Science News

Study Claims Cave Art Made by Neanderthals

Speleologist Carlos Lopez looks at 42,000 years old paintings of seals, previously believed to be the only artistic images created by Neanderthal man. (Jorge Guerrero/AFP/Getty Images)
Speleologist Carlos Lopez looks at 42,000 years old paintings of seals, previously believed to be the only artistic images created by Neanderthal man. (Jorge Guerrero/AFP/Getty Images)

BERLIN— A series of lines scratched into rock in a cave near the southwestern tip of Europe could be proof that Neanderthals were more intelligent...




  • Scientists built their own apparatus in a basement lab. It is an elaborate tangle of wires, computers, electrical components, tabletop mirrors, and a cryogenic refrigeration unit. "If you wanted to put a picture of something high-tech in the dictionary, this is what it might look like," Dave DeMille says. "It's deeply orderly, but with a bit of chaos." (Michael Helfenbein)

    Chilly Molecules Pave Way for ‘Ultracold’ Science

    Physicists have chilled molecules to almost absolute zero using lasers fired from an apparatus they built in the lab. The molecules—bits of strontium monofluoride (SrF)—are... Read more

  • "It's an exciting moment for physics. A positive result will open a whole new avenue of questioning about how space works," says Aaron Chu. (Shutterstock*)

    ‘Quantum Jitter’ to Reveal if We Live in a Hologram

    In a new experiment called the “Holometer,” scientists are trying to answer some seemingly odd questions, including whether or not we live in a hologram... Read more

  • "The central assumption of plate tectonics assumes the plates are rigid, and this is what we make predictions from," Richard Gordon says. "Up until now, it's worked really well." (NASA)

    Tectonic Plates in the Pacific Are Not so Rigid

    The tectonic plate that dominates the Pacific “Ring of Fire” may not be as rigid as many scientists have assumed. New research suggests that cooling... Read more

  • "It's been a constant pursuit for decades to make low-cost electrocatalysts with high activity and long durability," says Hongjie Dai. "When we found out that a nickel-based catalyst is as effective as platinum, it came as a complete surprise." (fdecomite/Flickr)

    AAA Battery Powers Cheap Water Splitter

    A new device uses a regular AAA battery to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen gas could power fuel cells in zero-emissions vehicles... Read more

  • "We wanted to study how the brain changes its activity when you learn, and also how its activity cannot change. Cognitive flexibility has a limit—and we wanted to find out what that limit looks like in terms of neurons," says Aaron P. Batista. (Shutterstock*)

    Neurons Reveal the Brain’s Learning Limit

    Scientists have discovered a fundamental constraint in the brain that may explain why it’s easier to learn a skill that’s related to an ability you... Read more

  • "These diamonds are incredibly small, on the order of a few nanometers and are invisible to the human eye and even to an optical microscope," Joshua Razink says. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/Flickr)

    Did Exploding Comet Leave Trail of Nanodiamonds?

    Tiny diamonds invisible to the human eye—but confirmed by microscope—add weight to a theory first proposed in 2007 that a comet that exploded over North... Read more

  • Neurons in the mouse motor cortex (green) project to the auditory cortex. As the mouse moves, these neurons suppress activity in the auditory cortex. (Anders Nelson/Duke)

    Why Trying to Listen Makes Us Freeze in Place

    To listen to someone carefully, we first stop talking and then stop moving entirely. This strategy helps us hear better because it cuts unwanted sounds... Read more

  • Paleobiologist Richard Norris and his team have solved the mystery behind the sailing stones in California's Death Valley. (AOL Screenshot)

    Incredible Death Valley Mystery Finally Solved (Video)

    A mystery in Death Valley National Park that has puzzled scientists and park visitors for decades has finally been solved. Across a dry lake in... Read more

  • (Shutterstock*)

    6,500-Year-Old Oven With Heating, Hot Water System Is Similar to Modern Technology

    Archaeologists in Croatia made an incredible discovery during an excavation at a Neolithic site in Bapska, which experts say is one of the most important... Read more

  • This undated photo provided by the National Park Service shows rocks that have moved across a dry lake bed in Death Valley National Park in California's Mojave Desert. For years scientists have theorized about how the large rocks —some weighing hundreds of pounds —zigzag across Racetrack Playa leaving long trails etched in the earth. Now two researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography have photographed these "sailing rocks" being blown by light winds across the former lake bed. Cousins Richard Norris and James Norris say the movement is made possible when ice sheets that form after rare overnight rains melt in the rising sun, making the hard ground muddy and slick. (AP Photo/National Park Service)

    Death Valley’s Moving Rocks: Mystery Solved

      DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK, Calif.—For years scientists have theorized about how large rocks — some weighing hundreds of pounds — zigzag across Racetrack Playa... Read more

  • This July 28, 2014 photo shows Clive Pai, a University of Illinois, Chicago physical therapy professor, left, watching as researchers affix sensors to Mary Kaye, 81 before she demonstrates a treadmill balance session at the school in Chicago. Kaye, who is supported by a safety harness, walks on a lab-built walkway that causes people to unexpectedly trip and can teach them quickly how to catch themselves and avoid falling. Falls in the elderly cost $30 billion yearly to treat and can send them spiraling into poor health and disability. Pai who came up with the idea calls it "a vaccine against falls" and says his research shows that older people's brains can learn and adapt much more quickly than previously thought. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

    Tripping Seniors on Purpose to Stop Future Falls

    CHICAGO — Researchers are tripping seniors on purpose, and it’s not some kind of warped practical joke. The experiment is among techniques being studied to... Read more

  • Ten-year-old Noah Cordle says at first he thought it was a crab that hit his foot while he was walking on a New Jersey Beach, but it was actually a 10,000-year-old arrowhead. (AOL Screenshot)

    Boy Finds 10,000-Year-Old Arrowhead (Video)

    A ten-year-old boy playing on a New Jersey beach has unearthed a 10,000-year-old arrowhead possibly used by ancient Native Americans to spear fish or hunt... Read more

  • Stonehenge

    15 Previously Unknown Monuments Discovered Underground in Stonehenge Landscape

    A groundbreaking new survey of Stonehenge and its surrounds has revealed fifteen previously unknown Neolithic monuments underground, according to a new report released by the... Read more

  • Researchers in Britain, working with experts at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archaeological Prospection and Virtual Archaeology in Austria have created the first underground survey of Stonehenge. (AOL Screenshot)

    Scientists Look for Clues Underneath Stonehenge (Video)

    There are many mysteries surrounding the ancient monuments at Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England. Researchers in Britain, working with experts at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for... Read more

  • (Shutterstock*)

    This Could Explain Why Older Adults Can’t Sleep

    A loss of neurons in a part of the brain that serves as an on/off switch for sleep may explain why so many older adults... Read more

  • Main image: Sunset over Lands End in Cornwall. (Shutterstock*); Top left: Wondering rabbit (ForestWander via Wikimedia Commons)

    Ancient Relics Unearthed by Rabbits Leads to Discovery of Treasure Trove

    In February last year, a family of rabbits won some favor amongst archaeologists in England when they dug up an ancient artifact in Cornwall. Researchers... Read more


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