SciTech Briefs

Credit: Anna Boyle/ Credit: Anna Boyle/

23,000 year-old evidence of homo sapiens discovered

A rock shelter in Santa Elina, Central Brazil is now the interest of archeologists and historians. It may have just provided evidence of the rst people to live in North and South America.

Excavations of this site reveal that it is one of the earliest occupied regions in the area; however, it seems people also migrated away from the shelter during certain seasons.
After exploring the three layers of sediment at the site, researchers discovered clues of human interac- tion with the now extinct sloth species Glossotherium. They unearthed remains of hearths, bones, and sloth skin ornaments.

After using three different dating methods, scientists say that humans were present at this site nearly 23,000 years ago which is well before the presence of Clovis hunters — commonly thought of as North America’s first culture.

The National Museum of Natural History in Paris was responsible for dating the bone ornaments and an article was published in Cambridge University’s archaeology journal Antiquity.

Source: Ancient News

Hurricane Harvey reduced Houston elevation by 2 cm

Hurricane Harvey dumped nearly 33 trillion gallons of water on the area of Houston it hit, pushing the city’s elevation down by 2 cm. Chris Milliner, a post-doctoral fellow at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, shared a tweet showing the depression the land underwent.

This change in elevation could be because of the soil compacting under the immense weight; yet, stations located on bedrock also reduced in height, which suggests the depression was caused by crust deformation. This may have also elevated areas outside Houston.

The effect of water’s weight on the crust isn’t permanent or unheard of. It will be interesting to see how fast the Houston’s elevation rebounds, given that it was already sinking — a result of humans channeling groundwater out of aquifers under the city.

Source: The Atlantic

Startup Lilium just secured $90 mil to develop its flying car

Munich-based aviation start-up Lilium published a press-release that announced the completion of its $90 million Series B funding round. Lilium intends to use this funding to build a commercially ying, a five- seater Lilium Jet, and expand its team beyond 70 employees.

This announcement comes after the successful test-run of their two-seater prototype aircraft. The electric “mini-jet” can hover, land, take-off vertically, and y like an airplane. Lilium’s vision is to someday transport passengers, who would using a ride-hailing app, across cities and specified buildings. It is valuable to note that these air mobiles are no louder than an average motorbike and can fly at speeds of 187 mph on a single charge.

The investors include Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom , Tencent — the largest internet company in Asia — and Obvious Ventures — Twitter cofounder and former CEO Ev Williams’s venture rm. With this fund- ing, Lilium’s total backing for its car surpasses $100 million.

Source: Business Insider