discoveries

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Humans Have Made 30 Trillion Tons of Stuff

That's 110 pounds per square meter of the Earth's surface

(Newser) - Humans have built a ton of things to keep us alive on this twirling little rock: farms, airports, roads, CDs, houses, computers, landfills, and so forth. All these things are known as the technosphere, and for the first time ever—in a study published last month in the Anthropocene Review... More »

'Psychedelic Slinky' Spotted for First Time in 100 Years

Weird sea creature of legends found off California coast

(Newser) - In 1899, a Leipzig University marine biologist named Carl Chun came across a see-through "sea blob" in the southern Atlantic, and its existence hasn't been confirmed since—until now. Live Science reports on the Bathochordaeus charon invertebrate (what it describes as a "psychedelic Slinky"), recently spotted... More »

There's a Way to Cut TSA Lines and TSA Costs

Waive the PreCheck fee, researchers say

(Newser) - Millions of people pay for the privilege of leaving their shoes and belts on and their laptops in their bags during airport security screenings. But a study out of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign says by making the TSA's PreCheck program free—it's currently $85 for the... More »

Study Suggests You Should Leave Your Pubic Hair Alone

Researchers see higher rate of sexually transmitted infections among groomers

(Newser) - People who groom their pubic hair regularly are more likely to have a sexually transmitted infection, say researchers in a new study. To be clear, the researchers aren't saying that the grooming itself helps lead to the STI, reports Live Science . While it's possible that's the case—... More »

Smoke Just a Little Bit? It'll Still Kill You

Silver lining: The sooner you quit, the lower the risks

(Newser) - More bad news for smokers, this time for those who think that cutting back will help their health. It turns out that while people who smoke between one and 10 cigarettes a day have an 87% higher risk of earlier death compared to those who've never smoked, people who... More »

'Leaning Tower of SF' Is Sinking Faster Than Thought

Satellite images show descent of Millennium Tower

(Newser) - There's no question that the 58-story Millennium Tower in downtown San Francisco is both sinking and tilting. But new satellite images find that its progress into the sand below is nearly twice the pace previously thought—close to two inches a year instead of one, reports NBC News . Since... More »

This Might Be World's First Polluted River

Researchers find riverbed with copper pollution from 7,000 years ago

(Newser) - It's no surprise that humans pollute their waterways, but now it appears we've been doing it a lot longer than thought. In a study published this month in Science of the Total Environment , researchers say they've found evidence of a polluted river from 7,000 years ago.... More »

Shrooms: 5 Most Incredible Discoveries of the Week

A surprise under a Mexican supermarket made the list

(Newser) - A study suggesting that magic mushrooms have a place in the cancer ward and a surprise find under a Mexican supermarket were among the discoveries of the week:
  • Magic Mushrooms Had Big Effect on Cancer Patients : Two studies of cancer patients with symptoms of depression and anxiety suggest that a
... More »

Surprise Find: Florida Python Ate 3 Deer

This is not good news for the Everglades ecosystem

(Newser) - Wildlife officials in Florida have known for a while that Burmese pythons have been eating their way through the Everglades, but the study of one particular snake has surprised them with the extent of that appetite: The 15-foot female had eaten three white-tailed deer in the 90 days before her... More »

Star of Bethlehem May Have Been Something Much Rarer

We might not be able to expect Jesus back for another 500K years at least

(Newser) - Christmas cards and carols have been lying to us for years. The Bible says the Star of Bethlehem—or "Christmas Star"—was followed by Magi bearing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the birthplace of Jesus. But one Notre Dame professor says the famous star wasn't... More »

These Mummy Legs Likely Belong to a Great Queen

Researchers think they are the remains of Egypt's Nefertari

(Newser) - Archaeologists say they've likely identified the mummified remains of "one of the truly great and important queens of Egypt," in the same league as Nefertiti and Cleopatra. Three portions of mummified legs found more than a century ago in the looted tomb of Queen Nefertari—wife of... More »

Need Sleep? Go Online

Study says new online therapy program is helping sleepless subjects

(Newser) - A 70-year-old Californian who'd suffered from longtime insomnia had tapped into almost every remedy to no avail—until she tried out a new online therapy that has her "sleeping much better now," she tells the New York Times . The automated program, called SHUTi , is an online adaptation... More »

650-Year-Old Temple Found Under Mexican Supermarket

It's believed to have been built to worship the god of wind

(Newser) - Working at the site of a demolished supermarket in Mexico City, archaeologists only had to dig 10 feet down to find a temple built more than 650 years ago, researchers said Wednesday. The circular platform, about 36 feet in diameter and 4 feet tall, now sits in the shadow of... More »

Researchers Figure Out What's Hurting Astronauts' Vision

A buildup of spinal fluid around the eyes, say researchers

(Newser) - One serious drawback for astronauts who spend long periods in space is that they often return to Earth with degraded vision, and a new study may have pinpointed the problem. It's a buildup of spinal fluid around the eyes, say researchers from the University of Miami. This cerebrospinal fluid... More »

Scientists Explain Deadly Wave of Molasses in Boston

A 'tsunami' of sticky syrup claimed the lives of 21 people and several horses, too

(Newser) - Nearly a century after what researchers call a "tsunami of molasses" descended on Boston, Harvard physicists say that fluid dynamics equations that hadn't yet been written now explain why the disaster proved so deadly—and that the cold weather is partly to blame. In January of 1919, 2.... More »

3M Years Before Humans, Ants Were Farmers

Fijian ants have long built farming cities to plant and harvest fruit crops

(Newser) - If the emergence of agrarian practices is seen as a mark of intelligence in humans, then ants can boast some serious smarts. Not only have researchers discovered a highly organized type of farming in Fiji ants—who plant the seeds of fruit trees, fertilize and protect them, harvest the resulting... More »

Female Fish Fight Bigger Penises With Bigger Brains

At least when it comes to mosquitofish, where males attack instead of court females

(Newser) - The tiny eastern mosquitofish, indigenous to the southern and eastern US, is unlike much of the rest of the animal kingdom when it comes to reproduction, starting with the differing objectives of the females and males of the species. Because they have to bear the burden of actually carrying the... More »

Minds of Dogs: 5 Most Incredible Discoveries of the Week

Also, an intriguing find about the Pilgrims

(Newser) - An insight about dogs and a particularly well-timed find about the Pilgrims were among the discoveries making headlines this week:
  • Study Finds Dogs Remember Their Owners' Actions : As researcher Claudia Fugazza puts it, "most dog owners at least suspected" their furry friends remember the times they've shared together.
... More »

New Twist on Why Dinosaurs Got So Big So Fast

Those with funky-looking skulls grew most quickly

(Newser) - For years, paleontologists have theorized that many of the world's largest dinosaurs sported head ornaments (think horns, knobs, and crests) as a means of intimidation and defense, and that these giants evolved to be so big because size helped them be more effective killers. But now new research published... More »

We May Finally Know Exactly Where the 1st Pilgrims Lived

And it only took 396 years

(Newser) - We likely now know the exact location of the first Pilgrim settlement in the New World—thanks, in part, to a cow named Constance. The Boston Globe reports it's long been known that the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth in 1620, but it was never clear exactly where they built... More »

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