Archive for the ‘food’ category: Page 2

Oct 14, 2023

How a scientist looking to prove his food wasn’t fresh discovered radioactive tracers and won a Nobel Prize

Posted by in categories: chemistry, food, habitats

Each October, the Nobel Prizes celebrate a handful of groundbreaking scientific achievements. And while many of the awarded discoveries revolutionize the field of science, some originate in unconventional places. For George de Hevesy, the 1943 Nobel Laureate in chemistry who discovered radioactive tracers, that place was a boarding house cafeteria in Manchester, U.K., in 1911.

De Hevesey had the sneaking suspicion that the staff of the boarding house cafeteria where he ate at every day was reusing leftovers from the dinner plates – each day’s soup seemed to contain all of the prior day’s ingredients. So he came up with a plan to test his theory.

Oct 13, 2023

How the hippocampus distinguishes true and false memories

Posted by in categories: food, neuroscience

Let’s say you typically eat eggs for breakfast but were running late and ate cereal. As you crunched on a spoonful of Raisin Bran, other contextual similarities remained: You ate at the same table, at the same time, preparing to go to the same job. When someone asks later what you had for breakfast, you incorrectly remember eating eggs.

This would be a real-world example of a false . But what happens in your brain before recalling eggs, compared to what would happen if you correctly recalled cereal?

In a paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, University of Pennsylvania neuroscientists show for the first time that in the human hippocampus differ immediately before recollection of true and false memories. They also found that low-frequency activity in the hippocampus decreases as a function of contextual similarity between a falsely recalled word and the target word.

Oct 11, 2023

Toxicologists reveal popular weed killer may harm teenage brains

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, education, food, health, neuroscience

Of course, this study was performed on a relatively small group of individuals in an agricultural community, which is not the environment that most American teenagers grow up in. These links may also be due to some other confounding factors, like spending more time on the farm than in formal education. However, these results are still striking and important to consider for young people in farming communities (and non-farming communities) around the world.

“Many chronic diseases and mental-health disorders in adolescents and young adults have increased over the last two decades worldwide, and exposure to neurotoxic contaminants in the environment could explain a part of this increase,” senior author Jose Ricardo Suarez, an associate professor in the Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health, said in a statement.

“Hundreds of new chemicals are released into the market each year, and more than 80,000 chemicals are registered for use today,” Suarez added. “Sadly, very little is known about the safety and long-term effects on humans for most of these chemicals. Additional research is needed to truly understand the impact.”

Oct 9, 2023

Welcome to the AI gym staffed by virtual trainers

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food, information science, media & arts, mobile phones, robotics/AI

Each member works out within a designated station facing wall-to-wall LED screens. These tall screens mask sensors that track both the motions of the exerciser and the gym’s specially built equipment, including dumbbells, medicine balls, and skipping ropes, using a combination of algorithms and machine-learning models.

Once members arrive for a workout, they’re given the opportunity to pick their AI coach through the gym’s smartphone app. The choice depends on whether they feel more motivated by a male or female voice and a stricter, more cheerful, or laid-back demeanor, although they can switch their coach at any point. The trainers’ audio advice is delivered over headphones and accompanied by the member’s choice of music, such as rock or country.

Although each class at the Las Colinas studio is currently observed by a fitness professional, that supervisor doesn’t need to be a trainer, says Brandon Bean, cofounder of Lumin Fitness. “We liken it to being more like an airline attendant than an actual coach,” he says. “You want someone there if something goes wrong, but the AI trainer is the one giving form feedback, doing the motivation, and explaining how to do the movements.”

Oct 9, 2023

Common Plastic Additive Linked to Autism And ADHD, Scientists Discover

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, food, health, neuroscience

The number of kids being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has risen sharply in recent decades, and a new study points to the common plastic additive bisphenol A (BPA) as a potential reason why.

BPA is used in a lot of plastics and plastic production processes, and can also be found inside food and drink cans. However, previous research has also linked it to health issues involving hormone disruption, including breast cancer and infertility.

In this new study, researchers from Rowan University and Rutgers University in the US looked at three groups of children: 66 with autism, 46 with ADHD, and 37 neurotypical kids. In particular, they analyzed the process of glucuronidation, a chemical process the body uses to clear out toxins within the blood through urine.

