Chimp gestures and human language are underpinned by same mathematical principles

Are these two laws universal throughout nature?

Photo credit: ZOOM DOSSO / AFP / Getty Images
  • Zipf's law of abbreviation and Menzerath's law seem to govern not just human speech but chimpanzee gestures.
  • Fifty-eight individual chimp gestures were catalogued in a new study.
  • Their presence points to an intriguing overlap between language and genetic chemistry.
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Photo credit: Matthew Cattell / Getty Images for Samsung Galaxy S8
  • New research uses radiocarbon dating to create a timeline of the construction of 2,410 megaliths across Europe and Britain.
  • The original builders were people believed to be solely hunter-gatherers who were actually also sailors.
  • The megaliths studied go back 7,000 years.
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New tech 'MERMAIDS' can detect earthquakes before they wreak destruction

A network of devices called MERMAIDs is taking seismographs where they've never been.

(Princeton University)
  • Most of the ocean floor is inaccessible to seismologists.
  • Much can be learned about the interior of Earth by listening to earthquakes.
  • Ingenious new floating sensors are changing the ocean seismology game.
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Famous fossil is not an Archaeopteryx feather after all

Lasers solve the mystery of the missing quill.

(Daniel Eskriidge/Shutterstock)
  • The famous fossilized feather found in the 1860s is from some unknown animal.
  • The fossil's missing quill has long kept its identity unknown.
  • We're just at the beginning of our awareness of feathered dinosaurs.
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Elon Musk interview reveals whether he prefers Nikola Tesla to Thomas Edison

In 2008, Elon Musk explained which of history's tech geniuses was his role model.

  • In 2008, Elon Musk told an interviewer about his role models.
  • His father had less of an influence than has been reported.
  • Musk was a fan of both Edison and Tesla but preferred Edison.
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