The expert report underpinning the latest dietary guidelines for Americans fails to reflect much relevant scientific literature in its reviews of crucial topics and therefore risks giving a misleading picture.
Concern about the report has prompted the US Congress to schedule a hearing on the guidelines in October, when two cabinet secretaries are scheduled to testify, writes journalist Nina Teicholz in an article published today.
At a Chevron oil refinery in Hawaii, researchers are growing microalgae in a 5,000-liter photobioreactor, flowing wastewater from the refinery through the reactor, and taking advantage of the algae's appetite for chemical nutrients to polish the water, removing noxious chemicals, including 90% of the ammonia-nitrogen and 97% of the phosphorus.
As the microbes feed, they grow and multiply, providing a wealth of algae-based biomass for producing bioenergy and high-value biobased chemicals and specialty products, as described the article "Algae-Mediated Valorization of Industrial Waste Streams" in Industrial Biotechnology.
As much as 47 percent of the edible U.S. seafood supply is lost each year, mainly from consumer waste, according to a paper in Global Environmental Change, which takes advantage of a recent spotlight on the sustainability of the world's seafood resources.
The 2010 U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommended increasing seafood consumption to eight ounces per person per week and consuming a variety of seafood in place of some meat and poultry. Yet achieving those levels would require doubling the U.S. seafood supply, which could threaten the global seafood supply if more farming and less waste are not considered.
Climate-related changes in flower diversity have resulted in a decrease in the length of alpine bumble bees' tongues, a new paper in Science says, leaving these insects poorly suited to feed from and pollinate the deep flowers they were adapted to previously.
The results highlight how certain mutually beneficial ecological partnerships can be lost due to shifts in climate. Many co-evolved species have precisely matched traits; for example, long-tongued bumble bees are well adapted for obtaining nectar from deep flowers with long corolla tubes. Recent studies suggest long-tongued bumble bees are declining in number.
If you get money from a corporation, are you for sale?
It’s obviously a silly question, since almost everyone in America signs the backs of checks ratherr than the front of them, yet much of the public tends to think that if a scientist gets funding from the government or a corporation, they are mandated to produce a specific, pre-chosen result, even though those same people would not agree that their own “funding source” — an employer — controls their beliefs.-->
Colleges and universities in the United States remain among the most prestigious institutions of higher education in the world. But, concerned about rising costs and the job prospects of young men and women with undergraduate degrees, Americans these days tend to view education as more of a business proposition.
As a result, conversations on the broader value of a liberal arts degree have been overshadowed. Furthermore, an awareness of the shortcomings of graduate education, especially in PhD programs, and its implications for higher education as well as for American society in general have been entirely absent in these conversations.-->
A proof-of-concept study finds that it is possible to identify an individual's ancestral background based on his or her fingerprint characteristics - a discovery with significant applications for law enforcement and anthropological research.
"This is the first study to look at this issue at this level of detail, and the findings are extremely promising," says Ann Ross, a professor of anthropology at North Carolina State University and senior author of a paper describing the work. "But more work needs to be done. We need to look at a much larger sample size and evaluate individuals from more diverse ancestral backgrounds."
Researchers from the University of Exeter believe they have solved one of the biggest puzzles in climate science. The new study, published in Nature Geoscience, explains the synchrony observed during glacial periods when low temperatures in the Southern Ocean correspond with low levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2).
The interdisciplinary study, carried out in collaboration with the University of Tasmania, demonstrates how a reconfiguration of ocean circulation can result in more carbon being stored in the deep ocean that previously thought.
Why do babies smile when they interact with their parents? Could their smiles have a purpose? A team of computer scientists, roboticists and psychologists say they can confirm what most parents already suspect: when babies smile, they do so with a purpose--to make the person they interact with smile in return.
In addition, babies reach that goal by using sophisticated timing, much like comedians who time their jokes to maximize audience response. But there is a twist: babies seem to be doing this while smiling as little as possible.
Scientists successfully defeated a dangerous intestinal pathogen, Clostridium difficile, with a drug targeting its toxins rather than its life.
C. difficile is responsible for more than 250,000 hospitalizations and 15,000 deaths per year in the United States, costing the country more than $4 billion in health-care expenses, said the study's senior author, Matthew Bogyo, PhD, professor of pathology and of microbiology and immunology at Stanford University School of Medicine. Lead authorship of the study is shared by Kristina Bender, PhD, a former postdoctoral scholar in Bogyo's lab, and Megan Garland, a student in the Medical Scientist Training Program.
Targeting sitting time, rather than physical activity, is the most effective way to reduce prolonged sitting, according to the first comprehensive review of strategies designed to reduce sitting time.
Prolonged sitting has become a serious public health concern, with modern lifestyles becoming increasingly sedentary and many professions requiring workers to sit for most of the day. Previous studies and reviews have shown that higher levels of sitting are linked with cancer, diabetes, heart disease and even an early death, independently of whether a person takes regular exercise. Public health interventions have the potential to reduce prolonged sitting, but until now, little has been known about what makes certain sitting reduction strategies effective.
Now we know, it's the second of those "Three mysteries" which they solved - by detection of water in the RSLs. However, they didn't directly detect flowing water. Instead, they found hydrated salts. So let's look at this a bit more closely - why are they so confident this is evidence for flowing water? And what next - is there any way to follow it up, and what about the other mysteries?-->
About 20 million years ago a single flea became entombed in amber with tiny bacteria attached to it, providing what researchers believe may be the oldest evidence on Earth of a dreaded and historic killer - an ancient strain of the bubonic plague.
If indeed the fossil bacteria are related to plague bacteria, Yersinia pestis, the discovery would show that this scourge, which killed more than half the population of Europe in the 14th century, actually had been around for millions of years before that, traveled around much of the world, and predates the human race.
You can resist buying a candy bar while you're waiting in the checkout line at the grocery store--but you'll buy any pair of shoes that are on sale. Your best friend, in contrast, wouldn't dream of buying a pair of shoes he thinks he doesn't need, no matter how low the price--but he can't resist buying that same candy bar you so easily ignore. According to a new study in the Journal of Public Policy&Marketing, it is precisely those differences in self-control that researchers need to pay attention to when assessing the impact of public policies.
As the study reports, if you want to understand the effectiveness of a regulation or tax on a specific behavior, use a measure of self-control specific to that behavior.
The worst nuclear disaster since the 1986 Chernobyl meltdown never should have happened, according to a new study.
In Philosophical Transactions A of the Royal Society, researchers Costas Synolakis of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and Utku Kâno'lu of the Middle East Technical University in Turkey distilled thousands of pages of government and industry reports and hundreds of news stories, focusing on the run-up to the disaster. They found that "arrogance and ignorance," design flaws, regulatory failures and improper hazard analyses doomed the costal nuclear power plant even before the tsunami hit.