5 Most Incredible Discoveries of the Week

Including a revelation that might predict how you vote on Election Day
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 1, 2014 5:29 AM CDT
5 Most Incredible Discoveries of the Week
This undated file photo shows Amelia Earhart, the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.   (AP Photo, file)

A possible piece of Amelia Earhart's plane and a centuries-old virus found in an unsavory place make the list:

  • Is This a Piece of Amelia's Plane?: A team that's been investigating the disappearance of Amelia Earhart says it identified a piece of metal retrieved in 1991 as being from her plane. If it is an authentic part of Earhart's aircraft—skeptics are vocal—it suggests she met another fate other than crashing.
  • City Run by Genghis Khan's Descendants Found: Archaeologists along Russia's Volga River have excavated the 750-year-old city of Ukek, once headed by descendants of the Mongol ruler himself. The urban center was annihilated in the 14th century, but enough bits and pieces were left behind to give scientists a fascinating glimpse into the city.
  • Hoverboards Are Here: A company has developed a skateboard-style device that rides on air instead of wheels, almost like the device Michael J. Fox's character used in the Back to the Future movies. How the board works is like something out of a sci-fi flick, and possible future applications for it are compelling—we might even be able to ride out earthquakes on it.

  • 700-Year-Old Viruses Found: A viral researcher found two previously undiscovered viruses in 700-year-old caribou poop ensconced in ice in Canada. He made the find after it hit him one day that animals are prime germ-carriers and that ice "is nature's freezer." The viruses are still so viable that their DNA can be used to infect a plant.
  • How You React to Gross Pictures May Indicate How You'll Vote: If you're still not sure how you'll cast your ballot Tuesday, let your visceral reaction to maggot infestations, mutilated animals, dirty toilets, and rotting corpses lead the way. Researchers say scanned brain responses after people viewed disgusting images could predict a person's political affiliation—liberal or conservative—with up to 98% accuracy.
Click to read about more discoveries. (More discoveries stories.)

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