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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 »

Why Stopping a 150mph Sneeze Isn't Smart

UK patient ruptures throat, researchers warn about other possible damage that could result

(Newser) - It's said to be "exceedingly rare," but a study in the BMJ Case Reports journal documents the case of a 34-year-old UK man who showed up at a Leicester hospital complaining he was having a hard time swallowing, and that he felt a "popping sensation" in... More »

Found in China: Dino With a 'Rainbow Glimmer'

Jurassic Period's 'Caihong juji' had shimmering feathers like those found on hummingbirds

(Newser) - Scientists are now saying there may have been "a more colorful Jurassic World than we previously imagined," thanks to the recent discovery of a fossil in China's Hebei province. Reuters reports that a closer look at the "exquisitely preserved," almost completely intact fossil of a... More »

Huge Glaciers Found Hiding Beneath Mars Surface

Scientists already knew they were there, but they've just seen them in a whole new light

(Newser) - Scientists already knew that water ice lurked below Mars' surface. But a new study published in the journal Science sheds new light on what Space.com calls "apparent glaciers," seen anew thanks to high-res imagery from the HiRISE camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Using this data,... More »

Rock Art Dating Back Millennia May Be More Than Just Art

Painting found in India could be one of the oldest (if not the oldest) sky charts ever found

(Newser) - We can't exactly chat with ancient humans about their lives, but their art gives us glimpses, and a new find in India sheds literal light on a cosmic event they may have witnessed. Quartz cites a new study in the Indian Journal of History of Science in which scientists... More »

That Bonobo That Likes You? It Really Thinks You're a Jerk

Scientists say this ape species appears to prefer 'hinderers' to 'helpers'

(Newser) - Scientists have long wondered about the "prosocial" activity of bonobos, noting how the apes appear to be more sharing and cooperative than other primates such as chimps, per the Los Angeles Times . But humans may still have them beat after a new study out of Duke University suggests bonobos... More »

These Fish Are So Loud While Getting It On It's Deafening

Racket of mating Gulf corvina is so loud it could damage hearing of dolphins, say researchers

(Newser) - A type of Mexican fish heads every spring to the Gulf of California to spawn—and their "reproductive orgies," as the AFP puts it, are so loud they can damage hearing in other marine life. A pair of studies from the same researchers, one published in June in... More »

Rarest of Rare Discoveries: a Swimming Dinosaur

It's believed to be only the 2nd swimming dinosaur ever found

(Newser) - The dinosaur was the size of a turkey and had a neck like a swan, teeth like a crocodile, forelimbs similar to a penguin's flippers, and clawed feet ideal for use on land. It's such a strange assortment of features that researchers who identified the new species from... More »

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