TWIS: Contagious Diseases Resurface In The Wake Of COVID-19, World’s Oldest DNA Reveals A Bizarre 2-Million-Year-Old Ecosystem, And Much More This Week

All the biggest science news stories of the week.


Charlie Haigh

Social Media and Marketing Assistant

clockDec 9 2022, 12:37 UTC
All the biggest science news stories of the week.

All the biggest science news stories of the week. Image credit: Edited by IFLScience

This week, we reveal the cruellest torture method you’ve probably never heard of, the most Googled words of 2022 are released and they say a lot about this strange year, and we take a journey through the brain to learn how memory actually works.



One Of The World's Most Contagious Diseases Is Resurfacing And Scientists Are Worried

The pandemic has represented a triple blow to childhood vaccination rates. A World Health Organization report shows nearly 40 million children missed at least one measles dose in 2021. The decline in vaccinations, in general, is alarming epidemiologists, but there are reasons why measles is their biggest concern. Read the full story here

Poena Cullei Is The Most Cruel And Unusual Punishment Ever Dreamt Up

History books are full of grim examples of torture, punishment, and execution. Even the Romans, who are often heralded for their supposed civility, were well-versed in cruel and inhumane ways to end another person’s life. But of these methods, one has gained an especially feared reputation over the centuries: poena cullei. Read the full story here


Earliest DNA Ever Recovered Reveals Strange 2-Million-Year-Old Ecosystem

The world's oldest DNA has been recovered from Ice Age sediment in northern Greenland, revealing some surprising insights into this unique ecosystem. The 2-million-year-old genetic material provides a snapshot of a thriving prehistoric ecosystem like nothing we see today, made up of animals including – most unexpectedly – mastodon. Read the full story here



"Oddball" Minute-Long Gamma-Ray Burst Came From A Totally Unexpected Source

Gamma-ray bursts – brief flashes of the most powerful light in the universe. The short-duration ones are created in the kilonova produced by the merging of compact objects such as neutron stars. The long-duration ones are instead created by supernovae. So, imagine the surprise of astronomers discovering a kilonova creating a long-duration gamma-ray burst. Read the full story here


These Were The Most Googled Things Of 2022

As 2022 starts to conclude its final chapter, Google Trends has revealed the past 12 month's most searched terms globally, providing an interesting snapshot of this strange, surreal, and action-packed year. Read the full story here




From Synapses To Switches: A Journey Through The Mystery Of Memory 

The question of how memories are stored in the human brain is an age-old puzzle. Over the years, there have been plausible theories – but what is the current consensus? Is the brain really so different from a computer? Read the full story here

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