discoveries

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Could This Discovery End Alcoholism?

Blocking D1 receptors in brain blocks alcohol cravings: study

(Newser) - Scientists say a cure for alcoholism could be on the horizon thanks to the remarkable discovery of neurons in the brain that play a role in whether one glass of wine turns into a bottle. Texas A&M researchers explain the part of your brain known as the dorsomedial striatum... More »

How Your Coffee Grounds Can Help Save the World

Heating used grounds with potassium hydroxide enables methane storage

(Newser) - As if coffee isn't amazing enough already. A team of researchers—who, yes, got the idea over a cup of coffee—are reporting in the journal Nanotechnology that soaking spent coffee grounds in potassium hydroxide and then heating the grounds in a furnace creates a material that can store... More »

How Old Is Your Heart? Odds Are It's Older Than You

Half of Americans have hearts that are at least 5 years older than their age

(Newser) - With one-third of Americans obese, the US now ranks 30th in the world for life expectancy, the New York Times noted earlier this year. So it may not come as a surprise that roughly half of Americans have hearts that are at least five years older than their actual age.... More »

Scientists Study Lost Site of Largest Native American Massacre

Cavalrymen killed at least 250 Shoshone men, women, children in Idaho in 1863

(Newser) - By the end of that frigid day in January 1863, the blood of at least 250 men, women, and children stained the ground in Idaho. But rather than occupying a dark place in American history, the victims of the nation's single largest Native American massacre—Shoshone Indians slaughtered in... More »

Study of Rare, Terrible Brain Disease Yields Huge Find

Multiple system atrophy quickly destroys the brain

(Newser) - Multiple system atrophy, or MSA, is a rare and horrible disease that will destroy your brain and inevitably kill you, and the study of it has now yielded a major breakthrough in our understanding of brain diseases. Researchers have discovered that MSA is caused by a prion, a kind of... More »

First Big Predator Was 'Angry' Water Bug

You wouldn't want to swim with 'Pentecopterus decorahensis'

(Newser) - Earth's first big predatory monster was a weird water bug as big as Tom Cruise, newly found fossils show. Almost half a billion years ago, way before the dinosaurs roamed, Earth's dominant large predator was a sea scorpion that grew to 5 feet 7 inches, with a dozen... More »

Coming Soon: Melt-Resistant Ice Cream

Also ice-crystal-resistant, to boot

(Newser) - Soon, you may be able to enjoy an ice cream cone without having to worry about sticky fingers. Scientists from the University of Edinburgh and the University of Dundee have discovered that a naturally occurring protein, known as BslA, can be used to make melt-resistant ice cream, ABC News reports.... More »

There Is One Proven Way to Prevent a Hangover

Neither water nor fatty foods appear to make a difference

(Newser) - Bad news for those who like to imbibe copious amounts of alcohol. The only proven way to prevent a hangover is to, well, imbibe smaller amounts of alcohol. Researchers tested various hangover "cures" on 826 Dutch students and found that neither drinking water nor eating fatty foods will "... More »

Study: Parents Who Do This Have Better Sex Lives

The happiest couples tend to evenly divide many child-related duties

(Newser) - Couples who manage to evenly divide child care duties tend to have higher-quality relationships, as well as sex lives. This is the takeaway from a new study being presented to the American Sociological Association in Chicago this week. Researchers interviewed nearly 500 heterosexual couples with kids and found that when... More »

How Birth Order May Affect Your Weight

First-born sisters tend to be heavier as adults

(Newser) - Attention, big sisters: First-born women are more likely to be overweight or obese than their younger sisters, a new study suggests. The Washington Post reports that researchers at the University of Auckland looked at 13,406 pairs of Swedish sisters and found the older sibling was 29% more likely to... More »

Why the US Leads the World in Mass Shootings

'American Dream' plays a role, researcher says

(Newser) - High gun ownership rates and high rates of mass shootings might seem like an obvious connection, but University of Alabama researcher Adam Lankford says his study is the first to show empirical evidence that the aforementioned ownership rate "is the strongest predictor of [a country's] number of public... More »

5 Most Incredible Discoveries of the Week

Including a potential answer to a black-hole riddle

(Newser) - Support for the single life and and (possibly) for Jesus' supposed wife make the list:
  • A Black Hole Conundrum Solved? "If you feel you are in a black hole, don't give up. There's a way out." So says Stephen Hawking in claiming to have resolved the
... More »

Polio Virus Lingered in Man's Gut for Decades

And that's bad news for children of anti-vaxxers and the developing world

(Newser) - For nearly his entire life, a 29-year-old man living in the United Kingdom has had the polio virus living in his gut—where the strain has mutated from the weakened form he received in a vaccine as an infant to a much more virulent strain, according to a study published... More »

4 Years Later, Mystery of Knut's Death Solved

And the discovery could end up saving humans

(Newser) - The sudden death four years ago of Knut, the celebrity polar bear, shocked his fans around the world and posed a riddle for veterinarians. The 4-year-old bear died in March 2011 after suffering an apparent seizure and collapsing into his enclosure's pool in front of hundreds of visitors at... More »

Hubble Spots 'Butterfly' 2K Light-Years Away

It's also known as the Twin Jet Nebula, and it's pretty

(Newser) - It's a bird, it's a plane, it's ... a space butterfly? That's essentially what the Hubble Space Telescope has captured in a new image of the Twin Jet Nebula, a shimmering planetary nebula that strongly resembles a winged insect, reports CNET . What you're actually seeing in... More »

Polish Officials: Nazi-Train Hunters Found 'Something'

Walbrzych officials say a military train has been found

(Newser) - Polish officials say a military train has been discovered in Walbrzych, but it's not yet clear if it's the famed Nazi gold train rumored to have vanished in southwest Poland in 1945. Walbrzych "is full of mysterious stories because of its history," says Zygmunt Nowaczyk, the... More »

Some People Are Born Without a 'Mind's Eye'

Aphantasia impairs one's ability to visualize

(Newser) - When science journalist Carl Zimmer wrote a 2010 article in Discover magazine about English neurologist Adam Zeman's case study of a man who couldn't visualize people or things, the professor was approached by 21 people who saw themselves in the article and wanted to learn more. Now Zeman... More »

What the Dust in Your House Says About You

Our dust contains, on average, 9K unique species of microbes

(Newser) - Last year, volunteers mailed in dust samples taken from above interior and exterior door frames in 1,200 homes across the US as part of a citizen science project called Wild Life of Our Homes . Now, scientists are reporting in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B that our... More »

It's OK If Your Surgeon Is Short on Sleep

It makes no difference at all to complications rate, study says

(Newser) - Given the choice between a well-rested surgeon and one who's been up half the night, nobody in their right mind would choose the latter, but a new study says it doesn't seem to make any difference at all to their performance. Researchers looked at almost 40,000 patients... More »

Study: This Is the Kind of Man Who Murders His Partner

There are striking similarities among these convicts

(Newser) - The kind of man who kills his wife or family fits a pattern, and this new understanding of who commits this kind of murder could help prevent them from happening in the first place. So report Northwestern University researchers in the Journal of Forensic Sciences after interviewing and evaluating 153... More »

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