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Toothless 'Dragons' Roamed Our Skies

Pterosaurs were neither dinosaurs nor ancient birds but winged reptiles

(Newser) - A family of animals ruled the skies some 90 million years ago, but they weren't dinosaurs, and they weren't birds, and they didn't even have teeth. The winged reptiles of the late Cretaceous period belong to a family of pterosaurs called Azhdarchidae, and they appear to have... More »

Someday, You May Change Color of Your Clothes Octopus-Style

Scientists develop material that mimics cephalopods' tricky feat

(Newser) - Scientists have taken the first rudimentary step toward developing a material that can do what octopuses and squid have mastered: change color on a whim. Researchers at the University of Houston and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign "developed a flexible pixellated sheet that can detect light falling upon... More »

How Smartphones Could Someday Correct Your Vision

MIT researchers develop 'vision correcting display'

(Newser) - If you're blind as a bat with Coke-bottle glasses, there may be hope for you—new research out of MIT could make it easier to read your tablet, smartphone, or eReader, LiveScience reports. Scientists there have developed a transparent "vision-correcting display" that goes on the screen of an... More »

'Hallucigenia' Fossil Mystery Cracked

Surreal Cambrian creature has modern relatives

(Newser) - After four decades of confusion, scientists have finally figured out how to classify a creature so surreal it was given the name Hallucigenia. The tiny creature, found in fossils from the "Cambrian Explosion" of diverse life 500 million years ago, has 14 to 16 legs and large spikes on... More »

Flying Reptile Had Head Like a Butterfly

Researchers find odd-looking new species in Brazil

(Newser) - A flying reptile with a head shaped like a butterfly isn't the next Godzilla nemesis. Scientists in southern Brazil have discovered fossils from a species they say was related to pterodactyls and estimated to have lived about 80 million years ago, reports LiveScience . At least 47 individual dinos were... More »

5 Most Incredible Discoveries of the Week

Including a novel way to speed up a woman's biological clock

(Newser) - Other-worldy dust mites and an insight in tiny human brains were among the week's intriguing discoveries:
  • Tiny Find: Stardust From Beyond our Solar System? Earth may be host to some far-from-home specks. Seven tiny grains of rock sent back to Earth by a NASA spacecraft are believed to be
... More »

Tiny Find: Stardust From Beyond Solar System?

Citizen scientists help discover what could be interstellar space dust

(Newser) - Earth may be host to some far-from-home specks. A NASA spacecraft that sent space samples back to our planet in 2006 captured an astounding find that's just coming to light: seven specks of stardust believed to be the first from outside our solar system. Finding the teeny fragments, captured... More »

How to Change a Woman's Biological Clock

An actual ticking clock can speed things up: study

(Newser) - Ladies, you know your biological clock—the one that "ticks" away as you start feeling like it might be time to reproduce? Well, it turns out the sound of an actual ticking clock can speed up your reproductive timing, making you want to have babies earlier, according to a... More »

How Bee Venom Might Fight Cancer

Researchers use synthetic form to safely attack tumors

(Newser) - Locked within the honeybee’s painful sting is a toxin that could fight cancer, CNN reports. Though in its early stages, research shows that venom from bees, snakes, and scorpions can stop the growth of cancer cells. University of Illinois scientist Dipanjan Pan has taken the research one step further... More »

More Unmarried Women Over Age 35 Having Babies

But fewer unwed women overall are having kids, says CDC

(Newser) - Although the birth rate for unmarried women has been slowly declining, middle-aged American women aren't waiting to tie the knot before having kids. According to recent CDC data, birth rates for unmarried females between the ages of 35 and 39 rose a substantial 48% between 2002 and 2012, reports... More »

Greeks Unearth Biggest Ancient Tomb

Amphipolis site dates to time of Alexander the Great

(Newser) - Archaeologists in Greece are nearly ready to enter what they say is the biggest ancient tomb ever unearthed in the country. The tomb at the ancient site of Amphipolis in the Macedonia region, around 65 miles northeast of Thessaloniki, dates from around 300 BC—the time of Alexander the Great,... More »

'Evil Eye' Box Uncovered in Ancient Cemetery

Archaeologists excavate tombs from Kush kingdom in Sudan

(Newser) - People in the ancient kingdom of Kush not only believed in the afterlife, they apparently feared the evil eye—in the afterlife, LiveScience reports. Archaeologists excavating a 2,000-year-old cemetery near the Nile River in Sudan say that among many artifacts, they found a box decorated with eyes likely thought... More »

Older Adults Think Better in the Morning

People 60 to 82 did best on cognitive tasks before 10:30am

(Newser) - Older adults who want to take a crack at the Sunday Times crossword or try a Food Network recipe may want to do it first thing in the morning. A small study by Canadian researchers and published in the journal Psychology and Aging found that adults between the ages of... More »

Newborns' Brains Grow 1% a Day

Rate slows down after initial burst in early weeks

(Newser) - The first study of its kind shows that newborns' brains grow fast—figure a staggering 1% a day immediately after birth, though it slows to about half that rate by the end of three months. Using MRI scans of 87 newborns' brains, researchers discovered that the first weeks of life... More »

Origami Robot Can Fold Itself, Slink Off

Harvard, MIT engineers invent device made out of paper, Shrinky Dinks

(Newser) - Inexpensive robots that assemble themselves are hard to find these days. But using the ancient art of Japanese origami and a classic children's product, engineers at Harvard and MIT have created such a 'bot. A team led by a Harvard grad student built the self-folding robot shown in... More »

Antidepressants Change Feelings of Love

Participants taking SSRIs felt less comfortable with shared thoughts, feelings

(Newser) - People who suffer from depression but are happily in love—perhaps an odd combination—may want to think twice about popping certain antidepressants, LiveScience reports. In a new study , researchers gave two kinds of antidepressants to 192 people who were depressed but in healthy relationships for at least seven months.... More »

Ice Age Fossils Found in Wyoming Cave

Analysis of specimens underway, and some might date back 100K years

(Newser) - It's called the Natural Trap Cave for a reason: The 15-foot-wide hole in the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming is all but impossible to see until it's too late, and animals have been falling to their deaths there for eons. But what was bad news for them is great... More »

5 Most Incredible Discoveries of the Week

Including a big and poisonous jellyfish

(Newser) - A pair of surprise discoveries, one in a museum basement and the other from a plane over the desert, highlight the week's list:
  • 6.5K-Year-Old 'Noah' Found in Museum Basement : An ancient skeleton gathering dust in the basement of the Penn Museum in Philadelphia for 85 years finally
... More »

Anti-Anxiety Drug Makes Fish Live Longer

Human tranquilizer makes perch aggressive but also seems to increase longevity

(Newser) - On the one hand, fish exposed to the tranquilizer oxazepam when it seeps into their waters kind of become jerks, reports a study in Nature . On the other hand, this same drug, a benzodiazepine used to treat anxiety and insomnia in human adults, apparently helps them live longer, reports Nature... More »

Why Fake Smiling Is a Bad Idea

Trying to mask unhappiness might make you unhappier, study says

(Newser) - If you're subscribing to the old adage of "grin and bear it" to mask negative emotions, you're not doing yourself any favors—we're simply not that easily fooled. Researchers say that over time, fake smiling can actually cause people to associate smiling with feeling unhappy, and... More »

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