15 Stories

Meet World's 'Most Typical' Person

He's 28, Chinese, and right-handed: researchers

(Newser) - The “most typical” person on Earth has been revealed: he’s a 28-year-old, right-handed, Han Chinese man, notes the Huffington Post . In a National Geographic report, researchers compiled some 190,000 photos to piece together the average person’s face. But this guy has only a few more years... More »

Google Lets You Browse the Human Body

Move over Google Maps: New app all about anatomy

(Newser) - First, it took on land . Then it took on the oceans . Now Google has set its sights on a new target: the human body. Its " Body Browser " lets users explore the human body, layer by layer, with any WebGL-enabled browser (Chrome 9 beta or Firefox 4 beta). You... More »

Scientists Discover New Taste—for Fat

Overweight people may be desensitized to fat taste

(Newser) - Scientists think they found a new taste sense, though it's probably one we should've found sooner: it's for fat. Researchers in New Zealand tested human subjects for the ability to taste fat and discovered varying levels of sensitivity to the taste. "We also found that those with a high... More »

Women Getting Shorter, Heavier

They'll lose 1 inch and gain 2 pounds by 2409

(Newser) - Humans are still changing, and the female winners of the evolutionary crapshoot will be shorter and heavier down the line. A new study that tracked the motherly productivity of the slim-and-tall set alongside their squatter peers concludes that a lower center of gravity will win out in the end, and... More »

Why Exercise May Not Erase That Gut

Rigorous exercise can make you eat more, and diet affects weight more than exercise

(Newser) - Despite forcing himself to do a rigorous amount of aerobic exercise, John Cloud hasn't budged from 163 pounds—with gut fat. Shouldn’t all that exercise change something? Not necessarily, he writes for Time. Science has shown that exercise has much less effect than diet on overall weight. The problem,... More »

Cooking: What Separates Men From Apes (and Women)

And anthropologically speaking, women are always the cooks

(Newser) - Cooking—not just eating—meat is what prompted human evolution, Richard Wrangham argues in his book Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human, and he discusses his beliefs—including an opposition to the trend of raw diets—with Salon. “Raw foodists argue quite strongly that it is our natural... More »

Apes, Humans Share a Laugh

Commonalities show laughter is pre-human

(Newser) - After tickling two dozen apes and several children, scientists have concluded that laughter developed long before humans did. In fact, a common ancestor of both apes and humans probably emitted the first chuckle at least 10 million years ago. The study measuring 800 vocalizations found that all subjects shared the... More »

They Don't Call Him Fido for Nothing

Dogs are ethical, full of natural goodness, scientist says

(Newser) - Science is finally catching up to what dog owners have known all along: Canines are ethical. After thousands of hours studying dogs—once dismissed as "furry automatons," an author said—animal behaviorist Marc Bekoff concluded that they possess the capacity for empathy and compassion, the hallmarks of morality.... More »

Africans Have World's Greatest Genetic Diversity

Landmark study tracks modern humanity's origins to area in South Africa

(Newser) - The people of Africa have by far the world's most diverse genes, says a new study that sheds light on humanity's origins. Researchers—who traveled deep into remote areas of Africa to study more than a hundred populations—have pinpointed the origin of modern humans to an area near the... More »

No Wonder They're Crabby: Crabs Feel Pain

Laws should consider the suffering of crustaceans, scientist says

(Newser) - Before you drop another crab into a boiling pot of water, take note: Crabs feel pain. Scientists don’t fully understand pain in humans, but do now know that crustaceans respond to discomfort and keep a memory of it, LiveScience reports. Hermit crabs that were shocked fled their shells, “... More »

Our Not-So-Distant Relatives: Kangaroos

Scientists decode marsupial's genome, find much in common with humans

(Newser) - The kangaroo genome has much in common with that of humans, the Telegraph reports. Scientists in Australia, under the auspices of the Centre of Excellence for Kangaroo Genomics, have completed mapping the marsupial’s genetic code. “There are a few differences, we have a few more of this, a... More »

Stress Pushes Animals to Binge, Too

House pets feel human worries; lab animals turn to high-fat treats

(Newser) - Animals get stressed out just like humans, and they even cope anthropomorphically, binging on sweet, fatty foods, LiveScience reports. What’s more, animals can read our misgivings and take on that stress themselves. “The more intelligent an animal is, the more psychological stress it can undergo,” one veterinarian... More »

Americans Seek Immune Genes in Mates: Study

Nigerians don't marry for DNA diversity, but may not need to

(Newser) - Americans pick mates with different immune genes while Africans prefer the genes they already have, New Scientist reports. A study of 60 couples from Utah and Nigeria showed that the Americans hitched up with partners whose genes recognized pathogens that theirs couldn't. The African marriages, however, appeared to be genetically... More »

Not Sweet, nor Salty: 'Umami'

Chefs and Campbell's alike seek coveted, satisfying 'fifth taste'

(Newser) - Humans crave not only salt and sugar, but also a savory, satisfying flavor known as “umami,” the Japanese term for “deliciousness,” the Wall Street Journal reports. Umami (“oo-MA-mee”) describes the taste of stick-to-your-ribs dishes such as chicken soup or Caesar salad with Parmesan cheese... More »

No Tired Explanation: Yawning May Cool Brain

Evolutionary adaptation keeps the nervous system's motherboard cool

(Newser) - Yawning may be less a response to boredom than a natural mechanism for cooling off overheated brains, new research says. The human brain operates optimally when cool, much like a computer, and conditions like fatigue actually cause the organ to heat up, ABC News reports. A quick gulp of air... More »

15 Stories