discoveries

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Antikythera Mechanism Gives Up More Secrets

Device even more ancient than thought, experts say

(Newser) - The incredible Antikythera Mechanism , an astronomical calculator unlike anything else that appeared for the next 1,000 years, is a "device out of time," experts say—and they now have a better idea what time it is out of. The mechanism, which was apparently able to accurately predict... More »

Inside Vultures' Guts: Poison

Study: Birds developed immunity to dangerous but helpful toxins

(Newser) - Vultures eat all kinds of nasty stuff that humans can't (and wouldn't if we could). But how do they survive living off the rotting flesh of roadkill? Researchers set out to answer that query by examining the guts of 24 turkey vultures and 26 black vultures trapped and... More »

Powerful People Don't Exactly Speak Softly

Margaret Thatcher underwent vocal training when she became prime minister

(Newser) - When we want to be perceived as powerful—think parents scolding misbehaving kids or shoppers haggling with car dealers—we tend to focus not just on our words, but the way we deliver them. Researchers at San Diego State University report in the journal Psychological Science that when people want... More »

Why Dogs Are Messy Drinkers —But Cats Aren't

Canines 'smash their tongues on water': researcher

(Newser) - When grabbing a drink, neither cats nor dogs are able to squeeze their cheeks closed to suck up liquids the way humans can. Instead, they have to use their tongues in processes researchers didn't understand until recently, Reuters reports. Cats, researchers found a few years back , put their tongues... More »

Why We Weigh Less on Fridays

Weekend behavior often results in subtle weight gain by Mondays

(Newser) - For most of us, weekends are a time to relax and indulge—maybe through more sleep, more couch time, or more calories in the food and beverages we consume. The result is that we tend to weigh slightly more on Sunday and Monday, but then slightly less again by Friday,... More »

Underwater Bot Finds Surprisingly Thick Antarctic Ice

SeaBED uses sonar to map the hard-to-reach ice, which is as thick as 65 feet

(Newser) - Until now, scientists have measured ice thickness using satellite images, visual estimates, and by drilling holes in the ice itself. But in Antarctica, much of the floating ice is actually underwater, with ice so thick that drilling and satellite images just don't work. For the past four years, a... More »

Horses, Rhinos Have Roots in Ancient India

Fossil discovery offers clues to ancient past

(Newser) - Back when the Indian subcontinent was still an island—before it joined what is now the rest of Asia—it was home to ancestors of today's horses and rhinoceroses, a new study suggests. Both modern animals are members of a biological order known as Perissodactyla, or "odd-toed ungulates,... More »

Jeweled Mummy Found Under Collapsed Roof

Mystery woman died about 4K years ago in Egypt

(Newser) - At some point about 4,000 years ago, a female aristocrat in her 30s died in southern Egypt. Archaeologists have finally found her—along with the jewelry she was wearing when buried, reports Discovery . The find is unusual because tomb raiders have generally picked such sites clean, but a stroke... More »

Ancient Canyon Found Buried Deep in Tibet

Geologists say it appears to have formed in an unusual way

(Newser) - A very old and very deep canyon lies alongside the Yarlung Tsangpo River in southern Tibet, near the eastern end of the Himalayas, and its recent discovery is prompting geologists to rethink a popular model currently used to explain how the gorges of the Himalayas came to form so quickly... More »

Here's Why We Spill Coffee More Often Than Beer

Beer's bubbles help us out

(Newser) - Transporting a round of beers from the bar to your table is an achievable task, but you probably wouldn't want to carry three cups of coffee without lids. Scientists at Princeton and NYU are explaining why: When it comes to beer, we have the bubbles to thank, the Smithsonian... More »

5 Most Incredible Discoveries of the Week

Including an ancient Egyptian book of rituals and a century-old sunken graveyard

(Newser) - A chemical in antibacterial soap that might be bad news for your liver and an intriguing find from the comet lander make the list:
  • More Than 500 Lie in Watery Grave From 100-Year-Old Shipwreck : In October 1902, the SS Ventnor sank off the coast of New Zealand, but for 499
... More »

How Did Humans Conquer 'Roof of the World'? Barley

Ancient, hardy seeds turn up in Tibet 3.6K years ago

(Newser) - Scientists know that humans were kicking around the lower altitudes of the Tibetan Peninsula around 10,000 years ago. Permanent settlements, however, didn't show up in the harsh higher altitudes until 3,600 years ago. What happened that allowed ancient settlers to survive in a region nicknamed the "... More »

Source of Man's Headaches: Tapeworm in Brain

Tapeworm was in there for 4 years

(Newser) - A UK resident who suffered headaches and seizures for four years was ultimately handed an unusual explanation for his woes: There was a worm in his brain, reports the Guardian . Specifically, doctors removed a 1-centimeter-long tapeworm called Spirometra erinaceieuropaei. Based on scans taken over several years, the worm traveled about... More »

Birthdays Ending in 9 Make Us Cheat, Run, Die

'Nine-enders' are more apt to look for meaning of life with both good, bad behaviors

(Newser) - There's a reason we feel that mixture of dread, excitement, and existential restlessness right before we tip over into the next decade—and scientists say that can be both good and bad. According to a study published in Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Sciences , people turning an age... More »

Shipwreck Is Grave of 499 Who Were Already Dead

Miners were being brought from NZ to China for burial

(Newser) - The watery grave of more than 500 people has been found off the coast of New Zealand after more than a century—but most of those aboard were already dead when the SS Ventnor sank in 1902. The steamer was carrying the exhumed remains of 499 Chinese gold miners back... More »

Researchers Decode 'Magical Codex' of Ancient Spells

27 spells deal with demons, love, business

(Newser) - In 1981, Australia's Macquarie University purchased a book of bound parchment—a codex—from a Viennese antiquities dealer. How far back its origins stretch is less known, but it's believed to be about 1,300 years old and hail from Upper Egypt (it's written in Egypt's... More »

Guys Dig Women in High Heels: Science

Surprise-to-no-one study shows the higher the heel, the more likely men are to help

(Newser) - From the researcher who showed female hitchhikers with big breasts got picked up more by men than their flatter-chested counterparts comes another revealing study: one that appears to confirm that guys think high heels are sexier than flats. In a report published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior , the University... More »

Lander 'Sniffed' Organic Molecules on Comet

But an attempt to get a soil sample may have failed

(Newser) - Before its battery petered out , the small spacecraft that landed on a moving comet managed to detect organic molecules on the comet, reports NBC News . An instrument aboard the Philae lander essentially sniffed the atmosphere and found evidence of the molecules, which, as the Wall Street Journal explains, are the... More »

Brain Pathway Science Forgot Is Rediscovered

Vertical occipital fasciculus is involved in visual perception, attention, etc.

(Newser) - In 2012, a team of researchers out of the University of Washington's Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences thought they'd stumbled upon a new pathway in the brain associated with reading that had somehow been glossed over by their predecessors. "We couldn't find it in any... More »

Germ-Killer in Soap May Also Be Liver-Killer

Triclosan linked to damage, tumors

(Newser) - A chemical found in most antibacterial soaps may be fighting off germs at the cost of causing liver damage. There have been question marks around triclosan for some time—the FDA warned last year that antibacterial soap could be harmful, and Minnesota banned the ingredient this year —but new... More »

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