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Mummified parrots suggest ancient trade routes crossed South American desert

Mummified parrots suggest ancient trade routes crossed South American desert

Science
March 29 (UPI) -- The recovery of ancient mummified parrots in South America, dating to between 1100 and 1450 AD, suggest trade routes crossed the Atacama Desert, according to a study published Monday in PNAS. "Feathers are valued across the Americas and we see them in high-status burials," José M. Capriles , said in a press release. Advertisement "We don't know how the feathers got there, the routes they took or the network," Capriles, an assistant professor of anthropology at Pennsylvania State University. Northern Chile's Atacama Desert is the driest desert in the world, and parrots and macaws are not normally found in the region. However, archaeologists have unearthed the feathers of the exotic birds at human burial sites, as well as the mummified remains of parrots and macaws. Scien...
Ancient crystals suggest Earth’s crust enjoyed growth spurt 3 billion years ago

Ancient crystals suggest Earth’s crust enjoyed growth spurt 3 billion years ago

Science
Jan. 12 (UPI) -- Ancient crystals recovered from stream sediments in Greenland suggest bits of Earth's primordial crust seeded the growth of later generations of crust. According to a new study published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications, the process fueled a massive crustal growth three billion years ago. Advertisement Scientists were able identify the origins of the ancient growth spurt by analyzing the chemistry of crystals eroded from ancient rocks. The chemical makeup of the ancient zircon crystals, found among modern stream sediment in Greenland, revealed signatures left their incorporation into younger crustal rocks and sediment during what scientists call lithospheric reworking. "We found there was a widespread bloom in crust production three billion years ago, during ...
Cave sediments suggest global cooling 13K years ago not caused by asteroid

Cave sediments suggest global cooling 13K years ago not caused by asteroid

Science
July 31 (UPI) -- Geochemical signatures found in sediments recovered from a Texas cave suggest the Younger Dryas, a period of global cooling that occurred 13,000 years ago, was caused by a series of Earth-based processes, not an extraterrestrial impact. Previously, scientists in search of an explanation for the Younger Dryas have pointed to spikes in several rare earth metals as evidence that an asteroid or comet impact triggered the cooling. Advertisement Most recently, when researchers looked at the sedimentary evidence, they found these spikes in rare earth metals actually featured relatively low concentrations of iridium, ruthenium, platinum, palladium and rhenium -- levels inconsistent with an extraterrestrial impact event. "The isotopic signatures and concentrations can be explained...
One in 400 people in England has coronavirus, tests suggest

One in 400 people in England has coronavirus, tests suggest

Health
One in 400 people in England is infected with coronavirus, a survey of 11,000 people in households suggests.They were asked to carry out swab tests over the two weeks up to 10 May.This indicates about 148,000 people in England could be currently infected - 0.27% of the population.And this could help ministers calculate the reproduction (R) number, or transmission rate, of the virus and whether tracking the contacts of infected people is feasible.The study is set to expand over time to test 25,000 people in private households across all four UK nations. Who is being tested in the UK? What is the UK's test, track and trace strategy? The 5,000 households tested in this survey did not include hospital patients or people living in care homes, where rates of C...
Rural areas may be ’emerging hotspots’ for COVID-19, CDC figures suggest

Rural areas may be ’emerging hotspots’ for COVID-19, CDC figures suggest

Health
April 10 (UPI) -- Thus far, New York and New Jersey have borne the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic, and researchers say the way state and local governments have prepared will determine where it strikes next. An analysis of data published Friday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests there could be two types of problem area in the United States going forward -- densely packed downtown areas, like New York City, and less populated areas in the midwest, for example. By Tuesday, there were nearly 400,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, across the country, with all 50 states reporting at least one case, according to the new CDC figures. However, prevalence of the virus varied widely between states, with places like New York City ...