Oldest animal ever discovered by scientists

Chinese scientists find a 600-million-year-old creature.

Mnemiopsis leidyi. (Image: National Institutes of Health)
  • Researchers in China find fossils of a creature that lived 600 million years ago.
  • This creature resembles a modern-day comb jelly.
  • If confirmed, these would be the oldest animal fossils discovered.
Keep reading Show less

Why 'upgrading' humanity is a transhumanist myth

Upload your mind? Here's a reality check on the Singularity.

  • Though computer engineers claim to know what human consciousness is, many neuroscientists say that we're nowhere close to understanding what it is, or its source.
  • Scientists are currently trying to upload human minds to silicon chips, or re-create consciousness with algorithms, but this may be hubristic because we still know so little about what it means to be human.
  • Is transhumanism a journey forward or an escape from reality?
Keep reading Show less

Your body’s full of stuff you no longer need. Here's a list.

Evolution doesn't clean up after itself very well.

Image source: Ernst Haeckel
  • An evolutionary biologist got people swapping ideas about our lingering vestigia.
  • Basically, this is the stuff that served some evolutionary purpose at some point, but now is kind of, well, extra.
  • Here are the six traits that inaugurated the fun.
Keep reading Show less

Researchers have identified an area of the dog brain dedicated to processing human faces

The dogs' ability to recognise and process human faces surpasses even that of monkeys. This newly-identified brain region may be the reason why.

If you want to know about the special relationship between human and canine you need only watch a dog owner slavishly feed, cuddle and clean up after her furry companion, day after day after day. But is this unique cross-species relationship also reflected at a deeper level, in the workings of the canine brain? A recent study in Learning and Behavior suggests so, finding that highly trained dogs have a dedicated neural area for processing human faces, separate from the area involved in processing the faces of other dogs.

Keep reading Show less

Asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs caused a mile-high tsunami

We knew the Chicxulub crater was massive. We just didn't know how widespread the damage actually was.

  • The asteroid that crashed into the Yucatan caused a mile-high tsunami.
  • The wave was 52 times higher and 2,600 times more energetic than the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that killed over 227,000 people.
  • Sediment was disturbed 3,700 miles from the site of the crash.
Keep reading Show less