Each week we uncover the most interesting and informative articles from around the world, here are 10 of the coolest stories in science this week.
Tiny wooden figurines have stood upright "weaving" at appropriately sized looms for more than 2,100 years in a Chinese tomb containing the remains of a middle-age woman, a new study finds.
It's unclear when and where the first looms were developed, but archaeologists have found ancient looms parts at a variety of sites. [Read more about the tiny looms.]
Showing a bit of creativity on your online dating profile could make you appear more attractive to potential dates, a new study suggests.
The findings suggest that "creativity can enhance your attractiveness both as a potential date and as a potential social partner [or] same-sex friend," said study author Christopher Watkins, a lecturer in psychology at Abertay University in Scotland. [Read more about the connection.]
Renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson urges Americans to become more scientifically literate in a short video he posted yesterday (April 19) on his Facebook page.
Tyson, who is the director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City, the author of several books and a star of TV and radio, has been speaking for years against the troubling decline of basic science knowledge in America. [Read more about the effects of science denial.]
Most interesting genome
Meet Sandy the dingo, owner of the world's most interesting genome.
Sandy's DNA could offer researchers insight into the process of domestication, according to project leader Bill Ballard, an evolutionary biologist at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). [Read more about dingo genome.]
New place to search
A newly discovered planet around a distant star may jump to the top of the list of places where scientists should go looking for alien life.
Thousands of exoplanets have been discovered orbiting stars other than the sun in the last 20 years. Many of those planets meet some of the basic requirements for hosting life as we know it — they're rocky like Earth (rather than gaseous, like Saturn or Jupiter) and they sit in the habitable zone of their parent star. LHS 1140b meets those initial requirements. [Read more about the fascination.]
Several mummies and more than 1,000 figurines have been discovered at an ancient cemetery located at Luxor in Egypt, archaeologists reported.
Researchers discovered a labyrinth of tunnels and chambers containing the remains of mummies and assorted human remains, as shown in photos released by the ministry. Additionally, a "collection of ushabti figurines carved in faience, terracotta and wood was also unearthed," in the tomb complex, the ministry said in the statement. [Read more about the mummies.]
Their names were "The Ghost" and "The Darkness," and 119 years ago, these two massive, maneless, man-eating lions hunted railway workers in the Tsavo region of Kenya. During a nine-month period in 1898, the lions killed at least 35 people and as many as 135, according to different accounts. And the question of why the lions developed a taste for human flesh remained a subject of much speculation.
To unravel the century-old mystery, the study authors examined evidence of the lions' behavior preserved in their teeth. Microscopic wear patterns can tell scientists about an animal's eating habits — particularly during the last weeks of life — and the Tsavo lions' teeth didn't show signs of the wear and tear associated with crunching big, heavy bones, the scientists wrote in the study. [Read more about the lions' rampage.]
Visitors to a New Zealand park recently found the grass blanketed not by flowers, but by silk webs produced by what appeared to be thousands of tiny spiders.
Initially, Maris thought the silk nets were unoccupied, she said. But as she and her family explored the webs' outer perimeter, they noticed that there were "little black things on top" — spiders, numbering in the thousands. [Read more about nature's odd blanket.]
Scientists have created a new superfluid that has a negative mass, meaning that if it's pushed to the right, it accelerates to the left and vice versa.
The newly created material with negative mass is a type of Bose-Einstein condensate, in which individual atoms move as one object, the scientists wrote in the new study. [Read more about bizarre superfluid.]
Rise in experimentation
Just over half of American adults have tried marijuana, and 14 percent use it regularly, a new survey finds.
The numbers are similar to those reported by the polling agency Gallup, which has found that although only 4 percent of Americans said they had tried pot in 1969, the number rose to 44 percent by 2015. [Read more about pot statistics.]