Almost 500 New Mesoamerican Structures Discovered By Using Lasers:
· A laser mapping survey from airplane recently revealed nearly 500 Mesoamerican monuments hiding in plain sight in the San Lorenzo, Mexico. The new discoveries challenge the current timeline surrounding the rise and fall of the ancient Olmec and Maya civilizations, and scientists estimate they will lead to decades of research in the two areas. The 478 “formal complexes” found in the LIDAR survey (laser imaging, detection and ranging) date back 3,000 years, and were overgrown with vegetation. This new discovery was found to be the basis for the ceremonial earthworks to a prior discovery in Aguada Fenix (dated 800-1000 BCE), suggesting that the Maya civilization was rose much earlier than previously thought. Also, due to the location of the newest discovery in the Olmec archeological grounds in San Lorenzo there are new questions about the origins of the Maya and Olmec civilizations. It is possible that the belief that they were sister civilization may be disproven and instead that one civilization was the precursor to the other (acting as the mother civilization).
Michael J. Fox Raises $1.5 Billion to Help Find a Parkinson’s Cure: ‘I Won’t Stop Until It Happens':
· Michael J. Fox raises $1.5 billion to help find a Parkinson’s cure. Michael J. Fox became globally famous after starring as Marty McFly in Back to the Future in 1985. Six years later, aged 29, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. As the world’s largest nonprofit funder of Parkinson’s research, The Michael J. Fox Foundation is dedicated to accelerating a cure for Parkinson’s disease and improved therapies for those living with the condition, which affects an estimated seven to ten million people worldwide. At Saturday night’s fundraising gala on October 23, hosted by Denis Leary at New York City’s Jazz at the Lincoln Center, Fox performed alongside Sting. Funding over $1.5 billion in research so far, the non-profit has fundamentally altered the trajectory of progress toward a cure, helping with the development of biomarkers to find the disease before it is too late. Fox says that there is one thing that he is sure of: “I won’t stop fighting until there is a cure.”
After Using Tools, Crows are Happier and Behave More Optimistically: ‘The pleasure of accomplishment’:
· After using tools crows are happier and behave more optimistically. This is the finding of a recent paper, co-authored by Dakota McCoy, a graduate student working in the lab of David Haig, George Putnam Professor of Biology, who found that crows behaved more optimistically after using tools. The study found that similar to human’s New Caledonian crows who build tools and use them, find a sense of accomplishment in using tools that they train themselves to use. This sense of accomplishment and happiness was measured by training the crows to use boxes with rewards, one on the left with a big reward and one on the right with a small reward. After this point, a box with an unknown reward(neutral stimulus) was placed in the middle of a table and a series of tests where crows were forced to use tools to take the reward out of a box(diff. box than neutral stimulus) and some where the meat was readily available. In the tests where tools were used, the crows were more likely to approach the ambiguous box to investigate while those with the easy task were not as likely to approach the box. This study gives new perspective on how animals react to complex tasks and has reinforced the idea that complex fun tasks can help make animals happier.