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Key: Meeting Journal Funder
Public Release: 18-Sep-2014
New high-resolution satellite image analysis: 5 of 6 Syrian World Heritage sites 'exhibit significant damage'
In war-torn Syria, five of six World Heritage sites now 'exhibit significant damage' and some structures have been 'reduced to rubble,' according to new high-resolution satellite image analysis by the nonprofit, nonpartisan American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Contact: Ginger Pinholster
gpinhols@aaas.org
202-326-6421
American Association for the Advancement of Science

Public Release: 17-Sep-2014
Nature
New branch added to European family tree
Previous work suggested that Europeans descended from two ancestral groups: indigenous hunter-gatherers and early European farmers. This new study shows that there was also a third ancestral group, the Ancient North Eurasians, who contributed genetic material to almost all present-day Europeans. The research also reveals an even older lineage, the Basal Eurasians.
NIH/National Cancer Institute, NIH/National Institute of General Medical Sciences, NIH/National Human Genome Research Institute

Contact: David Cameron
david_cameron@hms.harvard.edu
617-432-0441
Harvard Medical School

Public Release: 16-Sep-2014
NOAA team reveals forgotten ghost ships off Golden Gate
A team of NOAA researchers today confirmed the discovery just outside San Francisco's Golden Gate strait of the 1910 shipwreck SS Selja and an unidentified early steam tugboat wreck tagged the 'mystery wreck.' The researchers also located the 1863 wreck of the clipper ship Noonday, currently obscured by mud and silt on the ocean floor.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Park Service

Contact: Mary Jane Schramm
maryjane.schramm@noaa.gov
415-561-6622 x205
NOAA Headquarters

Public Release: 15-Sep-2014
The Holocene
The creation of the Vuoksi River preceded a significant cultural shift
The creation of the Vuoksi River and the subsequent rapid decrease in the water level of Lake Saimaa approximately 6,000 years ago revealed thousands of square kilometers of new, fertile land in eastern Finland. A multidisciplinary research project organised by University of Helsinki researchers has studied the role that the decrease in water levels has played in the interaction between nature and humans
Academy of Finland

Contact: Markku Oinonen
markku.j.oinonen@helsinki.fi
358-503-187-302
University of Helsinki

Public Release: 11-Sep-2014
Journal of Geology
Microscopic diamonds suggest cosmic impact responsible for major period of climate change
A new study published in the Journal of Geology provides support for the theory that a cosmic impact event over North America some 13,000 years ago caused a major period of climate change known as the Younger Dryas stadial, or 'Big Freeze.'

Contact: Emily Murphy
emurphy@press.uchicago.edu
773-702-7521
University of Chicago Press Journals

Public Release: 11-Sep-2014
Science
Scientists report first semiaquatic dinosaur, Spinosaurus
Scientists today unveiled what appears to be the first truly semiaquatic dinosaur, Spinosaurus aegyptiacus. New fossils of the massive Cretaceous-era predator reveal it adapted to life in the water some 95 million years ago, providing the most compelling evidence to date of a dinosaur able to live and hunt in an aquatic environment.
The National Geographic Society

Contact: Claire Gwatkin Jones
cgjones@ngs.org
202-857-7756
National Geographic Society

Public Release: 9-Sep-2014
British Science Festival 2014
New digital map reveals stunning hidden archaeology of Stonehenge
A host of previously unknown archaeological monuments have been discovered around Stonehenge as part of an unprecedented digital mapping project that will transform our knowledge of this iconic landscape -- including remarkable new findings on the world's largest 'super henge,' Durrington Walls.

Contact: Stuart Gillespie
s.gillespie@bham.ac.uk
University of Birmingham

Public Release: 8-Sep-2014
Enigmatic Viking fortress discovered in Denmark
On fields at Vallø Estate, near Køge, they have discovered traces of a massive Viking fortress built with heavy timbers and earthen embankments. The perfectly circular fortress is similar to the famous so-called 'Trelleborg' fortresses, which were built by King Harald Bluetooth around AD 980.

