Science
Thursday, December 1, 2022

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The enduring image in the public mind of the mysterious heads on Easter Island is simply that they are heads. So it comes as quite a shock to discover that they have full bodies, extending down many, many feet into the ground of the island.

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The Easter Island Statue Project has been carefully excavating two of 1,000-plus statues on the islands - doing their best to uncover the secrets of the mysterious stones, and the people who built them. Inside the Easter Island statues: Experts have known about the bodies before, but when these images started circulating readers doubted their authenticity.

 

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New research from the Spanish National Research Council provides more information about how our arms and legs developed from fins. Basically, tetrapods like humans and cows have a gene, called the hoxd13 gene, that produces a protein that leads to the growth of limbs, something they proved by using not guinea pigs, but zebrafish embryos.

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Perhaps the little fish embryo shown here is dancing a jig because it has just discovered that it has legs instead of fins. Fossils show that limbs evolved from fins, but a new study shows how it may have happened, live in the lab.Fernando Casares of the Spanish National Research Council and his colleagues injected zebrafish with the hoxd13 gene from a mouse.  Casares and his colleagues hoped that by injecting extra copies of the gene into the zebrafish embryos, some of their cells would make more of the protein. 

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NEW YORK is looking for ideas to protect the city for flooding in the future. For example, inside tunnels threading under a Houston medical campus, 100 submarine doors stand ready to block invading floodwaters. Before commuters in Bangkok can head down into the city's subways, they must first climb three feet of stairs to raised entrances, equipped with flood gates. In Washington, D.C., managers of a retail and apartment complex need just two hours to activate steel walls designed to hold back as much as a 17-foot rise in the Potomac River.

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If metropolitan New York is going to defend itself from surges like the one that overwhelmed the region during Superstorm Sandy, decision makers can start by studying how others have fought the threat of fast-rising water. And they must accept an unsettling reality: Limiting the damage caused by flooding will likely demand numerous changes, large and small, and yet even substantial protections will be far from absolute.

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High winds, heavy rains, extreme tides, and even snow, the "Frankenstorm" crippled the East Coast, delivering an especially powerful punch to New York City. Millions were left without power, streets and tunnels were flooded, the city's 108-year-old subway system was brought to its knees, and over one hundred deaths along the East Coast have been attributed to the storm.

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Staten Island, NY

The super-storm wreaked havoc on the Caribbean, wrecking the historic city of Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, and devastating Haiti, with 51 people dead in that nation alone. The storm passed along the Florida Peninsula and stroke the Jersey Shore damaging 11 states.  New York City got hit hard especially Staten Island as seen in picture above.  Let's take a look at some of the damages from Hurricane Sandy, State by State.

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We are the planet's greatest diggers and miners. For tens of thousands of years humans have chipped away beneath the soils of this vast rocky planet, plundering its hard surface for tools, building materials and sparkling jewels.

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The question is what's driven our hunger to churn up more and more of our planet's rocks and sediments and spread it around the surface, and does it matter?  We're not the only species to recognise the value in strong, inert materials – chimps use stone tools and Neanderthals mined flint in Europe – but we're the only creatures to have delved further to reach the metals and other minerals within.