December 10, 2012
Hunt Is On To Rid The Everglades Of Invasive Pythons – The Daily Orbit
Crikey: it’s a big python and I’m gonna get it!
Beer, beer good for the — common cold?
And Big Brother may soon be watching you in your car too….
All that and more coming up, on the Daily Orbit!
Hello and welcome to the Daily Orbit. I’m Emerald Robinson.
Wanted: snake hunters to capture pythons in the Everglades. Think you have what it takes? While that’s not a job I will be applying for, officials from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are recruiting snake hunters in an attempt to protect the Everglades by reducing the population of the giant Burmese python. The “2013 Python Challenge” is a month-long competition with cash prizes to encourage hunting of these non-native reptiles. A native of Southeast Asia, the first Burmese python is thought to have been an abandoned pet. Now officials believe there are hundreds of thousands of these species feeding on protected birds, deer, bobcats, and other large animals. Needless to say, they are no longer legal to have as pets. The competition will award $1500 to those bringing back the most pythons, as well as the longest python, and one additional random recipient will also receive a prize. Registration fee is $25. So if you think you’ve got what it takes to hunt snakes, I am sure it will end up being a reality show too.
Stuffy nose, cough, achey – need cold relief fast? Drink a beer. Scientists have discovered that a chemical found in beer, humulone, is effective in battling off a respiratory virus which can cause serious pneumonia and breathing difficulties in infants and toddlers. Humulone, a chemical compound found in hops, has been shown to reduce inflammation related to the RS virus. But throwing back one ain’t gonna cut it. Researchers say the average person would have to consume up to 30 12-ounce cans to see the virus fighting benefits. I know some of you are saying “that’s all?” But researchers are trying to find a way to incorporate the chemical into food or other non-alcoholic products, but say it’s a challenge due to humulone’s bitter taste. Ok….let me try this out! Only 29 more to go!
Finding the fat in carbs? Well the Fat-creating gene anyway. Researchers at the University of California Berkley have discovered the gene, BAF60c, which they say helps change carbs into fat. In their experiments, researchers were able to disable the gene, resulting in the disruption of the production of fatty acids. The researchers say that this finding will be key in terms of developing treatment for diabetes and fatty liver disease. Just reading between the lines here but doesn’t it sound like they could also develop a way for us to eat more carbs without adding the pounds? Exciting!
Last week we brought you news about Verizon’s little box that would have your TV watching you, well this week it’s a box for your car that’s got some people shouting “Big brother.” Like the “black boxes” included in aircraft, new cars and light trucks may soon be required to come equipped with event data recorders – or EDRs – that log information for review in case of an accident. Should the regulations from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s proposal be enacted, all new cars and light trucks would be required to have the little black box by September 1, 2014. Representatives for the industry say they understand concerns and they need to find a way to preserve driver privacy. Most new vehicles from Ford, GM, and Toyota already come equipped with the boxes, and currently cannot be accessed by automakers without consumer permission. One representative said that while the box would “give us critical insight and information we need to save more lives,” privacy is a big concern.
Did you have a big old tree growing up that you loved to sit under to read…or climb? I did and I love, love old trees. However, there’s an alarming new study that says large, old trees around the world are dying off in disturbingly large numbers. These trees provide shelter for a multitude of animals and are vital to the global ecosystem. And the problem is worldwide. Scientists say that the record dying of these trees is partly responsible for the decline of large mammals over the past few hundred years. Researchers attribute the tree loss to human activity such as logging, uncharacteristically severe wildfires, as well as drought and other causes. They say research is “urgently needed to identify the causes of rapid losses of large old trees and strategies for improved management.” Let’s save the trees folks!
And that’s your Daily Orbit for today. And 28 to go….I’ll keep ya posted.