Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 7:23 am
Childhood obesity has made it to the forefront of public health issues, both in the United Kingdom and in the United States.
Now researchers at the Universities of Dundee, Strathclyde, Georgia and Bristol say that not only does obesity affect a child's overall health, but it may also lead to poorer school performance among teenage girls. Among boys, the link is less apparent.
A specimen of<em> Platydemus manokwari </em>collected in a greenhouse at Caen in Normandy. You can see its white pharynx protruding from the underside, ingesting soft tissues of a specimen of the Mediterranean snail.
Credit Pierre Gros/PeerJ
France's famed mollusk appetizer could be endangered by an unwelcome worm arrival, scientists worry.
Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 6:06 pm
Oh, no, not the escargot!
A vicious little worm with an appetite for snails has made its European debut. And that has some scientists worried about the future of France's famed mollusk appetizer.
The New Guinea flatworm (Platydemus manokwari) is the lone worm on the Global Invasive Species Database's list of 100 of the world's most dangerous invaders. And last November, it was discovered in a greenhouse in Caen, Normandy.
Three years ago today, a massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan killed thousands of people. It also triggered the meltdown of reactors at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The cleanup is ongoing and has been problematic, with power failures and leaks of contaminated water. And the technical difficulties involved in closing the facility are compounded by serious labor issues.
The next evolution of science is not happening in a lab, but in a basement in a rural Florida county. Thanks to online crowdsourcing, thousands of non-scientists can visit a site called Notes From Nature and lend a hand to university researchers cataloging their collections, from bark to bugs.
Jefferson's Ocean bourbon is aged on the high seas, a technique that takes advantage of basic physical chemistry. The bottles sell for $200 a piece.
Credit Courtesy of OCEARCH
This OCEARCH ship carried Zoeller's first bourbon-aged barrels for three and a half years, covering more than 10,000 nautical miles. According to Tom Collins, a chemist at UC Davis, the higher temperatures of tropical locales, and the swill of the ocean, can accelerate the whiskey aging process.
Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 9:48 am
From its earliest days as America's homegrown whiskey elixir, Kentucky bourbon has been traveling on boats.
In fact, boats were a key reason why Kentucky became the king of bourbon. In the late 1700s, trade depended on waterways, and distillers in the state had a big advantage: the Ohio River. They'd load their barrels onto flatboats on the Ohio, which flowed into the Mississippi, taking their golden liquor as far down as New Orleans.
Alabama’s reputation as one of the leaders in the space industry is continuing to grow. A private company building vehicles for space travel is expanding its work in Huntsville. Sierra Nevada Company announced it’s teaming up with NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and an engineering company. Mark Sirangelo is Sierra Nevada’s corporate vice president. He says they’re expanding in Huntsville to tap into the wealth of knowledge there.
For helping to find asteroids, NASA has set up a contest with cash awards. In 2012, the agency said that "more potentially hazardous asteroids, or PHAs, are closely aligned with the plane of our solar system than previous models suggested."
Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 10:58 am
Cash prizes await "citizen scientists" who can improve algorithms that help NASA find and identify asteroids in our solar system, the agency says. A contest to find more asteroids begins next week, in what NASA calls an attempt to crowdsource innovation.
This is Hungerford, a large female snowy owl. Last summer she was just a hatchling — a gray ball of fuzz in the middle of the Arctic tundra. In the fall, newly equipped with adult plumage, she flew thousands of miles south until she reached the coast of Maryland. And this winter, she became an important part of an unprecedented research project.
Every year, Americans send millions of tons of food to the landfill. What if you could use all of those pizza crusts and rotten vegetables to heat your home? That's already happening in one unlikely laboratory: the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant in Brooklyn.
The task of building your very own toy, or robot, or radio can seem daunting for someone without much background in engineering. But a set of color-coded electronic bits that can be magnetically snapped together called littleBits is aiming to make creating your own electronics easy for everyone. It's like Legos, if only Legos could be connected into circuits that light up, move or make music.
"Circuits in seconds," promises the outside of the box.
Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 1:19 pm
Our bodies may help us remember our lives, fixing experiences in place. By using virtual reality, scientists can make people feel like they're outside their own bodies. And when they do, the brain struggles to remember what happened.