Mysterious News Briefly — January 3, 2022
A three-year study by the Royal Veterinary College using DNA and autopsies of victims of the notorious “Croydon cat killer” -- which allegedly murdered and mutilated hundreds of cats across London between 2014 and 2018 -- found “no evidence” that it was a human had carried out the killings and concluded the animals were probably killed by foxes. On the other hand, if there’s a Croydon fox killer, it will probably be an angry human cat lady.
Proving all mushrooms are magic in their own way, data from the recent US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey shows that eating even the most common white button mushrooms can help lower the risk of developing depression, while lion's mane mushrooms (Hericium erinaceus) contain neurotrophic factors linked to brain health and anti-inflammatory agents which help alleviate symptoms of depression. The pizza underneath the mushrooms makes it the perfect food.
Once it becomes operational, three astronomers say the James Webb Space Telescope will test Stephen Hawking's controversial theory that dark matter may be made of black holes formed in the earliest moments of the Big Bang. If this turns out like some of Hawking’s other theories, get your “bazingas” ready.
The first genome-edited food made by Sanatech with CRISPR–Cas9 technology to be sold on the open market are Sicilian Rouge tomatoes, which are genetically edited to contain high amounts of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) that allegedly can help lower blood pressure and promote relaxation. Does it work well enough to make Fred Flintstone yell “Yaba GABA doo!”?
CBS News National Security Correspondent David Martin predicts that one these two mysteries will be solved in 2022 – what is causing Havana syndrome or where are UFOs coming from. Here’s another prediction – if UFOs are causing Havana syndrome, the bookies in Vegas win will big.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk claims his company’s in-development humanoid robots will not only take over jobs that humans are best suited to do, they will form personalities that match their owners and become good companions. Is he implying that being friends with humans is another job humans aren’t designed to do?
Lake Superior State University’s annual list ten words and phrases that were misused and overused last year and are banned for 2022 includes "Wait? What," "no worries," "new normal," "you're on mute," "asking for a friend," "supply chain," "at the end of the day," "that being said," "circle back," and "deep dive." Look for our stories to be much shorter in 2022.
For Pittsburgh residents who started the new year with a massive bang – the National Weather Service says the mysterious earth-shaking boom which occurred on January 1 at around 11:26 am was a meteor explosion. Everything else you felt and heard was just your hangover.
Speaking of hangovers, the scientific journal Addiction tested 21 alleged alcohol-induced hangover cures – including clove extract, red ginseng, Korean pear juice, artichoke extract and tolfenamic acid -- and found only very low-quality evidence that any of them worked. Squeezing a pile of those tiny cloves to get enough extract to fill a shot glass probably works better.
World-renowned Kenyan conservationist, paleoanthropologist and fossil hunter Richard Leakey has died at the age of 77 – Leakey led expeditions that discovered the skulls of Homo habilis (1.9 million years old) in 1972 and Homo erectus (1.6 million years old) in 1975. Somewhere in the afterlife, he’s now discovering all the ones he missed.