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The Amazon River Just Aged Millions of Years

Scientists say waterway is closer to 9M years old, not the mere 1M they thought

(Newser) - Looks like the Amazon River may be able to cash in on some senior discounts after all. A new study carried out by scientists from the University of Amsterdam and Brazil's University of Brasilia, published in the Global and Planetary Change journal, upends previous speculation of how old the... More »

Scientists Find Potential New Use for Spider Venom

Poison from funnel web spider reduced brain damage in rats after strokes

(Newser) - Almost 6 million people die from a stroke each year, and although scientists aren't recommending spider bites to remedy that, the poison contained in one particular arachnid may fend off stroke-related brain damage, the Guardian reports. In a study published in the PNAS journal , Australian scientists discovered that just... More »

Experiment Still (Literally) Shocking 50 Years Later

Re-creation of famous Milgram trial shows subjects will still shock people when told

(Newser) - The Milgram experiment was a famous '60s study in which researchers tested subjects' obedience to authority by ostensibly having them administer electric shocks to unseen partners at the researchers' encouragement—a way to see why atrocities were carried out by Germans "just following orders" during the Holocaust. When... More »

There's a New Recommended Daily Quota for Fruits, Veggies

Study says eating 10 servings could slash risk of premature death, disease

(Newser) - If you've struggled to meet the World Health Organization's five-a-day fruits and veggies recommendation , you may want to reassess your consumption strategy. An Imperial College London study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology has found that doubling the current suggestion to 10 servings a day could stave... More »

This 'Super Food' Could Feed the Planet

Scientists unlock genome for foodie favorite quinoa

(Newser) - It has been hailed as a super food, a nutrient-packed , gluten-free dish that even carb counters can get behind. But could quinoa feed a hungry planet? That's the hope behind a new effort by scientists who've unlocked the humble grain's genome. "Quinoa has great potential to... More »

Advantage for Firstborn Kids Shows Up Early

They have higher IQs by age 1, say researchers

(Newser) - Firstborns really do have an advantage, a new UK study suggests. Research out of Edinburgh University finds that there's a measurable IQ difference between firstborns and their siblings, and it shows up as early as age 1, reports the BBC . The reason? Parents tend to spend more time with... More »

There's Another Food No-No for Pregnant Women

A sweetener in licorice might affect cognitive function in children

(Newser) - Wine, sushi, deli meat ... licorice? Perhaps. A new study suggests that licorice consumed during pregnancy could detrimentally affect a woman's offspring. Researchers in Finland say the culprit is glycyrrhizin, a tongue-twister of a sweetener that naturally occurs in the licorice plant and is also added to teas and herbal... More »

Bad News: Booze Gives You the Munchies, Too

At least it does in lab mice

(Newser) - You might hear your stomach rumbling, telling you to fill it with something tasty, but the actual impulse to eat originates in the brain. Now researchers studying the brain cells responsible—called agouti-related protein (AgRP) neurons—say that alcohol activates them, thereby triggering the urge to eat even though alcohol... More »

'Ancient' Signal Dictates Where Mom Holds Baby

'Positional bias' is common among humans and wild animals

(Newser) - It's long been observed that mothers tend to cradle their infants on their left side, and this has long been at least informally attributed to handedness (so that right-handed mothers have the right hand free). Now researchers report in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution that "positional bias"... More »

A Blood Test Predicts How Well You're Going to Age

What secrets lurk within?

(Newser) - Every time the oldest people in the world celebrate a birthday, they're inevitably asked their secret to aging. Some cite alcohol, others the lack of it; some how much they sleep, others how little; many talk about just relaxing , and almost all pay homage to having good genes. Now... More »

Live Near Heavy Traffic? You Have Higher Dementia Risk

Study finds that those who live near major roads are more likely to develop dementia

(Newser) - Those who live near a high-traffic area may be at a higher risk of developing dementia, a new study out of Canada finds. Researchers looked at the records of more than 6.5 million Ontario residents ages 20 to 85 between 2001 and 2012, and found that within that group... More »

Fossil Fills in Big Blank About the Mysterious 'Ghost Shark'

It belongs to an early chimaera, not a shark

(Newser) - The chimaera, or so-called "ghost shark," is an elusive deep-water fish that has fascinated biologists for more than a century. Like its relative the shark, however, it's made of cartilage and thus rarely fossilizes, so little is known about its evolutionary past, reports Live Science . Now the... More »

Ebola Vaccine 100% Effective: 'We Will Not Be Defenseless'

rVSV-ZEBOV has been fast-tracked by regulators

(Newser) - Excellent news as 2016 draws to a close: Scientists say they've created an Ebola vaccine that appears to be 100% effective. In a trial involving more than 11,000 at-risk people in Guinea, nobody given the vaccine developed the virus after a 10-day incubation period, researchers wrote in a... More »

New Weight-Loss Aid: Sweet Potato Wastewater?

Mice lost weight after consuming it in new study

(Newser) - Tired of Thanksgiving weight gain? Next year you might want to pass on the sweet potato pie and drink a tall glass of sweet potato wastewater instead. That's what a new study in the Heliyon journal hints at with what Modern Farmer says "might be the weirdest weight-loss... More »

There's a Way to Cut TSA Lines and TSA Costs

Waive the PreCheck fee, researchers say

(Newser) - Millions of people pay for the privilege of leaving their shoes and belts on and their laptops in their bags during airport security screenings. But a study out of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign says by making the TSA's PreCheck program free—it's currently $85 for the... More »

Need Sleep? Go Online

Study says new online therapy program is helping sleepless subjects

(Newser) - A 70-year-old Californian who'd suffered from longtime insomnia had tapped into almost every remedy to no avail—until she tried out a new online therapy that has her "sleeping much better now," she tells the New York Times . The automated program, called SHUTi , is an online adaptation... More »

Math Moves Scientists Closer to Perfect Coffee

Coffee-maker companies will likely be paying attention

(Newser) - One plus one equals … brew? Scientists out of Ireland's University of Limerick tapped into math and a computer model in their quest to come up with a cup of coffee that would satisfy even Twin Peaks' Special Agent Dale Cooper , the CBC reports. And while it was impossible... More »

You Could Have Ebola and Not Even Know It

Up to 25% of infections may be 'minimally symptomatic'

(Newser) - Ebola doesn't always show itself through fever, vomiting, and diarrhea. A new PLOS study finds that some people with the virus show mild or no symptoms at all—a potential concern for preventing its spread. Researchers who visited the village of Sukudu in Sierra Leone, a hot spot in... More »

Scientists Pinpoint When a Woman's Sex Drive Declines

It seems to start 20 months before her final menstrual period

(Newser) - Sex is important to most middle-aged women, a fact established by a new study in the journal Menopause, which found that 75% of 1,390 middle-aged women reported sexual functioning to be moderately to extremely important. But roughly 20 months before menopause hit, these women reported a "notable decline... More »

When We Have Kids, How Many May Be Partly Genetic

DNA variants can also predict probability of a woman remaining childless

(Newser) - For the first time, scientists have identified areas of DNA—specifically, 12—associated with reproductive habits, in this case the age when men and women have their first kid and how many kids they have. Reporting in the journal Nature Genetics , researchers at the University of Oxford analyzed more than... More »

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