Bumblebees playing with toys. A quantum hall trick that tests our perception of reality. And artificial intelligence that protects you from other AIs. These may not be the biggest scientific achievements of the year, but they’re among our favorite and most popular online stories of 2022. Read on for the full list!
Not much is known about the Avars, a cryptic people who helped bring the Roman Empire to an end and were subsequently wiped out from history. Now, DNA from their graves sheds light on where they came from and how fast and far they came; this is a record in ancient human history.
Kurt Vonnegut was not a scientist, but his writings influenced countless researchers even years after his death. A favorite among staff and readers, this book explores the messages the famous novelist has left to the scientific community and why his presence continues to be felt.
Can a virus be tamed? Suppressyn won’t curl up in your lap, but after invading our ancient ancestors about 30 million years ago, it seems to have settled into our genome and become a kind of companion that protects us from other pathogens. .
These days, all kinds of electronic equipment, from smart speakers to smartphones, seem to be spying on us. According to this story, the same artificial intelligence that enabled this eavesdropping could also help prevent it. Neural Sound Camouflage creates an auditory fog when we speak, outsmarting any artificial intelligence that might be listening.
Scientists are people too. They boo, yell, and even lose their minds, as this behind-the-scenes look from NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test mission shows.
It’s not exactly the World Cup, but researchers have observed bumblebees playing with small wooden balls. Insects don’t seem to roll objects for any purpose other than for fun. One more reason to be nice to one of our favorite pollinators.
Dear elders, saints. Even movie characters. There are all kinds of sources of baby names. This study shows that nice weather may also play a role, potentially even foreshadowing a few rare nicknames.
The 13th-century monks of England led a relatively sanitary life. So why were they more likely to be riddled with parasites than their less hygienic contemporaries? The answer may lie in surprising horticultural practices.
It seems like every year a weird quantum physics story makes our top 10 list, and 2022 is no exception. This story features pseudo-telepathy, a matching game, and mind-blowing quantum weirdness.
For a fruit that looks so simple, the banana has a surprisingly complex genetic background. It’s actually so complex that researchers are still trying to figure out where and when the modern banana originated. This slick story was one of our most popular stories of the year.