Oct 9, 2023

Researchers identify link between gut bacteria and pre-clinical autoimmunity and aging in rheumatoid arthritis

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food, life extension

While the bacteria in the intestine are helpful for digesting food and fighting infections, they have long been suspected to play an essential role in triggering rheumatoid arthritis. This chronic inflammatory disorder affects the joints.

Mayo Clinic researchers have discovered a link between an abundance of specific gut bacteria and the triggering of an immune response against a person’s tissue. They also found that this happens even before the clinical symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis appear. They published their findings from the study in Science Advances.

“As we age, our gut bacteria and their byproducts change, which impacts our ,” says senior author Veena Taneja, Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic immunologist. There is a known link between imbalances in gut bacteria, aging, and rheumatoid arthritis, but it is challenging to prove this connection in humans. “This research sheds light on the complex relationship between gut microbiota and rheumatoid arthritis.”

Oct 9, 2023

Adding spider DNA to silkworms creates silk stronger than Kevlar

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food

Spiders are incredibly hard to cultivate — let alone farm.

Spider silk, a natural polymeric fiber, breaks this rule. It is somehow both strong and tough. No surprise, then, that spider silk is a source of much study.

The problem, though, is that spiders are incredibly hard to cultivate — let alone farm. If you put them together, they will attack and kill each other until only one or a few survive. If you put 100 spiders in an enclosed space, they will go about an aggressive, arachnocidal Hunger Games. You need to give each its own space and boundaries, and a spider hotel is hard and costly. Silkworms, on the other hand, are peaceful and productive. They’ll hang around all day to make the silk that has been used in textiles for centuries. But silkworm silk is fragile. It has very limited use.

Oct 9, 2023

Crazy Ants Behave like Active Swimmers

Posted by in categories: food, particle physics

Without verbal communication, a group of 100 longhorn crazy ants can simultaneously grab onto an object 10,000 times their weight and collectively walk it to their nest. Scientists understand the ant-behavioral rules behind this feat but have lacked a coarse-grained description of how the group moves. Tabea Heckenthaler of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and her colleagues now provide that description, showing that it fits expectations for a self-propelled particle [1]. The finding offers a simplified route to modeling complex systems.

When a foraging ant happens upon a tasty morsel too big to carry alone, she recruits other ants via a pheromone trail. When enough helpers are gathered, they grab on with their mouths and move the object toward home. Ants at the front pull the load, while those at the back lift to reduce friction. From studies of individual ants, scientists have gleaned other details; for example, after an ant grabs on, she spends around 10 seconds pulling in what she thinks is the direction of the nest—regardless of the group’s actual direction—before aligning her efforts with the other workers. There is also a constant turnover of workers, with ants dropping off and new ants immediately filling gaps.

Instead of accounting for such individual behaviors, Heckenthaler and her colleagues consider the ants and the food item as a single moving system. From experiments performed with a cog-shaped load coated in cat food (to encourage the ants), they find that the ant-load system follows trajectories similar to the directed walks of individual self-propelled particles. Comparing trajectories of cogs carried by different numbers of ants, the researchers then show that they can work out details of the ants’ individual behavior from the group-level measurements.

Oct 7, 2023

This AI tongue can tell if a flavor is sweet or salty

Posted by in categories: food, robotics/AI

The AI tongue mimics how taste influences what we eat based on both needs and wants.

Researchers at Pennsylvania State University are developing an artificial intelligence-powered electronic tongue that can differentiate between various tastes of food and also make feeding decisions.

The device can sense sodium ions when detecting salt. “This means the device can ‘taste’ salt,” said Subir Ghosh, co-author of the study and a doctoral student in engineering science and mechanics.

Oct 6, 2023

Natural genetically modified crops: Grasses take evolutionary shortcut by borrowing genes from their neighbors

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food, genetics

Grass may transfer genes from their neighbors in the same way genetically modified crops are made, a new study has revealed.

Research, led by the University of Sheffield, is the first to show the frequency at which grasses incorporate DNA from other species into their genomes through a process known as lateral gene transfer.

The stolen genetic secrets give them an by allowing them to grow faster, bigger or stronger and adapt to new environments quicker.

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