A Pet Improves Your Health

Human beings are social and need others around to keep them sane and productive. Yet, those who have pets seem to have a better handle on their emotional health. Over the years scientists have conducted studies into lives of pet owners and repeatedly come away with the conclusion that they have better health than non pet owners.

In a recent scientific study conducted at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center it was found that man’s best friend, the dog, may actually lead to improved mental health as chances of children who have pet dogs reduces the chance of them developing schizophrenia as an adult. Companionship and emotional health has always been associated with having a dog as a pet, this research takes it one step further.

Robert Yolken, M.D., chair of the Stanley Division of Pediatric Neurovirology and professor of neurovirology in pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center said that psychiatric disorders have been associated with alterations in the immune system.

Children who are exposed to pets at a young age develop better immunity and the research is trying to prove that this helps them later in life to avoid developing illnesses such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Now you know the best gift for your child is a fur baby!

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From Streetlights to Artificial Moonlight

Lighting up the streets at night helps human beings stay out in the dark and do more. From the basic gas lights in London city, we have come a long way with China hoping to launch an artificial moon to light up it’s cities. The project is rather ambitious and has been undertaken by the Tian Fu New Area Science Society.

They plan to launch a satellite in 2020 which helps to illuminate about a football ground worth of area on the planet. This artificial moon will be launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center, and will orbit about 300 miles above the city. The satellite will use its mirror-like coating to reflect sunlight down to the Chinese cities.

It is brave of the Chinese to take on this project, considering that the Russians tried doing something similar in the 1990’s but failed. There are many pit falls to this ambitious moonlighting plan, but the potential success would be worth the worries.

Three more mini moons will join the first by 2022 if all goes as planned,
eliminating the need for street lights which can be quite costly as the projected 1.2 billion yuan cost currently needed for lighting will be eliminated. Now this is one science project that city developers worldwide would be paying attention to.

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Preserving Food to Feed the Planet

There is enough food being produced for every human being on the planet and yet there is famine and starvation. The misuse or waste of food resources leads to a number of people literally dying because of inadequate food to eat. What can we do in the future to avoid this?

The first thing to do would be to eliminate waste at the personal level. Don’t put more food on your plate than what you can eat. If you are eating out and the portions are too large to finish, carry home the rest of the meal and finish it. If the fruits that you have bought are about to rot, convert them into jam, juice, or even homemade wine.

The second thing to do is to eliminate waste at the society level. If you have a party and there’s lots of food left over, distribute it to the local shelter. Supermarkets that stock food should not let the products stay on the shelves till they expire. Instead keep track of what foods are not moving and about to expire and donate them to charities that help the underprivileged.

Turning a profit should not be more important than saving food from being wasted. There is research being done into delaying the decay or aging process of food, and these science projects will also be pivotal in ensuring that wastage of food is minimized in the future.

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Grandma Whales Watch Out for Babies

Grandmas are great for babies, with their love and ever present treats. If you thought human grandmothers were protective and loving, you need to check out the killer whales. Scientists at the University of York and Exeter (UK), the Centre for Whale Research (USA) and Fisheries and Oceans Canada, have been studying the behavior of killer whale pods for over 36 years.

This scientific research study which shows that post menopausal whales can actually impact higher rates of survival for grand-offspring whales. Grandma killer whales are the most knowledgeable and provide an important leadership role for the group when foraging in salmon grounds. This means that the baby whales get herded to where the food is most plentiful. Allowing them to grow strong and survive.

As wild salmon populations of the Chinook salmon continue to decline over the years, these grandma whales are going to become even more important to the survival of their species. While males and females stay in the same pod as their mothers, they will mate with individuals from different family groups. The populations are primarily found in the North West Pacific Coast of Canada and the U.S. The maternal whale society depends on the grandma to literally lead the way.

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Studying the Sun

Needless to say that without the sun our lives would not exist. The heat and light provided by this star is what allows life to flourish on Earth. Yet as a species, we have very little knowledge about this celestial body. So NASA decided to rectify the gaps in knowledge by sending in PARKER. They feel that they will get an unprecedented view of the sun and it’s functioning if they can study it up close.

The Solar Probe was launched in August 2018 and is to pass the sun 24 times during this science project. Three of these have already been accomplished and made record improvements in our knowledge about the sun’s atmosphere also known as the corona. Four papers worth of information is already derived from the data sent back and this is just the beginning.

