5 Most Incredible Discoveries of the Week

Including a never-before-seen frog birth
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 10, 2015 5:29 AM CST
5 Most Incredible Discoveries of the Week
This undated photo provided by the Center for Disease Control shows plates of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA).   (AP Photo/Center for Disease Control)

A potential breakthrough in antibiotics and an ancient metal make the list:

  • Shipwreck Yields 'Atlantis' Metal: Orichalcum was considered one of the most precious metals in ancient times—Plato claimed it lined the temple of Poseidon on Atlantis—and now, for apparently the first time, modern-day researchers have recovered a bunch of it. Scientists in Sicily say a shipwreck from 2,600 years ago has yielded 39 ingots, and tests revealed what they're made of.
  • Powerful New Antibiotic Could Crush Superbugs: There hasn't been a major new antibiotic discovered in 25 years, but researchers say a drug called teixobactin could be the biggest breakthrough in a generation. Where scientists found it? Buried in some dirt in Maine.

  • 1.5K-Year-Old Amulet Proves Greeks Loved Wordplay: Do geese see God? We don't have the answer to that palindrome, nor to the one on an ancient amulet scientists discovered in Cyprus. The words inscribed on the amulet were translated from Greek, and the carver made quite a few errors, but the amulet's message is clear: "Iahweh is the bearer of the secret name, the lion of Re secure in his shrine." Wait, what?
  • Sugar Is Making Us Sick: A University of California-San Francisco initiative analyzed more than 8,000 separate studies and found links between excessive sugar consumption and some major chronic diseases, including Type 2 diabetes and liver and heart disease. And, yes, the average American consumers way more than is recommended.
  • No Eggs Needed: 'Fanged' Frogs Give Birth: Frogs giving birth to tadpoles (as opposed to laying eggs or birthing "froglets") was unknown to science—until now. A scientist at Berkeley was holding what he thought was a male "fanged" frog when it gave birth to a bunch of tadpoles. Researchers still aren't sure how the males fertilize the eggs, but they acknowledge that frogs have "all sorts" of ... weird reproductive habits.
Click to read about more discoveries. (More discoveries stories.)

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