discoveries

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

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How Were the Pyramids Built? A Lost Branch of the Nile

Researchers map extinct Nile branch that flowed past 31 known pyramids

(Newser) - Part of the mystery behind the construction of Egypt's ancient pyramids is that the vast majority were erected in places that now appear far from the aiding hand of the Nile river. According to new research, there's a simple explanation: We can't see what is now extinct....

Girl, 11, Helps Discover Largest Ever Reptile
Girl, 11, Helps Discover
Largest Ever Reptile
NEW STUDY

Girl, 11, Helps Discover Largest Ever Reptile

Ichthyotitan severnensis estimated at 82 feet long, with a 7-foot-long jawbone

(Newser) - It was the largest reptile to ever prowl Earth's oceans. At some 82 feet, this giant ichthyosaur would've been nearly as large as a blue whale, a marine mammal and the largest animal known to exist at any point in the planet's history. Yet the ichthyosaur, dubbed...

Site Highlights Early Humans' Mastery of Wood, Largely Lost

Spear Horizon site shows evidence of splitting, carving wood 300K years ago

(Newser) - The Stone Age, launched roughly 3 million years ago, marks the time when tools first appeared. Early humans used stones for hammering, stones for grinding, and sharp stone flakes as knives and projectile points. But the Stone Age might just as well be called the Wood Age, German archaeologist Thomas...

Ultraprocessed Foods Linked to Early Death
Some Ultraprocessed Foods
Are Worse Than Others
NEW STUDY

Some Ultraprocessed Foods Are Worse Than Others

Ice cream, processed meat show strong association with mortality risk

(Newser) - A diet high in ultraprocessed foods has been linked to cancer , weight gain , and now early death. A new 30-year study of 115,000 people found those who consumed the most ultraprocessed foods (UPFs)—including frozen meals, processed meat like hot dogs, potato chips, sugary breakfast cereals, and artificially sweetened...

Study: The Air Inside Our Cars Is a Problem

Researchers find flame retardants in car air samples

(Newser) - Thanks to seat belts and airbags we're supposed to be fairly safe from harm inside our vehicles. A new study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technologies suggests the very air inside the cars could be detrimental to our health, the Guardian reports. Researchers analyzed the air of...

Our Narrative About Leprosy Just Changed
Our Narrative
About Leprosy
Just Changed
new study

Our Narrative About Leprosy Just Changed

Medieval squirrels had it, suggesting a possible new origin

(Newser) - Scientists have long believed that leprosy originated with humans, but a medieval squirrel suggests a different possibility. Researchers examined the bones of red squirrels from an ancient furrier, along with the bones of leprosy victims who lived at about the same time in the UK roughly 900 years ago, reports...

Orangutan Seems to Treat Wound With Medicinal Plant

It's the first documentation of a wild animal applying a strong treatment directly to injury

(Newser) - An orangutan appeared to treat a wound with medicine from a tropical plant in what is being described as a scientific first. Scientists observed the animal pluck and chew up leaves of a medicinal plant used by people throughout Southeast Asia to treat pain and inflammation, the AP reports. The...

Bottom of World's Deepest Blue Hole Proves Elusive

Taam Ja' extends at least 1,380 feet below sea level, far deeper than previously known

(Newser) - The deepest known ocean sink hole is so deep, researchers using advanced equipment can't find the bottom, though they've found evidence of a whole network of underground tunnels somewhere in its depths. The Taam Ja' Blue Hole in Mexico's Chetumal Bay was formerly considered the second-deepest blue...

Skeletons Found at Hitler's Most 'Heavily Guarded Complex'

Find made in Hermann Göring's home at Wolf's Lair HQ

(Newser) - "There are many theories" but few answers regarding five skeletons—all without their hands and feet—that were recently unearthed on the grounds of Adolf Hitler's Wolf's Lair headquarters in Poland's northeastern forests. The bones were unearthed within the brick house that had been occupied by...

Starting the Menopause Journey? This Could Be a Risk

Fluctuating hormone levels may trigger depression symptoms or worsen existing ones

(Newser) - Women approaching the onset of menopause face a 40% higher risk of depression than in their earlier years, according to new research, showing the need for support and screening. Experts from University College London performed a meta-analysis of seven studies involving more than 9,000 women in the US, Australia,...

