5 Most Incredible Discoveries of the Week

Including long-lived sharks and the 'Hand of God'
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 11, 2014 5:29 AM CST
5 Most Incredible Discoveries of the Week
A great white shark swims near Guadalupe Island off the coast of Mexico.   (AP Photo/Discovery Channel, Andrew Brandy Casagrande, File)

Senior-citizen sharks and an amazing image from deep space make the list:

  • Sharks Live Longer Than We Thought: Great white sharks that manage to stay out of the soup pot can live to much greater ages than earlier realized, according to new research. In fact, they'd put a lot of humans to shame.
  • NASA Finds the 'Hand of God': A newly released NASA photo shows the remains of an exploded star. But the reason it's making so many headlines is that the image resembles an enormous hand floating in space. Hence, its lordly nickname.
  • Ancient Sea Beasts Were Dark as Night: Ancient sea reptiles are finally showing their true colors. Researchers investigated skin remnants from ancient leatherback turtles and ichthyosaurs and mosasaurs, which resembled fish. The researchers found that all three creatures were covered in black skin or scales, and they had their reasons.
  • A First: Conjoined Gray Whales: Mexican scientists have made a fascinating, if a little sad, discovery in a Baja California lagoon: conjoined gray whales. Unfortunately, the twin calves were dead, and scientists think they were miscarried before full term. It's a first for the species, though.
  • Look Out, Cancer Cells, Here Come 'Sticky Balls': Cornell researchers have created roving proteins whose sole purpose is to destroy cancer cells in the bloodstream. These "sticky balls" achieve the feat by first hitching a ride with white blood cells.
Click to read about more incredible discoveries, including one about how carbs rotted ancient mouths. (More discoveries stories.)

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