Scientists locate a gene that both regulates and blocks ovulation
By Holly OtterbeinPosted 07.17.2008 at 6:08 pm 5 Comments
Birth control may have revolutionized women’s lives, but it’s still a nuisance to take. The pill is 98 percent effective only if you (or your lady friend) takes it every day, at exactly the same time. Complete this task correctly, and the estrogen could give you nausea, headaches and moodiness. Thankfully, researchers at the University of Montreal and Louis Pasteur University may have found a more pleasant alternative.
Engineers develop more efficient, cheaper “solar concentrator”
By Holly OtterbeinPosted 07.15.2008 at 5:01 pm 10 Comments
When I was eight years old, my uncle told me that I’d get a solar-powered car for my sixteenth birthday – and that it would be affordable. When I turned 16 in 2002, though, solar power was still inefficient and expensive, and I landed a bike instead. It's taken impossibly high fuel costs, global warming, and some serious engineering developments, but six years later, solar power is finally becoming a viable alternative to oil.
Scientists discover which brain cells are responsible for anxiety
By Holly OtterbeinPosted 07.14.2008 at 12:48 pm 1 Comment
If you’re often paralyzed with worry and can’t utter a word in social situations, stop faulting your mother – your lack of intercalated (ITC) neurons is to blame. Neuroscientists from Rutgers University in New York shed a light on anxiety last week, when they published a paper that pinpoints which brain cells are responsible for fear.
After years of prescribing them, scientists finally learn the mechanics behind psychostimulants
By Holly OtterbeinPosted 07.11.2008 at 10:24 am 7 Comments
You'd think that a drug prescribed to 10 million Americans would be well understood. But until now, scientists haven't firmly grasped why Ritalin helps the scatterbrained. In a University of Wisconsin-Madison study published recently in Biological Psychiatry, researchers found that the stimulant works by optimizing brain signals in the prefrontal cortex.
The researchers fed rats different doses of Ritalin and then studied their neural activity, which was measured by electrodes implanted in their brains.
The Group agrees to halve greenhouse gases by 2050, developing nations don’t buy it
By Holly OtterbeinPosted 07.10.2008 at 11:24 am 5 Comments
On Tuesday, G8 leaders in Japan made an agreement that sounds great – by 2050, they’ll cut the number of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions by half. It’s an improvement to Kyoto Protocol, at least, which the United States refused to adopt (and refused to apologize about). But developing nations, including China and India, were quick to criticize the accord, insisting that the G8 cut their emissions by more than 80 percent.
German research shows that plant yields rise when exposed to high carbon dioxide levels
By Holly OtterbeinPosted 07.09.2008 at 10:32 am 12 Comments
Tell me this isn’t a summer blockbuster—as man faces the catastrophic effects of increased carbon dioxide levels, plants flourish. German researchers from the Thuenen Institute confirmed as much Tuesday, when they released findings showing that crop yields boom when plants are exposed to high levels of CO2. Jets sprayed the plants with extra CO2—enough to match the amount that scientists predict will fill the atmosphere by 2050—and the outputs of barley, beets and wheat jumped 10 percent.
Engineer loses his cell phone charger, decides to create an eco-friendly adapter for all
By Holly OtterbeinPosted 07.08.2008 at 5:33 pm 9 Comments
It’s about time we get the adapter equivalent of the Universal Remote Control. Ever since engineer Doug Palmer lost his cell phone charger (a hardship that has practically become part of the shared human experience), he has sought to develop an adapter that supplies power to every last iPod, laptop and digital camera.
A new report shows that biofuels are linked to higher food prices and increased poverty, but European Union doesn’t take heed
By Holly OtterbeinPosted 07.07.2008 at 4:38 pm 17 Comments
Are Biofuels Starving the World?
It's common sense—people need food first, fuel second.
But today, Britain became the first Western nation to announce that its biofuel production will be curbed, since it's likely causing rising food prices and rainforest destruction.
Scientists find a double health punch in two of our favorite legalized substances
By Holly OtterbeinPosted 06.17.2008 at 3:06 pm 0 Comments
Stumped at the café? Go for a mocha.
According to new research, the tasty beverage provides a double-whammy of health benefits: chocolate may slow cancer growth, and java could help you live longer. The good news about chocolate comes from scientists at Georgetown University Medical Center, who found that a synthetic chemical that is similar to a compound present in cocoa beans slows the growth of colon cancer by 50 percent.