scientific study

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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 »

A Blood Test Predicts How Well You're Going to Age

What secrets lurk within?

(Newser) - Every time the oldest people in the world celebrate a birthday, they're inevitably asked their secret to aging. Some cite alcohol, others the lack of it; some how much they sleep, others how little; many talk about just relaxing , and almost all pay homage to having good genes. Now... More »

Live Near Heavy Traffic? You Have Higher Dementia Risk

Study finds that those who live near major roads are more likely to develop dementia

(Newser) - Those who live near a high-traffic area may be at a higher risk of developing dementia, a new study out of Canada finds. Researchers looked at the records of more than 6.5 million Ontario residents ages 20 to 85 between 2001 and 2012, and found that within that group... More »

Fossil Fills in Big Blank About the Mysterious 'Ghost Shark'

It belongs to an early chimaera, not a shark

(Newser) - The chimaera, or so-called "ghost shark," is an elusive deep-water fish that has fascinated biologists for more than a century. Like its relative the shark, however, it's made of cartilage and thus rarely fossilizes, so little is known about its evolutionary past, reports Live Science . Now the... More »

There’s a Staggering Number of Insects Above Us

Those that fly over the UK each year have the mass of 20K reindeer

(Newser) - Step outside and imagine there's a blanket of billions of insects overhead—because there probably is. Researchers who spent a decade tracking insects 500 to 4,000 feet above the ground in south-central England using radar beams and nets found about 3.5 trillion bugs and butterflies migrate across... More »

Scientists Figure Out Why Men Have No Penis Bone

Human sex is just too speedy: study

(Newser) - Monkeys have them. In walruses, they might be up to two feet long. Mice have teeny, tiny ones. So why don't human men have a penis bone? Scientists have a theory, and gentlemen, it might hurt your ego a bit. While researching the bone—known as the baculum—researchers... More »

New Twist on Why Dinosaurs Got So Big So Fast

Those with funky-looking skulls grew most quickly

(Newser) - For years, paleontologists have theorized that many of the world's largest dinosaurs sported head ornaments (think horns, knobs, and crests) as a means of intimidation and defense, and that these giants evolved to be so big because size helped them be more effective killers. But now new research published... More »

Impulsive Much? You're Probably Selfish, Too

Scientists find your ability to see others' point of view is related to self-control

(Newser) - If your level of self-control involves spending like Paris Hilton on trust-fund day or needing to be physically restrained at an all-you-can-eat buffet, well, chances are that you also spend a fair amount of time navel-gazing and you have a hard time imagining what it's like from someone else'... More »

Bumble Bees Learn Trick, Surprise Researchers

Most figured out how to pull string for reward after seeing how it's done

(Newser) - Ever wondered how tiny a bumble bee's brain is? Imagine a sesame seed clinging to a burger bun, reports the Washington Post —in other words, it's about 0.0002% the volume of a human brain, as calculated by Science . But that doesn't mean you can't... More »

In Algae, a Key to White Cliffs of Dover

They could in theory be replicated in the Antarctic—in millions of years

(Newser) - Had William Shakespeare had a chance to peruse a new study, he might have praised nitrate for the dizzying view from atop the White Cliffs of Dover. That’s because the tiny algae, known as coccolithophores, which helped form the famous cliffs some 100 million years ago benefited from a... More »

'5-Second Rule' Is Baloney

In some cases, contamination is instantaneous, say researchers

(Newser) - The five-second rule is off by about five seconds in many cases, and not in the direction you hoped. That's what Rutgers researchers say in a new study debunking the classic kitchen rule, which declares it safe to eat food off the floor if scooped up in a flash.... More »

Tired Brain Makes Us Overeat, but There's a Fix

Quick workout after mental activity seems to do the trick

(Newser) - Feel like stuffing your face after a grueling day at the office? Try exercising instead. A new study suggests that exercise keeps you from chowing down on more than your body needs after a tough mental task. Previous research has shown that people eat more after such tasks, like tests... More »

Study Suggests Link Between Air Pollution, Alzheimer's

Magnetite a 'plausible risk factor' for disease, says author

(Newser) - Air pollution has been linked to strokes, heart attacks , autism , and raised blood pressure . Now, scientists say it might also be responsible for Alzheimer's disease. Scientists at Lancaster University in the UK say they found an "extraordinary" amount of magnetite, an iron oxide toxic to the brain, in... More »

One of Our Largest Water Sources Is Contaminated

Water in Indo-Gangetic Basin contains toxic salt and arsenic

(Newser) - A river basin in southern Asia is so enormous that 750 million people rely on it for their groundwater. Now, a new study in Nature Geoscience presents an equally staggering stat: 60% of that water is unfit for drinking or farming because it's contaminated by salt or arsenic, reports... More »

Doling Out Fake Praise? Your Dog Knows

They consider words, tone when processing language: study

(Newser) - Score one for the "dogs are better than cats" camp: New research suggests dogs truly understand their owners—not just the words they speak, but also their tone of speaking. Researchers at Hungary's Eotvos Lorand University measured the brain activity of 13 pet dogs as a trainer repeated... More »

Sweden to Study How Good Sex Is in Sweden

Health minister concerned by reports that Swedes are having less sex

(Newser) - Sweden is the land of meticulous recordkeeping that dates back to 1749, which makes it the perfect place to pull off large scientific studies. (The country recently discovered that for the first time in those nearly 300 years it has more men than women .) Now the Swedish government has... More »

Clouds Aren't Where They Used to Be

Shifting patterns don't bode well for planet, say scientists

(Newser) - The clouds are shifting, and a new study suggests that's a worrisome thing for the planet. Satellite images collected between 1983 and 2009 show two trends: Clouds have been migrating away from the Equator toward the Earth's poles, and the tops of those clouds are reaching higher into... More »

Flying East Is a Pain for Your Brain

Biological clock prefers a longer day achieved by flying west: study

(Newser) - A flight from Paris to New York is easier on the brain than one from New York to Paris, according to a new study that finds jet lag is based not only on distance traveled, but also the direction of travel. In the journal Chaos , researchers from the University of... More »

Eating Fruits and Veggies Will Boost Your Happiness

After about 2 years

(Newser) - An apple a day keeps the blues away? According to a new study , eating fruits and vegetables increases happiness. "However," researcher Andrew Oswald tells the New York Daily News , "French fries will not count." Researchers from England's University of Warwick and the University of Queensland... More »

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