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VIDEO: Two by two? How to move 1,700 animals

BBC test - Sun, 2014-10-26 10:54
Wetheriggs Animal Rescue Centre in Cumbria move their 1700 animals to a new home County Durham.
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VIDEO: Georgian delights in Royal costume store

BBC test - Sat, 2014-10-25 23:44
A look at some of the Georgian pieces in the Royal Family's costume store.
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VIDEO: Muslim soldiers' Afghan challenge

BBC test - Sat, 2014-10-25 23:43
BBC Inside Out looks at the experiences of Muslim soldiers fighting for Britain in Afghanistan against an enemy of the same faith.
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VIDEO: Russia turns back clocks for good

BBC test - Sat, 2014-10-25 22:48
Russia prepares to turn back the clocks, moving the country on to "permanent winter time" - a move which has divided opinion
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VIDEO: Dangers of doping in rugby union

BBC test - Sat, 2014-10-25 13:00
A year ago, rugby player Sam Chalmers' world collapsed after he admitted using prohibited substances.
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VIDEO: Learning how to leap around a city

BBC test - Sat, 2014-10-25 08:56
The UK's first specialised Parkour, or freerunning, academies have opened to encourage people to learn how to do it in a safe environment.
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VIDEO: Motor racing on Coventry's ring road

BBC test - Fri, 2014-10-24 19:02
Motor sports hit Coventry's ring road in May as the council seizes upon a change in the law to boost the local economy.
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VIDEO: Wales 'may be independent in 20 years'

BBC test - Fri, 2014-10-24 18:32
Leanne Wood, leader of Plaid Cymru, has predicted Wales will be independent within "a generation".
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VIDEO: Call to scrap term-time holiday ban

BBC test - Fri, 2014-10-24 18:24
The ban on term-time holidays from school should be scrapped so head teachers can take a "common-sense approach", council leaders have suggested.
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VIDEO: Scotland to reduce drink-drive limit

BBC test - Fri, 2014-10-24 18:07
The Scottish government has announced plans to reduce the country's drink-drive limit in time for Christmas.
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VIDEO: Speed racing on city ring-road

BBC test - Fri, 2014-10-24 16:42
Coventry is to become the first UK city for years to stage competitive motor-sport on public roads.
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VIDEO: Ashya King 'has really come along'

BBC test - Fri, 2014-10-24 14:07
Ashya King's father said his son "has really come along" while under going proton beam therapy in Prague.
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VIDEO: The Queen sends her first tweet

BBC test - Fri, 2014-10-24 13:05
The Queen's has sent her first tweet - sent through the @BritishMonarchy account - heralding the launch of a major new exhibition at London's Science Museum.
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Roman-Britons had less gum disease than modern Britons

Heritage Daily - Fri, 2014-10-24 12:26
The Roman-British population from c.200-400 AD seems to have had much less gum disease the what we experience today, according to a new study of skulls at the Natural History Museum led by a King’s College London periodontist. The startling findings provide further evidence that modern habits such as smoking can be detrimental to oral health.

 Gum disease, also known as periodontitis, is the result of chronic inflammatory response to the build-up of dental plaque. Whilst a substantial number of the population lives with mild gum disease, factors including tobacco smoking or medical conditions like diabetes can cause more severe chronic periodontitis, which can result in the loss of teeth.

The study, published in the British Dental Journal, examined 303 skulls from a Romano-British burial ground in Poundbury, Dorset for evidence of dental disease. Only 5% of skulls displayed signs of moderate to severe gum disease, compared to today’s population of approximately 15-30% of adults suffering from chronic progressive periodontitis.

However, lots of the Roman skulls, which form part of the collections in the Palaeontology department of the Natural History Museum, displayed evidence of infections and abscesses, and half had caries (tooth decay). The Pundbury population also showed extensive tooth wear from a young age, as is to be expected from a diet containing a large amount of rich grains and cereals at the time.

The Poundbury cemetery community, genetically similar to modern European populations, was comprised of countryside dwellers as well as a Romanised urban population. This was a non-smoking population and probably had very low levels of diabetes mellitus, two factors known to greatly increase the chance of gum disease in modern populations. Among the people who survived infancy, childhood illnesses and malnutrition into adulthood, the peak age at death appears to have been in their 40s. Infectious diseases are believed to have been a common cause of death at that time.

Professor Francis Hughes from the Dental Institute at King’s College London and lead author of the study said: “We were very struck by the finding that severe gum disease appeared to be much less common in the Roman British population than in modern humans, despite the fact that they did not use toothbrushes or visit dentists as we do today. Gum disease has been found in our ancestors, including in mummified remains in Egypt, and was alluded to in writings by the Babylonians, Assyrians and Sumerians as well as the early Chinese.”

Theya Molleson, co-author of the study from the Natural History Museum said: “This study shows a major deterioration in oral health between Roman times and modern England. By underlining the probable role of smoking, especially in determining the susceptibility to progressive periodontitis in modern populations, there is a real sign that the disease can be avoided. As smoking declines in the population we should see a decline in the prevalence of the disease.”

