Positive Correlation Between Bee Health and Conventional Agriculture

Positive Correlation Between Bee Health and Conventional Agriculture

A new study found that the overall health of honey bee hives actually improves in the presence of agricultural production.

The authors evaluated the impacts of row-crop agriculture, including the traditional use of pesticides, on honey bee health. Results indicated that hive health was positively correlated to the presence of agriculture. According to the study, colonies in a non-agricultural area struggled to find adequate food resources and produced fewer offspring. 

The chemistry of bourbon, just in time for the Kentucky Derby

The chemistry of bourbon, just in time for the Kentucky Derby

With Derby Day, the Kentucky Derby, just around the corner, it's time to think about big hats, horses with one eye, and...chemistry.

No, no, just kidding. Well, sort of. The chemistry of bourbon anyway. While it's not as good as proper whisky, it has its fans and we don't want the world to think we have any sort of Gaelic bias, so the upstarts in the colonies can have their day here also.

Epigenetics and DNA methylation: Risk of obesity influenced by changes in our genes

Some changes in DNA, known as epigenetic modifications, control the activity of our genes without changing the actual DNA sequence. One of the main epigenetic modifications is DNA methylation, which plays a key role in embryonic development and the formation of different cell types, regulating when and where genes are switched on. 

Manipulating water using light

A desire to find new ways of separating oil from water, such as to treat the frothy mixture of briny water and crude oil produced from certain oil wells, has led to ways to manipulate the water using only light.

Sympathetic nervous system: Your brain, not your white blood cells, keeps you warm

The common belief is that macrophages, a class of white blood cells, play a major role in thermogenesis, how the body regulates its production of heat, but a new study suggests that the main driver of thermogenesis is the sympathetic nervous system, which is chiefly controlled by the brain.

You can't trust EWG about pesticides on fruits and vegetables

You can't trust EWG about pesticides on fruits and vegetables

Spring is just around the corner, and with it comes another growing season. Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help lower calorie intake; reduce risks for heart disease, obesity and Type 2 diabetes; and protect against certain cancers.

In reading, kindergarten became the new first grade, thanks to No Child Left Behind

Children entering first grade in 2013 had significantly better reading skills than similar students had in 2001. Researchers say this means that in general, children are better readers at a younger age. While Common Core has been widely derided the Bush administration program the Obama White House supplanted, No Child Left Behind, succeeded well in hindsight. Studies have shown girls achieved parity with boys on math scores due to No Child Left Behind while the gap closed in minorities.

Vitamin D supplements don't prevent cardiovascular disease

Vitamin D supplements don't prevent cardiovascular disease

In the last few years, vitamin D has been part of a health craze, with claims of it improving just about every possible health outcome while a lack of it has even been linked to things like autism.

Is it a miracle supplement? Not so fast, Joe Mercola. Another large randomized trial (JAMA Cardiology, April 5, 2017; doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2017.0175) has deflated its growing mythology. A new paper indicates that, despite popular claims, monthly high-dose vitamin D supplementation does not prevent cardiovascular disease.

Neonicotinoids detected in Iowa drinking water

Neonicotinoids, a targeted (as opposed to broadly sprayed) insecticide common in agriculture, have been detected in drinking water. Since in modern times we can even detect parts per quadrillion in drinking water, is the health of Iowans at risk?

Common pyrethroid pesticide exposure speeds puberty in boys

Environmental exposure to common pesticides may cause boys to reach sexual maturity earlier, according to a study at the Endocrine Society meeting in Orlando. Previous research found that early puberty increases the risk of diseases in adulthood, for example, testicular cancer in men and breast cancer in women. Early puberty also can stunt growth and cause behavioral problems.