out of control and expected to fall back to Earth next year. But not in the remote place where many other spacecraft end their days.Explorers and adventurers often look for new places to conquer now that the highest peaks have been climbed, the poles reached and vast oceans and deserts crossed. Some of these new places are called the poles of inaccessibility. Two of them are particularly interesting. One is called the continental pole of inaccessibility - it's the place on Earth furthest from the ocean. There is some debate as to its exact position but it's considered by many to be near the so-called Dzungarian Gate - a mountain pass between China and Central Asia.The equivalent point in the ocean - the place furthest away from land - lies in t...
Set of 9 million-year-old teeth suggests earliest human relatives could have lived in Europe

Set of 9 million-year-old teeth suggests earliest human relatives could have lived in Europe

Science
Oct. 20 (UPI) -- Researchers in Germany have recovered an unusual set of teeth estimated to be 9.7 million years old. The teeth are unlike any found in Europe or Asia, but closely resemble the teeth of Lucy, the famed female specimen of the hominin species Australopithecus afarensis.Scientists found the teeth while sifting through sediment in the Rhine river near Eppelsheim, a small city in southwestern Germany."They are clearly ape-teeth," lead researcher Herbert Lutz told the German newspaper Merkurist. "Their characteristics resemble African finds that are four to five million years younger than the fossils excavated in Eppelsheim. This is a tremendous stroke of luck, but also a great mystery."Because the teeth most closely resemble the much younger remains of pre-human relatives in Afr...
More lenient concealed carry laws linked with increases in homicide rate, study finds

More lenient concealed carry laws linked with increases in homicide rate, study finds

Science
Oct. 20 (UPI) -- More permissive concealed carry laws -- those that grant greater access to concealed firearms -- are associated with increased homicide rates, according to new research.Researchers at the Boston University School of Public Health analyzed the relationship between changes in gun laws and the firearm-related homicide rates in all 50 states between 1991 and 2015.Concealed firearm permits are issued in all 50 states, but some state laws provide local police with a greater amount of discretion in deciding whether to issue someone a license."May issue" laws are on the books in nine states; in these states, law enforcement officials can decline to issue a concealed carry license to anyone they deem to be at risk of committing violence, whether or not they have a criminal history....
Primate study offers insights into relationship between of jealousy and monogamy

Primate study offers insights into relationship between of jealousy and monogamy

Science
Oct. 19 (UPI) -- The origins of jealousy and the evolutionary significance of the emotion are difficult to parse, especially in humans. But new analysis of jealousy among primates has offered scientists fresh insights into the neurobiology behind the powerful emotion.The latest research suggests the emotion triggers an increase in neural activity among parts of the primate brain associated with social pain. But it also excites parts of the brain associated with social bonding."Understanding the neurobiology and evolution of emotions can help us understand our own emotions and their consequences," Karen Bales, a researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, said in a news release. "Jealousy is especially interesting given its role in romantic relationships -- and also in domestic vi...
Alarm over decline in flying insects

Alarm over decline in flying insects

Science
It's known as the windscreen phenomenon. When you stop your car after a drive, there seem to be far fewer squashed insects than there used to be.Scientists have long suspected that insects are in dramatic decline, but new evidence confirms this.Research at more than 60 protected areas in Germany suggests flying insects have declined by more than 75% over almost 30 years.And the causes are unknown."This confirms what everybody's been having as a gut feeling - the windscreen phenomenon where you squash fewer bugs as the decades go by," said Caspar Hallmann of Radboud University in The Netherlands. "This is the first study that looked into the total biomass of flying insects and it confirms our worries.''The study is based on measurements of the biomass of all insects trapped at 63 nature pro...