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Old 11-11-2008, 12:21 PM   #826
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http://www.nextnature.net/?p=2863



The design of Marieke Staps used free and environment-friendly energy to create light. The metabolism of biological living produces enough electricity to burn the LED. The only thing the lamp needs is mud and water. The mud is spread out into multiple warrants. These warrants also consist of copper and zinc to conduct the electricity. The more warrants there are placed the more power will be produced.

http://www.mariekestaps.nl/projects_soillamp3.html
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Old 11-11-2008, 12:26 PM   #827
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http://news.softpedia.com/news/Myste...is-97643.shtml

Mysterious Major Changes in the Plutoid Eris
Its surface suffered unexplained modifications for two years

A team of astronomers led by Stephen Tegler from the Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff were culling through pictures of the biggest dwarf planet beyond Neptune called Eris, when they came across a startling discovery. The small plutoid (as this type of planets is named) sported major changes in its surface composition, as indicated by some pictures taken at different points in time, separated by a two-year period.

The first set of spectroscopic imagery was captured in 2005 thanks to the 4.2 meter William Herschel Telescope located in Spain, while the second was obtained in 2007, by means of the Arizona-based 6.5 meter MMT observatory. The analysis based on the photos suggests a rapid and major alteration in the concentration of frozen nitrogen on Eris.



At the moment, the plutoid is situated at its orbital point farthest from the Sun (called aphelion), about 100 Astronomical Units (AU – multiples of the distance between the Earth and the Sun) far from our system's star. Considering that it takes 557 years for Eris to complete a full orbit cycle, it is easy to conclude that the influence of the Sun has not changed during the recent several years, which rules out the possibility that this phenomenon is somewhat linked to the Sun's activity or influence on the plutoid.



There is the possibility, though, that the two series of photographs captured different faces of Eris (which has a rotation period of 26 hours), which may not be similar to one another – hence the lack of consistency of the spotted event. In 2005, it seems there was a higher concentration of nitrogen near the surface, while two years later, the higher concentration was below the surface, hinting to the existence of a dynamic process as one of the only reasonable causes for the differences on such a tiny planet.



The only other explanation found so far involves cryovolcanism, meaning that, if Eris was sufficiently warm, volcanoes would eject volatile mater (such as nitrogen and methane) which would condense into a solid form, therefore altering the planet's composition. As further observations of Eris will come up with more results, we'll keep you posted.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eris_(mythology)
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Old 11-11-2008, 12:27 PM   #828
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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main...olf.xml&page=1

The philosopher and the wolf

Last Updated: 12:01am GMT 08/11/2008
Page 1 of 3

A spur-of-the-moment decision to buy a wolf cub changed Mark Rowlands’s life. From that moment on he found human company never quite matched up
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Old 11-11-2008, 12:30 PM   #829
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http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/11/he...in&oref=slogin

In a Novel Theory of Mental Disorders, Parents’ Genes Are in Competition

Their idea is, in broad outline, straightforward. Dr. Crespi and Dr. Badcock propose that an evolutionary tug of war between genes from the father’s sperm and the mother’s egg can, in effect, tip brain development in one of two ways. A strong bias toward the father pushes a developing brain along the autistic spectrum, toward a fascination with objects, patterns, mechanical systems, at the expense of social development. A bias toward the mother moves the growing brain along what the researchers call the psychotic spectrum, toward hypersensitivity to mood, their own and others’. This, according to the theory, increases a child’s risk of developing schizophrenia later on, as well as mood problems like bipolar disorder and depression.

In short: autism and schizophrenia represent opposite ends of a spectrum that includes most, if not all, psychiatric and developmental brain disorders. The theory has no use for psychiatry’s many separate categories for disorders, and it would give genetic findings an entirely new dimension.

“The empirical implications are absolutely huge,” Dr. Crespi said in a phone interview. “If you get a gene linked to autism, for instance, you’d want to look at that same gene for schizophrenia; if it’s a social brain gene, then it would be expected to have opposite effects on these disorders, whether gene expression was turned up or turned down.”

