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Knowing Booze Causes Cancer Inspires People to Cut Down

Most effective ad at motivating people to reduce their drinking shows cancer mutations

(Newser) - If you want to get people to stop boozing it up, don't show them images of glasses of healthy, sparkling water instead of beer—show them an ad that illustrates how too many cocktails can cause cancer to course through their bodies, the Guardian reports. That's the finding... More »

One Illness May Meet Its Match in ... Frog Mucus

South Indian amphibian has molecule in secretions that may fend off some flu strains

(Newser) - Kissing a frog may not conjure a prince, but mucus from one colorful Indian variety could one day lead to new ways to fight off the flu, the Verge reports. A study published in the journal Immunity details how scientists tested secretions from an Indian frog known as Hydrophylax bahuvistara... More »

'Damn Near Everybody' Uses Phones While Driving

Zendrive shares concerning numbers in largest distracted-driving analysis yet

(Newser) - An eyebrow-raising new study assesses the extent of distracted driving, with stats revealing just how many people use their cellphones while behind the wheel. "Damn near everybody … damn near all the time," Wired concludes after reviewing the Zendrive report, which the driving analytics company says is the... More »

Scientists Head to River for Work, Find Lake Instead

Glacier melt spurred by climate change caused Yukon River to vanish in just 4 days

(Newser) - When scientists from the University of Illinois and Canada's Simon Fraser University headed to northern Canada last August to do some fieldwork along the Slims River, they were met by a surprising sight. The Yukon river was no longer flowing and instead resembled a "long, skinny lake,"... More »

Busted: Longtime Myth About Women's Periods

Women's periods don't sync up, even if they live together, scientists say

(Newser) - Sorry, ladies, but your roommate, sister, or female partner doesn't have an "alpha uterus" that's causing your menstrual cycle to align with hers. That's per a new study by period-tracking app Clue , which joined with University of Oxford scientists to determine if there was any truth... More »

Tilt of Your Phone Could Spill Your Data to Hackers

They could get your PINs and passwords by exploiting device sensors: study

(Newser) - Under the right conditions, hackers could theoretically exploit a built-in feature in smartphones to steal passwords and PINs, and it all comes down to the tilt users employ and the way they type, the Guardian reports. In a study published in the International Journal of Information Security , Newcastle University researchers... More »

Apes May Be Able to 'Read Minds'

And know if humans are harboring false beliefs

(Newser) - Now even the great apes are getting in on debunking "fake news"—or, to be more specific, fake beliefs. German researchers have found that the primates can tell when a human is wrong about something, and can even help to remedy the situation, which in this case was... More »

It's Getting More Difficult to Read Science Papers

Researchers: It's because of technical jargon, also regular old jargon

(Newser) - Put off by the high-level mumbo-jumbo that proliferates in science journals? You're not alone, Swedish researchers have found. In a study published in the preprint server bioRxiv , William Hedley Thompson and his Karolinska Institute team checked out more than 700,000 English-language abstracts from nearly 125 biomedical journals from... More »

Searching for Happiness? Try Napping

Limit your snooze to 30 minutes or less

(Newser) - Can napping make you happier? New research out of Britain shows power napping can do exactly that. But limit those daytime siestas to a half-hour or less. After that, the positive effects cease. "Previous research has shown that naps of under 30 minutes make you more focused, productive, and... More »

Scientists Borrow From Popeye for Heart Tissue Breakthrough

They use spinach leaf to create vascular network for beating human heart tissue

(Newser) - Popeye knew a thing or two about building muscle, maybe even more than we realized. Per National Geographic , scientists have appropriated the cartoon character's favorite snack—a spinach leaf—to help create new human heart muscle. In doing so, they circumvented a tissue issue that's plagued this type... More »

How the Brains of Those Blinded at a Young Age Differ

Some areas show increased connectivity

(Newser) - Ever wonder whether being blind was in some way an advantage for pianists like Ray Charles, George Shearing, Art Tatum, and Stevie Wonder? New research published in the journal PLOS ONE finds that the brains of people blind from a young age are dramatically different than the brains of normally... More »

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 »

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