discoveries

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Mediterranean Diet May Keep Seniors Sharper, Stronger

Study sees changes to gut linked to sharper brains, less frailty

(Newser) - Another study is extolling the benefits of the Mediterranean diet , this time in regard to aging. Researchers say the diet—which is heavy on fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, olive oil, and fish—appears to improve gut bacteria in ways that keep seniors physically and mentally healthy, reports CNN . The... More »

Class Ring Lost 47 Years Ago in Maine Pops Up in Finland

Maine woman who lost class ring of her boyfriend (who became her husband) in 1973 gets it back

(Newser) - Shawn and Debra McKenna were high school sweethearts who were married for four decades before he died in 2017 after a long battle with cancer. Earlier this month, Debra McKenna received a sweet reminder of the man she'd loved, from the most unexpected place. The Bangor Daily News relays... More »

Evidence of a 'Ghost' Human Ancestor Revealed in DNA

Researchers say unknown archaic population mated with homo sapiens

(Newser) - Scientists already know that early humans mated with Neanderthals and Denisovans, distant relatives on the family tree. Now a new study suggests that another such group existed, one that has yet to be identified, reports the Guardian . In their study in the journal Science Advances , researchers say they found evidence... More »

Exhibit on Ocean Pollution Leads to Big Shock for One Woman

German woman spots mixtape she lost 25 years ago—and it still works

(Newser) - If you're in your late 30s or older, you likely remember the unique joy that accompanied creating what we olds call a "mixtape." A German woman is now reliving that elation after she stumbled upon a mixtape she lost 25 years ago while on vacation in Spain.... More »

Modern Girls Hit Puberty a Year Earlier Than '70s Counterparts

Researchers say obesity, environmental chemicals could be to blame

(Newser) - If it seems like girls these days are hitting puberty earlier than in decades past, you're not imagining things—and researchers now suggest obesity and environmental chemicals may be playing a role. The Guardian reports on new research out of the University of Copenhagen that looked at 30 global... More »

It's Getting Much Harder to See a Bumblebee

Researchers report a big decline, blame warming temperatures

(Newser) - If you're a middle-aged American, it's a lot harder to spot a bumblebee buzzing around now than when you were kid. Researchers say the chances of seeing a bumblebee in North America today is 46% less than in the 1970s, reports NPR . Europeans also have worse odds of... More »

Researchers Listen to Penguins, Hear a First

Traits such as shorter syllables found for first time outside primates

(Newser) - When it comes to language, penguins and humans appear to have a thing or two in common. Researchers studied the calls of African penguins and found that their vocal patterns follow two distinct patterns that until now have never been seen outside primates, reports the Ecologist . First, the penguins' most... More »

There's a Creature That Didn't Move for 2,569 Days

Researchers studied the olm over 8 years

(Newser) - There's a kind of cave-dwelling salamander that a Hungarian scientist describes to the New Scientist as "hanging around, doing almost nothing." But "almost" might be a little too generous. A team led by Gergely Balazs of Eotvos Lorand University studied a group of olms found in... More »

Fireflies May Soon Go Dark Due to a Big Triple Threat

Researchers warn of possible extinction due to habitat loss, artificial light, and pesticides

(Newser) - There’s a "quiet apocalypse" happening among insect populations around the world, and fireflies may soon be the next to see their lights dimmed for good. New research out of Tufts University published in the journal BioScience warns that the world’s 2,000 or so species of the... More »

This May Fix a Weak Point of Fingerprint Analysis

Study suggests prints can be dated within 24 hours

(Newser) - Fingerprints may have changed the game in police work since they were first used more than a century ago, but they still have a weak spot: Detectives can't tell precisely when they were left, per ScienceDaily . Generally, police can tell if a print has been left within the last... More »

Bermuda Triangle 'Victim' May Have Been Found

Michael Barnette believes SS Cotopaxi rests off Florida coast

(Newser) - A ship thought to have disappeared a century ago in an area known as the Bermuda Triangle turned up in the Gobi Desert in Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Now it has reportedly been found for real. The SS Cotopaxi set out to carry coal from... More »

Study Suggests Surprising Reason to Quit Smoking

Researchers say the lungs of ex-smokers can repair some of the damage

(Newser) - A new study presents this not-so-surprising fact: Nine out of every 10 cells in the lungs of smokers show some degree of mutation, reports the AFP . But then came the surprise: The lungs of former smokers seem to be able to repair some of the damage, according to the study... More »

Psilocybin May Ease Anxiety for a Surprisingly Long Time

Cancer patients still feeling positive effects almost 5 years later

(Newser) - About five years ago, a study found that cancer patients who took one dose of the compound found in magic mushrooms had much less anxiety. A followup study suggests the psilocybin's effect is still in place, reports NBC News . The study in the Journal of Psychopharmacology suggests that psilocybin... More »

Archaeologists May Have Found Rare 'Witch Bottle'

Could be a talisman used by Union troops in Virginia to ward off evil spirits

(Newser) - On the one hand, it might just be an old bottle that was used to store nails. But archaeologists who found it suspect something far more intriguing: They think Union soldiers used it as a "witch bottle" during the Civil War to fend off evil spirits, per a news... More »

Study of Vesuvius Victim's Skull Reveals a Surprise

Researchers say his brain turned to glass

(Newser) - The eruption of Mount Vesuvius may have most famously destroyed Pompeii, but the nearby town of Herculaneum endured a similar fate. Now a new study suggests that at least one of the town's residents suffered a remarkable, if grisly, fate: His brain essentially turned to glass, reports Live Science... More »

What Did the 3K-Year-Old Mummy Say? 'Eeuuughhh'

Sound emerges from reconstructed vocal tract of ancient Egyptian priest Nesyamun

(Newser) - "Every Egyptian hoped that after death their soul would be able to speak," says University of York Egyptologist Joann Fletcher—who just sort of made that happen, at least for one 3,000-year-old Egyptian. But the priest who served under Rameses XI didn't confess of a good... More »

Missing for 30-Plus Years, $1.3M Columbus Letter Found

Copy of note sent to Spain's King Ferdinand was stolen from Italy in the '80s

(Newser) - In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue; in 1493, he wrote a letter about his trip across the sea to Spain's King Ferdinand, and two editions of it were printed to spread across Europe. Only about 30 copies of the first edition of the Plannck I letter still exist,... More »

Restored Masterpiece Has a Startling New Sheep

Not everyone is pleased with the 'new' Ghent Altarpiece

(Newser) - A renowned work of art looks noticeably different following a yearslong, $2.4 million restoration. And that's not necessarily a good thing in the eyes of critics. A sheep featured prominently in the 12-panel Ghent Altarpiece, completed by Flemish brothers Hubert and Jan Van Eyck in 1432, now has... More »

98.6 Isn't Our Normal Temperature Any More

Study suggests the new average is 97.5 degrees as humans have changed

(Newser) - Carl Reinhold August Wunderlich may not be a household name, but everyone knows the figure associated with him: 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, which he determined in the mid-1800s to be the average human body temperature. A slew of studies has since threatened to upend Wunderlick's work, with research suggesting... More »

Biggest Mass Die-Off of Seabirds Blamed on 'the Blob'

Huge mass of warm water killed 1M along US West Coast, says study

(Newser) - The name is a little jokey, but the consequences were not: Scientists are blaming the deaths of an estimated 1 million seabirds on the US West Coast on a giant patch of warm water they call "the Blob." Researchers think that amounts to the biggest mass die-off of... More »

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