discoveries

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Reveal About Usain Bolt's Stride Upends Sprinting Science

Jamaican runner has an uneven stride, perhaps due to scoliosis

(Newser) - You'd think a smooth, even gait would ensure the fastest running speeds for elite athletes—but researchers who studied the world's fastest man have found that, at least in his case, symmetry doesn't matter. Per the New York Times , scientists from Southern Methodist University in Dallas released... More »

Scientists Offer First Analysis of How Much Plastic We've Made

Researchers estimate 9B tons have been produced

(Newser) - A new study puts a number on the amount of plastic the planet has manufactured in the roughly 65 years we've been cranking it out: 9 billion tons. If you're struggling to visualize that weight, the BBC helps out: That's as heavy as 25,000 Empire State... More »

Kissing the 'Right' Way: Most of Us Don't Go Left

New research suggests this tendency might be innate

(Newser) - Dig if you will the picture: two people engaged in a kiss. Prince sang about "curious poses," but new research suggests that most of us may strike similar poses, leaning to the right instead of the left when kissing the lips of our partners. Researchers at the University... More »

Archaeologists Find Tomb With Possible Ties to King Tut

It could belong to his wife, Ankhesenamun

(Newser) - The two daughters King Tut is believed to have had with wife Ankhesenamun were stillborn, their mummified fetuses found in Tut's tomb nearly a century ago, the Telegraph reported in 2008. But what of Ankhesenamun, who was also Tut's half sister? It's possible her grave has just... More »

Receding Glacier Reveals Couple Frozen 75 Years

Bodies of missing couple discovered in Switzerland

(Newser) - Marcelin and Francine Dumoulin were 40 and 37, respectively, when they went out to milk their cows in the Swiss Alps on Aug. 15, 1942. They never returned, leaving behind seven children who were divided among other families in the region. The children became strangers, but "we spent our... More »

How Your Speech Could Offer Hint of Mental Decline

Verbal issues could be a clue to deteriorating cognitive state

(Newser) - Your speech may, um, help reveal if you're uh ... developing thinking problems. More pauses, filler words, and other verbal changes may be an early sign of mental decline, which can lead to Alzheimer's disease, a study suggests. Per the AP , researchers had 400 people without cognitive problems and... More »

Cave Clues Point to Parched Mideast for 10K Years

Iranian stalagmites indicate rain isn't coming anytime soon

(Newser) - For anyone holding hope that the dry conditions in the Middle East are but a temporary drought, two cave stalagmites taken from Iran tell a long history of the region's precipitation and give a grim prognosis: not much rain for the next 10,000 years. Thanks to their chemical... More »

Can You Read This Witch Spell? A Chicago Library Needs You

The Newberry is asking for public's help in translating 17th-century charms manuscript

(Newser) - In the market for some 17th-century spells written by (possible) real-life witches? The Book of Magical Charms, a handwritten manuscript penned by two unknown Brits in the 1600s, is shelved at Chicago's Newberry Library, along with two similar books, Quartz reports. The charms manual includes everyday tips and remedies,... More »

Link Between Breastfeeding, Lower Risk of This Disease

How long a woman nurses appears to impact her risk in developing multiple sclerosis

(Newser) - Women are most likely to develop multiple sclerosis during their childbearing years—after they hit puberty and before menopause. And recent studies show that oral contraceptive use and levels of sex hormones impact a woman's risk, while women who already have the chronic autoimmune disease are less likely to... More »

New Cancer Treatment Called 'Most Exciting Thing I've Seen'

FDA unanimously approved it

(Newser) - "This is the most exciting thing I've seen in my lifetime," Dr. Timothy Cripe said Wednesday after voting in favor of a groundbreaking new cancer treatment. The oncologist and nine other members of a Food and Drug Administration panel voted unanimously to recommend approval of the treatment,... More »

Scientists Just Found Smallest Possible Star

Thousands of times dimmer than our own sun

(Newser) - Introducing EBLM J0555-57Ab, which now has the distinction of being the smallest star ever discovered. In fact, scientists at the University of Cambridge say stars cannot possibly get much smaller and still function as stars, per a release at Phys.org . This one is 600 light-years away from Earth and... More »

Ancient Text by Father of Medicine Unearthed

Scientists say medicinal recipe attributed to Hippocrates revealed in Egyptian monastery

(Newser) - Hippocrates is considered the father of Western medicine, and now researchers in Egypt have found what they say is one of his original texts, reports National Geographic . The discovery came during restoration of the library at the ancient St. Catherine's Monastery in South Sinai, and it took some sleuthing.... More »

Scientists 'Very Excited' About 150K-Year-Old Baby Tooth

It's the oldest Denisovan fossil yet, found in a Siberian cave

(Newser) - Scientists are "very excited" to learn more about a baby tooth that only the most sophisticated DNA dating tech can analyze. Some 150,000 years ago, a young girl lost her baby tooth, and it fell into the sediment of a cave in Siberia from which the first three... More »

Gonorrhea Vaccine Possibly Found—by Accident

Meningitis vaccine offers gonorrhea protection: study

(Newser) - The World Health Organization commented Friday on gonorrhea's increasing resistance to antibiotics, noting the STD now afflicts 78 million people each year, including patients whose cases "are untreatable by all known antibiotics." It's good timing, then, for what appears to be the first ever vaccine to... More »

Regular or Decaf, Coffee Has Major Perk

2 studies link coffee with lower mortality risk

(Newser) - "If you like to drink coffee, drink up! If you're not a coffee drinker, then you need to consider if you should start." That's the advice of a researcher at the University of Southern California, per a press release , following a pair of new studies suggesting... More »

The Wreckage Was Found in 2010. Now, Bones

Discovery made near wreckage of the Tulsamerican off Croatia

(Newser) - Divers have located human bones near the wreckage of a US bomber that crashed in the Adriatic Sea in Croatia in 1944. The discovery was made last week at the site of the crash of the Tulsamerican, the last B-24 Liberator bomber built in Tulsa, Okla., near the end of... More »

Simple Trick May Help Plants Survive Drought

The effect was seen in rice, wheat, corn, and more

(Newser) - As the climate warms, scientists are conducting experiments around the world to try to boost drought resistance in a wide range of crops. But a study out of the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science in Japan is especially promising because the key ingredient helping a wide range of crops... More »

Humans Developed Arthritis as They Moved Out of Africa

Joint pain is the price we paid for evolution

(Newser) - Arthritis causes pain and suffering for millions of people around the world, but it's also the byproduct of an evolutionary mutation that allowed early humans to make the move from Africa to colder climates tens of thousands of years ago. Researchers at Stanford University have discovered that a genetic... More »

We Thought Mars Was Toxic. We Had No Idea

Chemicals on surface, UV light kill bacteria in seconds: study

(Newser) - A new study might throw a wrench into plans to establish a human colony on Mars, whose surface is "more uninhabitable than previously thought." Indeed, the Red Planet is covered in a "toxic cocktail" of chemicals that, when combined with UV light, are capable of destroying any... More »

Archaeologists Find Tunnel That May Emulate Underworld

The passageway was discovered under the Pyramid of the Moon

(Newser) - What would make the discovery of a secret passageway under Teotihuacan’s Pyramid of the Moon even more intriguing? A theory that the tunnel was used to emulate the underworld, to start. CT scans performed by archaeologists from Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History in June indicate that... More »

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