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What killed the wooly mammoths? Overhunting, climate change and disease lead the list of probable causes but a once-ridiculed theory is now being supported by an international team of scientists; namely that a comet or meteorite exploded over the planet roughly 12,900 years ago, causing the abrupt climate changes that led to the extinction of the wooly mammoth and other giant prehistoric beasts.

At the end of the Pleistocene era, wooly mammoths roamed North America along with a cast of fantastic creatures – giant sloths, saber-toothed cats, camels, lions, tapirs and the incredible teratorn, a condor with a 16-foot wingspan.

About 12,900 years ago, these megafauna disappeared from the fossil record, as did evidence of human remains.

Researchers from Duke University and the University of Cambridge think they can "shock the foundation of general relativity," according to Arlie Petters, a Duke professor of mathematics, by determining whether some black holes are not actually black.

Finding such an unmasked form of what physicists term a singularity "would show that nature has surprises even weirder than black holes," Petters added.

Albert Einstein originally theorized that stars bigger than the sun can collapse and compress into singularities, entities so confining and massively dense that the laws of physics break down inside them.

A supermassive black hole is thought to lurk in Sagittarius A East at our own galaxy's center.

There are many changes in human physiology as the body adapts to zero gravity environments but a new study led by researchers from the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University shows that the tiniest passengers flown in space — microbes — can be equally affected by space flight, making them more infectious pathogens.

“Space flight alters cellular and physiological responses in astronauts including the immune response,” said Cheryl Nickerson, who led a project aboard NASA’s space shuttle mission STS-115 (September 2006) involving a large, international collaboration between NASA, ASU and 12 other research institutions. “However, relatively little was known about microbial changes to infectious disease risk in response to space flight.”

Overall, student achievement in mathematics and reading in the United States is on the rise, according to results from The 2007 Nation's Report Card(TM), with some of the larger gains made by the nation's minority students.

Two reports released today, The Nation's Report Card(TM): Mathematics 2007 and The Nation's Report Card(TM): Reading 2007, detail the achievement of 4th- and 8th-graders on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), administered by the U.S. Department of Education earlier this year.

Recent research from Vidi researcher Josef Stuefer at the Radboud University Nijmegen reveals that plants have their own chat systems that they can use to warn each other. Therefore plants are not boring and passive organisms that just stand there waiting to be cut off or eaten up. Many plants form internal communications networks and are able to exchange information efficiently.

Many herbal plants such as strawberry, clover, reed and ground elder naturally form networks. Individual plants remain connected with each other for a certain period of time by means of runners. These connections enable the plants to share information with each other via internal channels. They are therefore very similar to computer networks. But what do plants want to chat to each other about?

Music training, with its pervasive effects on the nervous system’s ability to process sight and sound, may be more important for enhancing verbal communication skills than learning phonics, according to a new Northwestern University study.

Musicians use all of their senses to practice and perform a musical piece. They watch other musicians, read lips, and feel, hear and perform music, thus, engaging multi-sensory skills. As it turns out, the brain’s alteration from the multi-sensory process of music training enhances the same communication skills needed for speaking and reading, the study concludes.