September 27, 2012

Germany Says No To American GM Corn – The Daily Orbit

What has Russia saying “NO” to America?

What do Nazis, Buddha, and a meteorite have in common?

And what might soon be driving you!

All that and more coming up on today’s Daily Orbit!

Hello Orbiters…I’m Emerald Robinson….Welcome to the Daily Orbit!

In top science news today, Russia gives the “X” to American corn.  The country suspended the import and use of American genetically modified corn after a French study suggested a link to breast cancer and organ damage.  The study also found that a minuscule consumption of the weed killer, Roundup, increased the risk of cancer.  Both the GM corn and roundup are created by the biotech company Monsanto.  The company is questioning the validity of the study.  However, other European countries are expected to follow Russia’s lead.

And here’s a “Save the Date “ for an upcoming astronomical fiesta.  Astronomers recently discovered a new comet just beyond the obit of Jupiter.  They expect the new comet, named C/2012 SI to makes its appearance in late summer 2013, but the real show begins in November of next year when the comet becomes visible to the naked eye.  This comet is expected to come within 1.1 million miles of the sun on or around November 29, 2013, and could outshine any comet in the last 100 years—possibly even brighter than a full moon!  Scientists say it could be one of the greatest comet encounters in human history, but warn not to get your hopes too high as many comets fizzle out before really creating a show.  But I say, have your telescope ready just in case…I know I will!

And I have to wonder if my driving record in California had something to do with this next report. The Governor of California, Jerry Brown, has just signed a bill allowing “driverless” cars on California roadways.  The governor arrived at Google headquarters in one of the autonomous vehicles, a Prius of course, just before signing the bill.  Google has been developing its driverless technology and lobbying for regulations. Google reports that its fleet of about a dozen self-driving cars has docked 300,000 miles without any accidents.  Google’s co-founder Sergey Brin says that the “driverless” cars will dramatically improve the quality of human life and could be commercially available in the next decade. So technically would that be driving or riding?

And a research team recently determined that a Buddhist statue, discovered by a Nazi staffed expedition into Tibet, is made of meteorite.  The team classified the statue as ataxite, a rare class of iron meteor. The statue is chiseled from a fragment of the Chinga meteorite that crashed into the area between Mongolia and Siberia about 15,000 years ago.

Wanna get your kids to eat some peas and carrots, well maybe you should try plastering a “golden arch” on the package.  A new study shows that kids are more likely to choose food with familiar logos, particularly fast food logos.  Using MRI technology, researchers found that activity in the reward processing centers and parts of the brain controlling appetite lit up when kids saw fast food logos– but not when they saw other non-food related logos.  When asked to pick a hamburger from a McDonald’s box or an unlabeled box, children overwhelmingly chose the McDonald’s burger.   Researchers say these findings show how susceptible kids are to advertising and marketing, which is concerning because the majority of foods marketed to children are high in sugars, fat, and sodium.  You know, I just realized I am more likely to eat food with familiar logos too!

Well, that’s it for the Daily Orbit!  See ya tomorrow!

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