Enn Original News
Ancient Black Coral in the Gulf of Mexico
April 1, 2011 08:08 AM - Andy Soos, ENN
Black corals are a group of deep water, tree-like corals related to sea anemones. Though black coral's living tissue is brilliantly colored, it takes its name from the distinctive black or dark brown color of its skeleton. For the first time, scientists have been able to validate the age of deep-sea black corals in the Gulf of Mexico. They found the Gulf is home to 2,000 year-old deep-sea black corals, many of which are only a few feet tall. These slow-growing, long-living animals thrive in very deep waters—300 meters (984 feet) and deeper—yet scientists say they are sensitive to what is happening in the surface ocean as well as on the sea floor.
Erratics in Antarctica
March 31, 2011 07:36 AM - Andy Soos, ENN
A team from the University of Leeds and Aberystwyth University has returned from the Antarctica with exciting new information on the behavior of the giant Antarctic Ice Sheet. The Antarctic Ice Sheet is of exceptional interest to geoscientists due to its size and location, which mean that it reacts quickly and dynamically to climate change. The team of four found that the ice sheet had expanded and then retreated across neighboring James Ross Island several times over the last 25,000 years. The findings are crucial for understanding the thickness and extent of the ice sheet through time, and so its past and future contributions to sea level rise.
Big Problems in the Malaysian Forests
March 31, 2011 07:10 AM - David A Gabel, ENN
Nowhere is the problem of deforestation greater than in the tropical regions of the world. Specifically, Southeast Asia, which has vast tracts of primal rain forests, is at risk from excessive logging. Recently, governments in that region have come under pressure from environmentalists to conserve what forests they have left. Officials in the state of Sarawak, the Malaysian region of Borneo, have said that 70 percent of their forest cover has been preserved. However, after a review using Google Earth images, indications are that deforestation is much more widespread than is being claimed.
What is Green?
March 30, 2011 08:10 AM - Andy Soos, ENN
Green science or products can be loosely defined as the term for any application of science, knowledge or technology towards improving the relationship between human technology involvement and the impact this has on the environment and natural resources. It is a broad category, in that it can cover many different facets of technology and human development. With more and more environmentally conscious consumers trying to choose green products, American Chemical Society scientists reported today that the first reality check has revealed that the ingredients in those products may come from a surprising source —— petroleum, rather than natural plant-based sources.
Finding Puts New Emphasis on the Benefits of Jogging
March 29, 2011 10:05 AM - David A Gabel, ENN
Since the fitness revolution, physical activity has been promoted as an effective way to combat obesity and heart disease. Currently, walking is the number one recommended activity among both the young and old. However, new research from the University of Bristol has found that running and jogging are also important for building strong bones in children. It has also found that gentle exercise like walking has little effect on bone strength, even over a longer period. Walking offers little protection against the risk of osteoporosis later in life.
March 29, 2011 08:10 AM - Andy Soos, ENN
An aphrodisiac is a substance that increases sexual desire. The name comes from Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of sexuality and love. Throughout history, many foods, drinks, and behaviors have had a reputation for making sex more attainable and/or pleasurable. However, from a historical and scientific standpoint, the alleged results may have been mainly due to mere belief by their users that they would be effective (the placebo effect. Few have studied their true effects. However, try adding ginseng and saffron to your diet. Both are proven performance boosters, according to a new scientific review of natural aphrodisiacs conducted by University of Guelph researchers. Indulge in wine and chocolate, too, but know that their amorous effects are likely all in your head. Stay away from the more obscure Spanish fly and Bufo toad. While purported to be sexually enhancing, they produced the opposite result and can even be toxic.
March 28, 2011 08:02 AM - Andy Soos, ENN
Aging is the accumulation of changes in an organism or object over time. Aging in humans refers to a process of physical, psychological, and social change. Some dimensions of aging grow and expand over time, while others decline. Reaction time, for example, may slow with age, while knowledge of world events and wisdom may expand. Research shows that even late in life potential exists for physical, mental, and social growth and development. With that said for some people getting old means losing quality of life and wellness. Does gardening contribute to quality of life and increased wellness for older adults? Researchers from the Texas A&M and Texas State Universities asked these questions in a survey of people aged 50 and older. The survey revealed some compelling reasons for older adults to get themselves out in the garden.
Spring has Sprung: New from BBC Earth!
March 25, 2011 06:00 PM - Editor, BBC Earth
"If I ruled the world, every day would be the first day of spring" (from the musical Pickwick, by Leslie Bricusse/Cyril Ornadel) The time has come! As the earth turns and the sun shines it's life giving light directly on the equator, something very special happens. It's called the Vernal Equinox, or the first day of spring! (At least for those in the North Temperate Zone!) This astronomical event that happens twice a year, marks the point at which the length of day and night are almost equal in all parts of the world. Note the use of almost because for places farther from the equator, days are naturally longer and the sun takes longer to rise and set. Making their day lengths almost, but not absolutely, equal. In any case, the March equinox is celebrated across many cultures as a time of rebirth, renewal and a time to rejoice! A number of religious holidays and festivals take place around this time of year, and in some parts of the world it even marks the coming of an entirely New Year; such as the astronomical Persian calendar in Tehran.
Does Religion Make People Gain Weight?
March 25, 2011 09:38 AM - David A Gabel, ENN
People can pray to lose weight, but it turns out that more devout religious people often have a higher chance of gaining weight. According to a new study from Northwestern University, young adults who participate in religious activities are fifty percent more likely to become obese by middle age, compared to those with no religious involvement.
That Euphoric Feeling
March 25, 2011 08:18 AM - Andy Soos, ENN
For most people not sleeping well leads to being the person most likely to be avoided the next morning. A lesser known side effect of sleep deprivation is short-term euphoria, which can potentially lead to poor judgment and addictive behavior, according to new research from the University of California, Berkeley. Researchers at UC Berkeley and Harvard Medical School studied the brains of healthy young adults and found that their pleasure circuitry got a big boost after a missed night’s sleep. But that same neural pathway that stimulates feelings of euphoria, reward and motivation after a sleepless night may also lead to risky behavior, their study suggests.