scientific research

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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 »

How Sober People Influence Drunk People

We perceive how drunk we are based on those around us, and sober people make us more aware

(Newser) - Think you're a good judge of your own level of inebriation while drinking? Think again. Researchers report in the journal BMC Public Health that our perception of just how intoxicated we are shifts depending on those around us, so much so that we think we're less drunk when... More »

How Much Coffee You Drink May Be Down to Your Genes

One gentetic variation may control how effective it is, say researchers

(Newser) - Can't stop at just one cup of joe to wake up? You might be missing a certain variation of the PDSS2 gene, which instructs our bodies to break down caffeine more slowly. Researchers in Scotland report in the journal Scientific Reports that they interviewed and examined the DNA of... More »

Bermuda Triangle Mystery: Finally Cracked?

Norwegian scientists point to 'methane craters'

(Newser) - A new discovery has revived an old theory about ocean water gobbling up ships in the Bermuda Triangle—if, that is, the Bermuda Triangle even exists. Researchers from the Arctic University of Norway say they've spotted large craters apparently created by methane buildups off Norway's coast, Atlas Obscura... More »

Winning Might Turn You Into a Cheater

It's all about feeling a sense of entitlement

(Newser) - Could being a winner put you on the slippery slope to becoming a cheater? A new study out of Israel suggests it can. Researchers found a correlation between winning a competition and subsequently feeling entitled to win another—and study participants were willing to cheat in order to do so,... More »

150 Friends on Facebook? You're Close to Only 4

No, social media isn't helping you grow the number of your friends

(Newser) - Social media may make managing friendships logistically easier, but perhaps unsurprisingly, Facebook and the like aren't actually helping you grow your circle of true friends. So reports evolutionary psychologist Robin Dunbar this month in the journal Royal Society Open Science, after analyzing research conducted in April and May of... More »

Coke, Pepsi Fund Study Touting Diet Soda's Health Benefits

'Laughable, unscientific nonsense'

(Newser) - You'll never believe who paid for a study that found drinking diet soda could be better than water for losing weight. Well, OK, you'll probably guess. The Independent reports the study—published in the International Journal of Obesity in November—was partly funded by ILSI Europe, an "... More »

Broken-Heart Syndrome Is Real—and Dangerous

Study points to possible calming remedies, including yoga

(Newser) - Roberta Silver was driving along when her heart began to pound. Later at a hospital, she was told that she had suffered a heart attack. But the tests disagreed. "I had no blockage, nothing," Silver says. Ultimately, doctors changed the diagnosis to broken-heart syndrome . Some researchers now believe... More »

The Secret to Sincere Texts? Lose the Period

Proper punctuation is a turnoff

(Newser) - Don’t end your texts with a period. Period. After all, that’s what jerks do, New York magazine opines, with a new study out of SUNY Binghamton lending scientific credence. Researchers showed 126 undergraduates a bunch of texts featuring an invitation and a reply. Participants rated replies that were... More »

Studies Say We've Been Lining Up All Wrong

Last-come-first served is unfair but efficient, researchers claim

(Newser) - Researchers have figured out a way to reduce wait times everywhere lines are found—from the DMV to Disneyland. Unfortunately, their ideas are unlikely to ever be implemented because of people's unbreakable allegiance to the concept of fairness. Quartz reports on two research papers published in 2012 and 2014... More »

Gamers Who Harass Women Actually Suck

Poor-performing males who stand to lose status take it out on ladies: study

(Newser) - Like low-status Neanderthals, contemporary men who aren't exactly winners—literally, when it comes to playing video games—are more likely to harass women online, new research cited in the Washington Post finds. Scientists who conducted the study published in Plos One played 163 games of Halo as either male-voiced... More »

Scientists Decide There Are 4 Kinds of Drunks

Are you an Ernest Hemingway drunk or a Mary Poppins drunk?

(Newser) - If you can "drink hells any amount of whiskey without getting drunk," you're an Ernest Hemingway drunk—and you're in good company. That's the finding of University of Missouri researchers who broke down the types of drunks into four distinct categories in a study published... More »

95% of Women Don't Regret Their Abortions

And there was no real difference between those who got early or late abortions

(Newser) - To further attempts to impose longer waiting periods and more stringent restrictions , abortion opponents have long used the argument that women suffer negative mental health after undergoing the procedure. That theory may have just been quashed by a new study that indicates 95% of women who've had an abortion... More »

2 Antidepressants Linked to Birth Defects

Paxil and Prozac implicated; newer SSRIs like Zoloft, Celexa cleared

(Newser) - A CDC study of almost 28,000 women has shown links between use of the antidepressants Paxil and Prozac and birth defects, Reuters reports. The study, published in the British Medical Journal , sought to answer long-debated questions about the effect of taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, during pregnancy,... More »

You May Be Aging More Quickly Than Your Peers

People's biological ages often don't match up with actual ages: scientists

(Newser) - If you've ever been told "you look good for your age," take it as the compliment it's meant to be—some people can't say the same. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences finds people age at what the Guardian ... More »

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