Enn Original News

Yawn!
September 20, 2011 12:32 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Yawning is a normal and common human activity. We all yawn but why do we yawn. A study led by Andrew Gallup, a postdoctoral research associate in Princeton University's Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, is the first involving humans to show that yawning frequency varies with the season and that people are less likely to yawn when the heat outdoors exceeds body temperature. Gallup and his co-author Omar Eldakar, a postdoctoral fellow in the University of Arizona's Center for Insect Science, report this month in the journal Frontiers in Evolutionary Neuroscience that this seasonal disparity indicates that yawning could serve as a method for regulating brain temperature.

Laughter
September 19, 2011 08:01 AM - Andy Soos, ENN

Milton Berle once said: Laughter is an instant vacation. Now science has added some concrete proof top that statement or so suggests a new study from an international research team, led by Oxford University. The study found that when we laugh properly, as opposed to producing a polite titter, the physical exertion leaves us exhausted and thereby triggers the release of protective endorphins. These endorphins, one of the complex neuropeptide chemicals produced in the brain, manage pain and promote feelings of well being.

Ancient Fossil Aquifers and NASA
September 19, 2011 07:54 AM - Andy Soos, ENN

A NASA-led team has used radar sounding technology developed to explore the subsurface of Mars to create high-resolution maps of freshwater aquifers buried deep beneath an Earth desert, in the first use of airborne sounding radar for aquifer mapping. The research may help scientists better locate and map Earth's desert aquifers, understand current and past hydrological conditions in Earth's deserts and assess how climate change is impacting them. Deserts cover roughly 20 percent of Earth's land surface, including highly populated regions in the Arabian Peninsula, North Africa (Sahara), west and central Asia (Takla Makan) and the southwestern United States (Sonora).

The Benefits of Maple Syrup
September 16, 2011 04:30 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Maple syrup is delightful to have on pancakes for example. Now new research conducted at the University of Tokyo suggests that pure maple syrup may promote a healthy liver. The pilot study, conducted by Dr. Keiko Abe of the University of Tokyo's Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, showed that healthy laboratory rats fed a diet in which some of the carbohydrate was replaced with pure maple syrup from Canada yielded significantly better results in liver function tests than the control groups fed a diet with a syrup mix containing a similar sugar content as maple syrup. The results will be published in the November, 2011 issue of "Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry." Although most healthy individuals take liver function for granted, liver health is of great importance because of the hundreds of vital functions it performs that are essential to human life, which include storing energy (glycogen) and regulating blood glucose, the production of certain amino acids (building blocks of protein), filtering harmful substances from the blood.

Climate Warming: Who Thinks What
September 16, 2011 03:32 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Yale University has created a new poll based report, Politics & Global Warming, which describes how Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and members of the Tea Party respond to the issue of global warming. The results come from a nationally representative survey of 1,010 American adults, aged 18 and older, conducted April 23 through May 12, 2011. The samples were weighted to correspond with US Census Bureau parameters for the United States. The study shows majorities of Democrats (78%), Independents (71%) and Republicans (53%) believe that global warming is happening. By contrast, only 34 percent of Tea Party members believe global warming is happening, while 53 percent say it is not happening. While 62 percent of Democrats say that global warming is caused mostly by human activities, most Tea Party members say it is either naturally caused (50%) or isn’t happening at all (21%).

Tallest Building in New York Now LEED Certified
September 16, 2011 09:38 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

The tallest building in New York currently standing is the Empire State Building. It is a beautiful symbol of the greatness of New York, rising 1,250 feet (381 meters) with an antenna spire rising to 1,454 feet (443.2 meters) above bustling midtown Manhattan. It was named one of the Seven Modern Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers, amidst the ranks of the Panama Canal, the Channel Tunnel, and the Golden Gate Bridge. Now it can add another notch in its belt, as it has just been awarded LEED Gold certification by the US Green Building Council.

Carton Recycling
September 15, 2011 04:39 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Cartons as in milk cartons for example. Just trash or something that can be recycled and become sustainable? The City of Dallas has launched recently a new effort to add food and beverage cartons as part of its residential curbside recycling program. Dallas will be the first major city in Texas to have a carton recycling program, and boosts the number of households nationally that have access to carton recycling. The effort is supported by the Carton Council, a collaborative of carton manufacturers committed to expanding carton recycling in the U.S. According to the council there are 34 million households in the US and one in three have some form or recycling for cartons.

Drinking Milk Can Lower Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
September 15, 2011 09:20 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

Diabetes is a metabolic disease in which the body does not produce enough insulin, or cells to not respond to insulin that is produced. Type 2 diabetes refers to the condition in which the cells do not respond to insulin, sometimes known as adult-onset diabetes. A new study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has found that milk-drinking teenagers often become milk-drinking adults. As a lifelong habit, drinking milk is associated with a 43 percent lower risk of type 2 diabetes compared to non-milk drinkers.

Solar Power Increase
September 14, 2011 03:38 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

A steep drop in the cost of solar panels in recent months has spurred a significant increase in the number of planned non-residential projects in the U.S., an energy research company (Solarbuzz) reports. Large cuts in factory gate module prices over the summer have resulted in a significant increase in photovoltaic (PV) project development activity in the US. After standing at 17 gigawatts (GW) two months ago, the US non-residential pipeline has now increased to 24 GW. The September 2011 edition of the United States Deal Tracker database released by Solarbuzz this week identifies 1,865 non-residential projects totaling 25.9 GW either installed, being installed or in their development phase since January 1, 2010. Development phase projects include pre-RFP, going through the RFP process, or planned without RFP.

Snails and How They Get Around
September 14, 2011 02:35 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

How do snails migrate? Inch by inch or something more drastic? The geological rise of the Central American Isthmus separated the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans about 3 million years ago, creating a formidable barrier to dispersal for marine species. A new study suggests that two species of marine snails may have traveled between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans—all in the belly of a bird. The two species are known as horn snails, and both look a bit like tiny black party hats. One, the Pacific horn snail, lives in mangrove forests that hug the coast of Baja down to Panama, and the other, the Atlantic horn snail, resides in similar intertidal habitats along coasts from Texas to Panama.

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