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This Week In Science!

author

Chris Carpineti

Senior Video Editor

clockSep 24 2021, 13:03 UTC

Oldest Known Human Footprints In The Americas Have Been Discovered 

Dating to between 23,000 and 21,000 years old, the oldest known human footprints in the Americas have been uncovered at an ancient lakebed in New Mexico. The prints were created by humans, including children and teenagers, plus mammoths and a dog-like carnivore. This could have huge implications for our understanding of prehistoric human migration, as the story of how and when people first arrived in the Americas is still hotly debated. 

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COVID-19 Has Now Killed More Americans Than The 1918-19 Spanish Flu 

The 1918 pandemic known as the Spanish Flu killed between 20 and 100 million people, including an estimated 675,000 Americans. In the United States, the COVID-19 pandemic has now surpassed this figure. It is almost certain COVID-19 is the worst outbreak of infectious disease by raw numbers in the nation's history – and with 2,000 deaths a day, the death toll is going to be much higher by the end of the year. 

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So Much Polar Ice Is Melting That It's Warping Earth's Crust 

The melting of our planet’s polar ice caps is warping the Earth’s crust itself, causing the Earth to deform in places even over 1,000 kilometers from the ice loss. Much of this is down to the “rebounding” effect, responsible for the seemingly paradoxical fact that in some places, sea levels are dropping year on year. In some places, however, the crust moves more horizontally than it was vertically.  

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Woman Receives Total Artificial Heart Implant In World First Procedure 

Surgeons have successfully performed the world’s first Aeson bioprosthetic total artificial heart implantation in a female patient. This procedure was the third Aeson heart to be transplanted in North America, and there are already around 20 of the devices inside European recipients. All previous implantations, however, have been in male patients – until this one. The device is a potential game-changer for thousands of patients, including the 900 or so female patients waiting for a heart transplant in the US. 

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12-Billion-Year-Old Mystery Of "Live Fast Die Young" Galaxies Solved 

Some galaxies should be much more active than they actually are, and astronomers have finally confirmed the reason why – they are simply running on empty. These galaxies somehow went through their whole reserve of cold gas, the crucial ingredient to make stars. They grew quickly, then either consumed all the cold gas available or pushed the remaining gas away. It is also possible that something stopped the galaxy from getting “refueled”, so no more gas fell in. 

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A 9-Year-Old Girl Debunked Popular Therapy Using Nothing But Cardboard And A Towel 

A 9-year-old once managed to do what other skeptics had failed to do for many years: get practitioners who claimed to heal patients by manipulating “energy fields” with their hands to submit to scientific testing. The setup was quite simple – and cost less than $10. 

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