scientific research

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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 »

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 »

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