Thursday, 18 August, 2022
HomeScientiFixAn ancient trick makes maths simpler & a wildlife friendship warms hearts

An ancient trick makes maths simpler & a wildlife friendship warms hearts

ScientiFix, our weekly feature, offers you a summary of the top global science stories of the week, with links to their sources.

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Maths professor rediscovers trick to solve quadratic equations

Quadratic equations often leave students scratching their heads. But a US-based professor has found an easy way to solve quadratics. The trick, developed by Babylonians several millenniums ago, was rediscovered by Po-Shen Loh, a mathematics professor at Carnegie Mellon University, US. The method involves taking into account the fact that parabolas are symmetrical. The New York Times explains it in detail.

Six date palms have sprouted from 2000-year-old seeds 

Six date palm trees have been grown from 2000-year-old seeds that were found at ancient Israeli archaeological sites. Some of these seeds were from the Qumran Caves, best known as the site of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Date palm seeds are native to the desert.

The two-millennia-old seeds were found to be bigger and heavier in size than modern varieties. But the trees are unlikely to produce fruits similar to what humans grew 2,000 years ago. Details on The Atlantic.

Bumblebee population goes down as temperatures rise

The population of bumblebees, which are considered to be more important and efficient pollinators than honey bees, has dropped in regions that have witnessed higher temperatures due to global warming, according to a new study. The drastic fall in their numbers is shocking, say scientists who fear the species might become extinct in the near future. National Geographic explains.

A coyote and badger’s ‘friendship’ is caught on camera

Coyotes and badgers are known to hunt together. Now, they have been captured on video passing a tunnel together. The clip has excited scientists because this interaction between a coyote and a badger seems to indicate that they “understand their partnership”.

The clip is also “possibly the first video showing two species sharing a culvert”. To date, scientists had assumed that their teamwork was “purely transactional”. National Geographic has the full story.

Also read: Australia’s beloved Platypus at risk of extinction & chocolate cookies baked in space 


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