discoveries

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Royal Find: the 'Most Controversial Chocolate Ever Made'

118-year-old tin ordered by Queen Victoria for soldiers in Boer War found in woman's cupboard

(Newser) - When Eddisons CJM put a tin of World War I chocolates up for auction last month, there was one person who wasn't terribly impressed. "A lady from London wrote and said, 'Hundred-and-three-year-old chocolate is not so special,'" auctioneer Paul Cooper tells the Daily Express . That'... More »

Earth's Oldest Known Color Is Found

It's 1.1 billion years old, and pink

(Newser) - Billion-year-old rocks pulled from deep below the Sahara Desert have revealed the earliest colored molecules found on Earth. They aren't black, brown, or even green. Instead, think pink. Nur Gueneli of Australian National University was examining molecules from crushed rocks discovered a decade ago by an oil company drilling... More »

Newly Detected Particle Is Huge for Astronomy

Scientists detected a subatomic neutrino and traced it back to its origins

(Newser) - Astronomers are jazzed about a major milestone being reported in Science : Researchers for the first time have detected the source of a high-energy "ghost particle" known as a neutrino. If that doesn't mean much to you, this from the Washington Post might help put it in context: The... More »

NASA May Have Torched 'Building Blocks of Life' on Mars in 1976

New study suggests organic matter was discovered, but ruined by heat

(Newser) - Much was made of NASA's announcement last month that "building blocks of life" had been found on Mars. But new research suggests the same organic molecules may actually have been discovered by Viking landers NASA sent to Mars in 1976—and then accidentally burned, New Scientist reports. The... More »

Amid a Trio of Rare Books, a Toxic Find

Tomes in Denmark university library were coated in arsenic-laced paint

(Newser) - If one were to handpick a career that guaranteed a safe work environment, librarian would seem a reasonable choice. A trio of books found at the University of Southern Denmark may have just upended that assumption as researchers discovered a possible toxic avenger from the Renaissance era. Experts were studying... More »

World's Only 2 Northern White Rhinos May Not Be the Last

Scientists have created 'test tube rhino' embryos in hopes of saving the species

(Newser) - There are only two female northern white rhinos left in the world (the lone male, Sudan, died in March ), and they're infertile, but researchers are hoping new efforts on the reproduction front will stave off the end of the species. The world's first "test tube" rhinos... More »

Pompeii Victim's Death Not What It Seemed

It wasn't decapitation, but it was still pretty awful

(Newser) - In reporting on the discovery of a centuries-old Pompeii victim in May, we wrote that it wasn't hard to figure out what killed the man: Archaeologists found a massive stone block, probably hurled by a volcanic cloud, severing the top part of his body. Now it turns out the... More »

Scientists Unveil Man-Made Ovary

Artificial ovary implanted in mouse could help women who've gone through chemo

(Newser) - News on the fertility front may offer hope in the future for women who have to undergo chemotherapy or radiation during cancer treatment. Per the Guardian , scientists have created an artificial ovary out of human tissue and eggs, and that ovary's performance on tests is encouraging. Susanne Pors, a... More »

HPV-Fueled Cancer Might've Killed Ancient Egyptians

Still, our cancer rate is '100 times greater'

(Newser) - Diagnoses have just been made for patients who've been dead for thousands of years. Researchers digging in Egypt have uncovered six cases of cancer among ancient Egyptians, including a young child with leukemia, a middle-aged woman with a carcinoma—most likely ovarian, breast, or colorectal cancer—and a middle-aged... More »

Drawings of a Cockatoo Reveal a Medieval Surprise

They were found in a 13th-century manuscript tied to Frederick II

(Newser) - The 1496 European altarpiece Madonna della Vittoria contains an image of a non-native cockatoo, but that's no longer such a remarkable fact. Researchers now say they've found images of the bird in a manuscript penned by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II over a seven-year period beginning in 1241,... More »

