discoveries

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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 »

In a French Kiss, You Swap More Than Spit

Smooch for 10 seconds, and you've transferred 80M bacteria

(Newser) - A kiss is just a kiss—except for when it's a major bacteria conduit. A new study published in Microbiome takes a look at what happens when we kiss intimately, and finds that 10 seconds of passion can result in the transfer of up to 80 million bacteria. Dutch... More »

Your Cat Is Pretty Much a Wild Animal

Genetically speaking, at least

(Newser) - If your cuddly feline appears to think he's a vicious wildcat—well, he's actually got it almost right. A study finds that genetically, our house cats aren't very different from their wild cousins, despite thousands of years of domestication, Time reports. "We believe we have created... More »

Chronic Pot Smokers Have Different Brains

It remains unclear if marijuana causes the difference

(Newser) - A new study out of the University of Texas' Center for BrainHealth and the Mind Research Network is showing brain differences in regular pot users—differences that have already been reported in lab mice. The study, published in PNAS , found that 48 "chronic" users who smoked at least four... More »

Hidden Virus Makes Us Dumber

Study: People with chlorovirus ATCV-1 score lower on cognitive tests

(Newser) - US researchers have come across a virus that may make us dumber—and it's turning up in the throats of otherwise-healthy people, the Independent reports. Some 43% of 92 people in a study were found to have the virus. Those affected scored about 10% lower on tests involving visual... More »

How Was Terracotta Army Made? Ears Reveal Clue

Facial features were perhaps modeled after real soldiers, researchers find

(Newser) - A massive army of terracotta warriors, commissioned by China's first emperor in 246 BC, has mesmerized archaeologists since its discovery in 1974. Slowly, researchers have learned the secrets of the amazing clay statues, including how they were painted , but were still puzzled by how their realistic features were created.... More »

5 Most Incredible Discoveries of the Week

Including an in-depth look at what people really do in the bathroom at work

(Newser) - A pair of ancient Ice Age babies and people who (unrelatedly) crave ice make the list:
  • Somebody Great Is Buried in This Ancient Greek Tomb : Archaeologists in Greece have found bones inside an ancient tomb. The body had been placed in a wooden coffin that has long since rotted away,
... More »

People Admit They Use Work Bathrooms to Eat, Cry, Exercise

Survey also reveals some people never wash their hands

(Newser) - In about 10 seconds, the words "why," "how," and "no" are going to escape from your lips, and we apologize in advance for that. But those are likely the same words that researchers for SCA, a Swedish global hygiene company, uttered as they compiled results... More »

Bones in Ancient Tomb May Solve Greece Mystery

Whoever was buried at Amphipolis was clearly important

(Newser) - Archaeologists in Greece have made their biggest find yet inside an ancient tomb that goes back to the days of Alexander the Great: bones. The discovery at the site near what was once Amphipolis could finally answer the question of who was buried there in the 4th century BC, reports... More »

Jupiter's Red Spot Isn't What We Thought It Was

Researchers re-create phenomenon in lab

(Newser) - Scientists have made their own version of Jupiter's Great Red Spot in a lab, and it suggests that the spot's cause is very different from what's been postulated. An existing theory holds that the spot is the result of chemicals underneath the planet's clouds. But following... More »

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