5 Most Incredible Discoveries of the Week
Including a potential avocado drug and the scary state of our water supply
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 20, 2015 5:26 AM CDT
NASA is worried about our water.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – A caveat for creative types and a warning about our water supply make the list:

  • NASA Makes Worrisome Claim About Our Water: The space agency's latest data on the world's water supply is pretty chilling: About 35% of the fresh water people use comes from large underground aquifers, but supplies are dwindling, with more water removed from 21 of the world's largest 37 aquifers over a decade than replenished; 13 aquifers are in serious distress. And there's another major problem.
  • Dinos Issued Warning About Climate Change 215M Years Ago: Scientists have long been baffled by a lack of Triassic Period fossils from large, herbivorous dinosaurs near the equator. A new study suggests a hot, unpredictable climate and high carbon dioxide levels kept some of the world's first dinosaurs away—and the study's author warns what that could mean for us today.

  • Fighting Disease With a Drug Made Out of ... Avocado?: Don't use too many avocados for that guac, because a Canadian scientist thinks he's found a groundbreaking use for it. Paul Spagnuolo says the fruit known as "nature's butter" contains a lipid called avocatin B that targets unhealthy cells—and that it may help fight off a particular cancer that's expected to kill 10,000 people this year alone.
  • Those Who Believe in Pure Evil Support This: Researchers out of Kansas State University surveyed 212 psychology students, all of whom had to rate their level of belief in pure evil, then read one of two fictitious articles about a murder. The results? Those who believed in pure evil were more likely to be fervent supporters of the death penalty. What's surprising: how they'd deal with a perp who seemed like a family man over one who owned his evil.
  • Creativity May Not Bode Well for Your Mental Health: A study published in Nature Neuroscience analyzed 86,000 Icelanders to flesh out genetic variations that double one's risk of schizophrenia and more than triple the risk of bipolar disorder. What they found: Those in the creative arts (e.g., writers, painters) were on average 25% more likely to carry the gene variations than farmers, salespeople, and laborers. The naysayers have a lot to say about this, though.
Click to read about more discoveries, including how kangaroos are lefties and how watching cat videos may be good for you.