Discovered: A molecule that could cool our warming Earth, what's killing all the bees, fat tastes good, a cancer-processed food link.
- Our global warming savior. For those who believe all that talk about climate change and how bad it's going to be for humans and ecosystems and the planet, science has some good news for us today. Researchers have discovered a molecule that could help cool our rapidly warming Earth: Criegee biradicals. These molecules react with chemicals in pollutants, helping clean up the atmosphere. The researchers had two exciting discoveries for those worried about climate change induced Armageddon. These Criegee biradicals react quicker than first thought. And, the reaction accelerates the formation of sulphate and nitrate in the atmosphere -- substances that lead to cloud formation, which would ultimately cool the planet. Sounds too good to be true. [Manchester]
- What's killing all the bees. Today we have some answers to the mysterious and very disconcerting mass honeybee death phenomenon. Insecticides (duh?) are causing some of the deaths, found researchers at Purdue. "We know that these insecticides are highly toxic to bees; we found them in each sample of dead and dying bees," said study co-author Christian Krupke. The U.S. is losing about a third of its honeybee population a year. Bees are important; this is bad -- don't take our words for it, 60 Minutes's Steve Kroft explains. [Purdue]
- Our tongues think fat tastes good. Blame the annoying, yet delicious bacon craze on genetics. Science has discovered we have a taste bud for it, found researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine. Making that the sixth flavor we can taste, adding fat to sweet, sour, bitter, salty and savory. The same research also found that some people have a gene that makes them less receptive to the taste of fat. We're not sure if that makes them lucky or unlucky. [Wash U.]
- Processed food bad. Speaking of unhealthy eating habits, processed foods causes cancer. Researchers found that eating an extra 50g of processed meat -- a slice of bread's worth -- every day increases a person's risk of pancreatic cancer by 19 percent. This follows research that linked process meat with a higher risk of bowel cancer, as well as heart disease and diabetes. Considering a machine ground animal bits into uniform sausage links, it doesn't surprise us that these processed meats do nasty things to the body. [BBC]