Tasmanian Power: 5 Most Incredible Discoveries of the Week

Also: a famous patient is cleared by science
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 29, 2016 6:21 AM CDT
Tasmanian Power: 5 Most Incredible Discoveries of the Week
A young Tasmanian devil.   (AP Photo/Ken Bohn/San Diego Zoo)

An interesting discovery about Tasmanian devils and an accidental find in the sea were among the discoveries making headlines this week:

  • Superbugs No Match for Tasmanian Devil Milk: Forget mother's milk, the real good stuff is devil's milk. A study has found that Tasmanian devil milk contains certain chemical compounds that could help humans in their battle against drug-resistant bacterial infections. The discovery revolves around devil moms' not-so-clean pouches.
  • Scientists Believe They've Found Fossilized Dino Brain: Are we one step closer to Jurassic Park? Probably not, but researchers do believe they've found the first ever example of fossilized brain tissue from a dinosaur. And it suggests that dinosaurs were smarter than we thought.
  • 'Patient Zero' Exonerated in HIV Spread: The French Canadian flight attendant dubbed "Patient Zero" in the AIDS epidemic in North America was no such thing. Researchers have determined that the virus came to the US from Haiti around 1971 and had already infected many people in New York and San Francisco before Air Canada flight attendant Gaetan Dugas contracted it. Dugas has been long vilified, but it turns out the "zero" in his designation was misinterpreted in a very basic way.

  • Scientists Stumble on Dozens of Shipwrecks: Archaeologists mapping the Black Sea floor accidentally found more than 40 shipwrecks in the course of their work. The team was analyzing water levels along the Bulgarian coast when it discovered dozens of well-preserved shipwrecks, including some from the Ottoman and Byzantine empires. Several have a design historians have never seen in person.
  • Meet the World's Oldest Known Righty: A lot has changed over 1.8 million years, but perhaps not the tendency of hominids to favor their right hand. An upper jawbone belonging to a human relative who lived in what is now Tanzania has been discovered with telltale scratches on its still-intact teeth. Scientists made an interesting deduction on how they got there and dubbed this individual the earliest proof of right-handedness.
Click to read about more discoveries, including the debunking of a belief about cranberry juice. (Read more discoveries stories.)

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