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Take a deep breath. About 78 percent of the air you inhaled is the most abundant pure element found on Earth. Besides its role in the atmosphere, it’s used in all sorts of products: fertilizers, propellants, you name it. It's also an essential component of DNA and proteins. It’s called nitrogen.
In the last five years, volcanic eruptions in Iceland have disrupted air travel twice, triggering the cancellation of thousands of flights and causing billions of dollars of losses to airlines. But those geophysical flare-ups are brief whiffs compared with past eruptions on the island: Starting in June 1783, one of the largest lava flows in modern times spilled from a 27-kilometer-long volcanic fissure called Laki in southern Iceland.
Alt: A Visit to the Forgotten Volcano That Once Turned Europe Dark
Atmospheric physicists predict that global warming will not lead to an overall increasingly stormy atmosphere, a topic debated by scientists for decades. Instead, strong storms will become stronger while weak storms become weaker, and the cumulative result of the number of storms will remain unchanged.
Related: 'World can cut carbon emissions and live well'
Just as only the jester can tell the King the truth, satire performs a vital function in democratic society by using humor to broach taboo subjects, especially in times of crisis, according to a book by Penn State researchers.
If you have to make a complex decision, will you do a better job if you absorb yourself in, say, a crossword puzzle instead of ruminating about your options? The idea that unconscious thought is sometimes more powerful than conscious thought is attractive, and echoes ideas popularized by books such as writer Malcolm Gladwell’s best-selling Blink.
A woman's menstrual cycle may have an effect on her nicotine cravings, according to a recent study.
Some people seem better than others at fighting the flu, and you might suspect they were born that way. A new study of twins, however, suggests otherwise.
What did the humans enjoy drinking - and use to get merry - 9,000 years ago?
Despite a lack of archaeological evidence, the first North Americans have often been depicted hunting with spear-throwers, which are tools that can launch deadly spear points at high speeds. But now, a new analysis of microscopic fractures on Paleo-Indian spear points provides the first empirical evidence that America's first hunters really did use these weapons to tackle mammoths and other big game.
The amazingly intact remains of a meditating monk have been discovered in the Songinokhairkhan province of Mongolia, according to a report in Mongolia’s Morning News.
Neurosurgeon Aleksei Krivoshapkin and scientists from the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography at the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Science examined the holes in the skulls of ancient human remains discovered in the Altai Mountains, and concluded that brain surgery was performed 2,300 years ago with just one tool. “Honestly, I am amazed. We suspect now that in the time of Hippocrates, Altai people could do a very fine diagnosis and carry out skillful trepanations and fantastic brain surgery,” Krivoshapkin told The Siberian Times.
It was sealed off from humanity for 30,000 years before sewer workers accidentally shattered its high, vaulted ceiling and allowed Israeli searchers to rappel into its dark interior.
Alt: Skull Fossil Offers New Clues on Human Journey From Africa
After 2,000 years under the sea, three flat, misshapen pieces of bronze at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens are all shades of green, from emerald to forest. From a distance, they look like rocks with patches of mold. Get closer, though, and the sight is stunning. Crammed inside, obscured by corrosion, are traces of technology that appear utterly modern: gears with neat triangular teeth (just like the inside of a clock) and a ring divided into degrees (like the protractor you used in school). Nothing else like this has ever been discovered from antiquity. Nothing as sophisticated, or even close, appears again for more than a thousand years.
A body motion energy harvester, with the flexibility and elasticity to be applied to high-flexion joints and suitable for integration with fabrics, is being developed by researchers at Sogang University in Korea. The design is aimed at providing power for medical and consumer wearable devices.
Australian researchers have found a possible key to a cure for people with potentially fatal peanut allergies.
From rashes to irritable bowels, people today face certain health challenges because our ancestors evolved the genetic variations associated with these conditions in order to benefit human health, a new study has found.
More than 800 million men living today are descended from just eleven men, including the ruthless Mongolian leader Genghis Khan, according to new research.
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