<p></p><p>The Kraken debate, an Earthlike alien world and sugar a drug? These are the most interesting stories we found in Science this week.</p><p>Click on.</p>
Oldest volcano painting
<p></p><p>A 9,000-year-old painting of an exploding volcano, the oldest ever found, can now be linked to a real-life eruption in Turkey.</p><p> The towering Hasan Dağ volcano erupted 8,970 years ago, plus or minus 640 years, according to a new dating technique that analyzes zircon crystals in volcanic rock, geochemist Axel Schmitt of the University of California, Los Angeles, reported here today (Oct. 30) at the Geological Society of America's annual meeting.</p><p>[Full Story: <a href="http://www.livescience.com/40825-oldest-volcano-painting-linked-turkey-eruption.html" target="_blank">
Oldest Volcano Painting Linked to Ancient Eruption</a>]</p>
Finned monster decapitates ancient amphibians
<p></p><p>Talk about a creature feature: A bizarre boomerang-headed amphibian that burrowed in a seasonal pond in what is now Texas often met its doom in the jaws of a reptilian fin-backed mammalian ancestor, new fossils reveal. </p><p> These two weird critters were residents of the Permian period 298 million to 250 million years ago, before dinosaurs roamed the Earth. Dimetrodon, the jaguar-size finback, looked like a lizard but was actually more closely related to modern mammals. Diplocaulus, the boomerang-head, was a truly strange amphibian with an impractically wide, bony skull.</p><p>[Full Story: <a href="http://www.livescience.com/40842-finned-monster-chomped-heads-off-ancient-amphibians.html" target="_blank">
Finned Monster Chomped Heads Off Ancient Amphibians</a>]</p>
An armpit infection?
<p></p><p> One man's irrepressible body odor was the result of a bacterial infection of his armpit hair, according to a new report of the case.</p><p> The 40-year-old man told his doctors he'd had armpit odor and "dirty" armpit hair for the last four years.</p><p>[Full Story: <a href="http://www.livescience.com/40834-armpit-hair-infection.html" target="_blank">
Smells Like … An Armpit Infection?
The neuroscience of zombies
<p></p><p> The rotting flesh, the shuffling walk, the unintelligible groans — it's not hard to spot a zombie at a glance even among the most gruesome of Halloween monsters. But what's going on inside their brain?</p><p> Based on fictional accounts of the undead creatures' bizarre behavior, several prominent scientists have taken a crack at the mystery. Neuroscientists Bradley Voytek, of the University of California, San Diego, and Tim Verstynen, of Carnegie Mellon University, are both avid zombie fans. Back when they were in graduate school together, they would sit around watching zombie movies and got to thinking about what causes zombies to behave as they do.</p><p>[Full Story: <a href="http://www.livescience.com/40816-zombie-neuroscience-brains-of-the-walking-dead.html" target="_blank">
Zombie Neuroscience: Inside the Brains of the Walking Dead
Kraken rises again
<p></p><p>Did a giant kraken troll the Triassic seas, crushing ichthyosaurs and arranging their bones into pleasing patterns?</p><p> It sounds like a Halloween tale, but researchers who first suggested the existence of this ancient sea monster in 2011 say they now have more evidence backing up their controversial theory. Not only have they discovered a second example of strangely arranged bones, they've found a fossil that appears to be the beak of an ancient squid or octopus.</p><p>[Full Story: <a href="http://www.livescience.com/40856-kraken-rises-with-new-fossil-evidence.html" target="_blank">
Kraken Rises: New Fossil Evidence Revives Sea Monster Debate</a>]</p>
Most Earthlike alien world yet discovered
<p></p><p> A puzzling alien planet is the closest thing to an Earth twin in size and composition known beyond our solar system, though it's far too hot to support life, scientists say.</p><p> The exoplanet Kepler-78b, whose supertight orbit baffles astronomers, is just 20 percent wider and about 80 percent more massive than Earth, with a density nearly identical to that of our planet, two research teams report in separate papers published online today (Oct. 30) in the journal Nature.</p><p>[Full Story: <a href="http://www.livescience.com/40829-strange-alien-planet-earthlike-kepler-78b.html" target="_blank">
Strange 'Lava World' Is Most Earthlike Alien Planet Yet</a>]</p>
What a dog's tail wag mean
<p></p><p> Tail wagging could convey more meaning among dogs than previously thought.</p><p> Dogs have different emotional responses to their peers depending on the direction of a tail-wag, a new study found. Seeing a fellow dog swing its tail to the right keeps canines relaxed, while a wag to the left side of the dog's body seems to induce stress, the researchers say.</p><p>[Full Story: <a href="http://www.livescience.com/40858-tail-wag-direction-dog-behavior.html" target="_blank">
Tail-Wag Direction Matters for Dogs</a>]</p>
Bloodsucking tick in action
<p></p><p> A tick sucking blood from a victim has been caught in action on video, in all its gory glory.</p><p> The new tick-sucking video, described today (Oct. 29) in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, reveals for the first time the gruesome method that ticks use to anchor to the skin and insert their bloodsucking machinery.</p><p>[Full Story: <a href="http://www.livescience.com/40796-tick-bite-caught-on-video.html" target="_blank">
Gross! Watch a Tick Bite in Action (Video)</a>]</p>
Is sugar a drug?
<p></p><p> Some studies claim to find that junk food is as addictive as drugs, but experts say that what actually determines how addictive something is, and whether an individual becomes addicted, is complex.</p><p> In the most recent headline-grabbing research, a study in rats found that a brain region important for pleasure was activated more strongly when the animals were exposed to Oreos compared to cocaine. A 2011 study found that the brains of people with "food addiction" reacted to junk food the same way that the brains of people with drug addictions react to drugs.</p><p>[Full Story: <a href="http://www.livescience.com/40749-addiction-drugs-sugar.html" target="_blank">
Is Sugar a Drug? Addiction Explained</a>]</p>
Are women better at multitasking?
<p></p><p> Anecdotal evidence has long supported the hypothesis that the fair sex is also the "do-a-bunch-of-things-at-the-same-time" sex. And now a study out of the U.K. helps to support the idea women are better at multitasking than men.</p><p> In a set of two experiments, psychologists at the University of Hertfordshire, the University of Glasgow and the University of Leeds pitted men against women to see if they could lend some scientific credibility to that commonly held belief that women are better than men at multitasking.</p><p>[Full Story: <a href="http://www.livescience.com/40740-women-better-at-multitasking.html" target="_blank">
Women May Be Better Than Men ... At Multitasking</a>]</p>