what's the buzz

what's the buzz

Megaliths similar to Stonehenge found

Nine new megaliths discovered in a remote part of Dartmoor, England, bears strong similarities with the famous Stonehenge. Experts are of the opinion that the megaliths, which were recently carbon-dated to around 3500 BC, could predate Stonehenge.

However, the stones at both sites seem to be aligned to mark the rising of the midsummer sun and the setting of the midwinter sun. The alignment strikes as strange, as ancient Brits were not necessarily sun worshippers. Also, another Dartmoor
stone monument, called Drizzlecombe, shares the same orientation.

Archaeologist Mike Pitts, editor of British Archaeology, said that “huge quantities of barbecued juvenile pig bones” were found near Stonehenge.It apparently indicates that the animals were born in the spring and killed not far from the site “for pork feasting” in midwinter.

It is speculated that the feasting was a post-funeral ritual.“The general feeling is that the sun was symbolising or marking the occasion, rather than being the ritual focus itself, so it probably was not sun worship,” said Pitts.

Lightning-like electricity makes mushrooms multiply

When exposed to lightning-like electricity, mushrooms start multiplying, according to an ongoing research. For decades, farmers in Japan have welcomed storms over their fields, as they believe that lightning strikes provoke plentiful harvests of mushrooms, which are staples of Japanese cuisine.

Now, in four-year study, boffins in northern Japan bombarded a variety of mushrooms in lab-based garden plots with artificially induced lightning to see if electricity actually makes the fungi multiply.

The results showed that lightning-strength jolts of electricity can more than double the yield of certain mushroom species compared with conventional cultivation methods.

“We have tried these experiments with 10 types of mushroom so far and have found that it is effective in eight species,” said Koichi Takaki, an associate professor in engineering at Iwate University.

“We saw the best effects in shiitake and nameko mushrooms, while we also tested reishi mushrooms, which are not edible but are used in certain types of traditional Chinese medicine,” he said.

Skin cancer cure found

A group of researchers has claimed to have found a cure for skin cancer. A vaccine, which attacks tumour cells, leaving healthy cells undamaged and carries agents that boost the body’s response to skin cancer, is being tested in the UK. And up till now, it has apparently helped some patients fully recover from melanoma, even in its advanced stages.

Dr Howard Kaufman, of Chicago’s Rush University Medical Centre, said: “Our study shows we may have a cure for some advanced melanoma patients and a drug which has real benefits for others”. “This will save thousands of lives a year.”