The theory leans heavily on the work of David Haig of Harvard. It was Dr. Haig who argued in the 1990s that pregnancy was in part a biological struggle for resources between the mother and unborn child. On one side, natural selection should favor mothers who limit the nutritional costs of pregnancy and have more offspring; on the other, it should also favor fathers whose offspring maximize the nutrients they receive during gestation, setting up a direct conflict.

The evidence that this struggle is being waged at the level of individual genes is accumulating, if mostly circumstantial. For example, the fetus inherits from both parents a gene called IGF2, which promotes growth. But too much growth taxes the mother, and in normal development her IGF2 gene is chemically marked, or “imprinted,” and biologically silenced. If her gene is active, it causes a disorder of overgrowth, in which the fetus’s birth weight swells, on average, to 50 percent above normal.

Biologists call this gene imprinting an epigenetic, or “on-genetic,” effect, meaning that it changes the behavior of the gene without altering its chemical composition. It is not a matter of turning a gene on or off, which cells do in the course of normal development. Instead it is a matter of muffling a gene, for instance, with a chemical marker that makes it hard for the cell to read the genetic code; or altering the shape of the DNA molecule, or what happens to the proteins it produces. To illustrate how such genetic reshaping can give rise to behavioral opposites — the yin and yang that their theory proposes — Dr. Crespi and Dr. Badcock point to a remarkable group of children who are just that: opposites, as different temperamentally as Snoopy and Charlie Brown, as a lively Gaugin and a brooding Goya.
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Old 11-11-2008, 12:31 PM   #830
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http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2...10/2415393.htm

Fridge-sized tape recorder could crack lunar mysteries

By Nic MacBean

Posted Mon Nov 10, 2008 3:00pm AEDT
Updated Mon Nov 10, 2008 4:08pm AEDT

* Audio: Restored tape recorder could hold lost moon data (The World Today)
* Map: Perth 6000

A 1960s tape recorder the size of a household fridge could be the key to unlocking valuable information from NASA's Apollo missions to the moon.
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Old 11-11-2008, 12:32 PM   #831
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http://www.sciencenews.org/view/gene...lective_memory

Altering a protein in the brain of mice can wipe out specific memories as they are recalled
As much as you might want to wipe Uncle Frank’s tasteless joke out of your mind but still remember the flavor of Aunt Fran’s pie, memory researchers have always said “fuhgedabboudit!” Now, a genetically engineered mouse suggests it may be possible to erase certain unwanted memories.

Scientists from the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta and the East China Normal University in Shanghai selectively removed a shocking memory from a mouse’s brain, the team reports in the Oct. 23 Neuron.

Insight from such experiments may one day lead to therapies that can erase traumatic memories for people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, or wipe clean drug-associated cues that lead addicts to relapse.
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Old 11-11-2008, 12:33 PM   #832
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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081111/..._new_pyramid_1

SAQQARA, Egypt – Egypt's chief archaeologist has announced the discovery of a 4,300-year-old pyramid in Saqqara, the sprawling necropolis and burial site of the rulers of ancient Memphis.

The pyramid is said to belong to Queen Sesheshet, the mother of King Teti who was the founder of the 6th Dynasty of Egypt's Old Kingdom.

Egypt's antiquities chief Zahi Hawass made the announcement Tuesday at the site in Saqqara, about 12 miles south of Cairo.

Hawass' team has been excavating the site for two years. He says the discovery was only made two months ago when it became clear that the 16-foot-tall structure uncovered from the sand was a pyramid.

Hawass says the new pyramid is the 118th discovered so far in Egypt.
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Old 11-11-2008, 12:33 PM   #833
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http://www.mindhacks.com/blog/2008/1...y_near_de.html

he not very near death experience:

I've just discovered this fantastic 1990 study from The Lancet that investigated near death experiences reported by patients. However, it did something quite different from most other studies - it actually checked to see whether the patients were actually near death or not - and many of them weren't.

The study looked at the experiences of 58 people who believed they were about to die during a medical procedure and had subsequently reported a 'near death experience' - often the classic 'light at the end of the tunnel' experience, the feeling of the consciousness had left the body like an outside observer, enhanced clarity of thought and the flashback of life's memories.

