What makes one person more creative than another? Creativity is hard to define and perhaps even more difficult to measure, but scientists think they’ve come up with a remarkably simple way of assessing at least one aspect of it. It’s a test that you can take yourself in a couple of minutes, and it works
In the hands of a trained archeologist, a well-preserved grave can be read like an obituary, detailing the health, death, travels and even fortunes of a life long gone. Advances in technology have been pushing the limits on how well-preserved a body needs to be in order for experts to extract a biography. In the case
Archaeologists have discovered the 2,200-year-old wreck of an ancient Egyptian ship that sank after being struck with giant blocks from the famous temple of Amun. The so-called galley, along with a burial ground, were discovered beneath the Mediterranean Sea in Thonis-Heracleion, a city that fell into the water long ago. The ship is called a
Once early humans figured out how to tame a wild flame – to cook food, warm the camp, extend daylight, and keep predators away – some scientists think the skill spread like wildfire. If they’re right, it means early human populations right across Africa, Europe, and Asia were trading knowledge at least 400,000 years ago.
In a strange turn of events, researchers in Mexico have announced they plan to rebury an unusual archaeological monument found in the outskirts of Mexico City – covering up an important historical discovery until some unknown time in the future. The discovery in question is a tunnel built centuries ago as part of the Albarradón
In 2018, a message in a bottle dating back to 1886 – 132 years ago – was found half-buried in the sand of a Western Australian beach. According to its contents, it spent more than a century swimming around, before it was discovered nearly 950 kilometres (590 miles) from where it was thrown off a
Spanish prison authorities were baffled after a prisoner who was declared dead by three separate doctors woke up in the morgue – just hours before his own autopsy was set to commence. The prisoner, then-29-year-old Gonzalo Montoya Jiménez, was found unresponsive in his cell during a morning roll call on 7 January 2018 and had
Average life expectancy in the US plummeted by a year and a half in 2020 – the largest single-year decline since World War II, according to a new report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Life expectancy went from nearly 79 years in 2019 to just over 77 years in 2020, the report found.
Scientists on Thursday unveiled the most exhaustive database yet of the proteins that form the building blocks of life, in a breakthrough observers said would “fundamentally change biological research”. Every cell in every living organism is triggered to perform its function by proteins that deliver constant instructions to maintain health and ward off infection. Unlike
One of the most important open questions in science is how our consciousness is established. In the 1990s, long before winning the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics for his prediction of black holes, physicist Roger Penrose teamed up with anesthesiologist Stuart Hameroff to propose an ambitious answer. They claimed that the brain’s neuronal system forms
The Tollund Man is one of the most famous ‘bog bodies’ ever discovered in northern Europe. Even though the 30- to 40-year-old human was buried in a bog more than 2,400 years ago, the acidic peat has mummified his body to a remarkable degree, preserving his hair, brain, skin, nails, and intestines – even the
At the bottom of the Treporti Channel, meters beneath the waves of the Venetian Lagoon, a series of surprising ancient structures has just been uncovered. Aligned for a distance of around 1,200 meters (3,937 feet), they suggest that, once upon a time, before sea levels rose and flooded the area, a Roman-era road stretched across
By now you might have heard the factoid that modern humans share a pretty large chunk of our genomes with bananas. But delving down much deeper, how much of our genome is uniquely Homo sapiens. A new study has suggested that number could be as small as 1.5 percent, with the rest being shared with our
Many people suffer from acne during puberty and adulthood. It is often said that some foods, like chocolate, can aggravate acne. Is there any truth to this – can diet really affect acne? We asked five experts in dermatology, acne, and microbiology if diet can make acne worse; here is what they said. What is acne?
After an impressive start, vaccination rates in the United States have begun to plateau, even though there’s more than enough medicine to go around and a dangerous variant on the loose. If the nation is to reach President Biden’s goal of vaccinating 70 percent of the public, some researchers say we need to start appealing
A cup of mud that has been buried beneath the floor of a cave for millennia has just yielded up the genome of an ancient human. Analysis reveals traces of a woman who lived 25,000 years ago, before the last Ice Age; and, although we don’t know much about her, she represents a significant scientific
In a time rife with disasters, when more people than ever can find an audience online, conspiracy theories seem to be growing more outrageous by the day. We’re also more prone to believing such things under heightened stress, which is unfortunate given how damaging many of these ideas are proving to our democracies and each
In our daily lives, we spend a lot more time tapping at a screen and typing on a keyboard than writing with pencil and pen, so does handwriting tuition still offer anything useful? Absolutely, according to a new study. Researchers tasked 42 adult volunteers with learning the Arabic alphabet from scratch: some through writing it
A rare group of humans known as “superagers” can grow up without their minds growing old. Even in their 60s, 70s, and 80s, a lucky few maintain incredibly youthful memories, recalling new experiences, events, and situations just as well as people decades younger. New research now suggests that’s because their brains have somehow resisted the
We know that our minds can imagine faces everywhere there’s a hint of two eyes and a nose – from cloud formations to car bonnets to plug sockets – and it’s technically known as face pareidolia. A new study gives us insight into what’s actually going on in the brain when this happens. Scientists wanted