Today, it’s a widely accepted fact that humans originated in Africa. But less than a century ago, anthropologists assumed that Eurasia was the birthplace of humanity. And scientists held onto that mistaken belief until one man took a stand that rewrote history.
The Arctic’s permafrost contains twice as much carbon as the atmosphere. But as global temperatures rise, the frozen ground is melting fast and releasing greenhouse gases. Are we trapped in a deadly cycle?
One hundred thirty miles north of Nome, a small coastal village on Sarichef Island is feeling the effects of climate change. Shishmaref, Alaska, is falling into the sea. Rising temperatures are melting the permafrost, the layer of frozen ground beneath the surface. Without this firm base, waves have eroded the land on which Shishmaref’s villagers make their home. They must relocate their houses inland or start all over somewhere else.
The human body contains enormous quantities of energy. In fact, the average adult has as much energy stored in fat as a one-ton battery. That energy fuels our everyday activities, but what if those actions could in turn run the electronic devices we rely on? Today, innovators around the world are banking on our potential to do just that.
The Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaton’s voluptuous body shape and elongated head and neck, recorded in ancient depictions of the male ruler, have long perplexed historians. But now Irwin Braverman, a professor of dermatology and an expert on visual diagnosis at the Yale University School of Medicine, is offering a theory on the characteristics, which are not found in representations of other pharaohs: Akhenaton may have suffered from two genetic disorders that affect body shape.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.