discoveries

Read the latest news stories about recent scientific discoveries on Newser.com

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'Holy Cow. Plants Actually Grow in Lunar Stuff'
'Holy Cow. Plants Actually
Grow in Lunar Stuff'
new study

'Holy Cow. Plants Actually Grow in Lunar Stuff'

Researchers grow plants in dirt brought back from the moon

(Newser) - For the first time, scientists have grown plants in soil from the moon collected by NASA’s Apollo astronauts. Researchers had no idea if anything would sprout in the harsh moon dirt and wanted to see if it could be used to grow food by the next generation of lunar...

In the Utah Desert, Rising Temps May 'Bust the Crust'

Biocrusts are vital to desert life, but they can only take so much heat

(Newser) - At first glance, most desert landscapes appear uniformly parched and bland. It’s easy to overlook cryptobiotic soil, or biocrust: the blackened “skin” that forms the vital top layer of desert soil. A closer look reveals a vibrant community of microbial cyanobacteria, algae, mosses, fungi, and lichens. And without...

Researchers Make 'Breakthrough' SIDS Finding
Researchers Make
'Breakthrough' SIDS Finding
new study

Researchers Make 'Breakthrough' SIDS Finding

Babies who die of the syndrome have lower levels of a particular enzyme, says new study

(Newser) - A researcher who lost her own child to SIDS has made a discovery that could help other parents avoid the same fate. A team led by Australian scientist Carmel Harrington has found that babies who die of sudden infant death syndrome have low levels of a particular enzyme, reports Australia'...

Rarely Seen Fish Captured on Video


Video Catches
Rare Glimpse
of Elusive
Fish
video

Video Catches Rare Glimpse of Elusive Fish

Highfin dragonfish is spotted in California

(Newser) - Meet Bathophilus flemingi, better known by its more accessible name of highfin dragonfish. Scientists with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in California captured video of the rarely seen creature at a depth of about 1,000 feet, thanks to a remotely operated vehicle, reports NPR . "In more than...

She Had a Hunch on Her $34.99 Goodwill Find. She Was Right
She Had a Hunch
on Her $34.99
Goodwill Find.
She Was Right
in case you missed it

She Had a Hunch on Her $34.99 Goodwill Find. She Was Right

Art collector confirms she bought a stone bust straight out of ancient Rome

(Newser) - Four years ago, an art collector picked up an old stone bust at a Texas thrift shop for less than $40. It was money well spent: The sculpture has been confirmed to be an artifact straight out of ancient Rome. KHOU reports that Laura Young stumbled upon the bust, nestled...

Hope on Horizon for Painful, Incurable Hand Disease

Known drug appears to reverse progress of early-stage Dupuytren's disease

(Newser) - You probably take for granted the ability to stick your hand in your pocket, use a keyboard, and grip a steering wheel. But all this can be challenging for sufferers of a painful and incurable disease that causes fibrotic scar tissue to develop at the base of the fingers. In...

Kmart Clothes a Clue to Body Found in Barrel at Lake Mead

Police say victim was shot

(Newser) - Update: Police have shared details about the body found inside a barrel that was discovered on the newly exposed bottom of Nevada's Lake Mead, saying the remains belong to a person who'd been shot. Investigators are dating the crime to the late 1970s or early '80s, with...

'Sorely Needed' Study Weighs In on Early Transgender Identity

Those who begin IDing as transgender at young age tend to keep that identity, research finds

(Newser) - Children who begin identifying as transgender at a young age tend to retain that identity at least for several years, a study published Wednesday suggests. The research involved 317 youngsters who were 3 to 12 years old when they were recruited to the study. Five years later, at the study'...

Stress-Loving Plants May Hold Benefits for Us
Hardy Plant's Lesson: 
It Thrives Under Stress
new study

Hardy Plant's Lesson: It Thrives Under Stress

Researchers tap into its secrets, which could hold value amid climate change

(Newser) - No matter where they grow, most plants have a built-in mechanism that shuts down growth during periods of drought or other harsh conditions. Likewise, most plants will wither and die if those harsh conditions persist. This survival mechanism is controlled by abscisic acid, or ABA, a stress hormone. All land...

This Is the Perfect Amount of Sleep Once You Hit Middle Age

7 hours per night is the sweet spot for those in middle, old age, per latest research, but with caveats

(Newser) - If you've been skimping a bit on sleep and breaching that long-held "eight hours a night" mantra, you might be OK—as long as it's only by an hour or so, and you're a Gen Xer or boomer. Scientists in the UK and China have found...

