Egypt Independent: Science-Main news en Dozens of crocodile heads dumped in Australian town <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>Up to 70 rotting crocodile heads have been found in an old freezer dumped at a remote Australian town, police said Tuesday, with the culprits facing large fines and jail time if convicted of the killings.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Several teenagers made the grisly find behind a row of shops at Humpty Doo, 40 kilometers (25 miles) outside Darwin on Sunday and contacted authorities.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Police said at least 50 saltwater crocodile heads, and as many as 70, were stuffed inside.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;(We saw) a deep freezer in a sad state of affairs,&quot; senior wildlife ranger Tommy Nichols, who specializes in crocodile management, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;There was quite a bad smell and maggots around everywhere.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>No one has been arrested but anyone convicted of killing protected wildlife faces a fine of up to Aus$76,500 (US$55,000) or five years in jail.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>It was not clear why the heads had been severed but crocodile skins are highly prized and there is a thriving market.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Saltwater crocodiles, which can grow up to seven meters (23 feet) long and weigh more than a ton, have become increasingly common in Australia&#39;s Northern Territory since they were declared a protected species in 1971.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Each year more than 500 are culled to protect the public and livestock, with the animals killing an average of two people a year.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Keeping them as pets is legal in the Northern Territory if they are under 60 centimeters.</div><div>&nbsp;</div> Tue, 04 Aug 2015 08:52:00 +0000 AFP 2455295 at sites/default/files/photo/2015/08/04/501010/australia_08-04-15.jpg Glaciers melt to lowest level on record: study <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>Glaciers worldwide have shrunk to levels not seen in 120 years of record-keeping, with melt-off accelerating in the first decade of the 21st century, according to a study released Monday.</p><p>On average, glaciers currently lose between 50 to 150 centimetres (20 to 60 inches) of thickness every year, reported the study, published in the Journal of Glaciology.</p><p>&quot;This is two to three times more than the corresponding average of the 20th century,&quot; said Michael Zemp, director of the World Glacier Monitoring Service and the study&#39;s lead author.</p><p>More than a billion people, especially in Asia and South America, get more than half of their drinking water from the seasonal melting of snow melt and glacier ice, previous research has shown.</p><p>The current rate of global glacier melt is without precedent for the 120 years covered by scientific observation, and probably for much longer, Zemp added.</p><p>Moreover, accelerated ice loss has created a dynamic whereby glaciers in many regions will continue to diminish even if global warming did not continue to boost global temperatures.</p><p>Preliminary data from the last five years, not covered in the study, suggest that rapid decline of ice mass is continuing apace.&nbsp;</p><p>The 20th-century record ice loss observed in 1998 &quot;has been exceeded in 2003, 2006, 2011, 2013, and probably again in 2014,&quot; Kemp said.</p><p>The long-term trend of glacier retreat takes into account shorter periods where, in some locations, glaciers have regained some of their lost ice mass.</p><p>Many so-called &quot;ice tongues&quot; formed by glacier runoff in Norway, for example, regained a couple hundred metres in length during the 1990s. Overall, though, they have retreated by several kilometres compared to the areas covered in the late 19th century.</p><p>The World Glacier Monitoring Service compiles the results of worldwide glacier observations submitted annually from a global network of scientists &amp; observers.</p><p>For the study, these observations were compared to all available data gathered on the ground, in the air and via satellite.</p> Mon, 03 Aug 2015 20:41:00 +0000 AFP 2455285 at sites/default/files/photo/2015/08/03/43/screen_shot_2015-08-03_at_11.40.16_pm.png 'Fitness' foods stimulate more eating, less exercise <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>Foods like Clif Bars and Wheaties cereal are packaged to evoke connotations of promoting fitness, however, a new study says this sort of packaging actually encourages eating too much, undermining weight control.</p><p>&quot;Unless a food was forbidden by their diet, branding the product as &lsquo;fit&#39; increased consumption for those trying to watch their weight,&quot; write authors Joerg Koenigstorfer and Hans Baumgartner. &quot;To make matters worse, these eaters also reduced their physical activity, apparently seeing the &lsquo;fit&#39; food as a substitute for exercise.&quot;</p><p>In the study, the research team recruited 536 participants who were considered &quot;restrained&quot; eaters, who, conscious of their weight, were constantly trying to eat right.</p><p>They gave them trail-mix style snacks some of which were &quot;fitness branded&quot; -- with a picture of a pair of running shoes on the package -- and others were simply marketed as trail-mix.</p><p>The research team asked participants to pretend they were at home eating an afternoon snack and gave them eight minutes to taste the product and say whether or not they liked it.</p><p>In another experiment, they were given the chance to exercise as vigorously as they wished on a stationary bicycle after having consumed their trail mix.</p><p>For the most weight-conscious in the sample, the labeling took its effect, leading them to eat more when the snack was &quot;fitness branded&quot; than when it was simply presented as trail mix.</p><p>These participants exercised less vigorously when presented with the stationary bicycle, according to the study, which is&nbsp;<a href=";" target="_blank">forthcoming</a>&nbsp;in the&nbsp;Journal of Marketing Research.</p><p>The authors concluded by suggesting such food items add a reminder to their marketing materials that exercise is still necessary.</p><p>Last year, a study at the University of Houston in the US examined the use of health-related buzzwords such as &quot;antioxidant&quot; and &quot;gluten-free&quot; to goad consumers into thinking they are healthy.</p><p>They concluded that nutritional illiteracy makes consumers vulnerable to the false sense of health these products offer, using Cherry 7-Up labeled as containing antioxidants as an example.</p><p>&quot;Food marketers are exploiting consumer desires to be healthy by marketing products as nutritious when, in fact, they&#39;re not,&quot; said principal investigator Temple Northup.</p><p>Working with 318 participants, the research team presented them with an array of products and asked them to rate how healthy they were.</p><p>Products, which included Annie&#39;s Bunny Fruit Snacks -- labeled &quot;organic,&quot; Chef Boyardeee Beefaroni -- labeled &quot;whole grain,&quot; and Chocolate Cheerios -- labeled &quot;heart healthy&quot; got higher ratings when they were presented with such trigger words than when they were not.</p> Mon, 03 Aug 2015 17:31:00 +0000 AFP 2455279 at sites/default/files/photo/2015/07/31/43/t1larg.jpg Egypt to restore ancient human skeleton from Belgium <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>Egypt will restore a human skeleton currently being held in Belgium and dating back 35,000 years, said Antiquities Minister Mamdouh al-Damaty Monday.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;This skeleton is of great importance, reflecting the history of the evolution of human species that lived on the land of Egypt,&quot; said Damaty.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;(The skeleton) is one of the oldest human skeletons discovered in Egypt until now,&quot; Damaty added.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Egypt will receive the skeleton in few days after the conclusion of legal procedures, he pointed out.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div> Mon, 03 Aug 2015 15:05:00 +0000 Al-Masry Al-Youm 2455251 at sites/default/files/photo/2015/02/10/1755/antiquities_minister_mamdouh_al-damaty.jpg