scientific study

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200M Dirt Piles in Brazil Aren't There by Accident

Termites have moved an insane amount of soil over 4,000 years

(Newser) - Around the time Egypt's pyramids were built, another massive project got underway in a different part of the world. And like the pyramids, the resulting site in northeastern Brazil is visible from space today. But there was no ramp or pulley, or even manpower. Rather, as entomologist Stephen Martin... More »

Men Are From Mars (Logic), Women From Venus (Empathy)

Cambridge scientists reinforce old stereotypes; critics pounce on 'neurosexism'

(Newser) - In what's said to be the largest study examining differences between the sexes, a longtime stereotype is holding some water—though critics are pushing back on the supposed biological merit underlying the results. The Telegraph reports that researchers at the University of Cambridge tested more than 670,000 people... More »

Seed Banking Won't Work for 36% of Threatened Plants

The solution may be cryopreservation

(Newser) - The UN’s Global Strategy for Plant Conservation program has set a 2020 deadline for conserving 75% of the world’s threatened plant species outside of their natural habitat. But, based on the results of a new study, the prospects of meeting that target aren’t very good. According to... More »

Science Solves How to Make Great Pizza at Home

If you can follow directions, an electric oven will do fine: scientists

(Newser) - Not all scientific research takes place in labs. Just ask food anthropologist Sergio Grasso and physicists Andrey Varlamov and Andreas Glatz, who had the tough job of sampling Margherita pizzas across Rome in the lead up to their paper , "The Physics of Baking Good Pizza." The pizzaiolos of... More »

'First Evidence for Microplastics Inside Humans' Emerges

Plastic found in stool samples from people in 8 countries

(Newser) - It was only a matter of time. Scientists, following up research showing tiny particles of plastic in everything from bottled water to salt , say they've found "the first evidence for microplastics inside humans." All stool samples taken from eight participants of a small study by Environment Agency... More »

Scientists Surprised at How Good Our 'Facial Vocabulary' Is

Researchers say human brain can hold an impressive number of faces

(Newser) - Humans have historically lived in groups of about 100, yet our facial recognition skills easily adapt to a modern world where we see endless faces each day, whether in person or on TV. A new study in Proceedings of the Royal Society B , the first to give an evidence-based estimate... More »

Study: Vitamin D Supplements Are Largely Worthless

"Clinical guidelines should be changed to reflect these findings"

(Newser) - Vitamin D supplements aren't what they are cracked up to be when it comes to improving bone health and preventing breaks. So says a new study that looked at data from 81 controlled trials that involved more than 53,000 people, CNN reports. "Our meta-analysis finds that vitamin... More »

Scientists Pinpoint 4 Personality Types

Study refers to reserved, self-centered, role model, and average categories

(Newser) - Northwestern University psychology professor William Revelle spent years trying to show there are no real personality types. His latest research published Monday in Nature Human Behavior points to the opposite conclusion. Using data from 1.5 million survey respondents, it identifies four clear personality types—average, reserved, self-centered, and role... More »

Child of 2 Extinct Human Relatives Found for First Time

Siberian bone fragment shows Neanderthal mixing with a Denisovan

(Newser) - Scientists say they've found the remains of a prehistoric female whose mother was a Neanderthal and whose father belonged to another extinct group of human relatives known as Denisovans, the AP reports. The 90,000-year-old bone fragment found in southern Siberia marks the first time a direct offspring of... More »

Scientists Discover Who's Buried at Stonehenge

Number of people from South Wales is a 'surprise'

(Newser) - Ever wonder who's buried at Stonehenge? Maybe not, but some of them apparently came from a ways off—which adds to our understanding of Stonehenge and shows how 5,000-year-old cremated remains can still be analyzed, the Guardian reports. A new study finds that 10 out of 25 remains... More »

Baby's Cries Hint at Adult Voice

Voice pitch could be determined in the womb: study

(Newser) - Whether you have a high-pitched voice or a lower one, a new study suggests that it was probably evident when you were just a baby. As previous research has suggested voice pitch is unchanging in adulthood and nearly set in stone by age 7, researchers in France and the UK... More »

Kitchen Towels Dirtier Than You Think

Study finds that bacteria is common

(Newser) - There's a decent chance your kitchen towels are hiding bacteria linked to food poisoning and other infections, according to a new study , though some are urging caution before tossing those towels in the trash. The finding is based on a University of Mauritius study of 100 kitchen towels used... More »

Thirdhand Smoke Is a Big Problem

HVAC systems carry thirdhand smoke indoors: study

(Newser) - You've heard of secondhand smoke, but thirdhand smoke needs to be on your radar, too. "Just because you're in a nonsmoking environment, it doesn't mean you aren't exposed to tobacco," says Peter DeCarlo of Drexel University, whose study was published Wednesday in Science Advances,... More »

Poems May Be Great, but 'Poet Voice' Is the Pits

It's a slow, unnatural style of speaking, say researchers

(Newser) - Just as newscasters have their own speaking style , so, too, do poets. And it's pretty boring. Described by Rich Smith at CityArts as "a precious, lilting cadence" marked by pauses "where pauses need not go," the phenomenon of "poet voice" has now been cemented in... More »

Sorry, Night Owls, You Might Be Early to Die

Study suggests they have a 10% higher risk of early death

(Newser) - Some bad news for those who like to stay up late. A six-and-a-half-year study on the sleep habits of almost half a million people in the UK suggests that night owls are at a higher risk of early death than morning people. Though the study didn't examine the cause... More »

There's a Natural, Cheaper Alternative to Sports Drinks

Peel a banana

(Newser) - During an Australian Open match in January, tennis star CoCo Vandeweghe refused to continue play until someone gave her a banana. She was mocked, reports Deadspin , but the snack was probably worth the scorn. Like sports drinks, bananas are packed with sugars—14.43 grams in a medium-size one—proven... More »

Orca Learns to Mimic 'Hello,' Other Words

Nice job, Wikie

(Newser) - Orcas don't just wave and whistle. They also have the ability to mimic words like "hello" and "bye bye," as one killer whale has just proven. After discovering orca pods with unique "accents" in their communications—which naturally come in the form of whistles, calls,... More »

CTE Can Develop in Those Who've Never Had a Concussion

A single hit to the head can initiate changes in the brain, scientists say

(Newser) - When a person has a concussion, headaches, memory impairment, and loss of balance usually make the injury obvious. But there are "many more people who are getting hit and getting hurt" without much attention, CTE researcher Lee Goldstein tells NPR . His latest study puts a spotlight on them, providing... More »

Study Answers Age-Old Question: Are Dogs or Cats Smarter?

Dogs win, at least in cortical neurons, say researchers

(Newser) - It's not likely to be the last word on the subject, but researchers at Vanderbilt University have come up with an answer to the age-old question of whether dogs or cats are smarter. And it's a win for dog lovers. Study author Suzana Herculano-Houzel explains neurons in the... More »

Scientists Test 'Yeti' DNA, Unravel the Legend

New research suggests the man-like creature is just a bear

(Newser) - Yeti sightings have been reported in the Himalayas for centuries, with onlookers describing a man-like creature that some say is similar to a bear . In a sense, they got one thing right. DNA from purported yeti samples collected in Nepal and Tibet reveal the mysterious beasts and bears are likely... More »

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