20 Stories

Colo. 13-Year-Old Latest Victim of 'Choking Game'

Memphis Burgess' parents hope to raise awareness about dangerous activity

(Newser) - Whether it's called "suffocation roulette," "cloud nine," or simply the "choking game," it's a dangerous activity that's been around for millennia, the Washington Post notes—and it's just resulted in another teen death. Memphis Burgess, a 13-year-old from Colorado Springs,... More »

Scientists Learn Why Labor Contractions Grow Stronger

They call the phenomenon 'hypoxia-induced force increase'

(Newser) - The general course of child labor is well documented, but many mysteries—such as what starts labor in the first place—persist. Now scientists at the University of Liverpool say they've discovered what causes contractions to strengthen during labor, even though the tightening uterine muscle squeezes blood vessels, thereby... More »

Near Extinction: Turtle That Breathes Through Its Butt

In the right conditions, the white-throated snapping turtle can live to 100

(Newser) - The days of the white-throated snapping turtle (Elseya albagula) appear to be numbered, according to the Australian government, which has recently declared them critically endangered. If that isn't attention-grabbing enough, consider that the animal prompted a biologist to talk like this: "These turtles breathe out of their ass,... More »

Water on Earth Older Than Sun, Earth Itself

Water molecules more than 4.5 billion years old are in our drinking water, oceans

(Newser) - If you live and die by food and beverage expiration dates, you might not want to know how old some of our drinking water is. A study finds that 30% to 50% of the water found in our taps and oceans contains molecules created more than 4.5 billion years... More »

Finally, Evidence of Other World That Helped Form Moon

Lunar rocks bolster a long-held theory about how the moon was created

(Newser) - A new analysis of three lunar rocks brought back by Apollo astronauts in the '60s breathes new life into an old theory some thought too simple: that the moon was created when another planet, Theia, crashed into Earth billions of years ago, leaving behind molten debris that eventually cooled... More »

Why Guys' Noses Are Bigger

It's about getting more oxygen to maintain muscles: scientists

(Newser) - Men need bigger noses because they tend to have more muscle—meaning they need more oxygen, a new study suggests. Researchers followed the growth of 18 women and 20 men from age three to past 20. While kids' nose sizes weren't much different between sexes, male noses started getting... More »

Solar Wind Brings Water to Moon: Study

Which could help in creating a colony there

(Newser) - There is water on the moon, and it comes from an unlikely source: the sun. That's the conclusion of a new study, after studying soil samples brought back from the original Apollo 11 mission, Cosmos reports. While studies dating back to 2008 have pointed to the existence of water... More »

New Injections Can Keep People Alive—Without Breath

Scientists' invention could save millions of lives a year

(Newser) - Scientists in Boston are reporting what could be a major breakthrough: They've designed oxygen-carrying particles that can let patients live for up to half an hour—without taking a breath. The injected material give doctors time to address emergencies in patients who can't breathe with far less risk... More »

Oxygen Flows on Saturn's Icy Moon

Dione can't support life or liquid oceans, but check out other gas giant moons

(Newser) - Good news for future space colonists: Saturn's icy moon, Dione, contains a thin layer of oxygen that hints at life on other gas giant satellites, the BBC reports. Spotted by the Cassini spacecraft about two years ago, Dione's oxygen layer lacks the necessary density to support life and... More »

Oxygen Molecules Detected in Deep Space for 1st Time

Elusive molecule spotted in Orion nebula

(Newser) - Breathe easier, budding astronauts, it turns out there are oxygen molecules in space. In fact, there are some just 1,500 light-years away, in a star-forming region of the Orion nebula, reports Live Science . Researchers think the oxygen comes from water molecules that coat tiny grains of space dust; when... More »

Evolution Began 400 Million Years Early: Scientists

Team uncovers secret in Scottish Highlands

(Newser) - A team of scientists studying rocks in Scotland has discovered that the evolution of earth’s organisms from simple microbes to complex lifeforms began about 400 million years earlier than previously believed. Geochemical analysis of the rocks indicates that oxygen levels began to rise to a useful level about 1.... More »

Gulf 'Dead Zone' One of the Biggest Ever

Low-oxygen marine wasteland measures 7,772 square miles

(Newser) - The Gulf of Mexico is seeing one of the biggest low-oxygen areas—or "dead zones"—on record this year. A dead zone forms in the Gulf around this time every year, but the 2010 incarnation is 7,722 square miles, just a few hundred short of the record... More »

Oxygen-Free Creatures Found Deep in Mediterranean

Species can live and reproduce in Ocean's dead zones

(Newser) - Scientists have discovered the first known creatures that can survive and reproduce without oxygen. The three new species from the Loricifera group were found deep in the "dead," or oxygen-free, zone of the Mediterranean Sea. One of the minuscule animals—approximately a millimeter long—looks like a jellyfish... More »

Adding Oxygen to Booze Cuts Hangovers

Korean scientists say adding it lets drinkers sober up faster

(Newser) - Adding oxygen to alcoholic drinks lets you experience all the drunkenness with a fraction of the hangover, according to Korean researchers who presumably didn't have much trouble rounding up volunteers for their study. The scientists found that the extra oxygen helped the stomach function better, allowing the drinker to sober... More »

Under Antarctic Glacier, Life Exists Without Light, Oxygen

(Newser) - Scientists have discovered an Antarctic ecosystem of microorganisms cut off from light and oxygen for as many as 2 million years, the Guardian reports. The microbes, living under one-third of a mile of ice, in a 14-degree lake four times as salty as seawater, give researchers clues to how life... More »

Fears Mount Over Gulf of Mexico 'Dead Zone'

Only Dolly kept oxygen-free area from becoming largest ever

(Newser) - Scientists are  increasingly concerned about the growing "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico, an oxygen-poor mass of water that cannot sustain most sea life, which now covers 8,000 square miles, nearly the largest ever. Created by fertilizer runoff from the Mississippi, the zone would be even bigger... More »

Ocean Dead Zones Expanding

Climate-related trend mirrors causes of past massive extinction

(Newser) - The inhospitable oxygen-starved layers of the oceans, once relegated to the deep sea, are now encroaching on coastlines, reports the Los Angeles Times. The dead zones, linked to global warming, have moved up into continental shelves, a study in Science says. They interfere with commercial fishing and entice predators that... More »

Feeling Ill? Stay On the Ground

Airlines, staff are only modestly equipped to respond to medical emergencies in the air

(Newser) - In the wake of the death last week of a passenger on an American Airlines jet, one expert on in-flight health has this to say to sickly would-be travelers: “Do not fly.” Air travel can exacerbate illness, and though many airlines contract with ground-based medical support, flight attendants... More »

Family Blames Airline for Woman's Death

American disputes cousin's account of in-flight incident

(Newser) - A woman who died en route from Haiti to New York received assistance from the flight crew and fellow passengers, American Airlines said today, disputing the victim's family's account of the incident. "Don't let me die," Carine Desir's cousin recalls her saying after a flight attendant refused to... More »

Dallas Gas Explosion Injures 3

Truck fire ignites massive blasts; major highways shut down

(Newser) - At least three people were injured today after a stock of acetylene tanks and 18-wheelers exploded at a gas plant south of downtown Dallas, sending thick plumes of black smoke and chunks of debris flying into the air. Two people suffered burns and a third sustained a back injury; all... More »

20 Stories