discoveries

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3-Parent Baby Born After 2-Decade Ban

With mom's nuclear DNA, donor's mitochondrial DNA, and dad's sperm

(Newser) - A 5-month-old born using a "revolutionary" genetic technique is said to be the world's first baby created using DNA from three parents since the technique was banned about two decades ago, New Scientist reports. The boy, IDed by the International Business Times as Abrahim Hassan, was born in... More »

Ride a Roller Coaster, Pass Some Kidney Stones

Though so far just one ride at Disney World seems to do the trick

(Newser) - Got a kidney stone? Consider a trip to Disney. That's the takeaway from new research out of Michigan State University that found taking a spin on a "medium-intensity" coaster may aid in the passing of the pesky mineral masses, with minimal discomfort, the Los Angeles Times reports. The... More »

What the Hubble Saw Shooting Up on Jupiter Moon

Search for life on Europa could be easier than expected

(Newser) - The Hubble Space Telescope has spied what appear to be water plumes on one of Jupiter's icy moons shooting up as high as 125 miles. The geysers are apparently from an underground ocean that's thought to exist on Europa, considered one of the top places to search for... More »

FBI: Murders Up 11% in 2015—but There's Context

Stats for violent crime, including rapes and robberies, still below rates from 20 years ago

(Newser) - The number of murders in the US rose 11% last year from 2014, while the number of violent crimes saw a modest increase of 4% after two years of decline, per an FBI press release . Rapes rose 6.3%, aggravated assaults increased 4.6%, and robberies rose by 1.4%... More »

Risky Water: 5 Most Incredible Discoveries of the Week

Also: a surprising find about fitness trackers

(Newser) - A disturbing find about common tap water and an intriguing one about a famous shipwreck were among the biggest discoveries of the week:
  • That Chemical Erin Brockovich Fought? You're Likely Drinking It : If chromium-6 rings a bell for some odd reason, that reason is likely Erin Brockovich, who famously
... More »

1930s Letter Shows Al Capone Was a Big Softie

At least when it came to his son, 'Sonny' Capone

(Newser) - Did notorious gangster Al Capone have a soft spot? An intimate letter he penned from prison suggests so. The three-page letter, which being auctioned off next week, is addressed to Capone's son, Albert "Sonny" Capone. The mobster signed it, "Love & Kisses, Your Dear Dad Alphonse Capone... More »

Weird Science Is Honored Once a Year. 'Goat Man' Won Big

Rat trousers also a winner at Thursday's Ig Nobel Prizes

(Newser) - Thursday night was the silliest night in scientists' calendars, and with winners including a man who wore prosthetic extensions to live among a herd of goats in the Alps for several days, this year's Ig Nobel awards did not disappoint. In front of a rowdy crowd, real Nobel winners... More »

We All Come From Single Wave of African Migrants

Humans that populated the world left Africa 50K to 80K years ago

(Newser) - While all modern humans originated in Africa around 200,000 years ago, scientists have long debated on exactly when and how we spread across the globe. A trio of studies published this week posits that, with one tiny exception, all people living today are descended from the same wave of... More »

You Might Lose More Weight Without a Fitness Tracker

'We were definitely surprised,' say researchers

(Newser) - For those looking to lose weight, a two-year study suggests that wearing a fitness tracker helps. What surprised researchers, however, is that not wearing one seems to help even more, reports Ars Technica . The study in JAMA , perhaps the most comprehensive to date on the subject, followed nearly 500 overweight... More »

Smoking Damages Our DNA— in Some Cases Permanently

But the vast majority of genes 'recover' within 5 years of quitting

(Newser) - Scientists are learning more about how smoking impacts our health all the way down to our genes, and experts say they're not terribly surprised by new findings that some of the changes to a smoker's DNA appear to be permanent, lingering even decades after the smoker quits, reports... More »

The Villain of Pearl Harbor Might've Lost a Gold Tooth

Dick Portillo thinks he's found it

(Newser) - An American history buff was leading an expedition through Papua New Guinea last year when one of his companions noticed something shiny sticking out of the mud at the site of a 1943 plane crash. It turned out to be a small gold tooth, but it wasn't the material... More »

Want Lower BMI? Pot Might Help

Daily marijuana use linked to lower body mass for both women and men

(Newser) - People who smoke weed on a daily basis tend to have slightly lower body mass indexes than people who don't, and while researchers say they're not suggesting that people take up regular marijuana smoking, they're keen to understand the mechanism at play. Specifically, they followed more than... More »

Russians Secretly Domesticated Foxes in Just 50 Years

No one thought it could be done with this most-untamable creature

(Newser) - For more than 50 years, scientists have been gathering foxes from the Russian wilderness and breeding them, picking the most human-friendly to mate to domesticate the supposedly untamable animals, much as dogs once were, Phys.org reports. And it looks like the project the BBC says was started by Dmitry... More »

Arctic Find: 5 Most Incredible Discoveries of the Week

Also, a weird finding about CEOs

(Newser) - A famed shipwreck and bad news for behemoths of the deep ocean were among the most intriguing discoveries this week:
  • Long-Sought Shipwreck Finally Found : The second and final lost ship from a renowned polar expedition has finally been found. Researchers with the Arctic Research Foundation located the HMS Terror off
... More »

Older Women Who've Never Wed Are Pretty Darn Happy

Just as happy as their married counterparts, in fact

(Newser) - While there are a bunch of studies showing that married folks seem to be happier than those who've stuck to singledom, a new study out of Bowling Green State University has found an apparent exception: older women who've never said "I do," per Live Science . The... More »

Experts Chip Away at Mystery of van Gogh's Breakdowns

They say the Dutch artist was plagued by short psychotic episodes

(Newser) - It's long been known Vincent van Gogh had issues: He sliced off his ear during an 1888 breakdown, which was followed by his apparent suicide in 1890. Now a group of experts has concluded the Dutch artist was plagued by short psychotic episodes during his last 18 months of... More »

Rare, Ancient Female Figurine Uncovered

Turkey find is from 6,000BC

(Newser) - Archaeologists have uncovered a rare stone figurine of a woman dating back 8,000 years at a dig in Turkey's central province of Konya that an expert says is one of only a handful of statuettes of the era ever found in one piece. Stanford University professor Ian Hodder... More »

Dye That Makes Jeans Blue Is Much Older Than We Thought

Archaeologists discover 6,200-year-old textile dyed with indigo

(Newser) - The dye that makes blue jeans blue has been around a lot longer than anyone thought. Archaeologists digging in Peru found a piece of cotton fabric dyed with indigo that is 6,200 years old, according to a press release . That's 1,500 years older than the previous oldest... More »

10 Toxins Found in 90% of Indoor Dust Samples

And they could lead to everything from cancer and respiratory problems to lower IQ

(Newser) - We're surrounded by toxic chemicals, and even holing up in our meticulously kept homes may not save us, Time reports. Ten chemicals that may be hazardous to our health were found in over 90% of indoor dust samples taken for a study published in the Environmental Science & Technology... More »

After 445M Years, an 'Unprecedented' Shift in Our Oceans

Larger marine animals now at greater risk of extinction, study finds

(Newser) - Bigger is no longer better, at least when it comes to the extinction threat facing the animals who call our planet's oceans home. In a study published in Science on Wednesday, Stanford researchers reveal what a press release calls an "unprecedented pattern of extinction": large-bodied marine animals, not... More »

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