Contact: Nanna Holm
nh@museerne.dk
45-31-19-06-48
Aarhus University

Public Release: 8-Sep-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Study traces ecological collapse over 6,000 years of Egyptian history
Depictions of animals in ancient Egyptian artifacts have helped scientists assemble a detailed record of the large mammals that lived in the Nile Valley over the past 6,000 years. A new analysis of this record shows that species extinctions, probably caused by a drying climate and growing human population in the region, have made the ecosystem progressively less stable.
National Science Foundation, Sao Paolo Research Foundation

Contact: Tim Stephens
stephens@ucsc.edu
831-459-2495
University of California - Santa Cruz

Public Release: 5-Sep-2014
Public Library of Science
It's the pits: Ancient peach stones offer clues to fruit's origins
Anyone who enjoys biting into a sweet, fleshy peach can now give thanks to the people who first began domesticating this fruit: Chinese farmers who lived 7,500 years ago.

Contact: Nicolle Wahl
nicolle.wahl@utoronto.ca
905-569-4656
University of Toronto

Public Release: 4-Sep-2014
Geology
Trinity geologists re-write Earth's evolutionary history books
Life forms appeared at least 60 million years earlier than previously thought. They added oxygen to our atmosphere, which led to the evolution of complex life.

Contact: Thomas Deane
deaneth@tcd.ie
353-189-64685
Trinity College Dublin

Public Release: 4-Sep-2014
Scientific Reports
T. rex times 7: New dinosaur species is discovered in Argentina
Scientists have discovered and described a new supermassive dinosaur species with the most complete skeleton ever found of its type. At 85 feet long and weighing about 65 tons in life, Dreadnoughtus schrani is the largest land animal for which a body mass can be accurately calculated.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Maria C. Zacharias
mzachari@nsf.gov
703-292-8454
National Science Foundation

Public Release: 2-Sep-2014
PLOS ONE
Modern population boom traced to pre-industrial roots
The foundation of the human population explosion, commonly attributed to a sudden surge in industrialization and public health during the 18th and 19th centuries, was actually laid as far back as 2,000 years ago, suggests an extended model of detailed demographic and archeological data.

Contact: Megan Terraso McRainey
mterras@emory.edu
404-727-6167
Emory Health Sciences

Public Release: 2-Sep-2014
PeerJ
Exceptionally well preserved insect fossils from the Rhône Valley
In Bavaria, the Tithonian Konservat-Lagerstätte of lithographic limestone is well known as a result of numerous discoveries of emblematic fossils from that area (for example, Archaeopteryx). Now, for the first time, researchers have found fossil insects in the French equivalent of these outcrops -- discoveries which include a new species representing the oldest known water treader.

Contact: Nel Andre
anel@mnhn.fr
PeerJ

Public Release: 28-Aug-2014
Antiquity
Ancient metal workers were not slaves but highly regarded craftsmen
In the course of ongoing excavations at Timna Valley, Tel Aviv University archaeologists analyzed remnants of food eaten by copper smelters 3,000 years ago. This analysis indicates that the laborers operating the furnaces were in fact skilled craftsmen who enjoyed high social status and adulation. They believe their discovery may have ramifications for similar sites across the region.

Contact: George Hunka
ghunka@aftau.org
212-742-9070
American Friends of Tel Aviv University

Public Release: 28-Aug-2014
Science
New DNA study unravels the settlement history of the New World Arctic
A new DNA study unravels the settlement history of the New World Arctic.

Contact: Eske Willerslev
ewillerslev@snm.ku.dk
0045-28-75-13-09
University of Copenhagen

Public Release: 27-Aug-2014
Nature
Walking fish reveal how our ancestors evolved onto land
About 400 million years ago a group of fish began exploring land and evolved into tetrapods -- today's amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. But just how these ancient fish used their fishy bodies and fins in a terrestrial environment and what evolutionary processes were at play remain scientific mysteries.

