Science News

The Science of Laughter

What is laughter, after all?(Caroline, CC BY)
What is laughter, after all?(Caroline, CC BY)

Laughter is a part of our basic human nature. By embracing laughter, you give yourself permission to relax and look at life with a more...

  • Main Image: Jade discs, from China, that resemble modern-day CD's or donuts, and date to the late Neolithic Period, Liangzhu culture (3300-2250 BC), on display at the Smithsonian's Freer and Sackler galleries in Washington, D.C. (Screenshot/National Geographic/YouTube); Left: Two Jade discs. (Hiart via wikimedia commons).

    The Mysterious Origin of The Jade Discs

    In ancient China, dating back to at least 5,000 BC, large stone discs were placed on the bodies of Chinese aristocrats. Their original function still... Read more

  • Bristlecone Pines

    World’s Oldest Trees: 3,000 to 9,500 Years Old

    Many a tree has quietly, peacefully stood watching the changes of the Earth for thousands of years. Some of them are giants, declaring clearly their... Read more

  • Background: Vintage art showing drawings by Leonardo Da Vinci. (Shutterstock*) Bottom right: Drawing of Leonardo Da Vinci's water lifting devices. (Sailko via wikimedia commons)

    More Than 50 Ancient Greek Inventions Brought to Life Through Incredible Reconstructions

    A new museum dedicated to the advanced technological inventions of ancient Greek scientist Archimedes, has just opened up in Ancient Olympia, Greece, according to a... Read more

  • In this Oct. 1, 2013, photo third grade teacher Melissa Grieshober teaches a math lesson at Silver Lake Elementary School in Middletown, Del. Sometime in elementary school, you quit counting your fingers and just know the answer. Now scientists have put youngsters into brain scanners to find out why, and watched how the brain reorganizes itself as kids learn math. (AP Photo/Steve Ruark)

    Brain Scan Shows How Kids Learn Math Skills

    WASHINGTON—Sometime in elementary school, you quit counting your fingers and just know the answer. Now scientists have put youngsters into brain scanners to find out... Read more

  • Colin Gagich and Dominik Kaukinen (R), two McMaster University mechatronics students, are the makers of the physical HitchBOT. (David Cooper/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

    Charming Hitchhiking Robot Nears Its Final Destination

    TORONTO—He has dipped his boots in Lake Superior, crashed a wedding and attended an Aboriginal powwow. A talking, bucket-bodied robot has enthralled Canadians since it... Read more

  • "The goal is to find ways to produce some of the world's largest-volume chemicals from a sustainable carbon source that the Earth not only has in excess but urgently needs to reduce," says Tayhas Palmore. (Shutterstock*)

    Copper Foam Could Make Extra CO2 Useful

    A catalyst made from a foamy form of copper has vastly different electrochemical properties from catalysts made with smooth copper in reactions involving carbon dioxide,... Read more

  • "You can imagine a folded sheet of some material and popping in defects to make a stiff shield, or somehow deploying an object and giving it a rigid backbone," says Itai Cohen. (Jesse Silverberg/Cornell)

    Origami Could Let Engineers Create ‘Transformers’

    Researchers have discovered how to use a well-known origami folding pattern called the Miura-ori to control fundamental physical properties of any thin sheet of material... Read more

  • Perovskite, the latest magical substance. (Rob Lavinsky/, CC/BY-SA)

    Revolutionary Perovskite Solar Cells Could Be a Game Changer, but Questions Remain

    Whenever I tell people I work with solar cells I am asked the same two questions: are they ever going to be really cheap? And... Read more

  • Photo of dental implants (Screenshot/GeoBeats News/YouTube), believed to be 2300-years-old, were discovered in a furnished burial chamber in Le Chêne, France. (Shutterstock*)

    Archaeologists Discover 2,300-Year-Old Dental Implant in Iron Age Burial Chamber

    A study published in the journal Antiquity has revealed the discovery of an Iron Age tooth implant among the remains of a Celtic woman in... Read more

  • Tobacco plants are seen growing. (Photo by Kristian Dowling/Getty Images)

    Ebola Puts Focus on Drugs Made in Tobacco Plants

    NEW YORK — It’s an eye-catching angle in the story of an experimental treatment for Ebola: The drug comes from tobacco plants that were turned... Read more

  • Burial Chamber

    Best-Preserved Ancient Fruit Found in 4,000-Year-Old Burial Chamber: Honey’s Preservative Power

    An Early Bronze Age burial mound in Georgia, known as a kurgan, held in its depths astonishingly well preserved wild fruits. Sitting underground for thousands... Read more

  • Tourist entering one of the caves in the Yungang Grottoes. (Greir/Shutterstock*) Yungang Grottoes are one of the most spectacular highlights of buddhist art in China.

    Rescuing the Ancient Buddhist Artifacts of the Yungang Grottoes

    The Yungang Grottoes are ancient Chinese Buddhist temple grottoes near the city of Datong in the province of Shanxi. They are excellent examples of rock-cut... Read more

  • "One of the most fascinating facts about communication is that people do not always mean what they say—a crucial part of the listener's job is to understand an utterance even when its literal meaning is false," the researchers write. (Credit: Bradley Gordon/Flickr)

    How Numbers Help Us Spot Metaphors and Irony

    New research uses computer modeling to understand how people communicate with nonliteral language, such as metaphors, hyperboles, and exaggerated statements. The findings show that people... Read more

  • Graphene Foam

    Graphene Hybrid Foam Bounces Back

    A new graphene oxide foam is super strong and can bounce back after being stretched and compressed. In microscopic images, the foam dubbed “GO-0.5BN” looks... Read more

  • Human Cells

    This Can Make the Organs in Your Body Transparent

    Scientists have developed a way to see through tissues, organs, and even an entire body. The technique allows them to peer through the tissue—in 3-D—using... Read more

  • The new 3-D reconstructions include a person tossing confetti into the air, with each piece of paper tracked until it reaches the floor. In another case, confetti is fed into a fan, enabling a motion capture of the airflow. "You couldn't put markers on the paper without changing the flow," explains Hanbyul Joo. Above, a man swings a baseball bat. (Carnegie Mellon)

    How a Dome Full of Cameras Captures 3-D Motion

    Researchers have found ways of combining the views of 480 video cameras mounted in a two-story geodesic dome to perform large-scale 3-D motion reconstruction, including... Read more