The researchers then looked through the medical records of each person to see whether they had really been 'near death'. Of the 58 in the study, 30 patients were never in danger of dying, despite their belief at the time.

The study then went on to compare whether certain experiences were more likely to appear in those patients who were genuinely near death.

The experiences were largely the same across both groups, but those who were really at risk of dying were more likely to experience an intense light and enhanced mental clarity.

The authors say they're not sure why this might be. The explanation that is usually thrown around is that 'restricted oxygen to the brain causes light sensations' but I've no idea whether this is anything more than a convenient hypothesis and has any scientific data to back it up.


Link to study paper.
Link to PubMed entry.

(embedded links on source)
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Old 11-11-2008, 12:34 PM   #834
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http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Th..._Life_999.html

After two-plus years of few sunspots, even fewer solar flares, and a generally eerie calm, the sun is finally showing signs of life. "I think solar minimum is behind us," says sunspot forecaster David Hathaway of the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center.
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Old 11-11-2008, 12:36 PM   #835
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Nov 11, 2008
Half-Massed Star

Red supergiant stars and mysterious streamers of gas make the Large Magellanic Cloud a fertile ground for scientific speculation about its attributes. Of course, no mainstream theories include electricity as a formative agent.

http://thunderbolts.info/tpod/2008/a...081111star.htm
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Old 11-11-2008, 12:37 PM   #836
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http://www.newscientist.com/article/...-and-song.html

Brain sees fine line between speech and song

A SOUND curiosity, in which a spoken phrase seems to morph into a song when repeated, is shedding light on the difference between speech and song.

Diana Deutsch, a psychologist at the University of California in San Diego, first noticed the illusion in the mid-1990s when editing a recording of her own voice. One phrase - "sometimes behaves so strangely" - began to sound like a song when she replayed it several times.

Now Deutsch has confirmed that the illusion is real by testing it on proficient singers. Those played the same phrase just once and asked to repeat what they heard, spoke it back. But those who heard the phrase many times, sang it back (listen at www.tinyurl.com/65tcer).

The illusion only occurs when the phrase is repeated exactly - not with a slightly drifting key, for instance. "It brings to the fore a real mystery - why don't we hear speech as song all the time?" says Deutsch. She suspects our brains normally suppress musical cues when we hear speech, so that we focus on interpreting the words. But repetition of the words, which we've already processed, can sometimes override this.

"It stops the inhibition of the pitch region of the brain so we hear song, which is really what we ought to have been hearing in the first place," says Deutsch, who will discuss her findings next week at an Acoustical Society of America meeting in Miami, Florida.

Her team is now using MRI scans to see which brain regions "light up" when people perceive a shift from speech to song.
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Old 11-11-2008, 12:38 PM   #837
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http://www.physorg.com/news145561984.html

Mini Nuclear Power Plants Could Power 20,000 Homes

Hyperion's miniature nuclear modules could be easily transported and buried underground, with the ability to power up to 20,000 homes.

(PhysOrg.com) -- Underground nuclear power plants no bigger than a hot tub may soon provide electricity for communities around the world. Measuring about 1.5 meters across, the mini reactors can each power about 20,000 homes.

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Old 11-11-2008, 01:48 PM   #838
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http://bradleycain.com/2008-electora...-29-year-olds/
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Old 11-11-2008, 01:50 PM   #839
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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...rror-laws.html

A group of students had their ‘Mad Scientist’ party brought to an abrupt end when police mistook them for terrorists.

The private party, held in Hackney, north London, was organised by a group of friends dressed in white laboratory coats and wigs, who put on a display of theatrical ‘experiments’ to entertain guests.

But when police entered the building for a routine check in the early hours of Sunday morning, they discovered scientific debris and plastic skeletons and mistook it for terrorist paraphernalia or drug-making equipment.

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Old 11-11-2008, 01:55 PM   #840
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http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122602394113507555.html

* NOVEMBER 7, 2008

A Doctor, a Mutation and a Potential Cure for AIDS
A Bone Marrow Transplant to Treat a Leukemia Patient Also Gives Him Virus-Resistant Cells; Many Thanks, Sample 61

The startling case of an AIDS patient who underwent a bone marrow transplant to treat leukemia is stirring new hope that gene-therapy strategies on the far edges of AIDS research might someday cure the disease.

