Discovered: Tick bites can lead to red meat allergies; networking gets you farther ahead in the U.S. job market; scientists develop ways to extract CO2 from the atmosphere; too much light at night can cause depression.
Snatching CO2 from the sky. Carbon dioxide plays a central role in global warming, so wouldn't it be great if we could just magically bring atmospheric CO2 levels back down to safer levels? Scientists at Georgia Institute of Technology have been working to make such a process possible, developing absorbent materials that extract carbon dioxide directly from the air. Georgia Tech professor David Sholl says that even if we did away with all the CO2 exhausted from power plant as flue gas, "we’d still only get a portion of the carbon dioxide emitted each year. If we want to make deep cuts in emissions, we’ll have to do more—and air capture is one option for doing that." [Georgia Tech]
To quash depression, turn out the nightlight. By exposing Siberian hamsters to varying levels of light over day-long cycles, Ohio State University researchers have demonstrated a link between nighttime light exposure and depression. Hamsters who slept in pitch dark retained their intense preference for a sugary drink, while those exposed to dim light throughout the night lost their cravings. Researcher Tracy Bedrosian says this is "a sign they no longer get pleasure out of activities they once enjoyed" and a classic symptom of depression. The results back up evidence from other studies which suggest that graveyard shift workers are more prone to mood disorders. [Science News]
A tick bite could turn you vegetarian. Before you bite into that steak or burger, ask yourself this: been bitten by any ticks lately? Virginia Commonwealth University researchers have published a paper which connects Lone Star tick bites with the onset of severe allergies to red meat. The allergy can result in an outbreak of hives and potentially life-threatening anaphylaxis. The authors write, "Where ticks are endemic, for example in the southeastern United States, clinicians should be aware of this new syndrome when presented with a case of anaphylaxis. Current guidance is to counsel patients to avoid all mammalian meat—beef, pork, lamb and venison." [Springer]
Actually, it is who you know. Having a stellar resume, a persuasive cover letter, and dogged determination may help you find a job. But building an extensive Rolodex might be a better strategy—especially in the US. Researchers from North Carolina State University have determined that social networks give jobseekers more of a leg up in America than they do in Germany. "The open market system in the United States, with minimal labor regulations, actually sees people benefiting more from patronage—despite the expectation that open markets would value merit over social connections," says grad student Richard Benton. [North Carolina State University]