Contact: Cynthia Lee
cynthia.lee@mcgill.ca
514-398-6754
McGill University

Public Release: 27-Aug-2014
PLOS ONE
Stone-tipped spears lethal, may indicate early cognitive and social skills
Attaching a stone tip on to a wooden spear shaft was a significant innovation for early modern humans living around 500,000 years ago. However, it was also a costly behavior in terms of time and effort to collect, prepare and assemble the spear. Arizona State University and University of Cape Town researchers conducted controlled experiments to learn if there was a 'wounding' advantage between using a wooden spear or a stone-tipped spear.
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

Contact: Benjamin Schoville
benjamin.schoville@asu.edu
27-076-136-4669
Arizona State University

Public Release: 27-Aug-2014
PLOS ONE
Bronze Age wine cellar found
A Bronze Age palace excavation reveals an ancient wine cellar, according to a study published Aug. 27, 2014 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Andrew Koh from Brandeis University and colleagues.
Brandeis University, University of Haifa, George Washington University, National Geographic Society, Israel Science Foundation, Institute for Aegean Prehistory, Bronfman Philanthropies

Contact: Kayla Graham
onepress@plos.org
PLOS

Public Release: 27-Aug-2014
PLOS ONE
Stone-tipped spears more damaging than sharpened wooden spears
Experimental comparison may show that stone-tipped spears do not penetrate as deep, but may still cause more damage, than sharpened wooden spears.
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

Contact: Kayla Graham
onepress@plos.org
PLOS

Public Release: 25-Aug-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
SA's Taung Child's skull and brain not human-like in expansion
By subjecting the skull of the first australopith discovered to the latest technologies in the Wits University Microfocus X-ray Computed Tomography facility, researchers are now casting doubt on theories that Australopithecus africanus shows the same cranial adaptations found in modern human infants and toddlers.

Contact: Kristian Carlson
Kristian.Carlson@wits.ac.za
27-117-176-681
University of the Witwatersrand

Public Release: 20-Aug-2014
Nature
New research shows seals and sea lions likely spread tuberculosis to humans
Scientists who study tuberculosis have long debated its origins. New research shows that tuberculosis likely spread from humans in Africa to seals and sea lions that brought the disease to South America and transmitted it to Native people there before Europeans landed on the continent.
National Science Foundation, European Research Council, Smithsonian Institution, Swiss National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Wenner-Gren Foundation, Wellcome Trust

Contact: Julie Newberg
480-727-3116
Arizona State University

Public Release: 20-Aug-2014
PLOS ONE
Paleolithic 'escargot'
Paleolithic inhabitants of modern-day Spain may have eaten snails 10,000 years earlier than their Mediterranean neighbors.

Contact: Kayla Graham
onepress@plos.org
PLOS

Public Release: 16-Aug-2014
Journal of Archaeological Science
Bone chemistry reveals royal lifestyle of Richard III
A recent study by the British Geological Survey, in association with researchers at the University of Leicester, has delved into the bone and tooth chemistry of King Richard III and uncovered fascinating new details about the life and diet of Britain's last Plantagenet king. This forensic study will feature in a documentary, 'Richard III: The New Evidence,' airing on Channel 4 on Sunday, Aug. 17, at 9 p.m.

Contact: Sacha Boucherie
s.boucherie@elsevier.com
31-204-853-564
Elsevier

Public Release: 13-Aug-2014
PLOS ONE
Embalming study 'rewrites' key chapter in Egyptian history
Researchers from the Universities of York, Macquarie and Oxford have discovered new evidence to suggest that the origins of mummification started in ancient Egypt 1,500 years earlier than previously thought.

Contact: Caron Lett
caron.lett@york.ac.uk
44-019-043-22029
University of York