December 5, 2012

Moderate Coffee Consumption Can Help Stave Off Type 2 Diabetes – The Daily Orbit

Go ahead and grab that cup of Joe…it’s healthier than you know…

Could the military be taking cues from Mother Nature’s dirty tactics?

And the U.S. is H-O-T and getting hotter

We’re heating it up on today’s Daily Orbit!

Hello and welcome to the Daily Orbit.  I’m Emerald Robinson.

So apparently drinking coffee all day helps reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Okay well, maybe not all day. A new report says that drinking 3 to 4 cups of Joe throughout the day is correlated with a 25% drop in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Researchers believe the correlation could be due to either the “Energy Expenditure Hypothesis,” which proposes that the caffeine in coffee stimulates metabolism and energy expenditure, or the “Carbohydrate Metabolic Hypothesis” which says coffee components influence the glucose balance in the body. At this point, the researchers can only confirm a correlation between coffee consumption and the reduced risk of developing diabetes…additional testing will need to be done to prove causation. This is great news…well, I’m not sure if it still counts with 5 pumps of white mocha.

Oh how fickle fame is! With the spotlight recently on Curiosity, many have forgotten that NASA has two rovers on Mars. The other rover, Opportunity, has been traversing the Red Planet for nine years now, trekking across 22 miles of the Martian terrain. But this week Opportunity gets an opportunity to shine again in the news as it has just completed a walkabout of an area where scientists believe water might have once existed. Opportunity drove over 1,000 ft. in a counterclockwise pattern around “Matijevic Hill” during October and November. During the walkabout, researchers were taking observations to decide which areas to examine next. NASA says that Opportunity is “fit and ready for driving, robotic-arm operations, and communications with Earth.” We haven’t forgotten you Opportunity!

And America’s on fire! And that’s not a good thing. NASA scientists, presenting at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco, reported that 2012 has been a bad year for wildfires, with 6.17 million acres charred in the US alone. And although that’s less than last year’s record setting burn of 7.9 million acres, it’s still larger than the amount of burned land in 12 of the last 15 years. According to climate models and greenhouse gas projections, the climate in the U.S. is only going to become drier over the next 40 years — leading to more destructive and frequent wildfire outbreaks. 2012 is being referred to as a “high fire” year, and, according to current climate models, we should expect 1 “high fire” year per decade. But these new models presented by NASA say our nation could see as many as 2 to 4 of these years per decade. “I fell in to a burning ring of fire…” I shouldn’t joke it’s not funny.

Guys, here’s an app that might help you with the ladies, since you seem to never be able to identify our moods. A new app in development–nope, not in the app store yet– will gauge a person’s mood via speech patterns. The app analyzes 12 features of speech, including pitch and volume, to identify one of six different emotions, achieving an 81% accuracy. Developers are still trying to work out the kinks before it’s ready for the market. They say this complex technology could be used in everything from changing the colors on your mobile display to playing music that fits your current mood. Ok that’s cool. Then I really could have a soundtrack to my life like in the movies.

“I’m just a squirrel trying to get a nut so what’s up.” Guess I’m in a singing mood today. Researchers at the University of Rochester are developing a “deceptive” robot, inspired by squirrels! Squirrels are notorious for using methods of deception in the wild to throw off would-be acorn thieves. Taking their cue from these cunning critters, researchers developed robots with the ability to deceive each other. In their test, the deceiving robot lured the predator robot away from protected resources to false locations. Researchers say this same strategy could be used by robots guarding ammunitions and supplies on the battlefield to deceive the enemy until reinforcements arrive. Researchers admit that robots deceiving humans raises ethical questions, especially once the technology leaks outside the military domain. But hey, all is fair in love and war right?

Well, that’s all for today’s Daily Orbit.

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