Did archaeologists find the oldest drawing made by humans?

latimes.com – In an ancient seaside cave on the South African coast, archaeologists have found what may be the earliest known drawing created by a human. This ancient piece of art is about 73,000 years old, and was probably created with a pointed piece of ochre.

Source: Christopher S. Henshilwood, et al. An abstract drawing from the 73,000-year-old levels at Blombos Cave, South Africa. Nature, 2018.

Centuries-Old Impact Crater Hidden Under Greenland Ice Sheet

geek.com – Researchers discovered an impact crater bigger than Paris buried beneath an ice sheet in northern Greenland. Measuring more than 31 kilometers (19 miles) in diameter, the cavity was formed when an iron meteorite …

Source: Kurt H. Kjær, et al. A large impact crater beneath Hiawatha Glacier in northwest Greenland. Science Advances, 2018.

Scientists Discover Potential Super-Earth Orbiting ‘Nearby’ Star

geek.com – A super-Earth-like exoplanet has been discovered orbiting the “nearby” Barnard’s Star (only six light-years away!). Spotted using data from a global array of telescopes—including the European Organization for Astronomical Research in the Southern …

Source: I. Ribas, et al. A candidate super-Earth planet orbiting near the snow line of Barnard’s star. Nature, 2018.

Adaptation to starchy diet, high altitudes helped ancient settlers survive

scienceblog.com – A multi-center study of the genetic remains of people who settled thousands of years ago in the Andes Mountains of South America reveals a complex picture

Source: John Lindo, et al. The genetic prehistory of the Andean highlands 7000 years BP though European contact. Science Advances, 2018.

First Americans “Leap-Frogged” Continents to Settle the Americas

discovermagazine.com – Native Americans' ancestors spread quickly through the Americas once they arrived, reaching South America's tip within a few thousand years.

Source: J. Víctor Moreno-Mayar, et al. Early human dispersals within the Americas. Science, 2018.

Don't count on vitamin D or fish oil supplements to reduce your risk of cancer or heart disease

latimes.com – A widely anticipated study has concluded that neither vitamin D nor fish oil supplements prevent cancer or serious heart-related problems in healthy older people.

Source: JoAnn E. Manson, et al. Vitamin D Supplements and Prevention of Cancer and Cardiovascular Disease. New England Journal of Medicine, 2018.

The world’s oldest figurative drawing depicts a wounded animal

arstechnica.com – The 40,000-year-old cave painting in a cave in Borneo depicts a speared animal.

Source: M. Aubert, et al. Palaeolithic cave art in Borneo. Nature, 2018.

Houston's urban sprawl increased rainfall, flooding during Hurricane Harvey

sciencedaily.com – Researchers found that Houston's urban landscape directly contributed to the torrential rainfall and deadly flooding of Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Houston's risk for extreme flooding was 21 times greater due to urbanization. The results highlight the human role in extreme weather events and the need to consider urban and suburban development when calculating hurricane risk.

Source: Wei Zhang, Gabriele Villarini, Gabriel A. Vecchi, James A. Smith. Urbanization exacerbated the rainfall and flooding caused by hurricane Harvey in Houston. Nature, 2018.

How people use music as a sleeping aid

zmescience.com – Music is free and doesn't have negative side effects, unlike sleeping aid drugs.

Source: Tabitha Trahan, Simon J. Durrant, Daniel Müllensiefen, Victoria J. Williamson, Stephany Fulda. The music that helps people sleep and the reasons they believe it works: A mixed methods analysis of online survey reports. PLOS ONE, 2018.

We Burn More Calories in the Afternoon and Evening, Study Finds

discovermagazine.com – Our resting metabolism appears to be controlled by a circadian rhythm that causes our bodies to burn more calories at night.

Source: Kirsi-Marja Zitting, et al. Human Resting Energy Expenditure Varies with Circadian Phase. Current Biology, 2018.