Spoiled Science: Cornell’s Famous Food Lab Exposed

Written by Tom Bartlett

Chronicle Review illustration, iStock

Brian Wansink is nowhere to be found. He’s not in his office. Calls to his cellphone go to voicemail. He was supposed to meet me that morning at Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab, which he created and directs, but he canceled the night before. Cornell’s media-relations staff is apologetic and accommodating: What about a meeting with the dean instead? Or a tour of campus? The architecture is amazing — and those gorges!

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Scientists make the case to restore Pluto’s planet status

Written by Arthur Hirsch

Johns Hopkins University scientist Kirby Runyon wants to make one thing clear: Regardless of what one prestigious scientific organization says to the contrary, Pluto is a planet. So is Europa, commonly known as a moon of Jupiter, and the Earth’s moon, and more than 100 other celestial bodies in our solar system that are denied this status under a prevailing definition of “planet.”

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Hans Rosling: The Science of Population Decline & Immigation

Written by Ruth Alexander and Ben Carter

Hans RoslingImage copyright: AP

Hans Rosling, the Swedish professor who made global health statistics compelling viewing, died from cancer in February.

Co-founder of Gapminder.org, which continues his work, he was enthusiastically trying to change old-fashioned notions of the world even as his illness took hold. In his final BBC interview – for the BBC World Service series Economic Tectonics– the statistician highlighted five key ways that demographics are shaping the world around us.

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Scientists play ‘geological genealogy’

Written by Jonathan Amos

Canadian shieldImage copyright: RICK CARLSON
Image caption: The rocks on the eastern shores of the Hudson Bay are among the oldest on Earth

Scientists have tracked the “family history” of a rock back to some of the earliest times on Earth.

Researchers analysed the concentration and distribution of particular types of atoms in the granite to show it must have been recycled from something that existed 4.2 billion years ago.

This “parent rock” was very probably basalt of the sort produced on the ocean floor, they say.

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Whole-body vibration may be as effective as regular exercise

Written by The Endocrine Society

A less strenuous form of exercise known as whole-body vibration (WBV) can mimic the muscle and bone health benefits of regular exercise in mice, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society’s journal Endocrinology.

WBV consists of a person sitting, standing or lying on a machine with a vibrating platform. When the machine vibrates, it transmits energy to the body, and muscles contract and relax multiple times during each second.

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Aging Muscles: ‘Hard To Build, Easy To Lose’

Written by University of Nottingham

Have you ever noticed that people have thinner arms and legs as they get older? As we age it becomes harder to keep our muscles healthy. They get smaller, which decreases strength and increases the likelihood of falls and fractures. New research is showing how this happens — and what to do about it.

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Federal Govt investigating Obama climate study after whistleblower revelation

Written by John Siciliano

The Commerce Department is investigating claims by one of its former scientists that an Obama administration climate change study was rushed out using “unverified” data.

Republican lawmakers are waiting for an update on the federal probe, which was initiated a month ago. But a Commerce Department spokesman declined to comment on any of its specifics.

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NASA Looks to Keep Astronauts from Going Stir Crazy on Long Missions

Written by nbcnews.com

You can probably imagine taking a month-long road trip across the U.S. with five other people in a Winnebago. It’d be a little cramped and you’d likely get on each other’s nerves, but at least you’d get to stop for breaks, eat at diners, jump in lakes, and maybe even take pictures at the Grand Canyon.

Now imagine driving in that packed van for six months straight. You can’t stop at all to stretch or pick up roadside snacks. You can’t open the window for fresh air. And every time you ask Waze for new directions, it takes 40 minutes to get a new map.

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Is it safe to eat food you’ve dropped on the floor?

Written by bbc.co.uk

Some people say if you drop something on the floor and pick it up in less than five seconds it’s ok to eat, but is it safe?

Well, food safety expert Professor Anthony Hilton from Aston University says the “five-second rule” for eating things dropped on the floor is usually correct.

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Breaking: Climate Science’s Fatal Bungle of Planck Radiation Law

Written by John O'Sullivan

 

Game-changing new study reveals official government climate science calculations were botched from outset. Decades of “useless” computer model data exposed as “non-physical and misleading.”

Study author is Aussie climate researcher and engineer, Ross McLeod. He writes: “This analysis mathematically disproves the assertion that you can algebraically sum up different radiation fluxes and calculate the resulting temperatures.”

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Sounding off on Noise

Written by Jeanine Barone

Environmental psychologist Arline L. Bronzaft, PhD, is professor emerita of psychology at Lehman College, City University of New York, and an expert witness in court cases and government hearings on the impact of noise on mental and physical well-being. She spoke with us about the detriments of noise on everything from our physiology to children’s learning.

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DDT: A Case Study in Scientific Fraud

Written by J. Gordon Edwards, Ph.D.

ABSTRACT: The chemical compound that has saved more human lives than any other in history, DDT, was banned by order of one man, the head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Public pressure was generated by one popular book and sustained by faulty or fraudulent research.

Widely believed claims of carcinogenicity, toxicity to birds, anti-androgenic properties, and prolonged environmental persistence are false or grossly exaggerated. The worldwide effect of the U.S. ban has been millions of preventable deaths. Fraud in science is a major problem.

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‘LED street lights are disturbing my sleep’

Written by Brian Wheeler

Karen Snyder

In towns and cities across the world, the colour of night is changing. Traditional yellow sodium street lights are steadily being replaced by white LED lamps. The new lights use less energy, dramatically cutting carbon emissions and saving money. But not everybody is happy.

“When the leaves left the trees and I tried to sleep, I turned to one side and the light’s shining right in my eyes.”

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