An estimated 465,000 people in the US will be getting notices from doctors that they should update the firmware that runs their life-sustaining pacemakers or risk falling victim to potentially fatal hacks. Like many wireless devices, pacemakers from Abbott Laboratories contain critical flaws that might allow hijackers within radio range to seize control while the pacemakers are running.
New archaeological research from Utah shows that prehistoric inhabitants of the Escalante Valley could have been nourishing themselves with wild potato tubers for thousands of years. This is the earliest evidence of potato use in North America to date. The wild Four Corners potato can yield up to 125 small tubers on one plant.
Analysis has been done on prehistoric human remains found in Chan Hol cave in Tulum, Mexico, which had a stalagmite growing through its pelvic bone. Findings suggest that the was accessed during the late Pleistocene, roughly 13,000 years ago, providing one of the oldest examples of a human settler in the Americas.
The genders of these two 2,800 year old skeletons found in Iran have been the subject of much debate. Despite many researchers suggesting that the remains of both individuals belong to males, there are as many scientists who have concluded that the individual on the left was a female. The individual on the left – whose sex isn’t defined with certainty – was around 30–35 years old at the time of death, while the individual on the right is believed to have been a young male of around 20-22 years of age
An incredibly rare wooden container from the Bronze Age has been discovered on the Lötschberg mountain in Switzerland, still with detectable traces of the grains that the box carried in 1,500 BC. Analysis of the grains revealed them to be spelt, emmer, and barley.
In this article, researchers from Helsinki examine precolonial geometric earthworks, dated to 5,000 years ago, in the southwestern Amazonia from the point of view of indigenous peoples and archaeology. The study shows that the earthworks, labeled the Geoglyphs of Acre, were once important ritual communication spaces. Contemporary indigenous peoples of the area still protect earthwork sites as sacred places and avoid using them for mundane activities.
This picturesque word-painting from Guardian’s Country Diary tells of Cornwall’s St. Dennis landscape then and now – the legendary hunting grounds of King Arthur form the waterlogged bog and headstreams of the river Fal, overlooked by a moss-covered fort. Tin working was recorded here in the 11th and 12th centuries; and from 1930 to 1950 sand and gravel were extracted. The area is now designated a nature preserve.
There is an online Tweet-storm happening to mirror the real life storm, and the science community from across the US is offering to help Texas researchers whose labs and life’s work are in jeopardy in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey’s epic flooding. Article contains numerous images of conversation threads on Twitter screenshots.
A colony of 250,000 Mexican free-tailed bats live underneath the Waugh Bridge in Texas. Post-hurricane floodwater levels are causing them to drown. Trained volunteers from the Bat World Sanctuary are headed to save them. Each bat can eat 2 million mosquitoes per night. Dead bats can’t eat mosquitoes, and burgeoning numbers of mosquitoes may lead to proliferation of disease.
At least three American Indian tribes in Oklahoma have sent representatives to the Houston area to help with Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. The tribes represented are Cherokee, Muscogee Creek and Quapaw, at the time of this article’s publication. They are well-trained, bringing boats and other equipment, and plan to stay as long as they are needed.
NOAA-trained Marine Mammal Responders were called to a location near Juneau, Alaska, on 27 August, where the the anchor line of a small cruise ship became wrapped around the lower jaw of a humpback whale, getting stuck for roughly 12 hours while federal authorities and the boat’s crew worked to free it.
Archaeologists have refuted a petition by six Indian lawyers claiming that the iconic Taj Mahal, built by a Mughal emperor in the 17th century as a mausoleum to his dead wife, was in reality a Hindu temple whose original name was Tejo Mahalaya.
This groundbreaking article complete with case studies and a video, written by the neuroscientist himself, contains the story of a completely new technique for communicating with patients trapped in vegetative states between life and death. Since 1997, he has used hospital brain scanners to test patients in vegetative states to see if they were in fact still conscious, though trapped in their bodies. To say his results are mindblowing would be an understatement. Dr. Adrian Owen’s new book, Into The Grey Zone: A Neuroscientist Explores The Border Between Life And Death, is slated for release 7 September.