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Practice Doesn't Make Perfect When It Comes to Chess

Study suggests that you need to be naturally smart, too

(Newser) - If you were hoping to become a chess master by practicing 10,000 hours, think again. Contrary to the theory that expertise at chess is based on intensive training, researchers at the University of Michigan have concluded based on a meta-analysis of 19 studies that hard work is important but... More »

Binge-Watching Can Make Your Love Stronger

Study says it brings couples closer together

(Newser) - Sure, you could find more imaginative—and intimate—ways of spending time together. But if at the end of the day you find yourself camped out in front of the TV watching a favorite show with your partner, that's probably OK for your relationship, too—at least according to... More »

You Can Now Access NASA's Research Online—for Free

Space agency was told to tear down the (pay)wall, which led to PubSpace

(Newser) - PubSpace may sound like an app that maps out local watering holes (not a bad idea in its own right), but it's actually an online repository where NASA will make all its publicly funded research available for free, the Independent reports. This unprecedented access, which came after the... More »

On Facebook, Cat People Are 'Tired,' Dog People 'Excited'

Cat people prefer fantasy and anime, while dog people go for romance and, well, dogs

(Newser) - Facebook analyzed the behaviors and preferences of 160,000 people who posted photos of cats and dogs, at once both confirming and busting several prevailing pet myths. For instance: Cat owners have 26 fewer friends on Facebook, yet are more likely to be invited to events than their canine-loving... More »

Science Says: Men Are Better Navigators

But not necessarily because of testosterone

(Newser) - "Men have a better sense of direction than women." So goes the headline on a press release outlining a new study from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. The fact that men excel at certain spatial tasks, the release says, is well established. The goal of the... More »

Reason Mammoths Went Extinct? Blame Humans

Massive die-off correlates with us, not so much climate change

(Newser) - What caused the extinctions of the wooly mammoth, giant sloth, mastodon, and other beasts? A new study makes a strong case that the answer is us. Scientists have long argued over the cause of the "Quaternary extinction"—which took out vast numbers of large mammals about 12,000... More »

Could a Diuretic Reverse Autism in Some Cases?

Results of rodent tests released

(Newser) - French researchers have been testing a diuretic on kids with autism, and in a study released yesterday in Science, they explain why they think the drug, a version of bumetanide they have patented, has so much promise: because of their experiments with mice. As USA Today explains, a chemical switch... More »

Facebook Mercilessly Mocks Princeton Study

Determines Princeton will be student-less by 2021

(Newser) - Well this is pretty hilarious: Princeton researchers recently likened Facebook's spread to that of an infectious disease, and forecast (in part by using Google Trends) that 80% of users will abandon the site by 2017. Slate panned the study, calling it "fatally flawed," but that's nothing... More »

Feeling Fat? Grizzly Bears May Be Able to Help

Scientist studies grizzlies to see how they eat so much

(Newser) - Ready to get jealous? Grizzly bears can put on 100 pounds or more by wolfing down food before hibernation, without clogging arteries or becoming diabetic. And they can ingest up to 58,000 calories a day and weigh 1,000 pounds without anyone saying anything. Which is exactly why one... More »

American Woman Key to Cracking Ancient Code

Michael Ventris built off Alice Kober's notes to crack Linear B

(Newser) - The British genius known for decoding a then-unknown 3,500-year-old language may not have been all he was cracked up to be. According to newly catalogued archives, Michael Ventris, who decoded Linear B in 1952, owes much of his praise to an American woman. "Alice Kober is the great... More »

World Gets Its Most Accurate Clock

Loses just one second in 50B years

(Newser) - Most clocks lose minutes over time and need to be reset—but if you're a scientist or an engineer, you need clocks that are just a bit more reliable. And now researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have created the world's two most accurate atomic... More »

How Cockroaches Lost Their Sweet Tooth—Fast

Glucose-averse roaches emerged in as few as 5 years: study

(Newser) - We're not so lucky as to have a genetic mutation that keeps us away from sugar—but that's the case with some cockroaches, which scientists reveal have quickly evolved in a way that keeps them away from glucose, a popular ingredient in roach-poison bait. That cockroaches have grown... More »

US Kids Seriously Sleep-Deprived

Experts say smartphone use at night may contribute to sleep deprivation

(Newser) - The US has the most sleep-deprived pupils in the world, and the late-night glow of smartphones and laptops is probably contributing to a lack of slumber. A study out of Boston College finds that US students are sleep-deprived at a rate almost 30% higher than the international average, with 73%... More »

Taxpayers Shouldn't Fund Political Science Research

Greg Ferenstein: Research has little real-world relevance

(Newser) - Last week, Eric Cantor called for the government to stop funding political science research—and today a former political scientist explains why Cantor is absolutely right. The National Science Foundation has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars recently on studies covering such hugely important topics as "why congressmen make... More »

NIH May Soon Retire Almost All Its Research Chimps

New recommendations would keep just 50 on hand

(Newser) - The National Institutes of Health could soon be letting most of its 451 research chimpanzees retire in sanctuaries, if new recommendations are put into effect. The NIH Council of Councils approved a report yesterday that unanimously recommends almost all the chimps should no longer be used for research, with just... More »

Is Facebook Better Than Sex?

Not tonight, dear, I have to check my computer

(Newser) - It might not be better than sex, but Facebook—along with checking email and surfing the web—is apparently more irresistible, a new study has found. The smartphone-based survey of mostly college-aged respondents tracked their most irresistible desires several times a day. While most reported that sex was a stronger... More »

SpeechJammer, Ponytail Physics Win Ig Nobels

One weird science winner found brain activity in dead fish

(Newser) - Teams that scanned the brains of dead fish and studied the physics of coffee sloshing and ponytails were among the winners at this year's Ig Nobel celebration of strange scientific research. The acoustics prize went to the Japanese inventors of the SpeechJammer , a device that repeats a speaker's... More »

New Robotic Jellyfish Powered by Water Itself

Scientists create device powered by external hydrogen

(Newser) - A group of scientists backed by the US Navy is developing a robotic jellyfish that should, in theory, be able to power itself indefinitely, because it draws its fuel from the hydrogen in the water around it, the Telegraph reports. The so-called "robojelly" works a lot like real jellyfish,... More »

Pot Linked to Slacking Off at Work

Not-so-surprising research links pot to low motivation on the job

(Newser) - Here's a finding that seems to be a waste of research money: Smoking marijuana is linked to decreased motivation at work. But scientists aren't sure if the pot is to blame, or if people who tend to toke are a tad too chill to begin with—or so... More »

Vitamins Boost Women's Risk of Dying

High concentration of nutrients may turn toxic: researchers

(Newser) - Popping too many vitamins may actually shorten your life, a new study says. Researchers looked at the supplement intake of 38,000 women, starting in their early 60s, over 19 years—and found vitamin-users had a 2.4% higher chance of dying. Multivitamins, B6, iron, zinc, copper, folic acid, and... More »

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