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Life,the universe & everything

Wild young birds get 'drunk' on fermented berries and act even worse than intoxicated humans, according to a new study.

tech reviews Updated: Nov 05, 2012 02:11 IST

Birds get ‘drunk’ on berries
London: Wild young birds get 'drunk' on fermented berries and act even worse than intoxicated humans, according to a new study. Unsteadiness on the feet, tendency to fall and losing the ability to steer is considerably more of a problem when life is normally spent in the air. The authors from the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency reveal how they were called to a primary school in Cumbria last summer after the bodies of 12 young blackbirds were found. A blackbird was discovered alive, but obviously “unwell”. Rowan berries are not normally considered poisonous to wild birds, but the berries found inside the birds smelled as if they were fermenting. PTI

4,500-yr-old tomb of egyptian found
London: A Pharaonic princess' tomb dating from about 2500 BC has been discovered near Cairo, signalling the beginning of a new era in the history of sepulchres in Egypt.

The discovery was made in the Abu Sir region south of Cairo by a team of archaeologists from Czechoslovakia. "We have discovered the antechamber to Princess Shert Nebti's tomb which contains four limestone pillars," Mohamed Ibrahim, Egypt's antiquities minister, said.

The pillars 'have hieroglyphic inscriptions giving the princess's name and her titles, which include 'the daughter of the king Men Salbo and his lover venerated before God the all-powerful', he added. Ibrahim said that the Czech Institute of Egyptology's mission, funded by the Charles University of Prague had made the discovery. PTI

Bedtime stories for your dogs

London: British scientists claim to have developed the world's first bedtime story for dogs. The free audio book Teddy and Stanley's Tall Tale includes soothing syllables designed to lower stress in canines. Laura Quinn, working with pet behaviourist Karen Wild, spent years analysing speech patterns so they could write a story perfect to calm and relax dogs upset by fireworks. "Dogs understand certain sounds as calming," Wild said. The book tells the story of a towering dog called Stanley and his smaller friend Teddy. PTI

Asteroids brought life to Earth?

Washington: Asteroids may have brought life to Earth as scientists claim their collisions with planets can boost the birth and evolution of complex life. A new study proposes that asteroids may have delivered water and organic compounds to the early Earth, Nasa said. Researchers suggest that the size and location of an asteroid belt, shaped by the evolution of the Sun's protoplanetary disk and by the gravitational influence of a nearby giant Jupiter-like planet, may determine whether complex life will evolve on an Earth-like planet. PTI