PARKER has the record of being the closest solar probe ever and has revealed new information about the behavior of the material and particles that speed away from the Sun. This information helps in understanding the space weather around the planet, which in turns helps scientists design technology to keep astronauts safe. It is an incredibly exciting time for heliophysics with Parker at the vanguard of new discoveries

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Avoiding the Future Food Crisis

The human population is growing much faster than in any other era in the past. The advance in science and technology has made it easier to avoid killer diseases, ensure babies are born healthy and the elderly get to live at least twice as long as in the previous century. This means more people on the planet than ever before.

The associated concern is how are we going to feed this growing population. The traditional farming practices are definitely not enough to keep the steady income of food going for this humongous population. In fact the dirt which is needed for a proper crop is also being used up at a rate much faster than the processes that create it. So how do we feed everyone in the future?

Agricultural practices that will help avoid the food crisis looming on us could include having robotic farmers, who will cut down the repetitive and boring job for farmers and work as and when required. Another practice could be to use GM crops that yield higher outputs. Saving the fertile soil that grows crops better is another priority. There are many science projects being performed to keep us in food in the future.

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Too Good To Waste

Often we have things lying around the house which are in perfect working condition, but are no longer being used by us or our family members. These things may end up in the trash during an intensive spring cleaning session. This is a true waste because it could have been used by someone else who actually required it.

In the United Kingdom a reuse charity that is called “Too Good to Waste” has set about making a difference. The South Wales based organization is collecting household items like furniture and electrical appliances, and surplus stock from high-street retailers. These items are then sold at very reasonable prices at their showrooms. This helps fund their collection drives, but they also have a number of volunteers working with them.

They often team up with other organizations to give away items that are needed in the local community for free as well. The charity is working at being self sustaining, while creating jobs for locals and saving the environment. They intend to serve local communities through developing and implementing sustainable social enterprise. Now this is one social science experiment that can be considered a huge success.

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ECG for a Blue Whale

The blue whale’s scientific name is Balaenoptera musculus. It is said to be nearly 30 meters long and weighs more than 170 tons. The marine animal is the largest living thing on the planet. It’s also an endangered species and combined with it’s size and habitat, that makes it quite a challenge for scientists to study or preserve.

And yet the human mind is capable of miracles when science matches it. So researchers came up with an idea to study the heart rate of this huge animal by using an electrocardiogram machine. The researchers created a tag device which contained the ECG machine and was attached to the blue whale with suction cups. The four suction cups were able to keep the machine on the whale in a non intrusive manner.

The rather unique science project was successful in recording that the heart beat of the blue whale dipped to 2 beats a minute when it plunged under the ocean surface. The maximum heart beat was recorded at 37 beats a minute over the nine hour study which was conducted on a 72 feet long adult male. The whole data is the only information currently available on the blue whale as it swims in the open ocean.

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Virtual Reality Glasses for Cows!

The fall in Russia is a time for extreme swings in climate from sunshine to snow. The impact on human beings of this change is well known, but humans are not the only ones who suffer. In fact veterinary experts in the country have seen animals, both domestic and wild, under go temperament changes in the season.

Scientists have been checking the overall emotional mood of the herd because they believe that a cow’s emotional state is linked to the milk it yields. In the deary winters of Russia, the quality and quantity of milk produced by cows always goes down. In an interesting science experiment, a farm just outside Moscow is giving VR glasses to their cows. These have been specially designed for their bovine users.

The wrap around virtual reality glasses are showing cows reels of summer time, green grass and meadows. The idea is to show pleasant images and videos to the cows to keep their minds off the depressing and cold winter around them. Will these actually make a difference in their emotional state? Will the milk yield of these cows be better than the ones who have no VR glasses? Only time will tell.

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Tracing Your Food

If you have ever been to an orchard and seen the trees laden with fruits, you would have noticed that no two fruits look or taste exactly the same. However when you go to the supermarket, you will find a bunch of similar sized fruits which taste pretty much similar. This is the gift of modern technology blended with farming practices and not a product of mother nature.

As people become more aware of what they are eating and the nutrition that the food provides, global food processing companies are making more of an effort to appease them with details. Quick Response or QR codes are a way that the companies are drawing a connection between the farmer who grew the produce and the people who are consuming the end product.

Scanning the QR code on your smart phone allows you to get access to information about where the food comes from, what the nutrition is like and all the steps it has taken to get to their dining table. This is a science experiment that makes consumers feel more connected to the food that they are eating, even if they are buying them from supermarkets and not farmers.

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