Archaeologists uncover Egyptian mummies with golden tongues

Egyptian archaeologists have discovered ancient tombs containing mummies with golden tongues in their mouths – a possible mythological token to the afterlife.

Authorities say a number of mummies were found in Qewaisna necropolis, a burial site in Egypt with hundreds of tombs from different periods in the country’s history.

It’s thought their real tongues would have been removed during embalming and replaced with the gold object so the deceased could speak to Osiris in the afterlife.

In Egyptian mythology, Osiris is the ‘Lord of the Underworld’ and judge of the dead, and one of the most important gods of ancient Egypt.

According to the myth, Osiris, god of the deceased, was killed and hacked into pieces that were scattered across Egypt.

Isis, the sister and wife of Osiris, was able to resurrect him after finding all of the pieces and making her husband whole again.

It is believed the presence of a gold tongue may have allowed the dead to convince Osiris to show mercy on their soul.

According to Dr Mustafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council for Archeology, the mummies are in a poor state of preservation.

Some of them were found with golden tongues in their months, while others were covered with thin sheets of gold and placed in wooden coffins.

Others still were glazed with gold on the bone directly underneath the linen wraps used in the embalming process.

Also found were gold chips fashioned to take the form of cockroaches and lotus flowers, as well as a number of funeral ornaments, stone mortars and pottery, also likely used for embalming.

The discoveries were announced on the Facebook page of Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.

It’s unclear how many mummies have been newly found or how many of them had golden tongues; MailOnline has contacted the ministry for more information.

The new discoveries were unearthed in an extension of the Qwaisana Archeological Compound, which includes archaeological tombs dating back to different time periods.

Three different levels at the compound show burial habits that are different from each other, the ministry added.

Gold tongues made from foil are commonly found among ancient Egyptian mummies.

In February last year, researchers reported the discovery of a golden-tongued mummy at Taposiris Magna, a 2,000-year-old burial site in Egypt.

The Taposiris Magna Temple, whose name means ‘great tomb of Osiris’, is located near the Egyptian city of Alexandria, once the country’s capital.

It’s also the suspected location of Cleopatra, Egypt’s last pharaoh and one of the most famous queens in history.

Earlier this month, archeologists revealed they’d discovered an underground tunnel beneath the temple that likely leads to her long-lost tomb.

Two years ago, they reported the discovery of the mummies of two high-status ancient Egyptians, one male and one female.

These two mummies were also found in a poor state of preservation because water had seeped into the tomb.

But they were originally covered with gold leaf, a luxury reserved for only the top members of society’s elite, suggesting they personally interacted with Cleopatra.

Earlier this year, another team of researchers claimed they found the oldest known mummies in the Sado Valley, Portugal, dating back 8,000 years.

Soft tissue is no longer preserved and the bodies are completely skeletonised, meaning that the Sado Valley bodies are not in a mummified state any longer.

Technically, a mummy is a dead human or an animal whose soft tissues and organs have been preserved.

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    This push is part of the Government’s wider green agenda to cut household energy usage by 15 percent before 2030. Among the products and services which can be paid for include the installation of loft and cavity wall insulation.

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  • 18 часов, 13 минут назад 26.11.2022Science
    Russia set to strike new nuclear deal with India in major investment drive to deepen ties

    Russia has unveiled a new plan to boost the energy efficiency of Russian-built nuclear reactors in India, as the two countries deepen energy ties. Rosatom, Russia’s state-backed nuclear company has reportedly offered new technologies and solutions for the nuclear fuel cycle in India’s reactors. These improvements are set to boost the energy efficiency of the atomic reactors at the Kudankulam power project in Tamil Nadu, South India. Despite Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine in February this year, New Delhi and Moscow have been deepening their energy ties, much to the West’s chagrin.

    Alexander Ugryumov, the senior vice-president for research and development at TVEL, Rosatom’s fuel division, unveiled the new upgrades during a conference in India earlier this week.

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    According to Hindustan Times, despite the war in Ukraine, Moscow has continued supplying vital components to build the 1000-MW nuclear reactors.

    Rosatom added that these new solutions and technologies include new models of nuclear fuel, solutions for higher uranium enrichment and technologies for a closed nuclear fuel cycle.

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    Mr Ugryumov noted that this new nuclear fuel, which has an enrichment level of over 5 percent, would allow the Indian reactors to operate for longer 24-month fuel cycles, which would have a significant economic impact.

