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8 Hours of Sleep? 7 Might Be Better

CDC is working on new guidelines

(Newser) - How much sleep do you need? The CDC is coming out with new guidelines next year, but a spate of recent research suggests that seven hours is close to the magic number, not eight, reports the Wall Street Journal . Because requirements change from person to person, however, experts suggest spending... More »

Binge Drinking Makes You Cool, Briefly: Study

Heavy drinking indicates a higher peer group status: study

(Newser) - Want to be the center of your social circle? You might have to hit the bottle. A new study notes men and women who engage in heavy drinking more frequently hold higher positions of power within their friend groups. The study—focused on 357 young adults headed to bars in... More »

Odd Ditches Made Before Amazon Rainforest Grew

Study: Before it was jungle, it was savannah

(Newser) - Some 3,000 years ago, the Bolivian Amazon didn’t look like a jungle at all—it was more like an African savannah. A new study reveals how the ancient landscape took shape, and sheds new light on the mysterious ditches the early Amazonians built there for purposes unknown. The... More »

Study: Blood Proteins Signal Alzheimer's Is Coming

UK researchers ID 10 proteins that can predict disease onset

(Newser) - Alzheimer's may be well on its way to being a detectable disease by way of a blood test. The BBC reports on the "major step forward": Researchers at King's College London studied differences in the blood of 1,148 people—476 with Alzheimer's, 220 with mild... More »

99% of Ocean Plastic Is AWOL

Bad news: It's probably entering our food chain

(Newser) - Millions of tons of plastic thought to be floating around the world’s oceans have gone missing. But that's not the good news one might think. According to a new study , marine animals could be ingesting our garbage, reports the Verge . Up to 99% of the most microscopic plastic... More »

Ancient Meteorite Unlocks Space Puzzle

'Mysterious object' found in Swedish limestone quarry

(Newser) - Almost 500 million years ago in the Ordovician Period, two large bodies in the asteroid belt collided. Two asteroids, or an asteroid and a comet, blew apart and their debris and dust fell to Earth. One of these large bodies was the source of all the L-chondrite meteorites that have... More »

Here's Why Nobody Is Exactly 'Mexican'

Population is too genetically diverse to define, say researchers

(Newser) - A new study has found that the population of Mexico is so genetically diverse that the term “Mexican” doesn’t really apply to anyone. Think about the differences between a European and an East Asian—that’s about how different a Mexican from the north is from a Yucatan... More »

Study: Your Dog Doesn't Want Your Charity

It wants to earn that treat

(Newser) - Your dog doesn’t want you to just give him that treat, he wants to work for it. That’s the conclusion of a Swedish study that sought to discover which dogs like better—a reward freely given or one earned. The study was adapted from one that sought the... More »

Your Brain Builds Memories As You Sleep

Which means you should actually go to bed

(Newser) - As you sleep, your brain is actually forming new neural connections, helping you retain the things you learned during the day, according to a new study. Researchers in China and the US used advanced microscopy to peer inside the brains of mice who were learning a new skill. They found... More »

Here's What Eventually Kills Centenarians

New study looks at causes of death for the 100-and-over crowd

(Newser) - Centenarians really are different than most of us. A study in the UK has revealed that the oldest of the old typically die not of the chronic illnesses that often fell the “younger” elderly, but of infections or frailty, LiveScience reports. Out of almost 36,000 centenarians who died... More »

Scientists: Beware of Silver in Everyday Items

Nanoparticles are used to ward off bacteria—but at what risk?

(Newser) - Silver nanoparticles are used in all kinds of products—from odor-fighting socks to self-sanitizing toothbrushes—but some researchers fear they may be bad for the environment and our personal health, the New York Times reports. First, the good news: Microscopic particles of silver kill off bacteria, which is why they'... More »

Virus Experiments in Lab Could Unleash Pandemic

Researchers say there's a small but clear risk such tests could be catastrophic

(Newser) - Scientific testing is great—except when it has the potential to unleash a global pandemic. That's the word from a new study that warns experiments on mutant viruses could do more harm than good. Scientists around the world are creating new viruses or changing existing ones to better understand... More »

Mysterious Illness Blows In From China

Kawasaki disease is on the rise

(Newser) - A potential big step forward in discovering the cause of a childhood heart disease so mysterious that it was referred to as GOK—short for "God only knows"—for the decade after its 1961 identification: Scientists now believe that the agent that causes Kawasaki disease, eventually named for... More »

You and Your Spouse May Have Similar DNA

But new study finds your education level similarity is likely much stronger

(Newser) - You may have more in common with your spouse than you think—like DNA, a new study suggests. Scientists came to their conclusion, published yesterday in the journal PNAS , after reviewing data on 9,429 non-Hispanic whites, a group that included 825 wedded couples. The bigger number of the study:... More »

Thanks, Humanity: Ocean Floor Is a Garbage Dump

Study of 32 ocean sites finds not one free of human litter

(Newser) - In the depths of European oceans, you'll find coral, sand—and old Heineken cans. Yup, human litter can be found even in the most far-reaching places on the planet, according to one of the biggest scientific surveys ever done of the seafloor. Using video and trawling surveys between 1999... More »

Gold Miners Discover 'Unique' Mineral

Putnisite has a unique composition and structure, study says

(Newser) - Miners prospecting for nickel and gold in Western Australia have stumbled on a rare find: a mineral that's unique among the world's 4,000 discovered mineral species, LiveScience reports. Called putnisite, it ranges from dark to light purple, has a pink streak, and is found on volcanic rock,... More »

Study: Men Get Grumpy at Age 70

After reporting that things started improving around 50

(Newser) - If you're a male who's approaching 50, good news: A recent study found that 80% of the 1,315 men surveyed found that life improved around 50, as opposed to the 20% who said life didn't get easier until retirement age. But the good times apparently have... More »

Lack of Sleep Can Fry 25% of Brain Cells

Study of mice finds brain damage with prolonged sleep loss

(Newser) - A lack of shut-eye may not just leave you feeling groggy—it could seriously injure your brain. A new study of mice has found 25% of brain cells died off after prolonged sleep loss, meant to duplicate night shifts or long hours at the office—the first evidence of its... More »

Teen Makes Leap in Study of Own Rare Disease

Elana Simon co-authors new study on fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma

(Newser) - At 18, Elana Simon is already the co-author of a study in the renowned journal Science . The subject? Her own rare liver cancer, which she was diagnosed with at age 12. Together with scientists, another survivor of the disease, her surgeon, and her dad, who runs a cellular biophysics lab,... More »

Cats May See Things That Are Invisible to Us

Dogs and reindeer, too

(Newser) - If you saw the world through the eyes of your pet, you'd very likely be seeing a lot more than you currently do. That according to new research that has found that cats, dogs, and select other animals may be able to see things that are invisible to the... More »

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