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Antarctica Once Had a Rainforest

Researchers find evidence of a much warmer era

(Newser) - Little else but ice, snow, and penguins likely pops into your head when you can spare a thought for Antarctic. But there's much more to the continent than meets the eye, as scientists describe in Nature . Analyzing a sediment core taken from the seafloor of West Antarctica's Amundsen... More »

Ancient Ice Tells of a Murderous King's Struggles

Lead pollution sheds light on British turmoil in 12th century

(Newser) - Scientists say they've found evidence of key moments in British medieval history, including the assassination of an archbishop, nearly 1,000 miles away in the Swiss Alps. There was no sword buried in the snow. Rather, scientists analyzed lead pollution in laser-carved slivers of ice, each representing a period... More »

New Theory Floated on Origins of Coronavirus

Study suggests it could have been spreading in humans for years

(Newser) - Scientists studying the origins of the coronavirus have found similar strains in bats and pangolins , leading to speculation that it jumped from one or perhaps both of those animals to humans earlier this year. But a new study floats a different idea: that the virus was spreading in humans for... More »

Astronauts' Urine May Be Handy on the Moon

Scientists say it could be mixed with lunar soil to help build shelters

(Newser) - In the fictional world, Matt Damon used his own poop to grow potatoes on Mars. In the real world, scientists just figured out another way human waste—in this case, urine—could benefit future astronauts. Their new study suggests astronauts could build shelters with lunar soil and human urine, reports... More »

Guys, Have an Older Brother? It May Play a Part in Your Sexuality

Researchers find men with older brother have 38% higher chance of being gay than those without

(Newser) - Past research has suggested that men with at least one older brother are more likely to be gay—a phenomenon called the fraternal birth order effect. Now, a new study by Canadian and German scientists adds more evidence to that theory, and it points to possible antibodies produced by the... More »

In Phenomenon Seen Across Species, the Ladies Have It

Female mammals typically live longer, likely owing to genetics

(Newser) - It's not just in human populations that females tend to live longer than males. The same trend has been seen in mammals such as elephants, lions, and orcas, according to a new study. Indeed, demographic data for 134 populations of 101 mammalian species shows females outlive males in 60%... More »

This Scaly Creature Implicated in Virus Spread

But don't be too quick to blame pangolins just yet

(Newser) - A scaly anteater known as the pangolin is suddenly getting a lot of attention as scientists around the world try to figure out how the coronavirus jumped to humans. The takeaway from coverage seems to boil down to this: The animals do carry coronaviruses similar to the one responsible for... More »

Hidden in Plain View, an Ancient Sword

5K-year-old blade was initially labeled as medieval sword on display at monastery

(Newser) - A PhD student had a hunch that a monastery's sword, labeled as medieval, was actually much, much older. After two years of study, "it all came full circle," Italian archaeologist Vittoria Dall'Armellina, who's now completed her schooling at Venice's Ca' Foscari University, tells CNN... More »

Worst COVID-19 Patients May Want to Lie Facedown

Per a research letter out of Wuhan, China

(Newser) - An interesting finding out of Wuhan: A small six-day study in February of Chinese COVID-19 patients who were hospitalized and on ventilators found that their lungs benefited from them lying facedown. In a research letter published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine , the researchers share the... More »

World's Highest-Dwelling Mammal Has Been Found

Mouse discovered living atop volcano at 22,110 feet

(Newser) - In February, scientists found a mouse living at the 22,110 foot high summit of Llullaillaco, the highest historically active volcano in the world. And a study published this week reports that mouse is the highest-dwelling mammal in the world. The record comes less than a year after it was... More »

Structure Made of Mammoth Bones Baffles Scientists

It was built 25K years ago in what is now Russia, and 'it does boggle my mind,' says researcher

(Newser) - Archaeologists have found plenty of structures made of mammoth bones across Eastern Europe over the years, but none quite like this one. Previously discovered ones were fairly small, suggesting they were used as dwellings. But this is not only older than the rest—figure about 25,000 years old—it'... More »

Hiker Makes an Odd Discovery at Hawaii Volcano

Decades-old bombs found in Mauna Loa, part of an experiment to slow lava flow

(Newser) - A hiker traipsing around Hawaii's Mauna Loa volcano came across a strange find last month: two rusty, decades-old bombs, both unexploded. But as Live Science reports, the find by Kawika Singson has a logical explanation, one that goes back to the 1930s. Back then, a prominent Hawaiian volcanologist pushed... More »

Vampire Bats Engage in 'Horrifying French Kiss'

It's gross, but it keeps them alive

(Newser) - Vampire bats' diet exclusively consists of blood, and going even three days without it can be fatal for them. Luckily, and somewhat grossly, the animals will share regurgitated blood—notably, even among bats who aren't related. In a study published Thursday in Current Biology , researchers explain that they set... More »

Scientists Verify COVID-19 Wasn't Created in a Lab

Its origins are natural

(Newser) - If only the world was made of ... copper? Scientists with the National Institutes of Health on Tuesday released their results of a study on the novel coronavirus and how long it remains viable on various surfaces. Their findings, published online in the New England Journal of Medicine , weren't encouraging... More »

Odd Find in Arctic: 'What on Earth Were They Doing There?'

Several new chlamydia species found in high-pressure, oxygenless environment

(Newser) - Not many studies have been conducted on the diversity and ecological systems of the bacteria that causes chlamydia. So, per Newsweek , researchers from Sweden's Uppsala University and Norway's University of Bergen headed up to Loki's Castle—a field of hydrothermal vents in between Norway, Iceland, and Greenland—... More »

Smallest Known Dino Was a Weirdo

99-million-year-old species weighed about as much as a couple of dollar bills

(Newser) - Scientists say they've discovered the smallest known dinosaur which, at an estimated 2 grams, was roughly "the weight of two dollar bills," per Live Science . The skull of the new birdlike species, about the size of the smallest hummingbird on Earth today, was found in a 99-million-year-old,... More »

Thrift Store Find Turns Out to Be Salvador Dali Artwork

Purgatory Canto 32 has since been sold for $1.2K

(Newser) - Plenty of people would've passed by the art print in the dusty, old frame at Hotline Pink Thrift Shop in Kitty Hawk, NC. But Wendy Hawkins, who volunteers at the store twice a week, thought it looked rather unique, sitting on the floor, waiting to be sorted. "I... More »

Ancient Earth May Have Been 'Water World'

Study suggests continents were nowhere to be found 3B years ago

(Newser) - Ready your Kevin Costner jokes : A new study suggests that ancient earth had no continents to speak of and was instead what scientists call a "water world," reports the Guardian . In this case, ancient refers to 3.2 billion years ago, and the study in Nature Geoscience is... More »

Major New Study Is Good News for Egg Eaters

Up to one egg per day isn't bad for your heart, say researchers

(Newser) - A comprehensive new study lands the latest salvo in the egg wars , and it will please those who regularly eat them for breakfast. The study out of Harvard concludes that moderate consumption—defined as up to one egg a day on average—isn't bad for your cardiovascular health, reports... More »

For Gene Editing, a 'New Frontier'

If deemed safe, scientists hope for widespread use of CRISPR procedure inside patients' bodies

(Newser) - "We literally have the potential to take people who are essentially blind and make them see." Those are the attention-grabbing words of Charles Albright, the chief scientific officer at Editas Medicine, which is sponsoring a study to wield DNA technology in a novel way: edit genes using the... More »

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