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First CTE Diagnosis in Living Patient Confirmed

Fred McNeill's brain showed clumps of tau proteins before 2015 death

(Newser) - In a potentially groundbreaking first, doctors say they detected chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the degenerative brain disease associated with repeated head injuries, in a living patient. Just weeks after Boston University researchers announced CCL11 proteins in the brain could indicate CTE in living patients, researchers in Chicago say they identified CTE... More »

Alarming Trend Among Teens: 'Digital Self-Harm'

6% of children surveyed said they'd engaged in 'self-cyberbullying'

(Newser) - Cyberbullying is a huge problem among teens—and an alarming new study finds that sometimes, kids inflict the bullying on themselves. Researchers surveyed almost 5,600 US students between the ages of 12 and 17, and around 6% reported they had engaged in what researchers are calling "self-cyberbullying" or... More »

No More Amnios for Down Syndrome? Scientists Hope So

They say new test results in a 100-fold reduction in false positives

(Newser) - Doctors have discovered a more accurate way to prenatally test for chromosome disorders like Down syndrome, and it's less stressful for the mother to boot. Normally, if an ultrasound and blood test show a woman's risk of an affected pregnancy is high, doctors can perform additional tests to... More »

Too Little Sleep Is Same for Brain as Too Much Booze

UCLA study zeros in on how individual cells slow down during sleep deprivation

(Newser) - When you don't get enough sleep, parts of your brain are going to take catnaps the next day, even while you're ostensibly up and awake, a new study suggests. The results can have real-world consequences, says lead researcher Itzhak Fried of UCLA, who uses the example of a... More »

Tiny T. Rex Arms We Laugh At May Have Been 'Vicious'

Scientist thinks they may have been used for powerful slashing

(Newser) - It's a physical mismatch that's long puzzled paleontologists: Tyrannosaurus rex, terror of the Cretaceous Period, empowered with a giant head and ferocious jaws, yet also stuck with tiny, seemingly useless arms. Per National Geographic , scientists' speculation on the arms has included using them to hang onto prey, as... More »

There's a Reason Afternoon Heart Surgery Is Best

Heart genes aren't in top form in the morning: scientists

(Newser) - Should you ever need heart surgery, it might be worth pressing for an afternoon appointment. New research in the Lancet finds patients who undergo morning heart surgery are twice as likely to suffer heart issues and other complications as patients who have surgery in the afternoon, per the BBC . It'... More »

One Whiff of Blood Molecule Separates Hunters, Hunted

Scent of E2D triggers widely different reactions in animals, including humans

(Newser) - Scientists have zeroed in on a molecule in blood whose very scent triggers alarm in humans but also beckons predators. In fact, one whiff of the E2D molecule causes animals of all kinds to act in "diametrically opposite" ways, suggesting that it's been around for eons and responses... More »

Woman Can't Stop Sweating Blood From Face, Hands

Doctors say 'most unusual' condition is hematohidrosis, but they aren't sure what causes it

(Newser) - You know there's a problem if you start coughing up blood—but how to react when you start sweating blood? Per the CBC , a 21-year-old Italian woman got to a hospital ASAP, and now doctors are puzzling over her "most unusual" case of bleeding from her face and... More »

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 »

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