The patient, a 42-year-old American living in Berlin, is still recovering from his leukemia therapy, but he appears to have won his battle with AIDS. Doctors have not been able to detect the virus in his blood for more than 600 days, despite his having ceased all conventional AIDS medication. Normally when a patient stops taking AIDS drugs, the virus stampedes through the body within weeks, or days.
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Old 11-11-2008, 02:02 PM   #841
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http://www.newscientist.com/article/...ef=online-news

When the world catches flu, Google sneezes

When the next flu outbreak begins, the first alert may come from a flurry of Google searches.

Google Flu Trends, created by the company's philanthropic arm, Google.org, provides daily estimates of the number of flu cases in the US, based on trends in flu-related internet searches such as queries about symptoms.

The estimates made by Google's new software match the weekly flu statistics compiled by the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) from doctors' reports, says Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London, UK, who is familiar with the project. Moreover, Google Flu Trends can detect an outbreak days before it shows up in the weekly CDC reports, he says.

The extra warning time won't stop outbreaks, but could play an important role in helping hospitals prepare for a surge in patients.
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Old 11-12-2008, 10:35 AM   #842
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http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...1107143616.htm

Physicists Create BlackMax To Search For Extra Dimensions In The Universe

ScienceDaily (Nov. 9, 2008) — A team of theoretical and experimental physicists, with participants from Case Western Reserve University, have designed a new black hole simulator called BlackMax to search for evidence that extra dimensions might exist in the universe.
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Old 11-12-2008, 10:36 AM   #843
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http://abcnews.go.com/International/...ory?id=6227686


Egypt Unveils Discovery of 4,300-Year-Old Pyramid
Egypt's antiquities chief unveils discovery of new pyramid believed to belong to ancient queen
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Old 11-12-2008, 10:36 AM   #844
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http://cryptogon.com/?p=4985

Via: Science Daily:

Scientists from Maastricht University have developed a method to look into the brain of a person and read out who has spoken to him or her and what was said. With the help of neuroimaging and data mining techniques the researchers mapped the brain activity associated with the recognition of speech sounds and voices.

In their Science article “‘Who’ is Saying ‘What’? Brain-Based Decoding of Human Voice and Speech,” the four authors demonstrate that speech sounds and voices can be identified by means of a unique ‘neural fingerprint’ in the listener’s brain. In the future this new knowledge could be used to improve computer systems for automatic speech and speaker recognition.

Seven study subjects listened to three different speech sounds (the vowels /a/, /i/ and /u/), spoken by three different people, while their brain activity was mapped using neuroimaging techniques (fMRI). With the help of data mining methods the researchers developed an algorithm to translate this brain activity into unique patterns that determine the identity of a speech sound or a voice. The various acoustic characteristics of vocal cord vibrations (neural patterns) were found to determine the brain activity.

Just like real fingerprints, these neural patterns are both unique and specific: the neural fingerprint of a speech sound does not change if uttered by somebody else and a speaker’s fingerprint remains the same, even if this person says something different.

Moreover, this study revealed that part of the complex sound-decoding process takes place in areas of the brain previously just associated with the early stages of sound processing. Existing neurocognitive models assume that processing sounds actively involves different regions of the brain according to a certain hierarchy: after a simple processing in the auditory cortex the more complex analysis (speech sounds into words) takes place in specialised regions of the brain. However, the findings from this study imply a less hierarchal processing of speech that is spread out more across the brain.

The research was partly funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO): Two of the four authors, Elia Formisano and Milene Bonte carried out their research with an NWO grant (Vidi and Veni). The data mining methods were developed during the PhD research of Federico De Martino (doctoral thesis defended at Maastricht University on 24 October 2008).
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Old 11-12-2008, 10:37 AM   #845
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http://cryptogon.com/?p=1798

DARPA Funded Research: Snorting a Brain Chemical Could Replace Sleep
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Old 11-12-2008, 10:38 AM   #846
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http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5i...cp3UgD94BHVEO0

Scholar finds Mayans' buried highway through hell

By MARK STEVENSON – 2 days ago

TZIBICHEN CENOTE, Mexico (AP) — Legend says the afterlife for ancient Mayas was a terrifying obstacle course in which the dead had to traverse rivers of blood, and chambers full of sharp knives, bats and jaguars.

