November 9, 2012
Coffee Could Go The Way Of The Dinosaurs – The Daily Orbit
A new dinosaur has been named by our neighbors to the North.
Why that morning cup of Joe might soon be priceless!
And swishing sugar for self-control?
Hello and welcome to the Daily Orbit. I’m Emerald Robinson.
Usually I love dino-stories because I get to do the dinosaur dance but I will spare you that today. Ha! Canadian scientists have identified a new dinosaur species from fossils originally collected in 1958 right outside of Alberta, Canada. The new 20 feet long, 2 ton horned herbivorous dinosaur has been named Xenoceratops foremostensis. The name comes from Greek and Latin origins — “Xeno” meaning alien in Greek and “ceratops” meaning horned face in Latin. The dino’s name reflects the strange pattern of horns on its head and also the scarcity of horned dinosaur fossils dating from this time in the fossil record. The second name “foremostensis” is given in honor of the small village where it was originally found. It’s now the oldest known large-bodied horned dinosaur from Canada. Okay I lied…everybody do the dinosaur!
Okay hold up. I don’t know if I can go on with the show! This next story is very unsettling. Coffee could become extinct due to global warming, says a new study. Researchers note that the predictions are for only one type of coffee bean, the wild Arabica. But it is one of only TWO species of bean used to make coffee and is by far the most popular accounting nearly 70 percent of the global coffee market. Rising temperatures could mean extinction of the wild Arabica bean within 70 years as much of the area suitable for its growth will become unsuitable. Researchers say farmers would have to move their farms 50 miles every decade to survive climate change. They say it is also important to preserve the wild plants and to find new areas where the bean can be cultivated as it is the livelihood of millions of people. Worst case scenario: the Arabica bean will be extinct by 2080. We have got to do something about global warming people before it’s too late!
Maybe one day we can grow the Arabica bean on a new Super-Earth that we haven’t destroyed with greenhouse gases. New research suggests that we might have found the first potentially habitable planet orbiting around a sun-like star. The new super-Earth dubbed HD 40307g looks to be in the habitable zone, meaning that it can sustain water on its surface, it has a tenable atmosphere, and it has a reasonable temperature range for the existence of life. This super-Earth is 7 times the mass of our Earth and has a similar orbit to Venus. Researchers say that since the sun-star in this system is a “quiet old dwarf star”, there is no reason why such a planet could not sustain an Earth-like climate. They expect that the planet may experience a distinct night and day as the planet rotates around its axis, increasing the chance for life. Is it just me or are we finding planets left and right?
And here is some exciting news for animal activists. Scientists at Harvard say they have developed a technology that could eventually take the place of animal testing. Deemed “lung-on-a-chip”, this technology mimics human diseases allowing researchers to observe drug toxicity and determine possible new therapies that could limit certain medical conditions from developing. The chip emulates pulmonary edema in a microchip and is surrounded by living human cells. It is as small as a memory stick with two channels that are split by a flexible, thin, porous membrane with human lung cells on one side and human capillary blood cells on the other. The lung cells are taken from the air sac and have exposure to air to mimic human breathing. Researchers already used the technology to test a cancer chemotherapy drug. They feel that the “organ-on-a-chip” will also be better for testing because often there is a difference between results from animal testing and actual human drug reactions. “Organ-on-a-chip” ….”hot-dog-on-a-stick” ha! Scientists do have a sense of humor!
And researchers are saying that gargling sugar water boosts self control. At first I had a hard time buying that one, the more sugar I get the less self control I have. But a new study says that “glucose stimulates the simple carbohydrate sensors on the tongue” which in turn “signals the motivational centers of the brain where our self-related goals are represented telling your body to pay attention.” They say that this glucose rinse might be helpful in combating some of the bigger self-control issues like trying to regulate your weight or smoking. However, they are not quite sure yet on the long term effects of glucose on self-control.
Well that does it for the Daily Orbit. (Gargles Cup Of Water) Let’s see how this sugar thing works…I’ll let you know.