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    Rosatom also highlighted the Advanced Technology Fuel (ATF) programme, which is looking to develop and test new fuel materials tipped to be much safer.

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    India and Russia’s partnership on nuclear energy has a long history, with the Soviet Union first supplying New Delhi with nuclear reactors and fuel after it was hit with sanctions from the West for its refusal to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.

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    The decree also gave Rosneft, a Russian state-run company, the authority to decide whether foreign shareholders including India’s ONGC Videsh can retain their participation in the project.

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  • 18 часов, 13 минут назад 26.11.2022Science
    OVO Energy urges Britons to make ‘essential’ boiler change to slash bills this winter

    OVO, a major UK energy supplier, has urged Britons to repair their boilers as a way to slash energy bills this winter. Hailing the move as an “essential money saver”, the company announced that it would expand its “cheapest on-demand boiler service” to include households across the UK. This comes as OVO, the UK’s third largest supplier found in a new survey that over two-thirds of Britons (68 percent) always put off maintenance work on their boiler. In the poll, 59 percent of households admitted that they have been meaning to get the chore done for over a year, while 46 percent have been putting it off for two years.

    However, OVO, which also owns SSE, noted that “a regularly serviced boiler can reduce long-term expenses”, adding that such maintenance is also generally cheaper than costly one-off repairs and replacements.

    Another benefit to servicing your boiler is that it can use less energy to heat your home if running efficiently, and it is better equipped to withstand cold spells in winter.

    Research from the heating hub has found that a boiler that is 10 years old wastes about 15 to 20 percent of energy on running itself, while about a quarter of the energy is lost on boilers that are 20 years old.

    To incentivise more Britons to repair their boilers, OVO Energy has announced that it is expanding its new boiler service, which it has as the “cheapest on-demand boiler service across the UK”.

    This service was first trialled in October 2022, with almost 2,000 participants, and offered households on-demand service so consumers can book easily and at a time that suits them.

    OVO noted that this scheme is “currently the cheapest on-demand service on the market at only £79, offering boiler services, gas safety certificates and heating repairs.”

    Following the success of the trial, OVO announced that it would expand the service to cover all of England, Scotland and Wales.

    The service, which will help households keep their boiler running efficiently this winter, is open to anyone, not just OVO customers, and can be booked in a matter of seconds via the website.

    OVO added that their “unique” scheme makes them the only supplier in the market that provides “a confirmed appointment for a boiler service or repair through a fully digital seamless and hassle-free experience with no back and forth.”

    Jason Howie, MD of Home Services, OVO said: “A healthy boiler is essential for effective heating and protecting households from cold spells this winter.

    “Our new on-demand service represents great value and an effective measure for all households – OVO customer or not – to benefit from a service that can extend their boiler’s life through an easy-to-use, digital service.”

    This comes as earlier this month, OVO announced a groundbreaking new trial that will see innovative Zero Emissions Boilers installed as part of UK Power Networks’ project Neat Heat, in the South East and East of England.

    The project sees OVO, Distribution Network Operator UK Power Networks, and UK clean tech company Tepeo come together to provide real-world data on how Tepeo’s innovative new solution interacts with the electricity network.

    The ZEBs are a low-carbon alternative to a gas or oil boiler, providing the same heating service, but without the associated emissions.

    The boiler works like a battery to store heat efficiently, until needed, charging at the cheapest and greenest times of the day to help households cut down their usage and in turn, their energy bills.

    During the trial, which will last for 12 months from the point the customer signs up, participants could cut their carbon emissions by up to 40 percent year-on-year.

  • 1 день, 8 часов назад 26.11.2022Science
    Humans and octopuses descended from SAME animal that lived 518 million years ago

    Octopuses and humans descended from the same primitive worm-like animal that lived 518 million years ago, and this could be why the eight-limbed creatures are highly intelligent.

    The creature, known as Facivermis yunnanicus, is the earliest known example of animals evolving to lose body parts it no longer needed and was minimally intelligent.

    A new study led by Max Delbruck Centre, Berlin found octopuses’ brains are similar to humans because the marine animal has a variety of gene regulators called microRNAs (miRNAs) in their neural tissue comparable to the number in vertebrates.

    The findings suggest miRNAs, a type of RNA gene, play a fundamental role in developing complex brains.

    And this is ‘what connects us to the octopus,’ co-author Professor Nikolaus Rajewsky said in a statement to SWS.