Charred Scroll Tells Lost Secrets of Plato

Advanced techniques help to virtually unwrap papyrus scroll buried by Mount Vesuvius

(Newser) - Read for the first time in nearly 2,000 years, an ancient papyrus scroll buried in ash after the AD79 eruption of Mount Vesuvius describes the final hours and burial place of the ancient Greek philosopher Plato. It's an "extraordinary outcome that enriches our understanding of ancient history,...

Job Seekers Get Callbacks Based on Their Names

A new 'Discrimination Report Card' is out, and white-sounding names seem to get more callbacks

(Newser) - In 2004, a study found that job applicants with stereotypically white-sounding names got callbacks for interviews 50% more than applicants with Black-sounding names. Now, scientists have rebooted that research, and while the results are better than they were two decades ago, they show that racial bias still appears to come...

One Big Company Is Tied to 11% of Branded Plastic Waste
One Big Company Is Tied to
11% of Branded Plastic Waste
in case you missed it

One Big Company Is Tied to 11% of Branded Plastic Waste

That would be Coca-Cola, though PepsiCo isn't too far behind

(Newser) - More than 50% of plastic pollution around the world can't be traced to a company, as the elements have erased all branding. But of the pollution that remains branded, more than half can be traced to 56 companies, and more than 10% to just one, according to a new...

In George Washington's Basement, a 'Spectacular Find'
In George Washington's
Basement, a 'Next Level' Find
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

In George Washington's Basement, a 'Next Level' Find

Bottles containing whole cherries were likely buried 250 years ago

(Newser) - A bottle of 250-year-old cherries likely intended for George Washington has been found in his former home in Virginia—a discovery that's both sweet and distasteful, as enslaved people likely picked and preserved the fruit at Washington's mansion overlooking the Potomac River. Archaeologists working at the Mount Vernon...

It May Have Been the Biggest Snake Ever
It May Have Been
the Biggest Snake Ever
new study

It May Have Been the Biggest Snake Ever

Experts estimate that Vasuki inidicus in ancient India was up to 50 feet long

(Newser) - Scientists in India may have unearthed the biggest snake ever to have slithered across the planet. From a mine, they unearthed skeletal remains of an ancient beast estimated to have been up to 50 feet long—meaning longer than a typical school bus, reports Smithsonian . Paleontologists, who published their findings...

Socializing at Start of a New Job Benefits Men More
Men Are Rewarded More
When Socializing at Work
NEW STUDY

Men Are Rewarded More When Socializing at Work

Study saw men reap greater benefits when making an effort to get to know new colleagues

(Newser) - A new study led by researchers from Rutgers University suggests that men receive greater benefits than women when they make an effort to socialize with new co-workers after starting a job. The university writes that the findings show a stark contrast in how men and women must navigate workplace culture...

Bad Sleep Is Different for Men and Women
Bad Sleep Is Different
for Men and Women
NEW STUDY

Bad Sleep Is Different for Men and Women

Research finds males and females often experience different sleep patterns and disorders

(Newser) - Sleep issues differ for men and women, with women more likely to struggle with insomnia and poor sleep quality, while men suffer from sleep apnea more often, according to a new study in Sleep Medicine Reviews . Sleep patterns and disorders don't discriminate by sex, but a few factors are...

Underwater Mountains Serve Up Dozens of New Species

On this expedition in the South Pacific, at least 50 new ones emerged

(Newser) - Over 40 days exploring an 1,800-mile underwater mountain chain extending from Chile to Easter Island, an international team of scientists discovered an entirely unknown species once a day on average. The team led by Erin Easton of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and Javier Sellanes of Chile'...

Study Upends Our Thinking on Bonobos


Study Upends
Our Thinking
on Bonobos
new study

Study Upends Our Thinking on Bonobos

They're not as peaceful as we thought, say researchers

(Newser) - Bonobos have long been thought of as "hippie chimps" in conservation circles because of their supposedly peaceful nature, notes the New York Times . A comprehensive new study, however, appears to have ended that.
  • The stats: Researchers found that male bonobos were nearly three times as likely as chimpanzees to
...

In Ancient Pompeii, This Was a Conversation Starter

Newly uncovered frescoes in ancient banquet hall depict Trojan War characters

(Newser) - Archaeologists excavating new sites in Pompeii have uncovered a sumptuous banquet hall decorated with intricately frescoed mythological characters inspired by the Trojan War, officials said Thursday, per the AP . The hall, which features a mosaic floor, was uncovered as part of a project to shore up the areas dividing the...

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