Table of Contents March 2016


We've long pointed to East Africa as the birthplace of our species, but thrilling new fossil finds suggest our roots are further south. We'll explore some of South Africa's most significant archaeological sites that are yielding crucial insights about our lineage. An unlikely trio has joined forces to predict the next major power failure, but will it be enough to avert the blackout of the century?

And from disease to mental illness, men and women face different risks. Today, neuroscientists think these differences lie in the brain's wiring. You'll also learn how to expel a catchy tune that's stuck in your head. You can thank us later.

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For decades we focused on east Africa as our likely ancestral homeland. But should we be looking to the south?
Children choose healthy foods when left to their own devices, according to a classic experiment. Do those results still hold up?

An unlikely trio has come up with a surprising new way to predict power failures, but will it be enough to avert the next big one?
When it comes to disease, mental illness and the effects of generations of trauma, men and women face different risks. Neuroscientists think it’s all in the wiring.


If a catchy tune gets stuck in your mind, don’t worry; you’re not just hearing voices.
How did this 30-something guy go from charismatic to catatonic? A trip down memory lane will get you there.
In 1952, a plague of frogs struck a small Wisconsin town. Then the tide turned against Lithobates pipiens.
Neanderthals apparently suffered from less lower back pain — and if you’ve got a lot of it, you might have more in common with chimpanzees than your fellow humans.


Evidence of a sea sponge ancestor connects evolutionary dots.
A 7-foot-long, shrimp-like creature was once the largest on Earth.
A recent study describes eyedrops that can correct presbyopia.
Card-size sensors could tell you if meat is safe to eat.
Does pronoun overuse indicate narcissism?
Scientists debate whether hunters or climate gave mammoths the cold shoulder.
This bandage detects dangerous tissue damage before it appears on the skin.
A boost to bacteria's metabolism could help thwart antibiotic resistance.
There's scant research, due to the dubious ethics of experimenting with brains.