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New Species Of Human Relative Discovered In South African Cave

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Fossils belonging to a previously unknown species of human relative have been discovered in a cave system northwest of Johannesburg, South Africa, an international team of scientists announced Thursday.

The discovery of Homo naledi is expected to shed new light on the human family tree, according to a written statement released by the National Geographic Society, the University of Witwatersrand, and the South African Department of Science and Technology.

What’s more, the fossils seem to indicate that H. naledi deposited the bodies of its dead in a remote part of the cave — a behavior previously believed to have been practiced only by humans. In all, an astonishing 1,550 fossils belonging H. naledi were found in the Rising Star cave system.

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!!!!!NewSpeciesOfHumans1

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Creepy Medical Supplies Found Amid Wreckage Of Pirate Blackbeard’s Ship

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Ahoy! Archaeologists excavating pirate Blackbeard’s sunken ship, named Queen Anne’s Revenge, recently unearthed from the wreckage various medical devices–and some of them look pretty darn terrifying.

Among the grisly finds were a urethral syringe that would have been used to treat syphilis, two pumps, and a porringer that would have been used in bloodletting, Live Science reported.

“We just have to understand that these people were suffering,” Dr. Linda Carnes-McNaughton, an archaeologist with the U.S. Department of Defense who volunteered on the excavation, told CNN. “They were seeking relief for any kind of ailment, and certainly if there was warfare on the water, there were wounds among other ailments that needed treatment. It wasn’t always a formally trained person in desperate times. That’s probably more common than we know.”

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BLACKBEARD

A urethral syringe used to treat syphilis found aboard Blackbeard’s ship Queen Anne’s Revenge, which wrecked off the coast of North Carolina in 1718. | North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources

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Baby Woolly Rhino Discovered In Siberia Is The First Ever Found

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Scientists are going gaga over the recent discovery of a baby woolly rhino.

The pristine specimen of the tiny extinct rhino–the only one of its type ever found–was discovered in permafrost along the bank of a stream in Siberia’s Sakha Republic, The Siberian Times reported.

“At first we thought it was a reindeer’s carcass, but after it thawed and fell down we saw a horn on its upper jaw and realized it must be a rhino,” Alexander ‘Sasha’ Banderov, the hunter who made the discovery, told the Times. “The part of the carcass that stuck out of the ice was eaten by wild animals, but the rest of it was inside the permafrost and preserved well.”

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!!!!!BabyWoollyRhino1(Academy of Sciences Republic of Sakha/Siberian Times)

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Hiker Finds Fossilized Turtle Dating Back 90 Million Years

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Jeff Dornbusch knew there was something odd about a pile of gray rocks he spotted more than a decade ago during a hike in the southern New Mexico desert, and a closer look confirms that he was right.

Dornbusch, a museum volunteer in Truth or Consequences, N.M., relocated those rocks in 2012 and notified local scientists, who identified the rocks as fragments of a 90-million-year-old turtle fossil, the Las Cruces Sun-News reported.

Since then, researchers have returned to the site where the rocks were found and excavated the rest of the turtle.

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!!!!!FossilizedTurtle1Workers from the New Mexico Museum of Natural History (from left, Tom Suazo, fossil preparer; Amanda Cantrell, geosciences collections manager; Jake Sayler, volunteer; and Asher Lichtig, student researcher) excavating the 90-million-year-old turtle fossil on Oct. 29, 2014, about six miles east of Turtleback Mountain, a well-known peak near Truth or Consequences.
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Scientists Look In Chicken’s Eye And Discover Weird New State Of Matter

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Gaze deeply into the eye of a chicken, and what do you see? Some see terrifying stupidity. But researchers at Princeton University and Washington University in St. Louis say they see in the bird’s eye the first known biological occurrence of a strange state of matter known as “disordered hyperuniformity.”

The potentially new state of matter is the result of the way five photoreceptor cells of different sizes are packed into the retina, the light-sensitive layer at the back of chickens’ eyes, according to a written statement describing the research.

In other animals, these “cone” cells are often arranged in a regular pattern, according to LiveScience. Insect cones, for example, are arranged in a hexagonal grid.

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Chicken eye | Nacivet via Getty Images
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‘Smoking Caterpillar’ Puffs Out Nicotine To Deter Spiders, New Research Shows (VIDEO)

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Ripped from the pages of Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland,” scientists have discovered a smoking caterpillar of sorts.

While this find may not push Alice’s hookah-smoking insect from its psychedelic pedestal, this caterpillar is pretty snazzy, as it can use nicotine to ward off hungry wolf spiders.

The researchers found a gene in hornworm caterpillars that allows them to puff nicotine out through their spiracles (tiny holes in their sides), from the tobacco they consume, as a warning to their would-be predators. Researchers called this tactic “defensive halitosis.”

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smoking caterpillar
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Quantum Computer Technology May Advance Using Rare Holmium Atoms, Scientists Say

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Quantum computers could crack codes and run more complex simulations than current machines, but actually building one is hard to do. The bits that store this complex data don’t last long, because they are made of single atoms that get knocked around by stray electrons and photons in the environment.

Enter a team of physicists at Germany’s Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. They found a way to get the bits to last long enough to do computations with, using the magnetic properties of a rare earth element called holmium and the symmetry of platinum. The experiment, detailed in tomorrow’s (Nov. 14) issue of the journal Nature, is an important step in creating quantum computers and making quantum memory useful.

What makes quantum computers powerful is the nature of the bit. Ordinary computers have bits that are 1 or 0, stored in the current in a circuit or the alignment of magnetic fields on a disk. Due to the weirdness of quantum physics, quantum bits, called qubits, can be both 0 and 1 at the same time. That means a quantum computer can do certain kinds of calculations much, much faster.

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quantum computer

Quantum computers can process information much faster than current machines. This image depicts “ion trap” technology developed for quantum computing in a similar, unrelated study at Oxford. | Jeff Sherman | Flickr
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