5 Most Incredible Discoveries of the Week

A very old virus wakes up from its slumber
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 8, 2014 5:48 AM CST
5 Most Incredible Discoveries of the Week
This undated photo shows a World War I trench.   (AP Photo)

A surprise find from World War I and an intriguing one about Stonehenge make the list:

  • Photo Leads to Lost Piece of WWI History: Archaeologists have uncovered a piece of WWI history some 80 miles south of London, all thanks to a 1951 photograph. A British conservation officer poring over an aerial photo spotted something suspicious near the edge of one: crenellated lines (picture the notched top of a castle). The investigation turned up a practice battlefield where soldiers would have logged time in the trenches before being shipped to the mainland.
  • Stonehenge Holds a 'Sonic Secret': There are no shortage of theories about Stonehenge, but few are so melodious as this: A recent study carried out by the Royal College of Art in London suggests that the monument holds a "sonic secret." The researchers' theory surrounds Stonehenge's bluestones and their "unique acoustic properties."
  • Giant Virus Wakes After 30K Years in Siberia: The biggest virus ever discovered is awake—and infectious—after a 30,000-year nap buried deep in Siberian permafrost. Pithovirus sibericum infects only amoebas, but researchers fear that plenty more ancient viruses are locked into the permafrost and could be unleashed as it thaws.
  • Ants Sacrifice Their Young During Floods: Guided by evolution, most species protect their young and let older ones die off in a crisis—right? Not in the case of ants, apparently. When water washes out a nest, the vulnerable larvae and pupae become life rafts, and queens are allowed to ride in the center. That puts the babies at risk of drowning, cold, and predators lurking underwater.
  • High-Protein Diet May Be Risky as Smoking for Middle-Aged: Good news and bad news for meat lovers: People who eat a diet high in protein in middle age are four times more likely to die of cancer than people on a low-protein diet, according to USC researchers, but people over 65 who consumed more protein were less likely to die of cancer.
Click to read about more discoveries, including new insights into the "lost years" of sea turtles. (Read more discoveries stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.