Physicists Float a Surprise Theory About Fate of Universe

Princeton scientists say it may stop expanding and start contracting in 100M years

(Newser) - Physicists agree that the universe is not only expanding, but that this expansion is accelerating. But for how long? A new study by three Princeton scientists floats the provocative idea that expansion could end "surprisingly soon," as lead author Paul Steinhardt writes in the Proceedings of the National...

Couple Finds Preserved McDonald's Fries From 1959
While Replacing TP Holder,
Couple Makes Surprising Find
in case you missed it

While Replacing TP Holder, Couple Makes Surprising Find

'Very well preserved' bag of McDonald's fries was hidden in the wall of their Illinois home

(Newser) - Opening up a small hole in their bathroom wall to replace a built-in toilet paper holder, Rob and Grace Jones of Crystal Lake, Ill., looked inside and spotted a towel hiding something inside. "We were expecting the worst. We were both like, 'Oh, my gosh, we're going...

In Norway, Melting Ice Reveals Ancient History

Global warming is helping archaeologists write a new chapter about mountain wilderness

(Newser) - In 2019, a Norwegian mountaineer stumbled across a soggy, twisted blob of leather on a patch of ice. Before continuing, he reported the find to archaeologists with Secrets of the Ice, a project that researches ancient trade routes exposed in recent decades by melting icepack. “He sent us GPS...

'Crime Scene' of 150 Skulls Was Actually Coldest of Cases

Remains found in Mexican cave in 2012 date from AD 900

(Newser) - When Mexican police found a pile of about 150 skulls in a cave near the Guatemalan border, they thought they were looking at a crime scene, and took the bones to the state capital. It turns out it was a very cold case. It took a decade of tests and...

Farmer Working His Fields Makes an Ancient Find

Limestone head is thought to represent the Canaanite goddess Anat

(Newser) - A farmer in the Gaza Strip went to work on Monday and found himself the subject of international news stories days later, all thanks to what he found in the ground. Nidal Abu Eid was plowing his land when he turned up a 4,500-year-old limestone head thought to represent...

Site First Excavated in Early 1900s Gives Up New Find

Ruins of temple to Zeus have been unearthed in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula

(Newser) - Egyptian archaeologists unearthed the ruins of a temple for the ancient Greek god Zeus in the Sinai Peninsula, antiquities authorities said Monday. The Tourism and Antiquities Ministry said in a statement the temple ruins were found in the Tell el-Farma archaeological site (its ancient name is Pelusium) in northwestern Sinai....

It Was Like TV for the Stone Age
It Was Like TV
for the Stone Age
new study

It Was Like TV for the Stone Age

Study suggests cave artists used firelight to animate their work around the hearth

(Newser) - A museumgoer who checks out a prehistoric drawing etched on a rock sees only the static image, safely housed under a glass case under controlled light. A new study suggests the people who first looked at the same rock saw something else entirely—a dynamic image that appeared to be...

Popular Time-Restricted Diet Plan May Not Work
Popular Time-Restricted
Diet Plan May Not Work
new study

Popular Time-Restricted Diet Plan May Not Work

Comprehensive study suggests limiting meals to a certain time window doesn't matter

(Newser) - It's a been a popular fitness trend in recent years—people limit their meals to a certain window each day. Small-scale studies suggested this form of intermittent fasting helped people lose weight, but a comprehensive new study concludes otherwise, reports the New York Times . The yearlong study out of...

Wildflower Called 'Extinctus' Has Been Rediscovered

Living specimens were found in tiny patch of surviving rainforest in Ecuador

(Newser) - Gasteranthus extinctus, a South American wildflower that got its Latin name after botanists thought it was already extinct, might have to be renamed Gasteranthus vivus. Researchers say the flower was seen for the first time in nearly 40 years during a search of intact patches of primary rainforest in western...

Medieval 'Riches' Found Under Notre Dame's Floor
'Riches' Found Inches Below
Notre Dame's Floor Slabs
in case you missed it

'Riches' Found Inches Below Notre Dame's Floor Slabs

Sarcophagus, fragments of original rood screen are 'extraordinary'

(Newser) - There's an upside to rebuilding after a fire , as archaeologists at France's Notre Dame cathedral have discovered. In preparation for the monument's new spire, to replace the one burned in 2019, workers will build 100-foot-high scaffolding. But before they do, officials asked archeologists to perform a "...

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