Archive for March, 2019

Does Food Affect Your Mood?

Eating a lot of food may not be the same as eating the right food. There is a new field of science called nutritional psychiatry that studies the impact of nutrition on the brain and mental health. It’s a fledgling branch which has a number of ongoing research studies.

The brain is constantly working, even when you are sleeping at night. This means that the fuel you give it is important. Since it derives the fuel from the food that you eat, what you put into your digestive system is important. The structure and functioning of your brain seem to be directly related to what you have been feeding yourself.

This indicates that the food you eat, can indeed, affect your mood. A diet rich in whole grains, legumes, seafood, green leafy vegetables and fruit, is much more likely to keep your mental faculties healthier. Plus this diet will be good for the bacteria in your gut as well as the rest of your body’s needs.

So the next time you get hungry, instead of reaching for a burger and soda, think about this science study and make your way to healthier snack alternatives. Your body and your brain will thank you for making the better choice.

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What Can You Do with 30,000 Plastic Bags?

The overwhelming pollution caused by plastic products is not a new topic of discussion. The material that we find so handy to place our groceries in, is actually slowly beginning to suffocate the planet we live on. As human beings realize the impact of plastic on the environment, the call to recycle more has taken root.

Rose Ferrigno has taken that recycling to somewhat of an extreme. The 75 year old lady from Greece has spent the winter knitting a skirt and a jacket, which may not be anything exciting as she has been knitting and sewing her whole life. What makes this suit combination unique is the fact that she repurposed 30,000 plastic grocery bags of the brown colored, flimsy fame to make this suit.

Rose cut the plastic bags into thin strips which were then tied together to make yarn. This yarn was used to knit the outside of the suit. The lining of cotton fabric given on the inside made it more comfortable to use. The overall look of the suit is one of a tweed type material. Needless to say this is one science project that has left people all over the world speechless. Rose now plans to knit a matching purse for her suit!

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Medicines Polluting Waterways

When we flush the toilet or drain a bath tub, we hardly ever think about the pollution we are causing. The personal care products, the medicines in our system that are now in the water, even the cleaning fluids we use in the upkeep of the bathroom are all polluting the waterways. These residual chemicals, medicines and contaminants have no where to go but into the water bodies even after the sewage treatment plants manage to take away the worst of it.

The truth is, there is a world of pollution in the lakes, streams, rivers and ponds around us. Our aquatic environment is under a lot of stress. The bacteria that would help keep the seas and oceans clean has to deal with chemicals that they have never faced before. Many times they are unable to purify the water and the levels of pollution in the water continue to grow.

One way to counter this is to begin using natural cleansers and items made out of things from the kitchen shelf rather than synthetic chemicals. It would be a good idea for a science project to see what natural materials you can replace your chemical products with effectively. Plus it would be a huge service to the planet if every household moved to natural products.

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Discounted Food Shoppers More Likely To Be Obese

Can your shopping habits indicate your weight? It may seem strange, but there seems to be a direct connection between what and where you buy your groceries to your weight. In one of it’s latest studies, Cancer Research, UK, has found out that people who are likely to pick up discounted food in shops are more likely to be obese.

The people who are tempted at the supermarket to pick up special offer products tend to add more chocolates, crisps, popcorn and savory snacks to their shopping carts. This in turn makes them that much more likely to be over weight or obese. Not to mention that it puts them in the high risk category of thirteen different forms of cancer.

Unhealthy food and drink choices are one of the most common reasons that facilitates the growth of cancer cells. To keep your body in good health, it is essential to have more nutritious food. As much as possible try and eat fresh foods that have been processed as little as possible. It should not take a scientist conducting a science study to make you realize that your food choices are going to directly affect your life.

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Drones And Animal Conservation

Drones have a tendency to stress out animals when they fly low in their habitat. However the animal conservation activists have found drones useful in their efforts to keep tabs on the local wildlife population, figuring out environment changes, as well as a deeper understanding of animal behavior.

A new study published in Conservation Physiology  has tried to figure out if the benefits of using drones outweigh the stress that the animals feel with the drones flying close to them. The study used heart monitors to gauge stress in American black bears over a four week period. The idea was to see if the bears could be habituated to the drones flying around their habitat.

Implanted cardiac biologgers were used by the research team on a captive section of five bears. The team measured the heart rate of these five captive bears before and after the drone flights were taken. The pre-flight baseline data was about 41 beats per minute and the heart rates nearly quadrupled at 162 beats per minute after the drones went by.

The science experiment showed the stress caused to the bears, however when the drones continued to fly after short breaks, it was seen that the heart rate was not quite as elevated as it used to be. Basically the bears had begun to get used to the drones.

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Using AI to Help Wildlife

One of the most abundant resources now available on the planet is images. People take pictures of everything and everywhere they go. Studying wildlife is never a priority of different nations and often the researchers are under funded and have limited numbers. That’s where Wildbook hopes to make a difference. It provides an easy-to-use software suite of functionality that can be extended to meet the needs of wildlife projects everywhere. Here’s how the system works.

Wildbook combines a database of images taken by common citizens with an Artificial Intelligence software including computer vision to identify individual animals in the images submitted. The markings on an animal are often as individualistic as the fingerprints of a human hand. This allows the study of the animal populations with far great ease than spending time in the forests individually by researchers. It also tracks individual animals in a wildlife population using genetic identifiers, or vocalizations

Wildbook says that it includes a two-part, multi-species computer vision pipeline to find and identify individual animals in photos collected under real-world conditions, especially with citizen science contribution. This open ware science project has the potential to identity animal populations and help wildlife research immensely.

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