Discover delivers entertaining, relevant, and thought-provoking science content that feeds the mind and fuels the imagination. With more than five million readers, Discover is the leading science magazine aimed at the general public, covering topics ranging from global warming and black holes to Neanderthals and robots.
Plants, they're just like us.
We begin our lives as, really, parasites. A baby may bring some joy into the world, but it's not contributing much beyond that. It takes feeding, cleaning, protecting, teaching and money to polish a human being into something approaching societal worth. After all, David Attenborough wouldn't have been Sir David Attenborough without Frederick and Mary.Blakea attenboroughi shares at least one thing with its namesake — they both needed a bit of help to get off t
You don't need hands to be right- or left-handed. Many kinds of animals have shown a preference for using one side of their body or the other. They include apes, whales, dogs, cats, cows, toads, fish and even honeybees. Now, with data from a rather unsavory source, researchers have found evidence for "tuskedness" in elephants.
Although humans aren't alone in having handedness, we do seem to have the most extreme bias as a species. Other animals seem more evenly divided between righties an
We've featured so many studies that reinforce stereotypes on this blog that we have a whole category full of them. So it was refreshing to find this study, which set out to test whether blondes are actually dumber than people with brown, red, or black hair. More specifically, the author crunched data from a large survey of young baby boomers, which conveniently included both hair color and IQ information for most respondents. He found that not only are blonde women not dumb--they're actually
You probably see a cylinder when you look at the illusion above. But how our brains translate two intersecting sheets of moving dots into a 3D image reveals telling differences in visual perception that could perhaps help diagnose autism spectrum disorder.
It's been shown that people with autism are better at picking out the details of complex images, at the cost of understanding what all those details mean when put together. This can mean seeing the trees, but not the forest, or the stro
Three papers, published together in Science today, add up to a paradigm-shoving conclusion: Key aspects of what we think of as modern human behavior evolved more than 300,000 years ago, a radical revision to the evolutionary timeline.
To understand the significance of the trio of studies, let's take a brisk walk through recent changes in our understanding of human evolution. For decades, the consensus was that Homo sapiens evolved around 200,000 years ago in Africa, with anatomically mo
Hey, sex happens. And apparently, whenever our ancestors met up with other members of the genus Homo, it happened a lot. New genetic analysis published today reveals previously unidentified evidence of interbreeding between Homo sapiens and Denisovans, a branch of our family tree not even known to science until a decade ago.
You remember the Denisovans, right? Researchers uncovered a piece of pinky finger and a few other fossil fragments in Denisova Cave, in the Altai Mountains of Siber
When a volcano erupts, it can spew a cloud of ash miles into the stratosphere. It makes for an impressive sight, and an even more impressive amount of sheer material — large eruptions can loft cubic miles of rock and ash skyward.
And, to add to the wow factor, the clouds sometimes spawn their own lightning. As the cloud swirls chaotically in its journey skyward, the jagged ash particles are rubbed against one another, causing static electricity to accumulate. Static electricity in nature
We all know drones offer unique views from above, but give ‘em a hand and they can do a whole lot more. With a functioning arm they could better enter tight areas or lend a hand in gathering samples.
Taking inspiration from origami, a team of researchers from Seoul National University in Korea created a deployable arm that easily attaches to a drone and unfurls when needed. In the past, origami-inspired designs were limited because they aren’t exactly structurally sound. Researchers, howe
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