Test your smarts on coral reefs a lost Japanese satellite and the

first_img April 4, 2016 Hobbits. Skeletons of these tiny homonin species were first found on the Indonesian island of Flores in 2003, and scientists have been debating where they fit in the human family tree ever since. One popular theory was that these hobbits weren’t a different species at all, but were just diseased humans. But according to the new estimate by the same scientists who found the original fossils, the hobbit lived between 60,000 and 100,000 years ago—some 10,000 years before modern humans even arrived in the region. Oklahoma. The new report by the U.S. Geological Survey shows that Oklahoma experienced 907 earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or higher last year. In the past, the Sooner State averaged fewer than two a year. That’s all thanks to the way the wastewater byproducts of fossil fuel production—including fracking—are disposed of: They’re injected into the ground, causing underground faults to shift and cause earthquakes. Most of these are too small to cause damage, but the report warns that these smaller tremors may have set off processes underground that set the stage for a larger, more damaging earthquake in the future. 750°C The “not” face. Scientists last week showed that native speakers of four different languages—English, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, and American Sign Language—all use the same furrowed brow and pursed lips to indicate disapproval, which the researchers call the “not” face. The authors say that these kinds of expressions may have evolved early on in human history—showing that humans have loved disagreeing with each other pretty much as long as we’ve been around. Akihiro Ikeshita/JAXA Score 0 How many brain cells were there in the new, largest-ever map of connections between neurons? Wear and tear from tree roots 50 days. Scientists have found that a specific temperature pattern in the northern Pacific Ocean often precedes deadly heat waves in the United States by up to 7 weeks. Such extreme weather events can usually only be predicted a few days ahead of time. Heat waves cause more than 600 deaths each year in the United States—and predicting them further in advance could give people more time to prepare and stay safe. 86 trillion The “come hither” face You 65 days Which Lord of the Ring–like fossil species was just revealed to be a separate species from humans? An error occurred loading the Quiz. Please try again later. Increasing pollution in the ocean 80°C Hobbits Pennsylvania 40,000 200. It may not seem like a lot, but mapping out the connections between even these 200 cells required 3700 tiny slices of a mouse’s visual cortex—a brain region no bigger than a dust mite. Teams of researchers then traced the spindly links between the cells through thousands of slices, ultimately producing one unified map. If they can speed up this mapping process, scientists say they might be able to learn how the brain’s structure enables us to sense, remember, think, and feel. An open-mouthed smile It’s falling through the atmosphere in a fiery blaze 70 days Results: You answered out of correctly – Click to revisit Orcs Average Japan’s space agency lost contact with one of its satellites early last week. What’s happening to the satellite now? 50 days Spread-apart limbs Coral Vogue says “white is in this year” 3 million Oregon In Yosemite National Park, massive slabs of rock can pop off the face of a cliff with little or no warning, putting climbers in danger. Why? 90 days Speaking of heat waves, how hot does the newly discovered “super-Earth” planet 55 Cancri e get? Start Quiz It was hijacked by Matt Damon, space pirate Researchers just found “one weird trick” that makes pictures in dating profiles more likely to attract a match. What is it? A new technique may let researchers predict heat waves up to how far in the future? 2400°C Elves It’s spinning in orbit. Starting 26 March, Japan’s space agency was unable to contact the Hitomi x-ray observatory, and a U.S.-based observation center reported that the satellite had broken into five different pieces. Hitomi, launched only a month ago to study the X-rays that black holes give off, is now spinning as it orbits Earth. But members of the space agency still hope to get back in touch with the satellite. A sweaty upper lip Changes in temperature. To understand more about Yosemite’s mystery rockfalls, scientists measured how a rock slab precariously attached to a cliff gets deformed. They found that even on normal, sunny days, the slab expands and contracts by 8 millimeters because of daily cycles in temperature. The research won’t do much to help climbers avoid rockfalls, but it does help geologists understand how such events can be triggered. An unusually warm El Niño Changes in humidity Too many rock climbers April 4, 2016 The Science Quiz The faster you answer, the higher your score! There’s a new reason why coral reefs worldwide are turning white. What is it? The “not” face A “not” face The “I just woke up, don’t even try to talk to me” face The “no way that’s true” face According to a report released last week, there’s a new earthquake hot spot in the United States. Where is it? An unusually warm El Niño. Corals have tiny algae that live inside them that give them their color—but when the water gets too warm, the algae pop off, leaving the coral bleached white. The Great Barrier Reef is just one of many reefs bleached because of the El Niño that started in late 2014. It’s the longest bleaching event ever, and this El Niño isn’t even close to being over. 2400°C—that’s hot enough to melt iron! The observation came last week from the Spitzer Space Telescope, which produced a map of temperatures on the planet, the first such map for a planet so small. (55 Cancri e has a diameter just twice that of Earth and weighs about nine times as much.) It’s so close to its parent star that its “year” is a mere 18 hours long. Plus, it’s “tidally locked” with its star, meaning the same part of the planet faces its star all year round. Ents It’s spinning in orbit Changes in temperature A massive underwater disease Question LOADING 0 / 10 What facial expression did researchers just find is understood all over the world? The Science Quiz 200 Oklahoma Spread-apart limbs. In both speed dating and dating applications, researchers found people are perceived as more attractive when they spread out their arms and legs. In speed dating, being just one point higher on a seven-point scale of “expansiveness” got people 76% more “yes” responses. And dating application profiles with widely spread limbs got 27% more matches than those with limbs held tight. Researchers say spreading out may indicate social dominance, making would-be lovers appear more desirable. Top Ranker Texas It’s safely back on Earth Time’s Up! 8000°C Share your scorelast_img

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