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Pagan News Beagle: Earthy Thursday, April 14

Archaeologists pour over artifacts recovered from a recently discovered Neolithic grave. The impact of climate change is considered as well as how best to combat it. And the scientific community is spellbound by a new discovery about human anatomy. It's Earthy Thursday, our weekly segment on science and Earth-related news! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

There are many theories about the purpose and nature of Stonehenge, the ancient stone monument built during the Neolithic period in western England. But no one expected to find someone buried there. Archaeologists are now puzzling over artifacts found at the burial site of a woman found near Stonehenge, from the same period of history.

For the first time in history scientists have accomplished what seemed to many the impossible: the construction of a functional lifeform from a synthetic genome several times smaller than any found in nature. The experiment proves that life requires far fewer genes than we've generally assumed and could revolutionize genetics as a science.

Ask a climatologist and they'll usually tell you the role clouds play in the temperature of the atmosphere is usually twofold. On the one hand, they contribute to the greenhouse effect, trapping heat radiating from the Earth's surface and preventing it from escaping to space. On the other hand, they also do the opposite: reflecting light (and heat) from space back out of the atmosphere. But new research suggests they may have overestimated the degree to which the latter was slowing global warming.

Speaking of global warming a lot of efforts to combat focus on reducing consumption and changing lifestyles. But technology also plays a major role in reducing our carbon footprint. Astronomer Phil Plait takes a look at how industrialist Elon Musk is trying to revolutionize the automobile industry in a way that reduces our use of greenhouse gases.

After centuries of detailed investigation of the human body you'd figure scientists would have mapped it all out by now. Not so apparently. The University of Virginia's news journal describes how a new discovery about the immune system and it's relation to our nervous system could revolutionize scientists' understanding of the human body.

Top image by ZooFari

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Aryós Héngwis (or the more modest Héngwis for short) is a native of the Pontic-Caspian steppe, born some 5000 years ago, near the village of Dereivka. In his youth he stood out from the other snakes for his love of learning and culture, eventually coming into the service of the local reǵs before moving westward toward Europe. Most recently, Aryós Héngwis left his home to pursue a new life in America, where he has come under the employ of BBI Media as an internet watchdog (or watchsnake, if you will), ever poised to strike the unwary troll.


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