Big Oil: 5 Most Incredible Discoveries of the Week

Also: A triple-pyramid of sorts
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 19, 2016 5:26 AM CST
Big Oil: 5 Most Incredible Discoveries of the Week
Numerous oil rigs stand idle in Midland, Texas, site of the biggest oil deposit in the US.   (Jacob Ford/Odessa American via AP)

(Newser) – A milestone among oil deposits and a pyramid with secrets were among the most intriguing discoveries of the week:

  • Biggest-Ever US Oil Find Made: Things are bigger in Texas, especially oil deposits: The USGS announced this week that its assessment of the Wolfcamp formation in West Texas has identified the largest continuous oil and gas deposit ever found in the US. The formation holds 20 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil, which is worth around $900 billion at today's prices. But only modern techniques will be able to extract it.
  • Inside the Pyramid Is a Pyramid. Inside That Is Something More: Scientists have known for decades that the 100-foot-tall Kukulkan temple in Mexico's Yucatan state sits on top of a smaller, 65-foot-tall pyramid. Now, a new scan reveals that a third pyramid is beneath the second one. The find has led to an especially apt comparison.

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  • Smartphone Residue Says a Lot About You: Researchers at UC San Diego analyzed the molecules on smartphones to see what they could deduce about the phone's owners—and it turned out to be a whole lot. "We could tell if a person is likely female, uses high-end cosmetics, dyes her hair, drinks coffee, prefers beer over wine, likes spicy food, is being treated for depression, wears sunscreen and bug spray" ... you get the picture. The potential benefits go beyond the trivial.
  • You Could Have Ebola and Not Even Know It: Ebola doesn't always show itself through fever, vomiting, and diarrhea. A new study finds that some people with the virus show mild or no symptoms at all—a potential concern for preventing its spread. Researchers who visited the village of Sukudu in Sierra Leone, a hot spot, found up to 25% of Ebola infections "may have been minimally symptomatic," meaning the true number of Ebola cases may be understated.
  • Boys', Girls' Brains React Differently to Trauma: A new study into male and female reactions to childhood trauma has revealed an interesting difference between the sexes. The region of the brain associated with emotional awareness and empathy was larger in boys who had experienced trauma, but smaller in girls who had done so. It raises the possibility that treatment should be different depending on gender.
Click to read about more discoveries. (Read more discoveries stories.)

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