scientific research

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There's a Simple Reason Blue Whales Got So Huge

They pigged out on fish: study

(Newser) - Scientists think they've figured out why the biggest whales—those of the baleen variety, including blue whales—got so big. As they explain in a study in Proceedings of the Royal Society B , the researchers found that these behemoths didn't really become behemoths until about 4.5 million... More »

We Are Most Attracted to the Faces Around Us

'Beauty is in the faces of those we behold'

(Newser) - All parents know their kids are the most mind-bogglingly beautiful creatures they've ever seen. But this bias for beauty appears to extend beyond one's offspring to the faces of those we see the most. Researchers report in the journal Human Nature that people tend to prefer choosing mates... More »

Creationist Sues Grand Canyon for Religious Discrimination

He wants to take rocks out of the park to study further, NPS declined request

(Newser) - Somewhere between 15% and 40% of Americans believe our planet is only 10,000 years old, in spite of the literal heaps of evidence that it is far older. One such American, young-Earth creationist Andrew Snelling, is suing the National Park Service for not letting him remove rocks from the... More »

Need Strength? Try Cursing

Study finds that people perform better in physical tests if they swear

(Newser) - When you need a little extra oomph during a workout, try swearing. Researchers from the UK's Keele University report via the British Psychological Society that people perform better on tests of physical endurance when they curse. Specifically, 29 people around age 21 took part in a cycling test, and... More »

For First Time in 11 Years, Paralyzed Man Moves His Arm

Brain implants allow him to control his right arm through thoughts

(Newser) - Recent advances in brain-spine interface technology have so excited the scientists working to restore the abilities of quadriplegics and others that they've actually screamed at the results . Now, the team working on a device known as BrainGate2 at Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center is... More »

Scientists Recreate Female Reproductive System in Lab

They hope to study endometriosis, fibroids, cancer, and more

(Newser) - Scientists have created a device that mimics the female reproductive cycle, hailing it as a breakthrough in the study of diseases that affect hundreds of millions of women and girls around the world. Reporting in the journal Nature Communications , researchers at Northwestern University and beyond note that their "microfluidic... More »

Tribe to Scientists: We Have Ethical Rules for You

Much-studied San people want respect from researchers

(Newser) - The San people of South Africa, an indigenous group often called "bushmen" by Westerners, have been the subject of countless scientific investigations into everything from their rituals and click languages to their genomes. Now the San are asking for something in return: Respect. They've published a code of... More »

Study: Older Mothers Raise More Emotionally Secure Kids

Their kids have fewer emotional and behavioral problems

(Newser) - Doctors have long warned women about the physical risks of having children later in life, but a team of scientists out of Denmark is reporting in the European Journal of Developmental Psychology that there are also benefits to rearing children later in life, and these benefits tend to be emotional.... More »

Scientists Have a Theory on Why You Break Eye Contact

Blame an overworked brain, suggests study

(Newser) - Researchers in Japan suggest there's a surprising neurological reason why people avert their gaze occasionally during conversation. Reporting in the journal Cognition , they write that eye contact actually "disrupts resources available to cognitive control processes during verb generation." In other words, when you need to come up... More »

A Discovery About Memory Could Help the Mentally Ill

Scientists have a new view on 'working memory'

(Newser) - Scientists have a new theory about how the brain processes memories, one that holds the promise—someday—of helping those with depression and other mental illnesses. The study out of the University of Wisconsin focused on working memory, which covers immediate stuff like new phone numbers or where we left... More »

Smartphone Residue Says a Lot About You—Really, a Lot

Contains clues about gender, diet, health, hygiene, location, pets, and more

(Newser) - Much like our keyboards, our smartphones are anything but clean. So researchers at UC San Diego decided to analyze the molecules on a handful of them and see what they could deduce about the phone's owners—and it turned out to be a whole lot. They swabbed four sections... More »

Military May Boost Soldier Performance With Brain Stimulation

Seen as safer alternative to prescription drugs

(Newser) - Air crew, drone operators, and other personnel serving in the military's most demanding roles may soon get a non-pharmacological boost: brain stimulation. Devices that use five electrodes to shoot weak currents into very specific targets in the cortex have performed very well in studies investigating performance under pressure, boosting... More »

Think Rideshares Minimize Racism? Study: Think Again

It's not just taxi drivers who pick up fewer African-Americans

(Newser) - Research has suggested that Uber and the like are helping to alleviate some of the discrimination that runs rampant among taxi drivers—but a new study involving roughly 1,500 trips in Seattle and Boston may be casting some rain on that parade. Published by the National Bureau of Economic... More »

The Bubbles in Seltzer Water Are Tricking You

Study finds people feel more quenched after drinking carbonated water

(Newser) - If you're feeling uncomfortably thirsty, you may want to grab a La Croix, or so suggests a new study that looks at the "Perception of Drinking and Thirst Quenching in Thirsty Adults." Science Daily explains the assumption that rehydration alleviates thirst isn't really true: "In... More »

Best Way to Learn May Be to Study, Sleep on It, Review

Sleep can help us relearn things twice as quickly and three times as effectively

(Newser) - It's well established through previous research that sleep after learning is best for many memory-related tasks, including word lists, mazes, auditory tones, and so on. Sleep seems so vital to recall that some speculate it is directly responsible for, not just supportive of, learning, reports Scientific American . So researchers... More »

MRIs Reveal How Little Lies Snowball Into Bigger Ones

'The brain adapts to dishonesty'

(Newser) - Everybody lies at some point, but scientists say they've uncovered a biological mechanism supporting the "slippery slope" that leads some from smaller acts of dishonesty to larger transgressions. Reporting in the journal Nature Neuroscience , they write that MRI scans allowed them to watch how a particular part of... More »

These Wine Grapes Listened to Mozart, to Their Benefit

Inside an interesting experiment in Italy

(Newser) - A taste of black cherry, leather, and just a hint of G minor? In the hills of Montalcino in Tuscany, winemaker Giancarlo Cignozzi has, for more than a decade, been playing Mozart 24 hours a day to a section of Sangiovese grapes growing in his vineyard, reports CBS News . At... More »

Hey, Athletes: Don't Feel Guilty About Sex Before the Game

Italian researchers say sexual activity may even enhance sports performance

(Newser) - It's a line of thought that dates back to ancient Greece and Rome and has been handed down to the athletes of today: For peak performance, abstain from sex before the big event. Or maybe not. Italian researchers have done some digging, and they report in the journal Frontiers ... More »

Squirrels Prove It: Females Do All the Work, Guys Goof Off

Males appear to spend a lot of time basking in the sun: new study

(Newser) - Science has given tired women everywhere their I-told-you-so-moment, and it comes courtesy of the hapless Arctic ground squirrel: The males of the species appear to spend most of their non-hibernating months soaking up the rays above ground while the females are kept busy either nursing their young below ground or... More »

How Tough Childhoods May Lead to Premature Aging

Kids may appear to bounce back from life stressors, but their bodies tell a different story

(Newser) - Children appear to be highly susceptible to the stress of trauma on a biological level, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences . US and Canadian researchers led by Eli Puterman of the University of British Columbia have been studying the length of telomeres,... More »

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