Drinking sugarsweetened pop could take years off your life, a new U.S. study has found.
Researchers at the University of California — San Francisco found study participants who drank pop daily had shorter telomeres — the protective units of DNA that cap the ends of chromosomes in cells — in white blood cells. Short telomeres have been associated with chronic aging diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and some forms of cancer.
The researchers calculated daily consumption of a 20ounce pop is associated with 4.6 years of additional biological aging.
The effect on telomere length is comparable to that of smoking, they said.
"This finding held regardless of age, race, income and education level," researcher Elissa Epel said in a press release.
Only adults participated in the study, but Epel said “it is possible that soda consumption is associated with telomere shortening in children.”
The study was published online in the American Journal of Public Health.
In human history, no practice has more profoundly advanced human understanding of the natural world than that of science. So it seems tragic, in the year 2014, that science should require a defense (by a comedy writer, no less). And yet, in both the national dialogue on issues such as climate change, evolution, and vaccines, and in recent conversations I have had with people I consider reasonable and well-educated, I have discovered a shocking anti-science narrative emerging; a fundamental ignorance of or distrust of science that expresses itself in opinions such as:
- Scientists have been wrong in the past and thus should not be trusted now
- Scientists are biased by personal prejudices, financial incentives, and the desire for personal or professional success, and therefore their conclusions are suspect
- Scientific results are not certain, and therefore they can be discounted
- *Science is just another way of knowing that should not be given primacy over other ways, such as intuitive knowledge or personal experience.
- Some scientists disagree with the consensus view so there is no way to assess who is right.
- Science is the cause of the problems resulting from technology and therefore suspect.
- Policymakers may ignore science on the grounds that they, themselves, are not scientists.
While some of these opinions are simply misguided, others, at some level, could offer potentially useful critiques of the actual practice of science. However, none of them represent any kind of a rebuttal to the basic, essential fact that, for all its imperfection, hubris, sloppiness, or uncertainty, science works. Like a flashlight shined into dark spaces, science shines the light of its analytical method into the opaque mysteries of the natural world and makes them comprehensible. And it does this over and over again, in field after field of scientific inquiry.
Science is able to achieve its results by following a rigorous method of investigation involving the creation and testing of hypotheses against observational evidence. At every stage, these hypotheses are subjected to intense challenge. First, they are tested through the process of scientific research. Then through the process of publication and peer review they are subjected to challenge by the larger scientific community. After publication, they continue to be challenged, corroborated, modified, or refined by new research and new hypotheses. Science that has withstood this onslaught of skepticism is seen to be accurate and trustworthy, and consequently it earns the backing of a consensus of practicing scientists.
Because science is based on such a strong foundation of evidence and analytical rigor, anyone who would challenge science, particularly well-established science such as that on evolution, climate, or vaccines (or, for that matter, gravitation and quantum mechanics), rightly faces a very high burden of proof, a burden which most science skeptics fail even to acknowledge, much less satisfy. Science cannot be refuted by appeals to intuition or personal experience, attacks on the character or motivations of scientists, accusations of institutional bias, or by “cherry-picking” a particular authority figure, alternative theory, or research study. It cannot be denied because it is inconvenient, or because one dislikes the policy implications. It cannot be dismissed on supernatural grounds or through suggestions of conspiracy. It cannot be undermined by dreaming up alternative hypotheses (unsupported by strong evidence), or by pointing to remaining uncertainties in the established theory. All these are utterly inconsequential as refutations — not because scientists “know better” than the rest of us — but simply because they fail to convincingly meet the burden of proof.
