If you've ever walked through the jungle, you'll know it can be surprisingly dark down on the forest floor. You see trees soaring up all around. You're creating a dense canopy overhead. And climbing toward that canopy, snaking up the trees are the vines.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm John Dankosky. Chances are, without even realizing it, you've seen at least one infographic today. Did you catch the weather forecast this morning? Maybe you saw a rain cloud moving across a map of the U.S. Maybe you opened the paper to find pie charts of the latest poll results. Now those are infographics.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm John Dankosky. Ira Flatow is away. After nearly three weeks, the shutdown is finally over. The Smithsonian is open, national parks have opened up their gates, and federal labs all over the country are turning on their lights. But not everyone is back to business as usual. Many scientists who were about to start their field season in Antarctica had their trips cancelled or postponed.
Now, for many of us, we first heard about the Ebola virus from the movie "Outbreak," Dustin Hoffman trying to contain an outbreak of an Ebola-like virus in a small California town. Well, in the 18 years since that movie came out, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has documented 18 known outbreaks of Ebola, with the most recent happening last fall in the Congo.
Does the pain we feel from rejection and loss have the same effect as physical pain? How does our brain respond to social interactions? In his new book Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect , social neuroscientist Matthew Lieberman describes the biology behind how our brains engage with the social world.
Writing in Science , researchers say a 1.8 million-year-old skull found in Dmanisi, Georgia indicates that early humans may have evolved from a single lineage rather than from multiple species. Anthropologist Adam Van Arsdale tells us what this could mean for the way we view human evolution.
Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 3:21 pm
An elephant in Kenya's Tsavo East National Park, home to some 13,000 of these remarkable animals.
Credit Ivan Lieman / AFP/Getty Images
According to an article published last week in Current Biology, African elephants in captivity "can use human pointing clues to find hidden food." Elephants aren't great at this. But they are as good as human 2-year-olds. And that's pretty good.
The bottom line: You can show an elephant where you hid the food by pointing.
Researchers excavated the remains of five creatures who lived 1.8 million years ago, including this adult male skull. The excavation site, in Georgia in the former Soviet Union, was home to a remarkable cache of bones.