There have been suggestions that low levels of vitamin D might be a factor in cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease, but there’s no proof that the lack of D is actually causing the problems… A study published Monday doesn’t prove that link, but it does find that people with low levels of vitamin D lost key thinking skills more quickly that people with enough… “We’re relatively cautious in how we say this,” Joshua Miller, chair of the department of nutrition in the school of environmental and biological sciences at Rutgers University, said. He’s the study’s lead author, and worked on it while he was at the University of California, Davis… “We always say, in consultation with your doctor we suggest that older adults have their vitamin D status measured,” Miller says. “If it’s low, in consultation with their doctor, they might consider taking vitamin D supplements.”
If, like me, you’re an amateur taster of beer and wine, inevitably you’ve asked yourself why you don’t taste that hint of raspberry or note of pine bark that someone else says is there… Genetics certainly have something to do with why we have different perceptions of tastes. Scientists have shown there’s a genetic component to how we experience bitter and sweet flavors, as we’ve reported. And “supertasters,” who seem to be born rather than made, are said to experience a lot of tastes more intensely… Paul Breslin, a member of the center and a professor at Rutgers University, studies the genetic basis of human oral perception… Back in 2002, Breslin and a couple of colleagues got interested in the phenomenon of how some individuals can become increasingly sensitive to certain odors over time, detecting them at lower and lower concentrations. Earlier studies had suggested there is a gender component to this phenomenon, and Breslin and his colleagues wanted to look into it further.
One of the frequent trials of parenthood is dealing with a picky eater. About 20 percent of children ages 2 to 6 have such a narrow idea of what they want to eat that it can make mealtime a battleground… A study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics shows that, in extreme cases, picky eating can be associated with deeper trouble, such as depression or social anxiety… Refusing many foods may, in part, be a natural exaggeration of that natural defense against poisoning. Beverly Tepper, professor of food science at Rutgers University, says these reactions actually occur before food even ends up in a child’s mouth… “Once we get past the how-it-looks-stage, and we smell it and it has an attractive odor, we might be interested in consuming it or tasting it,” Tepper says.
Before anyone tries to cool the Earth with technologies that could counteract global warming, there needs to be a lot more research into the benefits and risks. That’s the conclusion announced Tuesday by a scientific panel convened by the prestigious National Research Council to assess “climate geoengineering”- deliberate attempts to alter the global climate… “I think we have to know. I think we have to know what the risks are and what the benefits might be so we can make informed decisions in the future,” says Alan Robock, a climate scientist at Rutgers University who was not on the committee. “Would it be more dangerous to do it or to not do it? That’s the question.” Being in favor of research into geoengineering is not the same as being in favor of geoengineering, Robock says.