Now a Mexican archaeologist using long-forgotten testimony from the Spanish Inquisition says a series of caves he has explored may be the place where the Maya actually tried to depict this highway through hell.

The network of underground chambers, roads and temples beneath farmland and jungle on the Yucatan peninsula suggests the Maya fashioned them to mimic the journey to the underworld, or Xibalba, described in ancient mythological texts such as the Popol Vuh.

"It was the place of fear, the place of cold, the place of danger, of the abyss," said University of Yucatan archaeologist Guillermo de Anda.

Searching for the names of sacred sites mentioned by Indian heretics who were put on trial by Inquisition courts, De Anda discovered what appear to be stages of the legendary journey, recreated in a half-dozen caves south of the Yucatan state capital of Merida.
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Old 11-12-2008, 10:39 AM   #847
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http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5...vdzmDQH9zCL6KA

New Bamiyan Buddha find amid destruction

3 days ago

BAMIYAN, Afghanistan (AFP) — "We got him!" screamed Afghan archaeologist Anwar Khan Fayez as he leapt from the pit beneath the towering sandstone cliffs, where the Bamiyan Buddhas once stood.

Seven years after Taliban militants blew up the two 1,500-year-old statues in a fit of Islamist zealotry, a French-Afghan team in September uncovered a new, 19-metre (62-foot) "Sleeping Buddha" buried in the earth.

The news that a third Buddha escaped the Taliban's wrath has caused excitement in this scenic valley, where the caverns that housed the ruined statues are an eerie reminder of Afghanistan's past and present woes.

"It was a happy moment for all of us when the first signs appeared. Our years-long efforts had somehow paid off," Fayez told AFP.

The team, led by France-based archaeologist Zemaryalai Tarzi, made the find while hunting for a lost 300-metre reclining Buddha mentioned in an account by seventh-century Chinese monk Xuan Zang.
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Old 11-12-2008, 10:40 AM   #848
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http://www.boston.com/news/world/asi..._are_restored/

Chinese emperor's lavish quarters are restored



BEIJING—In between dispatching armies to secure the empire and building China into the richest country in the world, the Qianlong Emperor commissioned a retirement home for himself in the Forbidden City palace.

Never intended as a simple hideaway, the garden quarters built in the 1770s by the fifth emperor in the Qing Dynasty set a standard for opulence befitting an emperor renowned for his power and refinement: screens inlaid with rare hardwoods, intricate silk embroideries, delicate carvings of jade and bamboo.

To Chinese eyes of 200 years ago, it screams wealth. "It's as if everything is gold-plated," said Nancy Berliner, a curator of Chinese art at Massachusetts' Peabody Essex Museum.

Unused and sealed off for most the past century, the garden is three years into a 12-year restoration. One part, a lavish apartment and private theater for the emperor -- the Studio of Exhaustion from Diligent Service -- was officially completed Monday and will be open to the public next year for the first time ever.

Having been largely abandoned, damaged by neglect rather than the vandalism that ruined many Chinese antiquities, the studio contains one of the best-preserved interiors from Imperial China.
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Old 11-12-2008, 10:42 AM   #849
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http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27646297/

Two new 'flying lemur' species identified
Genetics reveal that one species of the acrobatic primate is really three

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Old 11-12-2008, 10:44 AM   #850
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http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/news/2...00-new-species

Marine census finds 5,600 new species

SYDNEY: The ancestry of deep-sea octopuses, a white shark "café" and a city of brittle stars are among the discoveries revealed this week by a global marine census.

The latest figures from the Census of Marine Life, a collaboration of 2,000 scientists from 82 nations, adds 5,600 new species – 110 of which have been formally described – towards an estimated quarter of a million known marine species.

The census is a 10-year initiative to track the vast and mostly-unknown diversity of the world's oceans.





(Photo gallery):

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/n...census-photos/
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