20 Stories

People With Alzheimer's Might Be Happier in Faux Towns

Imagine being 80 and stepping into a town square straight out of your childhood

(Newser) - Alzheimer's can be, if anything, an extremely disorienting disease, and traditional care often relies on drugs and the expertise of nursing homes. Now, thanks in part to positive outcomes in places like the Netherlands, San Diego is about to become home to an entirely contrived city center that will... More »

NASA Just Lit a Big Fire in Space

The biggest one ever intentionally lit, as a matter of fact—all in the name of safety

(Newser) - NASA just started the biggest fire in outer space ever intentionally set—all in the name of safety, Space.com reports. The Spacecraft Fire Experiment , aka Saffire-1, took place Tuesday inside an unmanned Cygnus cargo vessel after it left the International Space Station, with what a press release describes as... More »

Even Infants Know There Are Known Unknowns

They turn to their caregivers for help when they're stumped

(Newser) - By 20 months of age, many infants are capable of a wide range of skills, from throwing a ball and using a toilet to stringing words together and finding objects. But researchers report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that they now have evidence of babies doing... More »

Reddit Dares You to Press This Button

Push to restart the clock—no one knows what happens when it hits zero

(Newser) - Depending on your willpower and how much time you have to sit and stare at a countdown clock instead of working/sleeping/interacting with humans, you might want to head over to Reddit to check out "the button." In an online social experiment that promises to both fascinate and irk... More »

Five-Rocket NASA Mission Lights Up Sky

Science mission finally gets green light

(Newser) - After almost two weeks of delays, NASA finally launched its ATREX experiment this morning, lighting up the early morning sky as five rockets hurtled into the air. The rockets released chemicals into the air to create artificial glowing clouds at the edge of space, MSNBC reports. Those clouds will help... More »

Biosphere 2 Going Strong at 20

Terrarium more relevant than ever, scientists say

(Newser) - It's been a long time since the last human residents left Biosphere 2 but there's still plenty of life inside the sealed terrarium in the Arizona desert, the AP finds. The 7.2-million-square-foot facility, set up 20 years ago to see whether humans could create self-sustaining space colonies,... More »

US Faces Suit for Infecting Guatemalans With Syphilis

Lawyers representing some of 700 victims seeking settlement

(Newser) - A class action suit representing some of the 700 men deliberately infected with syphilis by the US government will be filed tomorrow unless the feds come up with an acceptable settlement, plaintiffs' lawyers warned. The US intentionally affected victims from 1946-48 to study the effects of the disease. The Obama... More »

Advice on How to Live Cheaply, Simply Is Thriving

Books, blogs popular in recession

(Newser) - What with the recession, worldwide poverty, and impending environmental doom, it’s no wonder that bookshelves and the blogosphere are crammed with tales of voluntary privation and experiments in skimp. Last month there was On a Dollar a Day, about a couple's attempt to live on that amount—in San ... More »

Paralyzed Rats Run in Breakthrough Experiment

Application for humans with spinal injuries not far off

(Newser) - Scientists have made paralyzed rats run again by using a new technique that could one day have wheelchair-bound people walking, reports AFP. Rats, whose spinal cords had been severed, ran when scientists applied electrical charges and drugs. "In some cases they actually walked with more consistent locomotive patterns than... More »

Hadron Collider Hits New Snags

CERN may run experiments through the winter to make up lost time

(Newser) - The Large Hadron Collider has hit more delays, ZDNet reports, with experiments using the machine unlikely to restart until at least mid-November due to the discovery of two vacuum leaks. The agency overseeing the 17-mile atom-smasher buried under the French-Swiss border may take the unorthodox step of running its “... More »

Positive Thinking Can Make You Feel Worse: Study

Affirmations don't help low self-esteem

(Newser) - It turns out the Little Engine That Could had it all wrong. Repeating positive statements to yourself doesn’t appear to help people with low self-esteem, according to a new study. Researchers asked students to repeat statements like “I am a lovable person” to themselves, then measured their mood.... More »

Mock Mars Mission Blasts Off

Experimenters will spend 105 days locked in fake spaceship

(Newser) - Europe launched its first shot at a manned mission to the Red Planet today—by locking six scientists in a tiny capsule in Moscow for 105 days to simulate the voyage, the BBC reports. The volunteers, who can leave the experiment but score $20000 if they make it, will perform... More »

Couple Buys Black-Owned Only in 'Ebony Experiment'

(Newser) - A Chicago family is trying to use its household spending to invest in the black community by buying exclusively from black-owned businesses for 1 year, the Tribune reports. The Andersons’ ambitious “Ebony Experiment” has them driving 14 miles for groceries (and farther for other stuff) and has earned hate... More »

Dogs Get Jealous: Study

But canine envy is simpler than that felt by primates

(Newser) - Dogs can indeed get jealous, a new study shows. While it’s known that other primates feel envy, the report offers the first evidence of the green-eyed monster in canines. Dogs were paired up and commanded to put their paw in an experimenter’s hand, and then given unequal rewards:... More »

Anti-'Frankenfood' Activists Should Modify Stance

Opposition to genetically souped-up crops has run its course

(Newser) - The recent destruction of a research crop of genetically modified potatoes in England highlights how attitudes towards altered crops have changed, the Economist writes. A decade ago, Greenpeace activists caught in the act of destroying food crops were acquitted because of popular fear of the consequences of “Frankenfoods.”... More »

10 Who Were Blinded (or Worse) by Science

Their work lead to big discoveries...and unfortunate death and injury

(Newser) - Knowledge may be power, but finding that knowledge can get you killed. List Universe ranks the top scientists killed or injured by their experiments.
  1. Galileo Galilei: The “father of modern physics” refined the telescope by staring at the sun for hours, resulting in near-blindness.
  2. Michael Faraday: A nitrogen chloride
... More »

Old Columbia Test Sheds Light on Ketchup

Recovered shuttle experiment reveals nature of viscosity

(Newser) - A hard drive recovered from the Columbia shuttle disaster confirms an old theory about why people shake ketchup before pouring it, LiveScience reports. Astronauts on the craft were conducting a zero-gravity experiment with xenon, a gas, to study viscosity, but scientists feared the results were lost after Columbia burned up... More »

Substitutes Not All Sweetness and Light

Zero-calorie sugar stand-ins may cause weight gain, study says

(Newser) - Cutting back on sugary calories could make you gain weight instead of lose it, a study suggests. Scientists at Purdue University compared rats fed either zero-calorie saccharin or sugar, and found that those on artificial sweetener gained more weight—mostly in fat, Time reports. Animals appear conditioned to respond to... More »

Genes Make Mouse That Roared

Genetically altered Mickey has no fear of cats

(Newser) - Japanese scientists have modified mouse genes to make rodents unafraid of cats in a dramatic experiment that offers insight into the origins of terror. The breakthrough shows that fear is largely genetically hardwired rather than learned through painful experience, researchers say. Some of the mice, whose nasal cells were altered... More »

Victims of Stuttering Study Get $1M Each

Orphans harassed in 1939 'Monster Study'

(Newser) - Five orphans who suffered months of harassment in a stuttering study have been awarded almost $1 million each, the BBC reports. Dubbed “The Monster Study,” it involved Iowa University researchers harassing children to make them develop speech impediments in 1939. None became stutterers, but they filed suit a... More »

20 Stories