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5 Most Incredible Discoveries of the Week

Including an ancient Egyptian book of rituals and a century-old sunken graveyard
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 22, 2014 5:57 AM CST

(Newser) – A chemical in antibacterial soap that might be bad news for your liver and an intriguing find from the comet lander make the list:

  • More Than 500 Lie in Watery Grave From 100-Year-Old Shipwreck: In October 1902, the SS Ventnor sank off the coast of New Zealand, but for 499 of the 512 people aboard, it wasn't a matter of life and death: They were already dead.
  • 'Magical Codex' Reveals Ancient Egyptian Spells: An ancient book of bound parchment from Egypt is believed to be a codex of ritualistic spells, containing instructions on how to do everything from curing demonic possession to ensuring love and business success. There's an especially simple-looking way to gain control over someone.

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  • Lander May Have Found 'Building Blocks of Life' on Comet: The Philae lander that touched down on a comet sniffed out evidence of something that could lend insight into early life on Earth: organic molecules. The more intriguing part will be discovering what kind of molecules they are.
  • Antibacterial Soap Could Wreak Havoc on Your Liver: Triclosan is powerful enough to blast germs off your hands, but this chemical found in most antibacterial soaps could also cause liver damage. Despite these new findings, researchers say there's a reason why it might be OK to keep it in toothpaste.
  • In a French Kiss, You Swap More Than Spit: A kiss is just a kiss—except for when it's a major bacteria conduit. A new study finds that 10 seconds of passion from a French kiss can result in the transfer of up to 80 million bacteria—and that's actually a good thing. The study also found a strange discrepancy in how men and women count kisses.
Click to read about more discoveries. (Read more discoveries stories.)

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