These 11 discoveries got the most looks in 2019

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First off, thanks to the loyal readers and the newcomers who visited Futurity in 2019. We hope you continue to find informative and entertaining research news here in 2020.

Here’s a countdown to our most popular story of the past year. The list reflects the unexpected mix of topics we cover each day, with discoveries ranging from sea snakes in the ocean to the cleaning system in your sleeping brain. Enjoy!

11. Why politically incorrect speech works in politics

“The cost of political incorrectness is that the speaker seems less warm, but they also appear less strategic and more ‘real,'” says Juliana Schroeder of the University of California, Berkeley.

10. When liquid metal turns to plasma, the physics get weird

“…this behavior could be universal to all other metals,” says Suxing Hu, a senior scientist at the University of Rochester’s Laboratory for Laser Energetics.

9. Is our universe actually a hologram?

Find out what physicists think in this podcast episode from Brandeis University.

8. How do sea snakes in salt water get a drink?

The cure to drought lies in “lenses,” this University of Florida research finds.

7. Marijuana can alter DNA in sperm

“In terms of what it means for the developing child, we just don’t know,” says Susan K. Murphy of Duke University.

6. Fatty acids ‘feed’ prostate cancer tumors

“Our whole concept is about giving more appropriate treatment earlier to stop men getting to the late or advanced stage,” says Matthew Watt of the University of Melbourne.

5. Your brain cleans itself best with the right kind of sleep

It’s more “clear evidence that quality of sleep or sleep deprivation can predict the onset of Alzheimer’s and dementia,” says Maiken Nedergaard of the University of Rochester Medical Center.

4. More people are overdosing on this diarrhea med

“Overdose deaths occur not because patients stop breathing, as with other opioids, but due to irregular heartbeat and cardiac arrest,” says Diane Calello of the New Jersey Poison Control Center at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.

3. Mindfulness could lower your blood pressure
“The hope is that if we can start mindfulness training early in life, we can promote a trajectory of healthy aging across the rest of people’s lives,” says Eric Loucks of Brown University.

2. Supplement may slow early aging syndrome

“We are showing for the first time that Werner Syndrome is due to errors in the clean-up process,” says Vilhelm Bohr of the Center for Healthy Aging at the University of Copenhagen.

1. These medicinal plants put the brakes on cancer growth

“Our findings provide new scientific evidence for the use of traditional herbs for cancer treatment…” says Koh Hwee Ling of the National University of Singapore.