Science works, and so we accept its findings — not because we have “faith” in them or because they are perfect — but because in an uncertain world, we wish to use the best available information to solve our problems, improve our condition, and understand our situation. This means, in the year 2014, accepting the current scientific consensus that vaccines are well-understood, safe, and effective. It means accepting the current scientific consensus that humans are causing the climate to change through the emission of atmospheric carbon and other greenhouse gasses with results that will almost certainly range from bad to catastrophic. It means accepting the current scientific consensus that evolution through natural selection is the theory most likely to describe observed biological diversity at all levels from DNA to species, including human beings. Certainly, we should maintain a “healthy skepticism,” but we should focus that skepticism, not on the science, but rather on the claims of those who profess to be in possession of some special knowledge or authority outside of the formal scientific process. To do otherwise would be to deprive ourselves of the greatest tool for human advancement mankind has ever known, at exactly the time when such a tool is needed most.
Here are a compilation of recordings made in space, recorded by either NASA or SETI. I don’t know, I just really like space and the sounds can be soothing. I hope that you will agree. +more masterposts
Recordings Of Earth: Recorded by NASA.
Jupiter sound waves: This is the sound Jupiter emits via electromagnetic waves.
Wow! signal: The Wow! Signal is a signal of unknown origin found by SETI. The signal surpirsed the founder so much, he wrote WOW! right on the paper.
Jupiter’s radio Waves: These sounds, recorded by the Cassini space probe, are recordings of the radio waves of Jupiter.
Saturn’s Radio Emissions: This audio was recorded by the Cassini spacecraft picked up in April of 2002.
More Saturn’s Radio Emissions: This audio was recorded by the Cassini spacecraft picked up in April of 2002.
Uranus: Voyager recording of Uranus.
Mercury: These sounds were captured from an orbiting satellite from back in 1999 - 2001 I think.
Pluto: Sounds of the lonely planet.
Neptune: Recorded by Voyager II August 24-25, 1989.
Saturn’s rings: Recorded by Voyager 2 on 25 August 1981.
Sounds of the Sun: From the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) which was launched February 11, 2010.
Outside the Solar System: NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft captured these sounds of interstellar space. November 2012
Powering the world from space
The limitations of using solar power on earth can be anything from bad weather to just the fact that it needs to be daytime. What if power could be collected both day and night, rain or shine? National Lab researchers at Lawrence Livermore are studying this possibility by launching solar satellites into space.
These orbiting power plants could always be positioned on the day side of earth high above any type of stormy weather. One of the ways this could work is to have a string of geostationary satellites 35,000km above the earth’s surface that would transmit power back down to earth via microwaves. Just one of these satellites could power a major US city.
The challenge comes with both the size and the cost. A single satellite could be as big as 3-10km in diameter and need around 40 rocket launches to get all the materials into space.
According to SpaceNews, Obama nominated Dava Newman for the position of Deputy Administrator at NASA. The position was held by Lori Garver from 2009 to 2013 and has since been vacant.
Dava Newman is a professor at MIT and director of the MIT Portugal Program. She is most well known for her work on a formfitting spacesuit, pictured above.
[Image: Dava Newman in the form fitting Biosuit.]
What You Need to Know About Mars Comet Siding Spring
- On Sunday, October 19th, Comet C/2013 A1, aka Siding Spring, will pass within about 87,000 miles of the Red Planet.
- The distance the comet will be from Mars is less than half the distance between Earth and our moon and less than one-tenth the distance of any known comet flyby of Earth.
- Siding Spring, whose core is 0.5 to 5 miles wide, probably formed somewhere between Jupiter and Neptune about 4.6 billion years ago — just a few million years after the solar system began coming together. Scientists believe Siding Spring had a close encounter with one of these planets and was booted out into the Oort Cloud
- A million years ago or so, a star passing by the Oort Cloud is thought to have jolted the comet’s orbit again, sending it on its first-ever trip into the inner solar system.
- Comets from the Oort cloud are both ancient and rare. Since this is Comet Siding Spring’s first trip through the inner solar system, scientists are excited to learn more about its composition and the effects of its gas and dust on the Mars upper atmosphere.
