A study sure to please lovers of spaghetti and insights into an ancient female shaman were among the notable discoveries of the week:
- Italian Researchers: Pasta Doesn't Make You Fat: People who blame pasta for weight gain have missed the message about the Mediterranean diet, according to Italian researchers. The team from IRCCS Neuromed Institute discovered that pasta intake was associated both with lower obesity rates and healthier waist-to-hip ratios. One professor has a theory on why pasta has earned its bad reputation.
- Female Shaman Buried in Strangely Elaborate Grave: The 4-foot-9 woman may have been diminutive in height, but the manner in which she was buried suggests a sizeable social stature. A team studying a 12,000-year-old grave in Israel is piecing together the story behind a woman they are calling a "female shaman" given the strange array of items buried with her, including 86 tortoise shells and a human foot. For one thing, her funeral had no fewer than six stages.
- New Fillings Can Heal Teeth From the Inside: Imagine a world without root canals. It's possible with what the UK's Royal Society of Chemistry calls "a new paradigm for dental treatments." Scientists say they've developed dental fillings that stimulate stem cells to regrow and heal damaged teeth. The material holds a key advantage over existing filling material.
- Wacky Planet Has 3 Suns: A newly discovered planet 340 light-years from Earth in the constellation Centaurus is the first found to be orbiting three suns. Be warned, future visitors to HD 131399Ab, the season underway when you arrive will almost certainly be the only one you experience.
- Ancient Humans May Have Made Giant Telescopes: Telescopes as we think of them date back 400 years to the Enlightenment. But astronomers studying huge tombs in Portugal believe ancient humans were making their own stargazing instruments 6,000 years ago: The key is in the long, narrow entrances to the tombs themselves.
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