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They Had the Same DNA. Then One Spent a Year in Space

A fascinating look at the case of identical twin astronauts Scott and Mark Kelly

(Newser) - NASA is pointing to the "stresses of space travel" as the factor behind a fascinating phenomenon involving the only pair of identical twin astronauts in history. Per Live Science , even though Scott and Mark Kelly once boasted the same DNA makeup, Scott's nearly yearlong trip on the International... More »

US Deaths Tied to 'Ubiquitous but Insidious' Lead: 410K a Year

About 10 times higher than what researchers previously thought

(Newser) - A study on "ubiquitous but insidious" lead exposure is being deemed a "big deal" after researchers found a link between lead exposure and the deaths of around a quarter-million Americans annually from heart disease. In what USA Today says is the first study using a nationally representative sample... More »

Scientists Find Huge, Secret Colony of Penguins

'Supercolony' of 1.5M Adélie penguins on Antarctic Peninsula is a major find

(Newser) - More than 1 million penguins who've been hiding in a remote part of Antarctica were recently discovered thanks to images taken from space and ... their own poop. A study in the Scientific Reports journal reveals the Danger Islands find of more than 750,000 pairs of Adélie penguins—... More »

It Looks Like a Smudge. But Its Significance Is Huge

Mummy tattoos among the oldest ever found, say scientists

(Newser) - The ancient Egyptian mummy has been a favorite attraction at the British Museum since it was discovered a century ago in Gebelein, but only keen-eyed passers-by would've wondered at the dark smudges on the male's upper arm. Turns out, they were worth noticing. Infrared scans have revealed them... More »

Caught Your Teen Sexting? Don't Panic

Researchers say it could be a healthy part of sex education, if handled correctly

(Newser) - If you've finally mastered "OMG" and "IYKWIM," you may be ready for the next step in deciphering text messages—though if you're the parent of a teen, you might not like what you uncover. That's because teens are spending more time sexting, with at... More »

Gods Didn't Kill Animals in 'Gate to Hell'—Gas Did

Carbon dioxide is the key, researchers say of legendary Turkish cave

(Newser) - Centuries ago, bulls, rams, and other animals led into an ancient cave for religious ceremonies died of seemingly mystical causes, while the priests accompanying them suffered no such fate. Scientists say they've now figured out the secret behind this "Gate to Hell" in the ancient city of Hierapolis,... More »

This Could Prove Biblical Prophet's Existence. Or Not

Clay seal reading 'Isaiah' up for debate

(Newser) - A clay seal found in an ancient garbage pit in Jerusalem might have belonged to the prophet Isaiah, who's described as predicting the virgin birth and Jesus' death in the Old Testament. Or, less exciting, it might have belonged to some random guy named Isaiah. At present, it's... More »

A Rod, a Shadow, and a Theory for Egypt's Almost- Perfect Pyramids

Archaeologist thinks it could be tied to the fall equinox

(Newser) - Scientists have long puzzled over how the ancient Egyptians built the Great Pyramid of Giza (aka the Pyramid of Khufu) with such "extreme precision," per Live Science . This Wonder of the World is lined up with the compass points "with an accuracy of better than four minutes... More »

Women's Paternal Grandmas May Be Tied to This Type of Cancer

Women's risk for ovarian cancer may be passed down from the father's side of the family

(Newser) - Sons inherit a baldness gene from their moms, and now scientists are pointing to another parent-child link on the opposite side. Per the BBC , fathers can pass down a gene mutation to their daughters that can raise the risk of ovarian cancer, per a study published Thursday in Plos Genetics ... More »

For Those on 10% More 'Ultra-Processed' Food, Up Go Cancer Numbers

Scientists say they need to do a lot more research, though

(Newser) - Those snack cakes and chicken nuggets may be tasty, but they may also be upping your chances of cancer, according to a new study out of Sorbonne Paris Cite University. The research published in BMJ looked at the consumption of "ultra-processed" foods—the BBC has a list of edibles... More »

These Might Be the Only Non-Human War Medics

Researchers observe Matabele ants licking wounded warriors back to health

(Newser) - A species of African ant lives a life so fierce that it's become expert at wartime triage. In fact, the behavior exhibited by Matabele ants marks the first time that non-humans have been observed "systematically nursing their wounded back to health," per National Geographic . Researchers lay it... More »

'Cheddar Man's' DNA Reveals Surprise About Early Brits

The earliest modern Brits had 'dark to black' skin

(Newser) - Think of a stereotypical Brit and you may imagine a pale cast member from Downton Abbey. A new study, however, shows early modern Brits from 10,000 years ago, who migrated from Europe over a land bridge into England, may not have been quite as pale as many of their... More »

9 'Cocktail'-Infused Eggs a 'Breakthrough' for Fertility

For the first time, human eggs were grown from earliest stages to maturity in the lab

(Newser) - What's being deemed a "breakthrough" for women's fertility has been achieved out of the University of Edinburgh. Researchers say that for the very first time, they've developed human eggs in the lab from their earliest points of growth to full maturity, offering insight into how science... More »

Spike in Suicides Followed Death of Robin Williams

Researchers can't prove his suicide caused copycats, but the numbers did rise after he died

(Newser) - The world was shocked by the August 2014 death of Robin Williams , but "middle-aged men in despair" may have taken his suicide especially hard, Reuters notes. For a study published Wednesday in Plos One , researchers sifted through CDC data from 1999 through 2015 and found that there was a... More »

Study Links Food Compound to Spread of Cancer

Asparagus may be cancer's favorite vegetable

(Newser) - Making big changes to your diet could deprive cancer of a nutrient that it needs to spread throughout the body, researchers say. A study published in the journal Nature links asparagine—an amino acid found in many foods, including asparagus, beef, poultry, nuts, and potatoes—to the spread of secondary... More »

Neanderthals Expertly Made Tools Still in Use Today

These were no dummies, say researchers in Italy

(Newser) - Modern hunter-gatherers used "digging sticks," crafted from wood, to search for edible roots and tubers, as well as to hunt. It's a tradition that stretches back at least 171,000 years, according to a new PNAS study. Digging in Italy, scientists have uncovered 58 wooden tools—including... More »

Dogs Eat Poop, and You Might Not Be Able to Stop Them

Scientific name for this habit: canine conspecific coprophagy

(Newser) - Before you freak out that your dog may be suffering from canine conspecific coprophagy, know that it's probably not that serious—though you will likely be grossed out. Scientific American reports on a study in the Veterinary Medicine and Science journal that looked at the result of two web-based... More »

Scientists 'Enormously Excited' About Cancer Blood Test

'Liquid biopsy' shows promising early results in detecting 8 cancers—but much work is still needed

(Newser) - Scientists are "very, very excited" about what they see as a positive "first step" in developing a blood test that could detect a variety of cancers, the Washington Post reports. In a study published in the journal Science , researchers used the CancerSEEK test, which looks for cancer-tied proteins... More »

200K Antelopes Died Suddenly. Now Scientists Know Why

High heat and humidity altered bacteria in their bodies: study

(Newser) - Saiga antelopes have been roaming Central Asia since the time of the woolly mammoth, an achievement only a resilient species could pull off. But now, "total extinction" may be on the horizon. That's according to researchers studying the deaths of more than 200,000 endangered saigas in Kazakhstan... More »

Don't Blame Rats for Europe's Black Death

Human-carried parasites might be true culprits: study

(Newser) - Those poor, misjudged rats? According to infectious disease experts in Norway and Italy, rats aren't to blame for the spread of the Black Death, which has previously been referred to as the species' most infamous crime. In fact, humans might've been directly involved, reports the CBC . While studying... More »

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