We all believe that Alexander found the Egyptian city of Alexandria. But, the truth is that he just re-branded it! This land has been settled for at least 4500 years, pre-dating Alexander’s arrival by a good two millennia!
It is the measurement of the variations in lead concentration in a mud core from Alexandria’s ancient harbor that led to this groundbreaking discovery by Alain Véron from the Paul Cézanne University in Aix-en-Provence, France, and his colleagues. It is between 2686 and 2181 BC and then again from 1000 to 800 BC, the researchers found clear pulses of lead contamination.
The feeding bottle of a baby may actually alter her brain! Shocked? But it’s a fact. The plastic used in baby bottles and other such products release a chemical — bisphenol A, which is toxic enough to modify female mice’s developing brains and make her behave more like males!
This harmful chemical is also found in humans. San Francisco’s city supervisors have recently banned the chemical to be used in various products.
The oldest human-type DNA was recently recovered from a Neanderthal that lived 100,000 years ago! The DNA was extracted from the tooth of a 10-12 year-old Neanderthal child in the Scladina cave in Belgium’s Meuse Basin. Neanderthals died out about 29,000 years ago.
This finding, reported in Current Biology, reveals that people living long ago were genetically more diverse than ever believed to be! The factors leading to the decline in their diversity may have been biological, environmental or cultural.
A recent research has revealed that a commonly used sleeping pill, Zolpidem (brand name Ambien), can be used to temporarily awaken braindamaged patients! After being given Zolpidem, the patients in the study could interact with their environment.
The benefits were maintained as long as the drug stayed in a patient’s system. Useful side effect!
Global climate change may soon make our planet an itchier place! A recent research has revealed that rising levels of carbon dioxide can stimulate Poison ivy growth and its rash-inducing vines may become even more potent!
Poison ivy growth surged some 150 per cent when researchers used a system of carbon dioxide - pumping pipes to create atmospheric CO2 levels that were some 200 parts per million higher than the current norm (which can be a reality by 2050). So, get ready to feel the heat and its itch!
Illacme plenipes, the world’s leggiest animal last reported in 1928, has been spotted again in a ravine in California recently, after 80 years! The females have up to 750 legs, are just about 32 millimeters long and half a millimeter wide.
The males are smaller and have 300 to 400 legs— two of which are modified into sex organs. Though the species live only in a ravine in San Benito County, it relates to certain millipedes found in Asia, southern Africa and Australasia.