- NASA does not think the comet hit the Red Planet, but comets spew out a trail of dust and gas, and that could damage the fleet of spacecraft orbiting Mars. Just to be safe, NASA will move the Mars Odyssey orbiter, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), and the new Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) to the other side of the planet as the comet approaches.
- The Mars orbiters will take pictures and collect data on the comet as it flys by. Several Earth-based and space telescopes, including the Hubble Space Telescope, also will take pictures. Here is the full list of NASA assets observing Siding Spring
- The comet was first discovered in January 2013 by Robert McNaught at the Siding Spring Observatory in Australia.
- Great article from Space.com on how to view the comet from Earth
Thanks for all the suggestions. If you have more, just send me a fan mail!
- maths help
- calculators (includes graphing, geometric, stats etc)
- microsoft word equivalent
- coffee shop sounds
- how to study guide
- essay structure guide
- help in a ton of subjects
- calm/nature sounds
- download free books
- maths knowledge site
- tips for a productive study break
- falling asleep tips
- how to google
- how to wake up in the morning
- improve your studying skills
- teaches anything
- thousands of quick and easy snack recipes
- cheap & healthy snacks
- quick and easy soup recipes
- chocolate muffin in a mug tutorial
- study snacks
- 40 on-the-go breakfast recipes
- macaroni cheese / mac&cheese in a cup
- yoga poses
- how long to nap
- go to a quiet place
- the thoughts room
- take a guided relaxation
- compliments generator
take a few minutes break
Study: DNA Strand Length Is Indicator Of Your Life Span
According to a team of geneticists, the longer a person’s telomeres (the protective ends of chromosomes) the longer they will live — at least, that’s the case among a group of heart disease patients studied.
The announcement was made by Salt Lake City’s Intermountain Heart Institute, at the American College of Cardiology’s Annual Scientific Session.
“Our research shows that if we statistically adjust for age, patients with longer telomeres live longer, suggesting that telomere length is more than just a measure of age, but may also indicate the probability for survival,” said John Carlquist, director of the institute’s genetics lab. “Longer telomere length directly correlate with the likelihood for a longer life — even for patients with heart disease.”
Telomeres prevent information contained at the ends of chromosomes from being lost, and other chromosomes from fusing to those ends. However, each time our cells divide these telomeres shorten, rendering them weaker as we age and making us more susceptible to age-related diseases as time goes on. Their length has therefore long been associated with the ageing process and estimating age, but studies focusing on how we can use their length as indicators of life expectancy have largely been reserved to animal studies for obvious reasons — we won’t know if estimates are right until the owner dies.
To get round this a team of geneticists studied telomeres in zebra finches at 25 days and then at various stages throughout their lives (which range from one to nine years, on average). The study revealed that finches with the longest telomeres (consistently, throughout their life span) lived longer. Most recently, the first project to study telomeres across the entire life span of a species in the wild (Seychelles Warblers) also found that telomere length directly correlated to life span. “We investigated whether, at any given age, their telomere lengths could predict imminent death,” said David Richardson of the University of East Anglia, lead author on the paper. “We found that short and rapidly shortening telomeres were a good indication that the bird would die within a year. We also found that individuals with longer telomeres had longer life spans overall.”
Subjects in this latest human study were all heart attack or stroke patients, not exactly representative of a cross section of society but with more than 3,500 individuals investigated it reveals an important indicator that could be replicable. This was only possible after drawing on 20 years’ worth of medical and survival records, including DNA samples (the centre has these on file for nearly 30,000 heart patients, making it a veritable encyclopedia of information on the genetics of heart disease).
“It’s unmatched in the world,” Carlquist said, boasting about the records system, “and it allows us to measure the rate of change in the length of a patient’s telomeres over time rather than just a snapshot in time, which is typical for most studies.”
Carlquist hopes the find will be used to measure the effectiveness of heart care treatment in the future, with clinicians monitoring telomere length intermittently — a no doubt costly but potentially highly effective route of monitoring patient progress and well being.