5 Most Incredible Discoveries of the Week

Including a surprising find near Stonehenge
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 12, 2015 4:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – A rock-solid discovery in the UK and a troubling diabetes update make the list:

  • Meet Our New Relative: Deep within a South African cave, archaeologists uncovered the remains of a previously unknown human ancestor that stood about 5 feet tall, used tools, and may have buried its dead—like us. Homo naledi had some "surprisingly human-like features," but there's fervent debate on where the species should fall on the fossil record.
  • A Monumental Find Near Stonehenge: An exploration beneath the grassy banks of Durrington Walls, less than 2 miles from Stonehenge, detected what may be largest surviving stone monument in Europe. It has one historian proclaiming that everything we know about Stonehenge may need to be rewritten.

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  • Blood Pressure Study May Rewrite Treatment: Health officials announced the "potentially lifesaving" results of a study that could reduce the overall mortality rate of the US. The study, which looked at 9,300 people over the age of 50, found that doctors aren't aiming low enough when it comes to reducing high blood pressure. The results were so strong, the study was stopped early.
  • Scientists Say We've Been Lining Up All Wrong: Researchers have figured out a way to reduce wait times everywhere lines are found—from the DMV to Disneyland. Unfortunately, their ideas are unlikely to ever be implemented because of people's unbreakable allegiance to the concept of fairness. Think last-come-first-served.
  • Half of US Adults Have Diabetes (or Almost Do): About 50% of adult Americans have diabetes or prediabetes—a condition marked by abnormally high blood sugar levels—according to a JAMA study. For about one-third of these people, another surprising stat applies.
Click to read about more discoveries, including the germiest spot on an airplane. (Read more discoveries stories.)

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