Each week we uncover the most interesting and informative articles from around the world, here are 10 of the coolest stories in science this week.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem from the Endangered Species List yesterday (June 22).
Grizzly bears "have long warranted delisting," as they have met or exceeded recovery objectives since 2003, Wyoming governor Matt Mead said in a statement published online by the governor's office. [Read more about the grizzly bears.]
Note about the universe
Archaeologists have discovered a "billboard" of hieroglyphs carved into the rocks near the Egyptian village of El-Khawy. The symbols, which show a message related to the cosmos, are the earliest monumental (large) hieroglyphs known, dating back around 5,200 years.
Only a few similar scenes are known from Egypt. For example, a vase previously found at the site of Abydos depicts a pregnant hippopotamus, Darnell told Live Science. [Read more about the cosmic message.]
Poachers have been caught trying to illegally sell dried lizard penises online to unwitting customers looking to purchase a rare Indian root called "Hatha Jodi." The root looks like two praying hands and is thought to bring good luck.
Investigation into the illegal trade determined that along with dried specimens from monitor lizards, plastic molds of the animal's genitalia were also being peddled as Hatha Jodi. [Read more about good-luck root.]
Passing down the genes
People who have insomnia may have been told that their sleeping troubles are "all in their head," but a new study shows that this condition is driven not only by psychological factors, but biological ones as well.
The researchers found that seven genes were more common in people who had insomnia, meaning that these seven genes could indicate that a person has an increased risk for the sleep disorder. [Read more about insomnia and your genes.]
How to look for life
From the lovable, candy-munching E.T. to the deadly Xenomorphs from the "Alien" movies, science-fiction stories are bursting with all kinds of alien encounters. But in reality, we've yet to achieve contact — though not for lack of trying.
What we now know about the universe suggests that it's very unlikely that humanity is the only form of life in it. [Read more about the search for alien life.]
Traveling the cosmos
Humanity should focus its efforts on exploring other worlds that we might inhabit, and to get there, Earthlings may need to ride on a beam of light, famed physicist Stephen Hawking says.
To bring these seeming pipe dreams closer to reality, Hawking, along with physicist and billionaire Yuri Milner, has founded a company called Breakthrough Starshot, which aims to make interstellar travel a reality. [Read more about the strange idea.]
A volcano or a pyramid?
From far away, El Volcán in the Nepeña Valley of coastal Peru might look like a natural feature in the landscape.
But this volcano is artificial, a mound or pyramid built by human hands with a crater dug out of the top. And some archaeologists are trying to figure out what it was used for. [Read more about the strange pyramid.]
A previously overlooked inky inscription on a pottery shard found in Israel calls for the delivery of more wine, according to a new study, showing that not much has changed in 2,600 years for humanity, at least when it comes to wetting our whistles.
"While its front side has been thoroughly studied, its back was considered blank," study co-principal investigator Arie Shaus, a doctoral student of applied mathematics and archaeology at Tel Aviv University (TAU) in Israel, said in a statement. [Read more about the shopping list.]
Modern cat lovers can thank the farmers of ancient Anatolia in the Near East for domesticating their fluffy friends about 10,000 years ago, a new study finds.
However, it wasn't until the Middle Ages, after thousands of years of living alongside humans, that some cats (Felis silvestris) developed fur with patch-like patterns, and not until the 19th century that they were bred to have fancy coats, the researchers found. [Read more about kitty genealogy.]
By some estimates, the known universe may contain as many as 2 trillion galaxies, with the average galaxy holding approximately 100 million stars and untold numbers of planets. But could there be multiple copies of the entire universe as we understand it?
Multiple universes might also exist within contained bubbles of space-time, a concept explored in the video game "Bioshock Infinite." By this reckoning, inhabitants of two universes could theoretically interact should their "bubbles" connect to each other directly, according to Macdonald. [Read more about the missing worlds.]