Coaster Cure? 5 Most Incredible Discoveries of the Week

Also: a potential new way for Zika to spread
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 1, 2016 5:07 AM CDT
Your cure for kidney stones?   (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

(Newser) – A bizarre finding about kidney stones and an amusing one about dogs were among the discoveries to make headlines this week:

  • Ride a Roller Coaster, Pass Some Kidney Stones: Got a kidney stone? Consider a trip to Disney. That's the takeaway from new research out of Michigan State that found taking a spin on a "medium-intensity" coaster may aid in the passing of the pesky mineral masses, with minimal discomfort. It took some innovation on a specific Disney coaster to prove it.
  • Dogs Will Ignore Your Lousy Suggestions: Dogs might be better than humans at ignoring bad advice. To prove it, Yale researchers trained dogs to get a treat out of a box by moving a lever and lifting the lid. Then they left the dogs on their own, and the dogs soon figured out the truth: There was no need to move that lever; they merely needed to lift the lid and get their treat. That's what they did—unlike kids in a similar experiment.

  • Humans Are Natural Killers, but We're Not the Worst: Violence comes naturally to humans, but we are far less murderous than we used to be, a new study shows. Scientists in Spain who examined the tendency among more than 1,000 mammal species to kill their own found that humans have been "particularly violent" throughout our history, in particular during the Middle Ages. The researchers have numbers to back up their findings, with the most murderous mammal being one you'd probably never guess.
  • Man May Have Gotten Zika From Wiping Dad's Tears: Mystery solved? An elderly Utah man who harbored exceedingly high levels of the Zika virus before he died in June may have passed it on to his son through his sweat and tears. For one thing, the son didn't use gloves when wiping his dad's eyes, a revelation that adds to the small list of possible modes of transmission.
  • 9 in 10 People Breathing Dirty Air: The vast majority of humanity is breathing dirty air, putting us at risk of heart disease, stroke, and lung disease, the World Health Organization says. The agency's most detailed analysis yet of air pollution reveals that 92% of the world's population is breathing air that fails to meet basic health standards. It's more than annoyance: The number of deaths attributable to this is measured in the millions.
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