5 Most Incredible Discoveries of the Week

From a new autism clue to a staggering find in a squalid apartment
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 9, 2013 5:40 AM CST
Updated Nov 9, 2013 1:58 PM CST
Thousands of people perform exercises in the Forbidden City.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – This week: The Forbidden City gives up one of its secrets, and a scientist reveals he's created a kind of artificial blood—in Transylvania, no less.

  1. Secret to Building the Forbidden City Revealed: How on earth did 15th-century laborers transport hundred-ton rocks from a quarry more than 40 miles away to the building site of China's Forbidden City? Wisely, it turns out.
  2. Transylvania Scientist: I've Made Blood: Synthetic blood that can perform all the tasks of the real thing may be far off. But in the meantime, one scientist (from, seriously, Transylvania) says he's created an artificial substance that can transport oxygen around the body in emergencies—at least in mice.

  1. $1.3B of Nazi-Seized Art Found in Squalid Apartment: German tax inspectors investigating an elderly loner were staggered to find a cache of 1,500 masterpieces stashed amid expired cans of food in the man's squalid Munich apartment. And the story gets more staggering from there.
  2. Babies' Eye Contact May Offer Clue to Autism: A new study "tells us for the first time that it's possible to detect some signs of autism in the first months of life. These are the earliest signs of autism that we've ever observed."
  3. There Are Billions of Earth-Like Planets in Our Galaxy: Space is vast, but it may not be so lonely after all: A study finds the Milky Way is teeming with billions of planets that are about the size of Earth, orbit stars just like our sun, and exist in the Goldilocks zone—not too hot and not too cold for life.
Click for more incredible discoveries, which include a wild fossil find. (Read more discoveries stories.)

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