Posted on December 27, 2008 by

50 Things We Didn’t Know Last Year!

Scientists are discovering new interactions in the way things work. Here is a list of 50 new things we didn’t know this time last year, and below are a few of my favorites from the list.

6. Stress causes human brain cells to either shrink or grow, leaving victims of serious stress with dramatic changes to their nervous systems.

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8. Ground-penetrating radar used by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter revealed enormous underground reservoirs of frozen water far from Mars’ polar caps glaciers up to a half-mile thick buried beneath rock and debris. Researchers said one glacier is three times the size of Los Angeles.

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10. The world’s oceans are growing more acidic at an increasing rate, a phenomenon that may lead to major disruptions for corals, lobster, oysters, crabs, mussels and snails, which have difficulty building their calcium crusts in such conditions.

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11. Magnetic resonance imaging scans of blood flow in the human brain indicate that bullies often derive pleasure from watching others in pain.

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16. Exposure to light in grocery stores reduces the quality of cauliflower, broccoli, chard, leeks and asparagus.

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20. Searching online is better than reading books for increasing the brainpower of middle-aged and older adults.

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29. Excessive flip-flop wearing leads to a much higher risk of developing skin cancer on the feet. Only half of patients with foot melanomas survive.

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30. An ADHD-related gene may encourage behaviors beneficial for nomads.

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35. The fully fleshed-out head of a Tyrannosaurus rex may have weighed more than 1,100 pounds, but much of that volume came from air cavities that likely created painful sinus infections.

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36. An expedition 6,500-feet below the Atlantic Ocean caused one explorer to describe the region as “a new continent.” Hundreds of rare and unknown species were discovered in the 1,500-mile-long Mid-Atlantic Ridge between Europe and America.

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37. Great white sharks travel long distances every winter to meet in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. During this gathering, they make dives to depths of 300 meters.

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40. A newly found species of bacteria can grow at low temperatures, spoiling raw milk even when it’s refrigerated.

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44. Mexican scientists discovered a way to make diamonds from the carbon and organic compounds found in tequila.

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50. Drinking just three cups of coffee a day can make women’s breasts shrink.

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