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Meet the Fastest Ant in the World

Saharan desert ant moves at the equivalent of more than 400mph for humans

(Newser) - National Geographic compares it to a "tiny, glinting missile." The Guardian notes that the rate of its stride is more than 10 times faster than that of the fastest human, Usain Bolt. The hubbub is in honor of the Saharan silver ant, which researchers have just discovered... More »

20 Sealed Coffins Uncovered in Egypt

And nearby, evidence of funerary items produced on an 'industrial scale'

(Newser) - The colorful strokes, painted millennia ago, are still visible beneath a layer of dirt, which is partly why Egypt's antiquities ministry is celebrating the discovery of more than 20 ancient coffins as one of the "largest and most important" finds in the country in recent years. But the... More »

Lost Chapter of World's First Novel Found in Chest

Family has been holding it for nearly 300 years

(Newser) - The chest was opened. And suddenly, a chapter has been added to the oldest known version of what's considered to be the world's first novel . The original manuscript of the Tale of Genji—telling of the political and romantic life of Genji, the son of an ancient Japanese... More »

For Nobel Prize in Physics, a 3-Way Triumph

The work revolves around discovery of an exoplanet, 'discoveries in physical cosmology'

(Newser) - Three scientists have won the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics for their contribution to the understanding of the evolution of the universe and "Earth's place in the cosmos," a day after two Americans and one British scientist were bestowed the award for physiology or medicine . One half... More »

Driving Pancreatic Cancer: a 'Fungal Invasion'

Scientists say fungi move from gut to pancreas, significantly increase in number, spur tumor growth

(Newser) - An organ once deemed "sterile" may actually be teeming with fungi, and certain varieties there may be promoting cancer. New research in the journal Nature notes that even though it's already known bacteria is able to move from the gut to the pancreas, it wasn't clear whether... More »

All That Ocean Plastic? It Has an Unexpected Source

It doesn't all come from land-based sources

(Newser) - In 1984, 2009, and 2018, researchers made the trek to Inaccessible Island, which sits between Argentina and South Africa in the South Atlantic. They describe it as a "remote, uninhabited island ... that has a very high macrodebris load"—and that debris is what they were there for. In... More »

It Was Hanging in Her Kitchen. She Found Out It's Worth Millions

Elderly French woman's 'Christ Mocked' by Renaissance painter Cimabue could go for $6.6M

(Newser) - An elderly French woman had the painting hanging above a hot plate in her kitchen, thinking it was just an old piece of art. When she finally got curious enough to get it appraised, she found out it was indeed old—and extremely valuable. That's because, per an old-masters... More »

Study Has Jarring News for Drinkers of Premium Tea

Those fancy plastic bags deposit billions of microplastics into the cup, say researchers

(Newser) - What do you take in your tea? A little cream, a little sugar, and ... billions of microscopic pieces of plastic? That's the takeaway from a new study at Canada's McGill University, reports the BBC . The study involves only tea that comes in plastic tea bags, generally of the... More »

What's a Whale Worth? More Than You Might Think

Team of economists with the IMF do the math

(Newser) - Whales are actually cash cows, or so suggest economists with the International Monetary Fund. A team helmed by Ralph Chami took a look at the economic benefit provided by whales when it comes to carbon sequestration and ecotourism and arrived at a big figure: $2 million apiece. Their analysis hasn'... More »

Scientists Piece Together Hints of a Lost Continent

'Greater Adria' disappeared beneath Europe eons ago

(Newser) - A lost continent isn't quite as lost as it used to be. Scientists have painstakingly fit together clues spread across Europe to unravel the story of Greater Adria, reports Live Science . This continent was about the size of Greenland when it rammed into what's now southern Europe about... More »

Less Sinister Theory Emerges in Mystery Cuba Illnesses

Ailments coincided with increased fumigation for zika

(Newser) - A new study into the mysterious ailments that plagued US and Canadian diplomats in Cuba has come up with a theory far less sinister than a sonic attack. Researchers say fumigation for mosquitoes might be to blame, reports the Toronto Star . The study, commissioned by the Canadian government, found that... More »

The Universe May Have Just Lost a Couple of Billion Years

Latest research suggests it may be much younger than previously thought, but there are big caveats

(Newser) - The universe is looking younger every day, it seems. New calculations suggest the universe could be a couple of billion years younger than scientists now estimate, and even younger than suggested by two other calculations published this year that trimmed hundreds of millions of years from the age of the... More »

World's Most 'Bizarre' Science Discoveries Get Their Due

Among this year's Ig Nobel winners: a diaper-changing device, study on pizza as health food

(Newser) - Training surgeons is as easy as training dolphins or dogs—at least according to a study that Thursday earned a 2019 Ig Nobel, the annual Nobel Prize spoof that rewards weird, sometimes head-scratching scientific discoveries. This year's winners included, per the AP : Dutch and Turkish researchers who figured out... More »

Scientists' New Find Is Literally Shocking

New species of electric eel can deliver most powerful jolt of any animal

(Newser) - The electric eel just got more electric. A newly discovered species found in the Amazon can inflict an 860-volt jolt—the strongest of any animal, say researchers. How strong is that? Science reports you'd experience a jolt of up to 240 volts if you stuck a fork in a... More »

Deep-Sea Explorer Went as Low as You Can Go in 5 Oceans

Vescovo is now considering a space mission

(Newser) - The Molloy Deep, 3.4 miles below the surface of the Arctic Ocean, has two things in common with the South Sandwich Trench in the Southern Ocean: It's the deepest spot in that ocean, and Victor Vescovo is the only person who has ever been there. Vescovo, a 53-year-old... More »

They Spotted the Jellyfish. Then It Started to Shapeshift

And this Deepstaria jellyfish has a little red companion

(Newser) - It looks, in the words of Nerdist , "kind of like the ghost of a plastic bag," and the description is apt. Scientists aboard the research vessel E/V Nautilus have posted video of a rarely seen jellyfish known as Deepstaria. As Mashable notes, the translucent creature has the ability... More »

One-Legged Skeleton Might Solve Napoleonic Mystery

It could be the remains of Gen. Charles-Étienne Gudin, missing since 1812

(Newser) - A one-legged skeleton found under a Russian dance floor could solve a mystery that has persisted since 1812. Charles-Étienne Gudin, whom the BBC refers to as Napoleon Bonaparte's "favorite general," was hit by a cannonball during the failed French invasion of Russia that year; he had... More »

Face of Lucy's Ancestor Revealed

Ethiopian fossil reveals face for the species A. anamensis

(Newser) - A fossil from Ethiopia is letting scientists look millions of years into our evolutionary history—and they see a face peering back. The find, from 3.8 million years ago, reveals the face of a presumed ancestor of the species famously represented by Lucy, the celebrated Ethiopian partial skeleton found... More »

First Big Study Finds a 'Polypill' Cuts Heart Risks

It's got 4 medications to fight strokes, bad cholesterol, and high blood pressure

(Newser) - The idea has been around for two decades or so: Give people one pill containing different drugs to fight an array of heart ailments. Now, the first major long-term study of the concept is in the books—and researchers say it works, reports the BBC . The details are laid out... More »

Research Claws at 'Crazy Cat Lady' Stereotype

It suggests cat owners are no more anxious, depressed than others

(Newser) - Roughly half of Americans buy into the "crazy cat lady" stereotype, generally believing cat owners to be single women surrounded by numerous balls of fur, according to a 2015 survey spotted by the Los Angeles Times . It's a long-standing idea, as evidenced by an 1872 editorial in the... More »

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