science

When an archaeologist working on an excavation site in Jordan first swept up the tiny black particles scattered around an ancient fireplace, she had no idea they were going to change the history of food and agriculture.

Amaia Arranz-Otaegui is an archaeobotanist from the University of Copenhagen. She was collecting dinner leftovers of the Natufians, a hunter-gatherer tribe that lived in the area more than 14,000 years ago during the Epipaleolithic time — a period between the Paleolithic and Neolithic eras.

The ideal Italian pizza, be it Neapolitan or Roman, has a crisp crust flecked with dark spots — marks left by a blazing hot oven. The dough is fluffy, moist and stretchy, and the toppings are piping hot. A pizzeria's brick oven pops these out to perfection, but intrepid home cooks attempting to re-create Italian-style pizzas have more than likely discovered facsimiles are nigh impossible to produce.

A study seven years in the making by University of South Florida researchers has created a map of how many species live in the Gulf of Mexico. This will give experts an idea of how much damage would take place from a future oil spill.

Alan Dambach was in his late 50s when he noticed how unsteady his hands had become.

Over the next decade, his tremor got so bad he had difficulty eating with a spoon or fixing equipment at his family's tree farm in Western Pennsylvania.

"I couldn't get nuts and bolts to work," he says.

Many spiders fly long distances by riding "balloons" of silk, and a new study suggests that they're propelled by more than just the wind.

Electric fields at strengths found in nature can also trigger the spiders' ballooning behavior. And electrostatic forces can lift up the spiders even when the air is still, according to a newly published report in the journal Current Biology.

A USF professor rewrote a tasty part of Italian history after running tests on the inside of a 4,000 year-old jar found in a prehistoric settlement in Castelluccio, Italy.

Once, the sky was full of stories. Ancient cultures filled the heavens with heroes and monsters, and spent nights telling epics and memorizing patterns in the stars.

Each World Cup, the sportswear giant Adidas designs an official ball to be used in the tournament.

Honeybees understand that "nothing" can be "something" that has numerical meaning, showing that they have a primitive grasp of the concept of zero.

That's according to a newly published study in Science, which shows that bees possess a mathematical ability once thought to exist only in dolphins, primates, birds and humans who are beyond the preschool years.

Archaeologists working at Pompeii say they have found the remains of a man who survived the initial explosion of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79 — but was crushed by a massive rock as he attempted to flee a deadly cloud of gases, ash and rock.

The skeleton's remains are in what the Pompeii archaeological site calls a "dramatic position" — with a large rectangular stone embedded in the upper torso.

The asteroid impact that ended the age of the dinosaurs also released so much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere that the planet warmed up by about 5 degrees Celsius — and the hot spell persisted for roughly 100,000 years.

That's according to a new study in the journal Science that offers a cautionary tale about how Earth's climate will react to the carbon dioxide that's being pumped into the atmosphere now by the burning of fossil fuels.

With David Wright

Writer Michael Pollan turns his attention to psychedelic mushrooms and the new science of psychedelics. He joins us.

There are no hidden chambers or undiscovered treasures inside King Tutankhamun's tomb.

The famed boy pharaoh appears to have been buried without any other members of the royal family, according to the findings of a three-year-long radar study of the funeral chamber, according to the Egyptian Antiquities Ministry. The discovery was announced Sunday, at the fourth annual International Tutankhamun GEM Conference in Giza, Egypt.

Mikayla Sharrieff, India Skinner and Bria Snell should only be proud this week.

The 17-year-olds, all juniors at Benjamin Banneker High School in Washington, D.C., created a simple way using copper shards, drinking straws and filter floss — simple, though I am not smart enough to understand it — to demonstrate how to purify water in school drinking fountains that may be contaminated by lead.

NASA's InSight lander is on its way to Mars, after a successful launch on Saturday morning.

The lander was launched by an Atlas V rocket taking off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California shortly after 4 a.m. local time. It successfully separated from the upper stage more than an hour later.

The lander is in contact with mission control as it heads off on its six-month trip to the Red Planet.

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