Science News attracted more than 13 million visitors to our site this year. Here is a roundup of all the most read and long stories to be read in 2022.
Top news stories
1. A special brew can be used to soothe a child incapable of sacrifice
The mummified remains of two Incapae boys ritually sacrificed more than 500 years ago contain chemical clues to their final days and weeks. On the way to the Peruvian mountain where they were sacrificed, the children chewed coca leaves and drank a drink laced with anti-depressant drugs to calm the nerves.SN: 6/4/22, p. 10).
2. The mystery monkey in Borneo may be a rare hybrid. That is the concern of scientists
The unusual monkey spotted six years ago appears to be a cross between a female silver leaf monkey (Trachypithecus cristatus) and the proboscis male monkey (Masked nose). Possible cross-species mating is of concern to scientists because such matings are usually a sign that species are facing ecological pressures (SN: 6/18/22, p. 11).
3. What the experts told me to do when I test positive for COVID-19 at home
Post Science News When intern Anna Gibbs came down with COVID-19, she turned to health experts to figure out how to report her case to public health officials and how long she would need to isolate (SN Online: 4/22/22).
4. All the bases in DNA and RNA have now been found in meteorites
There are several arguments here that the precursors of life could have come from space. All five nucleobases are found in DNA and RNA in meteorites. This year, scientists reported the detection of cytosine and thymine in space rocks, after completing a white (SN: 6/4/22, p. 7).
5. Scientists cannot handle both heat and thought
For years, it has been thought that the human body can tolerate heat up to a “humidity bubble” temperature – a combination of humidity and air temperature – of 35° Celsius (95° Fahrenheit). But experiments suggest that the threshold is several levels lower.SN: 8/27/22, p. 6).
Top feature stories
1. Tardigrades teach us to handle the rigors of space travel
Tardigrades can withstand punishing levels of radiation, cold, and the vacuum of outer space. Researchers are studying the deadly tricks of these tiny hard microscopic animals to better prepare astronauts for long-duration voyages (SN: 7/16/22 & 7/30/22, p. 30).
2. Muons will shed secrets about the hidden buildings of the Earth
Just as doctors use X-rays to see inside the human body, scientists use muons, subatomic particles, to see inside Egyptian pyramids, volcanoes, and other structures that are difficult to penetrate (SN: 4/23/22, p. 22).
3. Multiple sclerosis has a common viral culprit, opening doors to new approaches
There is evidence that the Epstein-Barr virus somehow triggers multiple sclerosis. Understanding the link between HIV and MS may lead to better treatments for the neurological disorder. Vaccines against the virus may even prevent MS altogether (SN: 8/13/22, p. 14).
4. The discovery of the Kuiper Belt brought our solar system back into view
In 1992, two astronomers discovered a doughnut-shaped region far beyond Neptune, the Kuiper Belt, which is home to an examination of frozen matter left over from the formation of the solar system. By studying these distant objects for 30 years, scientists have gained new insight into how planets form.SN: 8/27/22, p. 22).
5. Clovis hunters’ reputation as mammoth killers takes a hit
The early Americans were probably big-game scavengers rather than big-game hunters. Some recent analyzes suggest that Clovis stone points are more likely tools for butchering large carcasses than weapons for bringing down mammoths and other large animals (SN: 1/15/22, p. 22).
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