January 3, 2013
Can Being In Space Actually Make Your Grow Taller? – The Daily Orbit
Can unborn babies distinguish their native language from others?
Put down that cigarette and actually feel calmer!
And wait, space makes you taller?
All that and more coming up on the Daily Orbit!
Wish you actually were the three inches taller that you add to your height on your Match.com profile? Well, head to space. Turns out astronauts at the International Space Station grow an average of 3% taller while living in microgravity. But don’t get excited — it doesn’t last. They return back to their normal height when they return to Earth and researchers are trying to find out why. Astronauts at the ISS will perform spinal scans on one another using the Ultrasound 2 machine aboard the spaceship, sending real-time data back to researchers on Earth. Scientists say that this research will not only help improve crew rehabilitation and exercise techniques but will provide more knowledge of the spine in general for patients on Earth. “I wish I was a little bit taller, I wish a baller…”
And this is a really fascinating finding — babies begin learning language while still in the womb. Previously researchers had thought that babies didn’t start recognizing language differences until well after they had left their mother’s womb. But the new study shows that unborn babies may begin distinguishing sounds of their mother’s native language from a foreign language just hours after they are born. This suggests that they are already using their hearing to absorb the sounds of their mother’s language during at least the last 10 weeks before birth. Researchers believe that understanding this in-womb absorption may provide insights to help learners of all ages.
Feeling anxious and like you just need a cigarette? Well, fight the urge because new research says that quitting smoking could actually relieve your anxiety! Although seen as a way to calm the nerves, researchers found a “significant decrease in anxiety levels among the participants who had quit after 6 months.” But if you try to quit and fail — it’s sort of like doubling down. A failed attempt to quit smoking actually increased anxiety levels in the long term. So in order to achieve the anxiety decreasing results, researchers say you must quit and not give up! Whew! I feel calmer now. Wait, I don’t smoke anyway!
“In a sun-scorched region of Western Australia known as Pilbara, a team of paleobiologists say one can find the oldest known evidence of life of Earth.” Sounds kind of like the trailer to a Lord of the Rings–esque film, but it’s actually a new bacterial fossil find that may be the oldest proof of life on Earth dating back 3.49 billion years ago. But researchers aren’t throwing the confetti yet. Similar formations have been found in the past that ended up resulting from water flowing on the seafloor. The fossils must still undergo intense scrutiny to prove they were formed by bacterial activity.
And from the ancient fossils of Pilbara to the center of the Galaxy…okay today’s stories are really sounding like fantasy sci-fi films! Astronomers using CSIRO’S 210 feet Parkes radio telescope — could they have given it a longer name – found monstrous outflows of charged particles coming from the center of our galaxy. Reaching about a million times the energy of an exploding star, the outflows stretch 50,000 light years from top to bottom — half the diameter of the Milky Way. But no need to fear, astronomers say they pose no danger to Earth. They say the outburst is all “star-power” and appear to have been driven by many generations of stars forming and exploding in the galactic center over the past 100 million years.
And that’s it for today’s Daily Orbit I thought there was no need to fear!