    Octopuses are renowned for being clever. They can use tools, carry coconut shells for shelter, stack rocks to protect their dens and use jellyfish tentacles for defense, SWNS reports.

    Scientists have long studied the intelligence of octopuses, watching them learn to solve puzzles and open screw-top jars.

    Recently they were even filmed throwing rocks and shells at each other.

    Octopuses belong to a group known as cephalopods – which also include squid and cuttlefish.

    The study analyzed 18 different tissue samples from dead octopuses and identified 42 novel miRNA families – mainly in the brain.

    The genes were conserved during cephalopod evolution – being of functional benefit to the animals.

    ‘There was indeed a lot of RNA editing going on, but not in areas that we believe to be of interest,’ said Rajewsky.

    ‘The most interesting discovery was the dramatic expansion of a well-known group of RNA genes, microRNAs.

    A total of 42 novel miRNA families were found – specifically in neural tissue and mostly in the brain.’

    Given that these genes were conserved during cephalopod evolution, the team concludes they were beneficial to the animals and functionally essential.

    Lead author Dr Grygoriy Zolotarov, from the same lab, said: ‘This is the third largest expansion of microRNA families in the animal world, and the largest outside of vertebrates.

    ‘To give you an idea of the scale, oysters, which are also mollusks, have acquired just five new microRNA families since the last ancestors they shared with octopuses – while the octopuses have acquired 90.’

    Oysters are not precisely known for their intelligence, added Rajewsky, whose fascination with octopuses began years ago while visiting the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California.

    He explained: ‘I saw this creature sitting on the bottom of the tank, and we spent several minutes – so I thought – looking at each other.

    ‘It’s not very scientific, but their eyes do exude a sense of intelligence.’ Octopuses have similarly complex ‘camera’ eyes to humans.

    They are unique among invertebrates, with both a central brain and a peripheral nervous system capable of acting independently.

    If an octopus loses a tentacle, the tentacle remains sensitive to touch and can still move.

    Octopuses are alone in having developed such complex brain functions because they use their arms very purposefully.

    The creatures use them as tools to open shells or as a weapon to spat at predators.

    They are also very curious and can remember things. They can recognize people and like some more than others.

    It is believed they even dream since they change their color and skin structures while sleeping.

    Rajewsky said: ‘They say if you want to meet an alien, go diving and make friends with an octopus.’

    Rajewsky is now planning to join forces with other experts to form a European network that will allow a greater exchange.

  • 1 день, 10 часов назад 25.11.2022Science
    Plastic pollution in the ANTARCTIC is now as bad as everywhere else on Earth

    Scientists have discovered that plastic pollution in Antarctica is as bad as everywhere else on the planet.

    The University of Oxford team found microplastics in the air, seawater and sea ice in the Weddell Sea near the South Pole.

    These took the form of fibrous polyesters, which originate from textiles made of synthetic materials like polyester and acrylic.

    Most of the microfibres were found in air samples, meaning that Antarctic animals and seabirds could very well be breathing them in.

    Co-author Professor Lucy Woodall said: ‘Our discovery of microplastics in seabed sediment samples has revealed evidence of a plastic sink in the depths of the Antarctic waters.

    ‘Yet again we have seen that plastic pollution is being transported great distances by wind, ice and sea currents.

    ‘The results of our research collectively demonstrate the vital importance of reducing plastic pollution globally.’

    Microplastics have been making the headlines in recent years as they become more and more prevalent in our environment.

    They have been detected in the bodies of animals on land and sea, fruit and vegetables, seafood and drinking water.

    The tiny fragments have worryingly made it to the human body, with scientists reporting them in our lungs, blood and faeces.

    Experts are worrying about their health consequences, as they have been linked to allergies and inflammatory bowel disease.

    They are being found in more and more remote locations, like the deep sea and mountain air, as well as those closer to home.

    A study from this year revealed that microplastic pollution in the Arctic is as extensive as in the rest of the planet.

    Large quantities of microplastics can now be found in the water, on the seafloor, remote beaches, in rivers and even in ice and snow in the polar region.

    In June, it was revealed that had been detected in freshly fallen Antarctic snow for the first time, after being found in sea ice a few years prior.

    The Oxford scientists drew their new conclusion about microplastic prevalence in Antarctica using samples taken while trying to locate Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ship, the Endurance.

    These included sediment samples retrieved at depths ranging from 1,060 to 1,740 feet (323 to 530 metres) below the surface of the Weddell Sea.

