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Laundry Additive Can Help Clean Up Polluted Air – The Daily Orbit

September 28, 2012

What is the Curiosity Rover up to now?

Cleaning up the air one laundry load at a time…

And to eat it or not to eat it…that is the question.

All that and more on today’s Daily Orbit!

Hello and Welcome to today’s Daily Orbit…I’m Emerald Robinson.

Curious about what Curiosity is up to lately?  Well Orbiters, Curiosity has found evidence of an ancient stream on the Red Planet. The rover returned images of a series of stones cemented into a layer of conglomerate rock. Scientists could tell from these rocks that water in the stream was moving at about 3 feet per second and was between ankle and hip deep.  It is the first time that scientists are actually seeing water-transported gravel on Mars. They say this is important because a long-flowing stream could indicate a once-habitable environment.

And speaking of space rocks, new research reinforces the idea that the asteroid Vesta may really be a stunted planet. NASA’s Dawn spacecraft found that enormous troughs that reach across the asteroid could be faults that formed when another asteroid rammed into Vesta’s south pole, with the largest trough outdoing the Grand Canyon in size. What’s interesting is that these types of troughs could not have formed unless Vesta has a core, mantle and crust like the planets and larger moons. Scientists say that Vesta was like a little planet trying to happen….awww…that’s kind of like “The Little Engine that Could.” I think I can..I think I can…

And here’s a great start to your weekend. The humanitarian organization, DARA,  says that 100 million people will die before 2030 due to climate change! Now before you get totally depressed, it is just a wake up call for us to deal with it. DARA says that the rise in global temperature averages, already up nearly. 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit, causes effects like melting ice caps, extreme weather, drought and rising sea levels. Developing countries are expected to be hit the hardest. The report claims that 5 million deaths occur already each year from air pollution and that number is likely to rise if temperatures continue to increase.  Sorry to do that to you on a Friday.

But here may be one way you can help prevent the 2030 meltdown. A new laundry additive that contains microscopic pollution-eating particles may soon be on the market. The additive contains nanoparticles of titanium dioxide that cling very tightly to the clothing fabric. When these particles come in contact with nitrogen oxides in the air, they oxidize the pollutants.  Each person who wears treated clothing removes up to 5g of nitrogen oxides from the air over the course of one day. This is roughly the amount of pollution produced everyday by the average family car. The additive only needs to be applied to the clothes once and is unnoticeable to the wearer. That would make me feel sort of like a superhero…”I AM THE CLOTHING POLLUTION PUNISHER!”

Now, here’s something that’s makes me feel very NOT like a superhero: should I eat that whole bag of double stuffed Oreos? A new study says that the struggle to choose between healthy and unhealthy food items is based off of neural processes in the brain. The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex focuses on not wanting a particular food item, while the ventromedial prefrontal cortex focuses on desiring the snack. So what does this mean? When you try to exercise self-control, it takes a few seconds for your dorsolateral prefrontal cortex to kick in and help you say no. So you may go for the unhealthy snack first, but if you wait a couple of seconds, you’ll have a better shot at choosing something healthy.

That’s it for today’s Daily Orbit. Apple…muffin…apple…muffin….oh what the heck!



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emerald robinson

Emerald Robinson is the host of the Daily Orbit, Red Orbit's daily video news program. Known for her Southern charm and a quick wit, Emerald made her television debut on the daytime drama The Young and the Restless. Since then she has appeared in many feature films and TV programs, including a tour as host of Auto Trader New Car Review for WheelsTV.

Read more about Emerald here ...