scientific research

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Cabbies' 'Remarkable Brains' Help Alzheimer's Research

London drivers map routes during MRI scans

(Newser) - The brains of London cabdrivers aren't like other people's. Before they're hired, prospective drivers study the city's streets for years and memorize thousands of routes, the Washington Post reports. And it's not just a matter of remembering information long enough to pass the tests; human...

Science Solves Mystery in Marie Antoinette Love Letter

Imaging technology reveals words the recipient scribbled over

(Newser) - “Not without you.” “My dear friend.” “You that I love." Marie Antoinette sent these expressions of affection—or more?—in letters to her close friend and rumored lover Axel von Fersen. Someone later used dark ink to scribble over the words, apparently to dampen...

Cockatoos Hold Classes In Stealing From Trash Cans

Researchers in Australia observed birds giving lessons in dumpster diving

(Newser) - A few years ago, a Sydney scientist noticed a sulfur-crested cockatoo opening his trash bin. Not every resident would be thrilled, but ornithologist Richard Major was impressed by the ingenuity. It’s quite a feat for a bird to grasp a bin lid with its beak, pry it open, then...

Mutated Virus Now Dominates: Research

Vaccine development could be affected by change

(Newser) - Many uncertainties remain about the mutated form of the new coronavirus that has been under study as it quickly spreads. But one question about G614 has been resolved, researchers said Thursday. "This is now the virus," said Erica Ollmann Saphire, who worked on a study published in Cell...

'Best Chance' for Coronavirus Cure? Might Be This Llama

Scientists are trying 'antibody therapies' for near-term coronavirus cure

(Newser) - Llamas are known as sociable animals with pleasantly soft wool—and now, a possible cure for the coronavirus. Scientists say llamas and alpacas at a research farm in Belgium are producing special antibodies that show promise in stopping the coronavirus, the Washington Post reports. A new scientific paper says these...

Scientists Call This a 'Moment of Destiny' on the Amazon

Deforestation threatens to worsen the effects of climate change, they say

(Newser) - Two scientists have assessed the present and future of the Amazon and raised the alarm about the future of the rainforest—and the Earth's climate. Waiting to act could be disastrous, said the scientists, one American and one Brazilian. "Today, we stand exactly in a moment of destiny:...

Planet 9 Might Be a Black Hole
Planet 9 Might Not Be a Planet
new study

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...

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...

'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'...

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...

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...

Watch: Tarantula Seen Eating Opossum for First Time
Spiders' Eating Habits
Surprise Researchers
new study

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...

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

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...

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...

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...

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...

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

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...

These Are Our Most Common Secrets
These Are Our
Most Common Secrets
new study

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...

There's a Simple Reason Blue Whales Got So Huge
There's a Simple Reason
Blue Whales Got So Huge
new study

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...

We Are Most Attracted to the Faces Around Us
We Are Most Attracted
to the Faces Around Us
new study

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...

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