These Slices of Human Brains Revealed an Alzheimer's Clue

Study finds potential link between 2 herpes viruses and Alzheimer's

(Newser) - It's not a we-figured-it-out moment, but it may be a clue. Scientists have discovered that two highly common herpes viruses tend to be present in an "increased" way in the brains of people who suffered from Alzheimer's, according to a study published Thursday in Neuron of nearly... More »

First Civil War 'Limb Pit' Is Excavated

Find at Manassas National Battlefield Park reveals the aftermath of battle

(Newser) - A utility crew working at Virginia's Manassas National Battlefield Park unearthed what at first just seemed like portions of bone. Then came more bones, so far 11 limbs in all, nearly all of them leg bones. Now, thanks to help from forensic anthropologists at the Smithsonian's National Museum... More »

A Martyr's Bone Was Plucked From the Sea, Then the Trash

Bone fragment said to be that of St. Clement handed over to Westminster Cathedral

(Newser) - St. Clement was said to have been put to death by being tied to a boat anchor and drowned. Just shy of 2,000 years later, what's believed to be a piece of one of his bones has been presented to Westminster Cathedral. The path from there to here... More »

Scientists Make Alarming Find About Ancient Trees

Africa's oldest baobabs are dying, quickly

(Newser) - Researchers taking a survey of some of the world's oldest and funkiest trees have bad news to report: Africa's legendary baobabs are dying. The statistic getting the most attention out of the new study in Nature Plants is that eight of the continent's 13 oldest baobabs have... More »

Ancient Turquoise Rewrites Aztec History

Looks like Mesoamericans found their own and didn't trade with American Southwest

(Newser) - For a long time, scholars have thought that the Aztecs had frequent contact with groups in what's now the American Southwest. But a new chemical analysis of ancient turquoise artifacts just put a giant hole in that theory. It now appears that the Aztecs and another Mesoamerican civilization known... More »

A Search for Ancestors Reveals She Had Been Swapped at Birth

Women discover they were switched at birth

(Newser) - A fun foray into finding out more about her ancestry through a popular genealogy website led to a shocking revelation for 72-year-old Denice Juneski: She wasn't related to any of her own relatives—at least not the ones she'd grown up knowing. KARE reports that as Minnesota's... More »

The Sculpted Head Is Exquisite, but Packs a Mystery

Archaeologists have dated it to the 9th century BC, but don't know who it depicts

(Newser) - An enigmatic sculpture of a king's head dating back nearly 3,000 years has set off a modern-day mystery caper as scholars try to figure out whose face it depicts. The 2-inch sculpture is an exceedingly rare example of figurative art from the Holy Land during the 9th century... More »

Babies May Not Get the Concept of 'Zero,' but Bees Do

Researchers amazed that honeybees can grasp the abstract construct of 'nothing'

(Newser) - Dolphins, monkeys, birds, and homo sapiens have a shared understanding of a quite difficult concept, and now honeybees are joining the party. Per a release , that concept is "zero," an abstract mathematical construct that scientists say stumps humans until at least preschool , but which they now note is... More »

Lightning Strikes on Jupiter Differ From Ours in One Way

Strikes can occur at same rate and in the same frequency, but the where isn't the same

(Newser) - Astronomers have been intrigued at the notion of lightning strikes on Jupiter since Voyager 1 detected flashes nearly four decades ago, notes Space.com . Now the Juno orbiter has revealed a surprise: Those strikes are more similar to lightning strikes on Earth than previously thought. For one thing, Jupiter's... More »

In Coal Country, a 'Slow-Rolling Disaster'

New studies show increase in numbers of miners with both early, advanced 'black lung disease'

(Newser) - In what one epidemiologist calls a "slow-rolling disaster," a new set of studies presented at an American Thoracic Society conference this week offered glum news for coal miners. Per NPR , more Appalachian miners are plagued by both early- and late-stage pneumoconiosis , or "black lung disease," than... More »

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