scientific research

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Planet 9 Might Not Be a Planet

Two young PhDs offer a bold new theory

(Newser) - "What if Planet 9 is a Primordial Black Hole?" That's the title of a new paper about the mysterious gravity source at the edge of our solar system, Business Insider reports. Posted Tuesday on arXiv , the paper suggests that the still-unseen source—which some call Planet Nine, or... More »

Wasabi Error Triggers 'Broken Heart Syndrome'

Israeli woman thought it was avocado

(Newser) - For many people, mistaking wasabi for avocado would be an eye-watering experience. For an Israeli woman, it was heartbreaking. The 60-year-old woman said she felt pressure in her chest that lasted for hours after mistakenly consuming about a teaspoon of wasabi at a wedding, according to a case described in... More »

'We Were Thunderstruck': Arctic Fox Walks 2.7K Miles in 4 Months

Female traveled from northern Norway to Canada's far north

(Newser) - An arctic fox walked more than 2,737 miles to go from northern Norway to Canada's far north in four months, Norwegian researchers said. The Norwegian Polar Institute reported the young female fox left her birth place on Norway's Svalbard archipelago on March 1, 2018, and reached Canada'... More »

After Trump's Decree, Scientists Feel the Chill

They're bracing themselves for funding cuts

(Newser) - To save babies from brain-damaging birth defects, University of Pittsburgh scientist Carolyn Coyne studies placentas from fetuses that otherwise would be discarded—and she's worried this kind of research is headed for the chopping block, the AP reports. The Trump administration is cracking down on fetal tissue research, with... More »

Black Hole Image Makes a Star Out of Scientist

Katie Bouman's team developed needed algorithm

(Newser) - For the rest of the world, it was an incredible first: a stunning image of a black hole 55 million light-years from Earth. For Katie Bouman , it was all that, plus the culmination of three years of work, the realization of a goal that scientists thought to be impossible, and... More »

Spiders' Eating Habits Surprise Researchers

One is spotted feasting on an opossum in the Amazon

(Newser) - Scientists watched on in amazement as a dinner-plate-sized tarantula in the Amazon was seen eating an opossum for the first time. "We were pretty ecstatic and shocked, and we couldn't really believe what we were seeing," says Michael Grundler of the University of Michigan. The finding, recorded... More »

The Moratorium Was 'Unprecedented.' Now It's Over

Feds lift ban on funding research into enhanced potential pandemic pathogens

(Newser) - A door that was shut three years ago has been opened, though how far is unclear: In October 2014, the feds put a moratorium on funding studies on germs that could be altered to cause pandemics, or enhanced potential pandemic pathogens. On Tuesday, the National Institutes of Health announced... More »

Another Hurricane Maria Victim: Monkey Island

It's one of the world's most important sites for primate research

(Newser) - As thousands of troops and government workers struggle to restore normal life to Puerto Rico, a small group of scientists is racing to save more than 1,000 monkeys whose brains may contain clues to some of the most important mysteries of the human mind. One of the first places... More »

Scientists Discover the Fishy Secret to Surviving Frozen H2O

When oxygen is scarce, a unique process kicks in for goldfish

(Newser) - While it’s a myth that a stiff drink makes you warmer in cold weather, a new study found that alcohol is the very reason some fish survive frozen conditions. Per the BBC , goldfish and crucian carp developed the ability to survive months in icy lakes and ponds using the... More »

Think Booze Is Your Muse? Scientists Think You're Right

Scientists speculate that alcohol could help us fixate less, move past creative blocks

(Newser) - People who claim to be more creative after a pint may be onto something after all, according to researchers studying the age-old assumption. A team at the University of Graz in Austria reports in the journal Consciousness and Cognition that among the 132 young adults they studied, the ones who... More »

Kissing the 'Right' Way: Most of Us Don't Go Left

New research suggests this tendency might be innate

(Newser) - Dig if you will the picture: two people engaged in a kiss. Prince sang about "curious poses," but new research suggests that most of us may strike similar poses, leaning to the right instead of the left when kissing the lips of our partners. Researchers at the University... More »

These Are Our Most Common Secrets

But thinking about them alone is tougher on us than concealing them from others

(Newser) - Everyone has secrets. But new research suggests that it is the very act of having them, and being alone with one's thoughts about them, that takes a toll, as opposed to the idea of keeping them from others being the most harmful aspect of secrets. As lead researcher Michael... More »

There's a Simple Reason Blue Whales Got So Huge

They pigged out on fish: study

(Newser) - Scientists think they've figured out why the biggest whales—those of the baleen variety, including blue whales—got so big. As they explain in a study in Proceedings of the Royal Society B , the researchers found that these behemoths didn't really become behemoths until about 4.5 million... More »

We Are Most Attracted to the Faces Around Us

'Beauty is in the faces of those we behold'

(Newser) - All parents know their kids are the most mind-bogglingly beautiful creatures they've ever seen. But this bias for beauty appears to extend beyond one's offspring to the faces of those we see the most. Researchers report in the journal Human Nature that people tend to prefer choosing mates... More »

Creationist Sues Grand Canyon for Religious Discrimination

He wants to take rocks out of the park to study further, NPS declined request

(Newser) - Somewhere between 15% and 40% of Americans believe our planet is only 10,000 years old, in spite of the literal heaps of evidence that it is far older. One such American, young-Earth creationist Andrew Snelling, is suing the National Park Service for not letting him remove rocks from the... More »

Need Strength? Try Cursing

Study finds that people perform better in physical tests if they swear

(Newser) - When you need a little extra oomph during a workout, try swearing. Researchers from the UK's Keele University report via the British Psychological Society that people perform better on tests of physical endurance when they curse. Specifically, 29 people around age 21 took part in a cycling test, and... More »

For First Time in 11 Years, Paralyzed Man Moves His Arm

Brain implants allow him to control his right arm through thoughts

(Newser) - Recent advances in brain-spine interface technology have so excited the scientists working to restore the abilities of quadriplegics and others that they've actually screamed at the results . Now, the team working on a device known as BrainGate2 at Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center is... More »

Scientists Recreate Female Reproductive System in Lab

They hope to study endometriosis, fibroids, cancer, and more

(Newser) - Scientists have created a device that mimics the female reproductive cycle, hailing it as a breakthrough in the study of diseases that affect hundreds of millions of women and girls around the world. Reporting in the journal Nature Communications , researchers at Northwestern University and beyond note that their "microfluidic... More »

Tribe to Scientists: We Have Ethical Rules for You

Much-studied San people want respect from researchers

(Newser) - The San people of South Africa, an indigenous group often called "bushmen" by Westerners, have been the subject of countless scientific investigations into everything from their rituals and click languages to their genomes. Now the San are asking for something in return: Respect. They've published a code of... More »

Study: Older Mothers Raise More Emotionally Secure Kids

Their kids have fewer emotional and behavioral problems

(Newser) - Doctors have long warned women about the physical risks of having children later in life, but a team of scientists out of Denmark is reporting in the European Journal of Developmental Psychology that there are also benefits to rearing children later in life, and these benefits tend to be emotional.... More »

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