Bytes

 
Published: Tuesday 15 April 2003

new mummies: Ancient Britons started mummifying their dead at the same time as the Egyptians. British archaeologist Mike Parker-Pearson has found four Bronze Age bodies showing signs of mummification in the remote Scottish isle of South Uist. The 3,000-year-old bodies are believed to be the first ever discovery of mummification in Britain. "The bodies were found underneath layers of old jewellery, whalebone lamps and tools," says Parker-Pearson.

heat pressure: Global warming is redrawing the isobars on weather maps. Nathan Gillett of the University of Victoria, Canada, and his colleagues have found that average air pressure has increased over the past five decades in the subtropical North Atlantic Ocean, southern Europe and North Africa. To investigate whether global warming was the cause for these increases, the team generated computer simulations of changes in air pressure and rise in the concentration of greenhouse gases. It found that with a rise in the levels of greenhouse gases, air pressure increased. The findings are significant as changes in air pressure can, for instance, make winters warmer in northwest Europe.

yellow assistance: Curcumin, the substance that gives turmeric its distinctive yellow colour, can cure liver damages caused by excessive alcohol consumption. Curcumin is already known to be good for health as it has antioxidant properties. However, the research does not mean that people consuming turmeric can drink more alcohol, warns the team of international researchers, which conducted the research.

short is sweet: Marriage may give people a small boost in happiness. Researchers from US-based Michigan State University studied 24,000 married people over a 15-year period, focussing on their state of happiness. They found that, on average, most people were no more satisfied with life after two years of marriage than they were prior to it. According to the researchers, the results highlight that the process of adaptation determines how happy we are.

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