discoveries

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One Eye Color Is Linked to Alcoholism

Researchers say the link appears to be genetic

(Newser) - Is it mere coincidence, or do people with blue eyes really run a higher risk of being alcoholics? A new study out of the University of Vermont suggests that the link not only exists, but it appears to be a genetic one. Reporting in the American Journal of Medical Genetics ... More »

Here's How Much Weight Marriage Packs On

4.5 pounds in Europeans of average height: researchers

(Newser) - Marriage doesn't just add to your happiness , but also to your waistline, according to a new study. But singles shouldn't boast just yet. German and Swiss researchers surveyed 10,226 people in nine European countries on their marital status and body mass index—a health indicator based on... More »

This Is How a Newborn Sees You

Researchers reconstruct how newborns see the world

(Newser) - Researcher Svein Magnussen wondered 15 years ago whether newborns can make out people's facial expressions, but says he didn't yet have the tools to investigate. Now, thanks to modern simulation techniques, as well as a wealth of information from previous studies, the University of Oslo professor and other... More »

5 Most Incredible Discoveries of the Week

A sad discovery ... along with a more hellish one

(Newser) - An eye color linked to hitting the bottle and bad news about the Great Wall of China make the list:
  • Sniff Test May Help Diagnose Autism : A simple sniff test shows promise in detecting autism in kids—perhaps even in those who aren't yet toddlers because it doesn't
... More »

Roses May Soon Smell Much Sweeter

Gene could be reactivated to give scentless roses a sweet smell

(Newser) - Breeding over hundreds of generations has helped roses look better and live longer, but at the expense of their sweet-smelling scent, reports the AP . After all, those buying bouquets don't really care about a flower's ability to attract pollinators. A new study in the journal Science , however, may... More »

Simple Sniff Test May Diagnose Autism

Study: Kids with disorder don't react to pleasant or unpleasant smells

(Newser) - A surprisingly simple sniff test shows promise in detecting autism in kids—perhaps even in those who aren't yet toddlers because it doesn't involve responding to questions. Israeli researchers found that autistic kids don't react strongly to strong smells, of either the pleasant or unpleasant variety, reports... More »

6 Signs You May Suffer From 'Digital Amnesia'

Reliance on using digital devices to store info may be making us forget things: study

(Newser) - Are you suffering from the "Google Effect"? According to a Kaspersky Lab survey of 1,000 consumers ages 16 and older, no age group is immune to what's also known as "digital amnesia," a phenomenon that Kaspersky says occurs when we forget information because we'... More »

How This Bird Communicates Like Humans

Its calls show 'a very basic form of word generation': researcher

(Newser) - Scientists have discovered a talent never seen outside of humans in a small Australian bird: the ability to string sounds together to convey different meanings. Essentially, "it's a very basic form of word generation," researcher Andy Russell tells the BBC . The team started out by listening to... More »

Love at First Sight? Sure, If You're Equally Attractive

Couples who know each other more than a month are less alike in attractiveness

(Newser) - "Who ever loved, that loved not at first sight?" So asked poet Christopher Marlowe some 500 years ago, and now social scientists say they've got a scientific answer to the romantic notion that attraction is instant. It turns out that people who started dating within a month of... More »

'Centipede From Hell' Discovered in Croatian Caves

And Hades has got a partner named Persephone

(Newser) - Scientists hoped they'd find some exotic creatures burrowing through some of the deepest caves in Croatia, and they did not come up short. Meet Geophilus hadesi—or "Hades," named for the Greek god of the underworld—a subterranean centipede discovered in the Velebit mountain range by the... More »

Scientists Determine How You Should Pet Your Cat

Steer clear of the tail

(Newser) - If your cat doesn't seem to want to sit still while you pet it, you might be doing it wrong. Yes, it turns out there is a right and wrong way to pet a cat, per a study published in Applied Animal Behaviour Science in late 2014. As the... More »

Trillions of Glow-in-the-Dark Fanged Fish Live in Ocean

Bristlemouth is most numerous vertebrate on Earth, though it remains mysterious

(Newser) - What's believed to be the most numerous vertebrate on Earth is also one you've probably never heard of or seen—yet scientists say the bristlefish, a fanged creature that glows in the dark and lives deep down in the ocean, likely numbers in the thousands of trillions, reports... More »

Study Pinpoints Sugary Drinks' Death Toll

Researchers say they kill 184K a year through diabetes, heart disease, cancer

(Newser) - Need that extra push to kick your soda habit? This might be it: Sugary beverages are responsible for more than 184,000 deaths per year around the world, say researchers at Tufts University. Those include soda, fruit drinks, sports and energy drinks, and iced teas, they write in a post... More »

The Parthenon's Attic Once Held a Great Fortune

Researchers believe millions of coins were once stashed there

(Newser) - The Parthenon once housed a massive statue of Athena made of ivory and gold; researchers now say it was far from the only thing of value kept in the ancient temple. Though the attic of the Parthenon has long been destroyed, researchers believe it once held millions of silver coins... More »

Great Wall of China Is Disappearing

A report out of the country puts a number on just how much no longer exists

(Newser) - In a 2008 article headlined "The Great Wall of China Is Under Siege," Smithsonian reported that "no one knows just how much of the wall has already been lost." A Sunday report in the Beijing Times changed that. It reported via the State Administration of Cultural... More »

Parents Favor Daughters When Times Are Tough

The bias is even stronger when kids approach reproductive age

(Newser) - "Almost all parents say that they don't favor one of their children over another," says the lead author of a new study that shows that sentiment flies out the window when times get tough, because "economic recessions subconsciously lead parents to prefer girls over boys."... More »

5-Foot-Long Hairball Found Inside 15-Year-Old

She suffered from Rapunzel Syndrome

(Newser) - It's called the Rapunzel syndrome, but there's nothing fairytale-like about the condition. In layman's terms, it's a massive hairball that extends from one's stomach into the small intestine or beyond. As io9 explained in 2013, hair is made of keratin, a substance so steely that... More »

Man's 2-Year Quest Leads Him to Face in Cliffside

Tough environment makes inspecting the face difficult

(Newser) - Searching for a face in a crowd is hard enough. Searching for a face etched in a Canadian cliff is apparently a two-year endeavor. After a kayaker from Washington state reported seeing a face on a cliff while exploring the Broken Group Islands in British Columbia in 2008, Parks Canada... More »

Mummified Remains Found in Indiana

The head and torso could be 2K years old

(Newser) - Workers exploring the site of an intended quarry in rural Indiana stumbled upon a mummified body that experts say could be anywhere from 500 to 2,000 years old, the Times of Northwest Indiana reports. "They could distinguish a head and a torso," says a local sheriff. "... More »

Women With No Sex Drive: Check Your Heart Rate

Study links sexual readiness to heart rate variability

(Newser) - Women who experience sexual dysfunction or lack interest in sex altogether may want to check their heartbeat. A study of 72 women aged 18 to 39 linked their heart rate variability (HRV)—the variation in the time that lapses between one heartbeat and the next—to their overall sexual health,... More »

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