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Researchers See 'Horrific Decline' in Insect Numbers

Scientist warns of 'ecological Armageddon'

(Newser) - If it seems like there are fewer squished bugs on your windshield after long journeys than in years past, you're not imagining things: Researchers say there appears to have been a steep and extremely worrying decline in insect populations in recent decades. In a study published in the journal... More »

Battle of the Jaws: Study Finds Alligators Eat Sharks

Alligator experts thought James Nifong was kidding when he asked if it was possible

(Newser) - As far as research goes, it sounds pretty intense: pumping the stomachs of 500-plus alligators—"live and alert" ones at that. It was part of James Nifong's study on whether American alligators on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts eat sharks, and the answer might surprise you: yes. The... More »

No Proven Benefits, Several Risks to Eating Placenta

Placenta capsules may carry bacteria, heavy metals: study

(Newser) - The trend of eating placenta after childbirth "borders on cannibalism" and is only lining providers' pockets, rather than offering any benefit to women or their newborns. That's according to researchers of a study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, which finds "no known scientifically... More »

His Quest to Create 'Gaydar' Had Unintended Consequences

Michal Kosinski says he just wanted to expose a privacy threat

(Newser) - "Our findings expose a threat to the privacy and safety of gay men and women," wrote Michal Kosinski in a paper set to be published by the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology—only he's the one now finding himself in danger. The New York Times takes... More »

Yellowstone's Supervolcano Could Erupt in a 'Geologic Snap'

Eruption process could take just decades, rather than centuries

(Newser) - Should it ever erupt, a supervolcano beneath Yellowstone National Park could blanket North America in an ash cloud, wipe out communications, and alter the climate. Given that eruptions of supervolcanoes buried on our planet—and there are several—are thought to occur every 100,000 years or so, however, the... More »

Hippos in Danger Because of Desire for Their Teeth

Mismanagement in trade of hippo teeth a bad sign: researchers

(Newser) - It isn't only elephants that are suffering from humans' insatiable thirst for ivory. A new study notes hippopotamuses, already predicted by some to disappear within 100 years, may be dying at unexpected rates to fuel the trade of ivory ornaments made from hippo teeth. Since 1975, 1.7 million... More »

Researchers May Have Found Earliest Evidence of Life

Scientists say rocks in Canada have traces going back 4B years

(Newser) - Japanese researchers think they may have found the earliest evidence of life on Earth on rocks in Canada. In their study in Nature , the scientists from the University of Tokyo say they detected telltale traces of material left behind by decomposing organisms 3.95 billion years ago, reports the CBC... More »

Scientists Freak Out Fish to Find Out How Brave They Are

Guppies apparently have distinct personalities, researchers find

(Newser) - Frightening fish isn't something you'd find on most people's daily to-do lists, but for researcher Tom Houslay, it was all in a day's work. Per the Washington Post , the evolutionary biologist at the University of Exeter gave his team the task of determining if the fish... More »

Why Today's Teens Don't Act Their Age

'Helicopter parenting' is one factor, researchers say

(Newser) - Compared to a generation ago, today's young people are dawdling when it comes to experiencing behaviors traditionally seen as precursors to adulthood: drinking, driving, having sex, and joining the workforce. As a result, they're often called "lazy"—but that's not exactly accurate. According to researchers,... More »

Clean Needles Aren't the Only Tattoo Concern

Ask about the chemicals in the ink—your lymph nodes could be tainted from them

(Newser) - Besides getting stuck with a Hello Kitty tattoo for life, there's another downside to getting skin ink: Microscopic particles can taint your lymph nodes. A new study found that after a person gets a tat, nano traces of the ink containing preservatives and contaminants work their way into the... More »

There's Not Much Evidence That Drinking While Pregnant Is Bad

But you shouldn't do it anyway, researchers say

(Newser) - Researchers say up to 80% of pregnant women in the UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand have had an alcoholic beverage during their pregnancies—some due to the fact that they didn't realize they were pregnant when they threw one back, the Guardian notes. But getting that "positive"... More »

'ET' Dust Extracted From White Cliffs of Dover

Cosmic particles could offer clues to past major events like asteroid collisions

(Newser) - The White Cliffs of Dover serve as both a stunning photographic subject and as an iconic British symbol of defense during war. Now they're also a geological museum of sorts: Scientists from Imperial College London have discovered 76 particles of fossilized cosmic dust in the chalky limestone, which could... More »

'Drastic' Ketogenic Diet Helps Mice Live Longer

Scientists are looking for molecular triggers

(Newser) - All fat, easy on the carbs? At least for one particular breed of lab mice, the so-called ketogenic diet could improve various health metrics, including strength and lifespan. Per a news release , researchers report that two independent studies support the same theme: that a diet with very low to zero... More »

Avoid This Mistake When Shopping Online

Customers are swayed by number of reviews, even for bad products

(Newser) - Quantity matters, at least when it comes to product reviews. New research finds that consumers are swayed by the number of reviews an item receives, even if it's of worse quality. Quartz reports that the study analyzing buying habits on Amazon shows that online products with the most reviews... More »

Skeleton Found in Underwater Cave One of Oldest in Americas

Too bad thieves stole it

(Newser) - Back in 2012, divers in Mexico discovered a human skeleton submerged in a cave on the Yucatan Peninsula and posted photos to social media, drawing the attention of scientists. "I immediately knew that we had something special," paleontologist Wolfgang Stinnesbeck tells Inverse . But by the time researchers arrived... More »

Yet Another Reason Not to Snack at Night

When we eat impacts certain skin genes

(Newser) - Eating when we should be sleeping could disrupt our skin's ability to protect itself from the sun's harmful rays, researchers now say. Specifically, per a ScienceDaily news release, noshing down late at night can mess with the skin's biological clock, which in turn can affect the effectiveness... More »

Eat More Fat, Fewer Carbs

Research shows low-fat diets don't keep us alive longer

(Newser) - Fat, it turns out, is good for you. Or at least it's not as bad as we previously thought, per a sweeping new study that suggests low-fat diets could increase the risk of early death, the Telegraph reports. The surprising findings published in the Lancet suggest that instead of... More »

Engineer Says She's Solved Mystery of Civil War Sub

Her conclusion: torpedo shock waves killed the crew, doomed the Hunley

(Newser) - For more than 150 years, researchers have scratched their heads over a Civil War mystery—and now a Navy engineer says she's solved it. Rachel Lance has been diving deep into the 1864 sinking of the Confederate submarine HL Hunley, which mysteriously went down shortly after sinking the Union'... More »

Moms Still Put Babies to Sleep in Unsafe Positions

Less than half of mothers always put babies to sleep on their backs

(Newser) - In 1994, the "Back to Sleep" campaign launched, urging American parents to put their babies to sleep on their backs to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, CBS News reports. According to News Medical , rates of infants sleeping on their back increased from 10% to 78% over... More »

Scientists Spot Stage 1 Cancers Via Blood Test

Earlier treatment could save millions of lives

(Newser) - Human blood is rich with genetic material, and scientists have in recent years taken many steps forward in decoding it. The latest announcement—that a blood test can spot cancer at its earliest stages—has the potential to save millions of lives as treatment is administered earlier in the disease'... More »

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