5 Most Incredible Discoveries of the Week

Including one worth $300K

By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 7, 2013 5:56 AM CDT

(Newser) – From fascinating discoveries related to the brain (both ours and that of a mouse) to watery reports that are alternately a little scary and very rewarding, it was a week filled with big finds:

  • Down Syndrome 'Reversed' in Mice: Scientists say they've identified a molecule that "reverses" the effects of Down syndrome in mice. And while that molecule (neat name: sonic hedgehog pathway agonist) is not approved as safe for humans, what it did for newborn mice is pretty amazing.
  • Right- or Left-Brained? There's No Such Thing: If you've long lauded your powerful right brain for providing you with your artistic prowess, some University of Utah researchers have bad news for you: The whole right-brain/left-brain thing isn't true.

  • Shark Taggers Have Scary News for Beachgoers: Researchers who have tagged more than 100 great white sharks have discovered some surprising information about the predators' lifestyles, including the fact that they're a lot more fond of beaches than previously believed. But the researchers say that's actually a good thing.
  • Florida Family Makes $300K Find: A 65-year-old Florida man has spent his life searching for treasure off the coast—and Rick Schmitt and his family have just made their biggest-ever discovery some 150 yards off the coast of Fort Pierce.
  • 320K Unknown Viruses Lurk in Mammals: An ambitious new study by some of the world's top virus experts estimates that at least 320,000 still-unidentified viruses are lurking out there among mammals—some presumably with the potential to jump from animals to humans. Researchers explain what we should do about it.
Click for more fascinating discoveries, including a truly huge find: Earth's largest volcano.

A laboratory mouse looks over the gloved hand of a technician.
A laboratory mouse looks over the gloved hand of a technician.   (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)
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