Chad’s Links #29 – November 6th, 2006

This Week’s News

Hubble telescope will get upgrade (link2, link3) – NASA has decided to send a repair/upgrade mission to the Hubble space telescope, thus extending its lifespan to about 2013. Potential upgrades will make it more useful. This is good news, but it’s in light of cutbacks in the funding of Earth-based telescopes.

Lower body temperature can prolong life of mice: study (link2) – Regular Chad’s Links readers will recall issue #27 where we discussed the fact that eating less food extends the lifespan of mice. At the time, the reason for this was still unknown. New research, however, shows that the root cause of the increased lifespan is lower body temperature. Eating less provides less fuel, and causes a body temperature decrease.

Child abuse: nature or nurture? – “Monkeys that are abused as infants develop a specific brain change that makes them more likely to mistreat their own offspring, a new study shows.” The ‘brain change’ is lower production of seratonin.

Salt could cool cores of advanced nuclear reactors – Salt turns to a liquid at high temperatures and would enable reactors to run at much higher temperatures, thus improving their efficiency.

Bring dingoes back to stop species extinction – There is a direct correlation between the presence of Australian dingoes and welfare of the species they prey on. Although this seems like a contradiction, the lesser species are being driven to extinction by foxes and other “introduced” predators. When dingoes are present they keep the fox population down, thus preventing their prey from being over-hunted.

Last Week’s News

Scientists discover hunger gene – If it pans out, this could be solve America’s obesity problems.

When elephants look in a mirror, they see their self (link2, link3) – Researchers have determined that, when looking in a mirror, elephants are able to recognize they’re seeing themselves reflected. Contrast this to a dog attacking it’s own hind foot [VIDEO].

New strain of H5N1 bird flu emerges in China (link2) – Chinese birds are getting infected with a new strain of the avian flu that is resistant to the current vaccine. This may have a negative effect on the development of a pre-pandemic vaccine for humans.

Climate change ‘hitting Africa’ – Climate change has winners and losers, and it appears that vast portions of Africa are on the losing side.

…And Stuff That’s Just Plain Interesting

“Paris Syndrome” leaves Japanese tourists in shock – “Fragile” is indeed an appropriate description of these people.

Astronauts offer etiquette lessons to space tourists – Space station etiquette can be very important, given the cramped quarters. Don’t want to cause “space rage.”

Why does orange juice taste so bad after brushing your teeth? – Short answer: toothpaste blocks ‘sweet’ receptors in your taste buds.

One thought on “Chad’s Links #29 – November 6th, 2006”

  1. I saw this toothpaste news item previously and although it’s interesting, I’m very doubtful of their actual findings. Not all toothpastes contain the foaming agent to which they refer, but more importantly, the nasty taste arises because neutralising the alkali in toothpaste with the citric acid in the orange juice produces a foul tasting salt. I think that’s a much simpler explanation and accounts for all toothpastes and is related to spoiling foods and drinks by getting the acid-alkali balance wrong and producing nasty-tasting byproducts.

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