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There's Been an 'Unprecedented Roadkill Reprieve'

Researchers found that when we got off the roads, animals benefited

(Newser) - “From a humanity point of view, it sucks. But from a science point of view, it’s all interesting.” That's the assessment from Fraser Shilling, co-director of the Road Ecology Center at the University of California at Davis, as voiced to the Washington Post . He's behind... More »

Dogs May Have Surprising Benefits for Young Kids

Preschoolers tend to develop better social skills if they have a pooch, say researchers

(Newser) - Parents of preschoolers might want to think about adding a dog to the family. A new study out of Australia suggests that young kids develop better social and emotional skills if they have a dog, reports Yahoo News . The study, which drew on data from a comprehensive survey of Australian... More »

Our Strange Era Now Has a Name

Scientists say it's time for an in-depth study of animals during the pandemic

(Newser) - Jellyfish gliding through the calm waters of Venice, Italy. Wild mountain goats "running rampant" in a small Welsh town. Deer seen in "usually bustling areas" of Toronto. At least anecdotally, there's evidence of animals advancing during our absence, for which scientists have coined a new term: the... More »

Archaeologist Makes Chilling Find in Walls of French Chapel

Guillotine victims apparently buried there, not in the catacombs as believed

(Newser) - The administrator of a historic chapel in France noticed the walls were looking odd in places, and he called in an archaeologist to take a professional look. The reason for the anomalies is a dark one, dating back to the French Revolution: It appears that up to 500 victims of... More »

Scientists Make Big Find Near Stonehenge

Giant circle of pits discovered about 2 miles away

(Newser) - The more they look, the more intriguing the area around Stonehenge gets to archaeologists. The latest discovery comes about two miles away: Scientists found what Reuters describes as a "giant circle of pits." And this was no random circle: In the exact center is another ancient monument, previously... More »

Scientists Have Surprisingly Specific Answer on Alien Life

Study estimates 36 alien civilizations exist in our galaxy capable of communicating with us

(Newser) - Asked the meaning of life, the supercomputer in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy came up with a very specific answer: 42 . Tasked with a different Big Question—how many intelligent alien civilizations exist in our galaxy—real-life scientists have gotten just as specific: 36. That's the estimate... More »

Blood Type May Affect Severity of COVID

If true, it's good news for Type O people

(Newser) - A genetic analysis of COVID-19 patients suggests that blood type might influence whether someone develops severe disease, per the AP . Scientists who compared the genes of thousands of patients in Europe found that those who had Type A blood were more likely to have severe disease while those with Type... More »

Scientists: We've Found a Lifesaving COVID Treatment

Dexamethasone found to reduce death rates by 1/3 for patients on ventilators

(Newser) - Researchers running the largest randomized, controlled trial of coronavirus treatments are heralding a "major breakthrough": the first drug shown to reduce deaths from COVID-19. Dexamethasone isn't new. Rather, it's a generic steroid widely used to reduce inflammation. But it's "the only drug that's so... More »

Study of Great Whites Reveals a Diet Surprise

They apparently spend more time than expected foraging near ocean floor

(Newser) - If asked to picture a great white shark on the hunt, you'd probably imagine a dorsal fin slicing through the surface of the ocean and hear the da-dum Jaws theme in your head. A new study, however, suggests that image might be misleading. Researchers say the sharks appear to... More »

Staying at Home May Have Kept Virus at Bay for 60M Americans

In China, that number is estimated at 285M, per new research

(Newser) - It's been a frustrating time for millions around the world during stay-at-home orders as a result of COVID-19. But a new study suggests this wasn't all for naught, offering "fresh evidence that aggressive and unprecedented shutdowns ... were necessary to halt the exponential spread" of the virus, despite... More »

In Mexico, an Unprecedented Find, Thanks to Laser Mapping

3K-year-old platform is oldest, largest Mayan structure ever discovered

(Newser) - Archaeologists have just discovered the oldest and largest known Mayan structure, which easily tops the Great Pyramid of Giza in volume. The elevated platform made from 3.8 million cubic meters of earth and clay—discovered at Aguada Fenix in Mexico's Tabasco state, near the Guatemalan border—was constructed... More »

Dinosaur's Last Meal Preserved Down to the Cells

Researchers 'could see the different layers of cells in a leaf fragment'

(Newser) - Scientists say they've uncovered the "best-preserved dinosaur stomach ever found to date," offering an unprecedented look at a 110-million-year-old chewed salad. It's extremely rare to find a preserved dinosaur stomach, and even rarer to find one with much evidence of diet. But the soccer-ball-size stomach of... More »

6th Mass Extinction Is Speeding Along. It's 'Entirely Our Fault'

Humanity is 'sawing off the limb on which it is sitting'

(Newser) - Biodiversity is critical for human life, which makes the latest study on it especially troubling. In research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on the sixth mass extinction we're currently undergoing, scientists looked at threatened-species data from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature,... More »

A 'Duet' in the Forest Is Great News for Rarest Primate

A male Hainan Gibbon was heard singing with a female, and that's good news

(Newser) - Villagers heard it first: A male gibbon singing a duet with a female on tropical Hainan island off the coast of China. It means that love is in the air, or at least the gibbon version of it, and in this case, it's big news, reports the BBC . That'... More »

Ancient Israelites Got High at Church

Cannabis residue turns up on altar going back 2,700 years

(Newser) - Scientists studying residue on an ancient Israeli altar found something they didn't expect: cannabis. And it appears those present knew exactly what they were doing. They figured out a way to keep it burning at a low temperature to get worshipers high, reports Haaretz . The sample was found on... More »

Rare Paleo Find Suggests Gruesome Dino Dinners

Researchers say bite marks on carnivore bones in Colorado indicate dinosaur cannibalism

(Newser) - Bite marks on dinosaur bones aren't often found—but they recently turned up in multitudes at the Mygatt-Moore Quarry in Colorado, and researchers say the find could indicate certain carnivorous dinos were cannibals. According to a study published in PLOS One Wednesday, scientists found that, of the 2,368... More »

Mystery Solved: Why These Frogs Have See-Through Skin

Glass frog's translucent legs help it hide from predators

(Newser) - Scientists say they finally understand why the glass frog has see-through skin: it's camouflage—just not in the way most other tree frogs do it. An international team of scientists wondered why the glass frogs found in Central and South America have partially translucent skin—with intestines and a... More »

Writing Discovered on 'Blank' Dead Sea Scroll Fragments

'They are like missing pieces of a jigsaw puzzle you find under a sofa'

(Newser) - In the 1950s, Dead Sea Scroll fragments thought to be blank were given to a British leather expert so he could study their chemical composition. Almost 70 years later, a professor has discovered they had writing on them all along. King's College London professor Joan Taylor says she spotted... More »

Scientists Suggest '50/30' Approach to Reopening

As in 50 days of lockdown, followed by 30 days of easing, in a continuous cycle

(Newser) - As the world tries to figure out the right balance of safety vs. normalcy in reopening after the pandemic, a team of international researchers is suggesting a model: 50 days of strict lockdown, followed by 30 days of easing, in a continuous loop. This turned out to be the best... More »

Scientists Discover Source of The Scream's Big Problem

Humidity is causing low-quality paint to fade, flake

(Newser) - If The Scream could scream a message, it might be "Stop breathing on me!" Scientists say Edvard Munch's 1910 version of the iconic painting, one of four he created, has been deteriorating because the Norwegian used a low-quality tube of paint, the Guardian reports. In a study... More »

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