Contributing Source: King’s College London

Header Image Source: WikiPedia

 

 

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Kingsmead Quarry finds declared as treasure

Wessex Archaeology - Fri, 2014-10-24 12:09

Gold beads found in a rare Beaker grave found during excavations at Kingsmead Quarry, Horton, Berkshire, have now been declared as Treasure by H.M. Coroner. The beads were discovered in 2011 in a small grave and may have formed part of a necklace. Other grave goods also found with the gold beads were a number of amber and jet/shale beads, a Beaker vessel and the poorly preserved bones of an adult, possibly a woman.  These items are more than 4000 years old and the gold beads are composed of more than 10% precious metal, and therefore considered as ‘Treasure’ under the terms of the Treasure Act 1996.   The Beaker burial is without close parallel in Britain. Each of the five ornaments comprises a strip of thin sheet gold rolled to form a tubular ‘bead’. Only small numbers of Beaker graves, both in Britain and continental Europe, contain gold ornaments and tubular beads of this sort are rare. Further examples are known in copper or bronze, but again they are far from common finds. The indications are that Kingsmead Quarry is an Early Beaker context making the ornaments some of the earliest goldwork from Britain. Now declared as treasure, the gold objects will be inspected at the British Museum before returning to the Windsor & Royal Borough Museum for display.  The inquest was attended by Wessex Archaeology Project Manager Gareth Chaffey and CEMEX UK archaeological consultant Adrian Havercroft (The Guildhouse Consultancy).   By Gareth Chaffey Associated links:News blog Beaker burial  
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VIDEO: Crossbow bolt shot dog recovering

BBC test - Fri, 2014-10-24 11:04
A Staffordshire bull terrier shot through the skull with a crossbow bolt is making a "miraculous" recovery following surgery.
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AUDIO: Mums on 'diabolical' holiday fines

BBC test - Fri, 2014-10-24 10:07
The Local Government Association says it is time to scrap a ban that stops parents in England taking children out of school for holidays during term-time. These mothers in Salford give their views.
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VIDEO: Too many train announcements?

BBC test - Fri, 2014-10-24 09:36
Graham Satchell looks at whether train companies should speak more or less frequently during railway journeys.
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Genomic data support early contact between Easter Island and Americas

Heritage Daily - Fri, 2014-10-24 09:24
It is possible people may have been making the trip from Easter Island to the Americas a long time before the Dutch commander Jakob Roggeveen arrived with his ships in 1722, according to new genomic evidence demonstrating that the Rapanui people living on that most isolated of islands had significant contact with Native American populations hundreds of years earlier. The findings reported that the Cell Press journal Current Biology yesterday provide the first genetic evidence for such an early trans-Pacific route between Polynesia and the Americas, an impressive trek of over 4,000 kilometers (nearly 2,500 miles).

The findings remind us “early human populations extensively explored the planet,” says Anna-Sapfo Malaspinas from the Natural History Museum of Denmark’s Centre for GeoGenetics. “Textbook versions of human colonisation events – the peopling of the Americas, for example – need to be re-evaluated utilising genomic data.”

Moai Head Close Up: Natalia Solar

On that note, a second articles will feature in the same issue of Current Biology by Malaspinas along with Eske Willerslev and their colleagues examined two human skulls representing the indigenous “Botocudos” of Brazil to discover their genomic ancestry is Polynesian, with no detectable Native American component at all.

Archaeological evidence had implied that 30 to 100 Polynesian men, women and children first landed on Easter Island, also known as Rapa Nui, in approximately AD 1200, arriving in two or more doubled-hulled canoes. After settling on the isolated island, the Rapanui built their famous stone platforms and over 900 statues, some weighing as much as 82 tons.

While it may have taken weeks for Polynesians to reach the closest nearby islands, there are suggestions of contact with the larger world. For example, there is evidence to support the presence of crops native to the Americas in Polynesia, including the Andean sweet potato, well before the first reported European contact.

Genome-wide analysis of 27 native Rapanui now confirms significant contact between the island people and Native Americans sometime between about AD 1300 and AD 1500, 19 to 23 generations ago. The Rapanui population started mixing with Europeans much later, in the middle of the 19th century. The ancestry of the Rapanui today is 76% Polynesian, 8% Native American, and 16% European.

Rapanui people travelling: Public Domain

The novel evidence about the Rapanui implies one of two scenarios: either Native Americans sailed to Rapa Nui or Polynesians sailed to the Americas and back. The researchers believe it is more likely that the Rapanui successfully made the trip back and forth, given simulations proposed in previous studies demonstrating that “All sailing voyages heading intentionally east from Rapa Nui would always reach the Americas, with a trip lasting from two weeks to approximately two months.” On the other hand, the trip from the Americas to Rapa Nui is much more difficult, which would have made it likely to fail or miss the island completely. From the Americas, Rapa Nui is a small target, which may also be the reason it took Europeans so long to find it.

Contributing Source: Cell Press

Header Image Source: Flickr

Categories: General

VIDEO: Cliff Richard police raid 'inept'

BBC test - Fri, 2014-10-24 09:17
A police raid at the home of veteran pop star Sir Cliff Richard has been described as inept by a group of MPs.
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