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Life,the universe & everything

world Updated: Nov 09, 2012 02:21 IST
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Weapons made humans dominant
London: The development of 'high tech' long-range weapons 71,000 years ago in Africa gave modern human ancestors the killing edge which helped them to become the dominant species, according to a new study.

Findings in South Africa suggest that by the time modern human ancestors began to spread across the planet, they had developed advanced weapons that made them more than a match for Neanderthal rivals.

Research on stone tools and Neanderthal anatomy strongly suggests that our now-extinct sister species lacked true projectile weapons.

No heart risk from calcium tablets
Washington: Researchers have revealed that they have found no evidence of a link between calcium intake and coronary artery calcification, reassuring adults who take calcium supplements that the supplements do not appear to result in the development of calcification of blood vessels.

Those who had the highest calcium intake had the same coronary artery calcification score as those who had the lowest calcium intake.

Arabica coffee may be extinct in 70 yrs
London: The world's most popular type of coffee - accounting for 70% of consumption - could become extinct within 70 years due to climate change, a new study has found.

According to a study led by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (UK), changes in climate, coupled with loss of forests and invasive pests could wipe out wild Arabica coffee in its native habitat.

Originating in Ethiopia, Arabica grows in mountain forests and is the world's most popular type of coffee, accounting for 70% of consumption.

Until now, producers have been able to replenish diseased stock from healthy wild plants, but if they are lost then the world's coffee supplies could come under threat.

Saudis make billions from Haj
Riyadh: Saudi Arabia raised $16.5 billion from Muslim pilgrimages this year to Mecca and Medina in the west of the kingdom, a Saudi newspaper reported on Thursday.

Al-Hayat, citing religious tourism sources, said a total of 12 million pilgrims visited Islam's holiest sites during the annual hajj which took place this year at the end of October or for the year-long umra, or minor pilgrimage.

The pilgrims - including 3.1 million who made the hajj, including 1.7 million from abroad, according to official figures - spent 62 billion riyals ($16.5 billion), a rise of 10% over 2011 because of increased costs, it said.