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Science Illustrated Issue 63

Science Illustrated delivers natural science, break through discoveries and an understanding of the world for the entire family. Packed with stunning photography and in-depth editorial it’s a visually spectacular gateway to the world looking into the beginning of life to distant objects in the universe.

Nextmedia Pty Ltd
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8 Issues


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the mythmakers

Never spoil a good yarn with the truth. This is the Australian version of a saying that probably most human cultures have come up with at some point or another. And it speaks to a curious aspect of our brains: we prefer a good yarn to the absolute truth. Unless the truth is, in itself, a good yarn.Before the emergence of the first global scientific community in the 16th century (well, continental I guess, it was mostly just Europe, though some data did filter back and forth across the frontier with the Islamic world), human cultures loved making up new myths and legends.Myth is different to religious scripture because there’s an understanding that while the events that take place in the myth may not have actually happened, the story the…

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things we learned in this issue

+ More and more of the world is being 3D PRINTED from art to architecture to medicine and more!+ Some of the universe’s OLDEST BLACK HOLES can’t be explained by the laws of physics…+ There are bacteria that LIVE IN ACID and love to snack on delicious radioactive waste!+ The scourge of MIGRAINE could be curable, if we can figure out how migraines really work.+ To clean up space junk, all we need to do is catch it in a GIGANTIC SPACE NET! So simple! ■…

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3d scanned robot face lives in the uncanny valley

Robot engineer Mike Humphrey puts the finishing touches to “Fred”, a 1.75-cm-tall robot, that can both speak and move like human being. Humphrey's company, British Engineered Arts, develops robots for the entertainment industry, and in order to make the robots as lifelike as possible, engineers make 3D scans of real people. The data is not only used to fine-tune the robots’ looks, but also to fine-tune facial animation.(GETTY IMAGES) ■…

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honey bees build intriguing bridges

When honey bees are to expand or repair their hive, they build bridges between the hive walls. Individual bees seize hold of their neighbour’s legs, producing a long chain between the honeycombs. Why the bees must hold each other’s legs to get something done remains a mystery to scientists. According to some, the bees use the bridge construction to measure the distance between the bee hive walls. Others think that the bees can only produce wax in their glands, as their abdomens are stimulated by peers.Photo // Solvin Zankl; NATURE PICTURE LIBRARY ■…

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science update

Space probe nears tiny world in the Kuiper BeltNew Horizons has woken from its long hibernation, as it is approaching its next destination: one of the Solar System’s most primitive objects.AEROSPACEIn 2015, it gave us the first close-ups of Pluto, and now, the New Horizons probe is ready for its next major mission. Over the past three years, it has travelled 1.6 billion km and is now located in the Kuiper belt, which, apart from dwarf planets, consists of small asteroids and comets. The probe is heading for the 2014 MU69 object, also known as Ultima Thule. Astronomers have only known the object since 2014, when it was spotted by the Hubble telescope. They believe that it has a diameter of 30 km, but they do not know, if it…

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by the way

(UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI)THE INCAS WERE SKILLED SURGEONSBrain surgery was surprisingly efficient in the heyday of the Inca Empire from 1438 to 1532. According to new studies, 75-83 % survived the extensive surgery, which involved the removal of a major part of the skull. That is probably because the Incas had high hygienic standards and practiced: Over 800 skulls with evidence of surgery have been discovered in Peru.AND SPEAKING OF THE INCAS(SHUTTERSTOCK)SCIENTISTS DISCOVER INCA ORIGINDNA studies of the population of Peru confirm two myths about the origin of the Incas: that the empire was founded by two ancestors from Lake Titicaca and mountain caves near the Urubamba Valley, respectively. The Y chromosomes of the locals led scientists back to two men from those regions.(PETER EECKHOUT/UNIVERSITÉ LIBRE DE BRUXELLES)MUMMY SHOWS THE INCAS’…