    All were studied using a range of state-of-the-art techniques, including an adhesive tape used in forensic investigations that could identify the polymer type.

    Their findings, published in Frontiers in Marine Science, revealed that fibrous polyesters were found in all samples.

    These are known to originate from our clothes, but also fishing gear like nets and ropes.

    The concentration of microplastics was far higher in sea ice than in other sample types, and research has shown they are being trapped as layers of it freeze every year.

    Dr Mánus Cunningham, a co-lead author of the study said: ‘Sea ice is mobile, can travel vast distances and reach the permanent ice shelves of the Antarctica continent where it can be trapped indefinitely with its gathered microplastic pollutants.’

    He believes sea ice could be considered ‘one of the main transporters of microplastics within the Antarctic region’.

    Previously, it was thought that the polar front associated with an ocean current flowing around Antarctica protected the region from airborne microplastics.

    The current, which is the strongest on Earth, is called the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC), and also provides a barrier to heat that keeps warm waters away.

    However, the researchers modelled the region’s air trajectories, and found that high concentrations came from air masses originating over southern South America.

    Professor Woodall added: ‘The issue of microplastic fibres is also an airborne problem reaching even the last remaining pristine environments on our planet.

    ‘Synthetic fibres are the most prevalent form of microplastic pollution globally and tackling this issue must be at the heart of the Plastic Treaty negotiations.’

    The researchers hope their results will inform next week’s negotiations in Uruguay on a global treaty to end plastic pollution, hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme.

  • 1 день, 10 часов назад 25.11.2022Science
    Video captures the moon photobombing the sun

    The moon carried out the ultimate photobomb this week when it moved in front of the sun and blocked the blazing surface with a dark silhouette as a satellite watched nearby.

    The sun-observing GOES satellite and its SUVI (Solar Ultraviolet Imager) instrument captured the cosmic show while observing the sun’s hot outer atmosphere or corona.

    The photobomb was a solar eclipse that was only visible in space and lasted for several hours.

    The satellite observes solar emissions that act as warning signs of solar flares, which can cause blackouts on Earth, and captured a filament erupting at the northwestern limb near the pole once the moon disappeared.

    ‘Still, we might see isolated periods of geomagnetic storming at the G1 (minor) level due to the influence of high-speed solar wind from a coronal hole,’ EarthSky reports.

    The moon casted a silhouette between 10:30 to 12:00 UTC on November 23.

    An image of the moon blocking part of the sun was shared on Twitter, where one user said, ‘the moon looks like it is taking a bite out of the sun.’

    Observations of solar emissions aid in the early detection of solar flares, coronal mass ejections (CMEs), and other phenomena that impact the geospace environment.

    The early warning given when SUVI observes a solar eruption comes at least 15 hours before the associated CME arrives at Earth.

    CMEs are large expulsions of plasma and magnetic fields from the sun’s corona.

    They can eject billions of tons of coronal material and carry an embedded magnetic field (frozen in flux) stronger than the background solar wind interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) strength.

    While this eclipse was not seen on Earth, those in the US witnessed a stunning cosmic display of a reddish-hued moon hanging in the dark sky on November 8.

    Known as a blood moon, it occurs when Earth’s shadow cloaks the moon and blocks the reflection of all direct sunlight – this causes the moon’s color to dim and turn a coppery red.

    Peak totality – the eclipse stage where the moon is entirely in Earth’s shadow – occurred around 5:00 am ET.

    The large, red moon was seen over New York City, Washington DC, Virginia and other parts of the US until it returned to its silvery color about two hours later.

    Tuesday’s event marks the second blood moon this year, following one in mid-May, and the next one is not expected until March 14, 2025.

    The eclipse was also visible across eastern Asia, Australia, the Pacific, South America and all of North America.

    Skywatchers in Asia and Australia saw it with their evening moonrise.

    At the same time, the spectacle played out for observers in other parts of North America in the early morning hours before the moon set.

    And it was visible to the naked eye wherever skies were clear in those regions.

    The entire eclipse unfolded over nearly six hours as the moon gradually edged into the Earth’s paler outer shadow, its ‘penumbra,’ then entered the Earth’s darker inner shadow, or ‘umbra,’ before reaching totality and eventually emerging from the other side.

    NASA said the moon was 242,740 miles from Earth during this lunar event that lasted about 90 minutes.

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Science Archaeologists uncover Egyptian mummies with golden tongues