Turns out, so many people were seeking an answer that "we were swamped by over 3 million hits and our site crashed," said Jo Anne Van Tilburg, director of the Easter Island Statue Project, which had indeed been excavating two of the statues' buried bodies since 2010. Photos of the dig posted on the project website, and older photos taken of full-bodied Easter Island statues that were excavated in the 1950s, have been collected together in the chain email, driving that past surge of interest in the excavation project, and confusion about what's real. … [Read more...] about Do the Easter Island Heads Really Have Bodies?
The researchers also dispute the claim that Easter Island's human inhabitants were responsible for their own demise. Instead, they think the culprits may have been Europeans, who brought disease and took islanders away as slaves, and rats, which quickly multiplied after arriving with the first Polynesian settlers. … [Read more...] about View of Easter Island Disaster All Wrong, Researchers Say
"This could be very important for piecing the natural history of the island together," said research leader Jut Wynne, ecologist with the Colorado Plateau Research Station at Northern Arizona University and a Ph.D. candidate in biology at Northern Arizona University. … [Read more...] about New Species Discovered on Damaged Easter Island
Zika virus is spreading rapidly in Central and South America, and there have been a few cases in the United States among travelers who caught the virus overseas. Although the virus isn't spreading locally in the United States yet, it is possible that it will, because the mosquitoes that transmit the virus are common in some parts of the country, said Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. ("Spreading locally" means that mosquito bites an infected person, and then spreads the virus to another person in the vicinity.) … [Read more...] about Limited Zika Virus Outbreaks ‘Likely’ in US
Not only that, but scientists have a track record of success in making vaccines for such flaviviruses, which indicates that this family of viruses isn't completely impervious to vaccination, he said. There are currently vaccines against the flaviviruses that cause yellow fever and Japanese encephalitis, and these have paved the way for future vaccines against other flaviviruses, he said. … [Read more...] about As Zika Virus Rises, Vaccine Development Gets Attention