discoveries

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Swiss Figure Out Why Their Cheese Has Holes

Lack of hay dust was causing hole shortage

(Newser) - Swiss scientists say they've solved a problem many people may not have noticed: the disappearing holes in Swiss cheese. Researchers at a government agricultural institute say that contrary to a century of scientific belief, the holes are caused by hay particles, not bacteria, and modern milking is just too... More »

Tattoo Risks Greater Than Thought

Study: 1 in 10 have a skin reaction, and it can last for months or longer

(Newser) - A new survey of those who have gotten tattoos suggests that more people than realized suffer a nasty skin reaction as a result. NYU researchers determined that 10% of people suffer short-term complications such as a rash, infection, or swelling that last for days or weeks. But the scarier stat... More »

Scientists Find Evidence of 'History's First Murder'

Victim was bashed in head, chucked down cave shaft

(Newser) - An examination of ancient remains from a cave in Spain turned into an episode of CSI: Middle Pleistocene when scientists found evidence of what they say is the first known murder. The skull found in the "Pit of Bones" site belongs to a young adult who lived around 430,... More »

Study: What May Have Doomed America's 'First City'

Massive floods may have led to demise of Cahokia, site of modern St. Louis

(Newser) - For Native Americans living in the 12th century, Cahokia was the place to be. Now researchers think they've uncovered a major reason why the hub located near what is now St. Louis disappeared—massive flooding of the Mississippi River. Researchers dug up soil samples from two local lakes and... More »

5 Most Incredible Discoveries of the Week

Including snakes with ankles and unsettling news from the panda world

(Newser) - The happiest kids in the world and pot-stunted short guys make the list:
  • If You're Short (and Male), Your Bong May Be to Blame : If you smoked marijuana as a prepubescent boy, you may have lost 4 inches or so of height. Researchers studied growth hormone levels in the
... More »

Coffee's Latest Claim to Fame: Erection Aid

Study finds less impotence in caffeine consumers

(Newser) - Coffee, what can't you do? It's been suggested the beverage may be able to lower your risk for multiple sclerosis , melanoma , and retinal degeneration , among other things. Now it appears the brewed beverage might also help men who are suffering from a decidedly sensitive issue: erectile dysfunction. A... More »

A Schooner Sails the World, Makes Amazing Discoveries

Evidence for 10 times more plankton species than known

(Newser) - From 2009 to 2013, the 110-foot schooner Tara sailed around the world, collecting plankton samples from more than 200 sites, some as deep as 6,500 feet down in the ocean, Science magazine reports. Fighting volatile weather, funding issues, and even the threat of pirates, the Tara expedition team still... More »

Scientists Find First Evidence of Dinosaurs in Wash. State

80M-year-old femur belonged to a theropod

(Newser) - It appears that around 80 million years ago, a theropod dinosaur roughly the size of a transit bus died near the sea and was jostled by waves, and at some point part of its femur became wedged into a rocky outcrop alongside clam fossils in Washington state's San Juan... More »

Snakes Used to Have Ankles

Ancestor likely had little toes, too

(Newser) - Scientists have created the most comprehensive family tree of snakes to date, and the ancestor at the very top looked different than the snakes we know today in one noticeable way: It "had tiny hind limbs, with complete ankles and toes," says a Yale researcher in a post... More »

Evolution Has Seriously Failed Giant Pandas

Gut bacteria reveals they were designed to eat meat, not bamboo

(Newser) - Pandas have been munching on bamboo for 7 million years and exclusively for 2 million years, so it was a big surprise when researchers analyzed 121 fecal samples from 45 giant pandas and found gut bacteria not at all designed to process the animals' food of choice. Though pandas developed... More »

How Music Helps Hospital Patients Breathe Again

It helps lower anxiety, dyspnea during ventilator weaning: study

(Newser) - Scientists have discovered proof that music is its own kind of medicine, at least when it comes to patients on a ventilator. In a study out of the University of Pittsburgh, 22 males and six females coming off of mechanical ventilation after at least four days were given a "... More »

You Can Fail a Drug Test Thanks to Contact High

Without ventilation, secondhand exposure to weed can get you kind of high

(Newser) - It may take a whole lot of weed and a total lack of ventilation, but scientists say it's true: You can get contact highs from marijuana, with high-enough levels in your bloodstream to fail drug tests. So report Johns Hopkins researchers in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence . They... More »

'Exciting' New Rabies Strain Found in New Mexico

It was discovered after rabid fox bit woman

(Newser) - A new strain of rabies has been discovered in southern New Mexico, federal and state health officials have confirmed. While it doesn't present any more of a public health threat than the known strains of the potentially fatal disease, the discovery is generating curiosity in scientific circles because it'... More »

Smoked Pot as a Teen? You Could Have Been Taller

Non-users grow 4 inches taller than marijuana-addicted boys: study

(Newser) - Ever wished you were a bit taller? How about 4 inches taller? If you smoked marijuana as a prepubescent boy, that wish may not have come true. Researchers at a university in Pakistan studied levels of hormones linked to growth and puberty in the blood of 217 boys addicted to... More »

Why Your Kid's Asthma Might Mask a Peanut Allergy

Study: 10% of children with asthma have peanut sensitivity

(Newser) - To an asthma sufferer, a fit of wheezing and coughing probably seems like your average asthma attack. A new study, however, suggests shortness of breath and other symptoms linked to asthma might actually indicate a peanut allergy. After analyzing the records of 1,517 children with asthma at an Ohio... More »

What 53K Kids Had to Say About Happiness

Children in 15 countries say they're pretty happy regardless of wealth

(Newser) - Most kids are happy regardless of material wealth, according to a new survey of 53,000 8-year-olds to 12-year-olds in 15 countries (the US wasn't included). Yet the researchers out of Germany's Goethe University write in the 2015 Children's Worlds Report that there are subtle differences across... More »

How Creatures Began Growing Heads

They started with a hard plate called the anterior sclerite: study

(Newser) - Ever wonder how creatures on Earth grew heads? Probably not, but they seem to have started with a hard plate in front of their brains. A recent study in Current Biology says fossils dating back hundreds of millions of years show the first signs of this plate, known as the... More »

Song Stuck in Your Head? Chew Gum

Researchers say repetitive jaw motion helps get rid of earworms

(Newser) - Getting a song stuck in your head is no modern conundrum, with even Edgar Allan Poe complaining in 1845 that it is "quite a common thing" to be "annoyed" or even "tormented" by "the burthen of some ordinary song," reports the Los Angeles Times . Now... More »

Mystery Find in Ohio Dorm: 19th-Century Gravestone

'We would really love to find where it belongs,' says local cop

(Newser) - Workers cleaning out a Denison University dorm in central Ohio found a more than the usual assortment of notebooks and pencils left over from the semester. The cleaning crew found part of a 19th century gravestone Wednesday. The 12-by-8-inch fragment apparently marked the grave of a child who died in... More »

Why Men Kill Themselves Far More Often Than Women

Social perfectionism could be at work

(Newser) - "In every country in the world, male suicides outnumber female," writes Will Storr in Mosaic . And not by a little bit: In the world's most suicidal countries, the male suicide rate is often six or eight times the female rate (Quartz has a pretty staggering graphic here... More »

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