Santa is NOT threatened by Asteroid 2003 SD220 as it passes close by Earth tonight
December 24, 2015 03:08 PM - JPL NASA
Asteroid 2003 SD220 will safely fly past Earth on Dec. 24 at a distance of 6.8 million miles (11 million kilometers). Scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, have generated the highest-resolution images to date of this asteroid using the Deep Space Network's 230-foot (70-meter) antenna at Goldstone, California. The radar images were acquired between Dec. 17 and Dec. 22, when the distance to this near-Earth object (NEO) was narrowing from 7.3 million miles (12 million kilometers) to almost the flyby distance.
"The radar images data suggest that asteroid 2003 SD220 is highly elongated and at least 3,600 feet [1,100 meters] in length," said Lance Benner of JPL, who leads NASA's asteroid radar research program. "The data acquired during this pass of the asteroid will help us plan for radar imaging during its upcoming closer approach in 2018."
Fat but fit?
December 21, 2015 05:20 AM - OXFORD UNIVERSITY via EurekAlert
A new study, published today in the International Journal of Epidemiology , has dismissed the concept of 'fat but fit'. In contrast, the results from the new study suggest that the protective effects of high fitness against early death are reduced in obese people.
Although the detrimental effects of low aerobic fitness have been well documented, this research has largely been performed in older populations. Few studies have investigated the direct link between aerobic fitness and health in younger populations. This study by academics in Sweden followed 1,317,713 men for a median average of 29 years to examine the association between aerobic fitness and death later in life, as well as how obesity affected these results. The subjects' aerobic fitness was tested by asking them to cycle until they had to stop due to fatigue.
Space weather and the potential impacts on our infrastructures
December 19, 2015 07:10 AM - EUROPEAN COMMISSION JOINT RESEARCH CENTRE vie EurekAlert
The JRC has been looking into the risks of space weather impact on critical infrastructures. A new report explores the rail sector's vulnerability and the potential impacts, in particular through interdependencies with other infrastructures. Awareness among operators and regulators worldwide is currently limited and vulnerabilities across the rail sector need to be identified, authors say.
Solar activity affects the space environment surrounding the Earth. This so-called space weather can disrupt and damage critical infrastructure in space and on the ground, including satellites, aviation, road and marine transport, banking and power grids. Society relies on these infrastructures and services, which have become inter- dependent and are therefore more vulnerable to space weather.
Push for more hydrogen fueling stations for fuel cell cars in California
December 17, 2015 06:40 AM - Sandia Labs
Drivers are seeing more hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) on the road, but refueling stations for those vehicles are still few and far between. This is about to change, and one reason is a new testing device being validated at California refueling stations that will greatly accelerate station commissioning.
Developed by U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Sandia National Laboratories and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the Hydrogen Station Equipment Performance device, or HyStEP, could reduce the time to commission new stations from months to just one week. HyStEP is funded by DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Fuel Cell Technologies Office as part of the Hydrogen Fueling Infrastructure Research and Station Technology (H2FIRST) project.
Lettuce vs. Bacon: Which is Worse in Greenhouse Gas Emissions
December 15, 2015 07:07 AM - Shilo Rea, Carnegie Mellon University
Contrary to recent headlines — and a talk by actor Arnold Schwarzenegger at the United Nations Paris Climate Change Conference — eating a vegetarian diet could contribute to climate change. In fact, according to new research from Carnegie Mellon University, following the USDA recommendations to consume more fruits, vegetables, dairy and seafood is more harmful to the environment because those foods have relatively high resource uses and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per calorie.
If you're a young adult, curb your TV time!
December 3, 2015 08:03 AM - THE JAMA NETWORK JOURNALS via EurekAlert
Watching a lot of TV and having a low physical activity level as a young adult were associated with worse cognitive function 25 years later in midlife, according to an article published online by JAMA Psychiatry.
Few studies have investigated the association between physical activity in early adulthood and cognitive function later in life. Coupled with the increasing prevalence of sedentary or screen-based activities, such as watching television, these trends are of concern for upcoming generations of young people.
Happiness and frequency of sex linked, to a point
November 18, 2015 08:42 AM - SOCIETY FOR PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY, via EurekAlert
More sex may not always make you happier, according to new research published by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology.
"Although more frequent sex is associated with greater happiness, this link was no longer significant at a frequency of more than once a week," lead researcher Amy Muise said. "Our findings suggest that it's important to maintain an intimate connection with your partner, but you don't need to have sex everyday as long as you're maintaining that connection."
Some previous studies, and a plethora of articles and self-help books, have claimed that more sex equals more happiness. But this study, based on surveys of more than 30,000 Americans collected over four decades, is the first to find that association is not there after couples report having sex more than once a week on average. The study was not designed to identify the causal process, so does not tell us whether having sex up to once a week makes couples happier, or being in a happy relationship causes people to have more frequent sex (up to once a week).
America Recycles Day November 15th
November 13, 2015 10:13 AM - JustMeans, Justmeans
Thousands of creative recycling events are being planned for America Recycles Day (ARD), a Keep America Beautiful initiative, which takes place on and in the weeks leading up to Nov. 15.
America Recycles Day is the only nationally recognized day dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the United States. In its 18th year, ARD educates people about the importance of recycling to our economy and environmental well-being, and helps to motivate occasional recyclers to become everyday recyclers.
A number of ARD special events are focusing on this year’s theme of “Bathrooms, Bags & Gadgets." They include:
Why do more people commute using their bikes in Europe?
November 11, 2015 05:25 AM - Anum Yoon, Triple Pundit
Though cycling to work has the potential to reduce your carbon footprint and improve your overall health, you’re probably not doing it. In many communities, bike lanes simply don’t exist, making it difficult or downright dangerous to battle automobile traffic to bike to work.
Cities like Washington, D.C., and New York have installed bike paths for commuters, and the investment has paid off. In D.C., bike commuting has increased by 120 percent, and in New York ridership has doubled, all thanks to offering cyclists appropriate infrastructure. While it’s certainly good news, the sad fact remains that the U.S. still lags far behind European nations when it comes to bicycle commuting.
A tale of two continents
Low-energy sweetners do help reduce calorie intake
November 10, 2015 08:25 AM - University of Bristol
Use of low energy sweeteners (LES) in place of sugar, in children and adults, leads to reduced calorie intake and body weight – and possibly also when comparing LES beverages to water – according to a review led by researchers at the University of Bristol published in the International Journal of Obesity today.
For the first time, all available science was integrated into a single review to evaluate the real impact of LES, such as saccharin, aspartame, sucralose and stevia, on energy intake (EI) and body weight (BW) over the short- and long-term. A considerable weight of evidence confirmed that consuming LES instead of sugar helps reduce relative energy intake and body weight.