June 24, 2013

Bond Between Dog And Human Is Parental – The Daily Orbit

A little bit of puppy love.

Does it hurt at work to be less attractive?

What’s the skinny on American bison?

And where did that radiation belt go? On today’s Daily Orbit!

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

Some people have as much love for their pooch as for their papoose. Researchers in Vienna say that the relationship between dog and master is close to the bond between young children and parents. Researchers found that dogs were more likely to try to earn a food reward when their owners were around, and researchers concluded that dogs are motivated by the presence of their owner. They were not as motivated in the presence of strangers suggesting that dogs, like children, experience the “secure base effect.” They said dogs behave towards their caregivers like children do. Ever met someone talking about their little one and then realized they were talking about their dog?

And people who may be considered to have “dog-faces” are getting dogged at work. A new study found that employees that were found more unattractive were treated more harshly than their more attractive co-workers. They were given jobs nobody else wanted to do and were less likely to be promoted. Researchers said the workplace can be just like high school. And the Workplace Bullying Institute—wait there’s such a thing? — believes that 35% of the US workforce has been bullied while on the job. And if you’re not pretty on the inside, well that is unfriendly, the same is true. So if you’re mean and unattractive then watch out! Ironically, the researchers said “this is an ugly find.” Hey, stop bullying me! I’m a person too!

Global warming is the latest weight loss plan for the American bison. Researchers say that the average size of American bison will decrease due to climate changes and global temperature increases. Why? Because of the reduction in the nutritional quality of grass. The grass has less protein so grazers gain less weight. They say the warming and weight loss affect is something that will happen in the US over the next 50-75 years and that cattle could suffer the same effect. Does that mean that as the bison weight gets lower the price per pound will get higher? All kinds of irony today.

Threes a charm! Scientists reported in February a new discovery made from the Van Allen Probes, launched in August of last year. A third radiation belt was spotted briefly circling the Earth between the inner and outer rings of the Van Allen radiation belts last September. But it disappeared in October, leaving scientists pretty puzzled. Since then, they’ve been actively trying to figure out why this third belt appeared and vanished. In their quest for an answer, scientists at UCLA performed a “quantitative treatment of the scattering of relativistic electrons by electromagnetic whistler-mode waves inside the dense plasmasphere to account for the distinctively slow decay of the injected relativistic electron flux” Glad we cleared that up… Well, however it was formed, scientists say that it’s important to understand the radiation belts since they have an impact on astronauts and satellites.

And there’s a new way of detecting heart disease—with video of head movements. Researchers at where else but MIT have created an algorithm that can accurately measure the heart rates of people through digital video by analyzing imperceptibly small head movements from the rush of blood caused by the heart’s contractions. It was also able to provide useful estimates of the time intervals between beats, a measurement that can be used to identify patients at risk for cardiac events. The algorithm proved very consistent with traditional electrocardiogram measurements. They say this technique could be good for pulse-measurement of infants and the elderly because their skin is sensitive and could be damaged by the frequent attachment and removal of EKG leads. Well, that gives some heart to heart-monitoring.

And that’s all for today’s Daily Orbit! Have a great Monday Orbiters!

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