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Scientists Turn Bad Memories to Happy Ones

Research could mean more effective treatment for human disorders

(Newser) - Scared to death of spiders after you found one crawling in your bed? Scientists may have discovered a way for you to find them positively cuddly. After identifying the neurons powered by positive and negative memories in mice, MIT neuroscientists found a way to use light to essentially rewrite a... More »

Medical Marijuana May Cut Painkiller ODs

States with new laws see drop in opioid deaths

(Newser) - The solution to America's addiction to painkillers may be … more drugs? A new study found a drop in painkiller overdose deaths in 13 states that allowed medical marijuana, CNN reports. That's because a patient prescribed marijuana will either stop taking opioids or take less of them, researchers... More »

1 in 7 'Sleep Drunk' After Waking

And you know you who are

(Newser) - Have you ever woken up so confused you've mistaken a water bottle for a telephone, or the closet for a toilet? If so, you might be among the one in seven people estimated to suffer from a sleep disorder called "confusional arousal," reports MedPage Today . Or to... More »

TB's Arrival in New World: Blame Seals

New study also suggests TB is only 6K years old

(Newser) - Tuberculosis may have reached the New World long before Christopher Columbus ever sailed the ocean blue, a new study suggests. Scientists have examined 1,000-year-old Peruvian bones mysteriously infected with TB—500 years before the arrival of Spaniards, who are historically blamed for bringing TB to the New World, Nature ... More »

New Heart Disease Culprit: Ramen?

Study examines South Korea's intake—the highest in the world

(Newser) - Think of this the next time you slurp a cheap cup of hot ramen noodles: It could be linked to heart disease, especially if you're a woman, the AP reports. A new American study of South Korea's ramen consumption examined the diets of 10,700 people aged 19... More »

Skull Shapes 'Feminized' About 50K Years Ago

Smaller brows, less testosterone helped us advance: study

(Newser) - Hope you're sitting down, gentlemen: A new study says that homo sapiens made a huge leap in abstract and symbolic thought 50,000 years ago because their skull-shape "feminized" and testosterone levels went down, Pacific Standard reports. Experts at Duke University analyzed over 1,400 modern and ancient... More »

How Bee Venom Might Fight Cancer

Researchers use synthetic form to safely attack tumors

(Newser) - Locked within the honeybee’s painful sting is a toxin that could fight cancer, CNN reports. Though in its early stages, research shows that venom from bees, snakes, and scorpions can stop the growth of cancer cells. University of Illinois scientist Dipanjan Pan has taken the research one step further... More »

More Unmarried Women Over Age 35 Having Babies

But fewer unwed women overall are having kids, says CDC

(Newser) - Although the birth rate for unmarried women has been slowly declining, middle-aged American women aren't waiting to tie the knot before having kids. According to recent CDC data, birth rates for unmarried females between the ages of 35 and 39 rose a substantial 48% between 2002 and 2012, reports... More »

Older Adults Think Better in the Morning

People 60 to 82 did best on cognitive tasks before 10:30am

(Newser) - Older adults who want to take a crack at the Sunday Times crossword or try a Food Network recipe may want to do it first thing in the morning. A small study by Canadian researchers and published in the journal Psychology and Aging found that adults between the ages of... More »

Newborns' Brains Grow 1% a Day

Rate slows down after initial burst in early weeks

(Newser) - The first study of its kind shows that newborns' brains grow fast—figure a staggering 1% a day immediately after birth, though it slows to about half that rate by the end of three months. Using MRI scans of 87 newborns' brains, researchers discovered that the first weeks of life... More »

Almost 10% of Cancer Survivors Still Smoke: Study

83% of those who keep puffing away smoke an average 15 cigarettes daily

(Newser) - It's been well documented how smoking wreaks havoc on your body, with tobacco use upping the risk for a variety of cancers—lung, bladder, esophagus, larynx, pancreas, and more—and causing almost one in five deaths in the US and 30% of all cancer deaths, according to the American... More »

Kinder, Gentler Humans Built Modern Culture

Study finds link between lower testosterone, evolutionary jump

(Newser) - Maybe all mankind needed to become more civilized was a kinder, gentler touch, suggests a study out of the University of Utah and Duke University. The new research now links a drop in testosterone to our ancestors' sudden jump into civilized behavior about 50,000 years ago. This is when... More »

Mammoths and Mastodons Stuck Close to Home

Study of ancient teeth reveal surprising clues about how and where they lived

(Newser) - Mr. Snuffleupagus and friends didn’t much like to leave home—at least not the ones that lived in what is now Ohio and Kentucky, a University of Cincinnati study reveals. Researchers had long believed mammoths and mastodons were nomadic, but their teeth tell a different story. Mammoths ate grasses... More »

Moon May Hold Clues to Earth's Ancient Past

Study says fossils from Earth could survive the trip via meteor

(Newser) - Might the moon be able to shed some light on the origins of life on Earth? A new study out of the University of Kent opens the possibility that the moon could be littered with ancient fossils from our planet, reports New Scientist . No such fossil has been found to... More »

Tree Rings Solve Mystery of Old World Trade Center Ship

Study shows it got built in Philadelphia about 1773

(Newser) - A mystery ship unearthed during construction of the new World Trade Center site isn't so much of a mystery anymore. A new study based on analysis of tree rings in its wood reveals that the ship likely got built in 1773 in Philadelphia—and with the same white oak... More »

Geckos Sent Into Space to Have Sex Now in Danger

Communications compromised with Russian satellite

(Newser) - Five lust-filled lizards hurled into the heavens to get lucky in the name of science are now in peril. The Russian space agency Roscosmos is trying to fix faulty communications with its Foton-M4 satellite, which was launched last week with one male gecko and four females on board, reports Ars... More »

Watching TV After Work Makes You Feel Like a Loser

Winding down in front of the boob tube can cause high levels of guilt, scientists say

(Newser) - It seems natural to reach for the remote to take a breather after a taxing day of conference calls and TPS reports , but a new study warns that especially work-weary folks who flick on the TV or play video games may feel incredibly guilty and like failures afterward, reports the... More »

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 »

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