Are Women Better Tasters Than Men?

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.

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Does Olive Oil Kill Cancer?

Many people have pushed olive oil aside in recent years in favor of coconut oil, which has garnered headlines for its ability to improve everything from your cholesterol profile to weight loss. But a new study may have you extending an olive branch, so to speak, to extra virgin olive oil. When researchers added a compound found only in certain types of olive oil- an antioxidant called oleocanthal- to cancer cells in the lab, something amazing happened: It wiped out the cancer cells in less than an hour. Even better, the oleocanthal didn’t harm the healthy cells… "That was definitely an OMG moment," says study co-author Paul Breslin, a professor of nutritional sciences at Rutgers University… They’re found in the Mediterranean diet, which time and again comes out on top in terms of being associated with longevity and lower rates of cancer, heart disease, and dementia, Breslin says. The takeaway? Eat plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, and fatty fish, use olive oil generously, limit processed foods and meats, and drink green tea.

Read the entire article at www.harpersbazaar.com »

US Trotting Body Backs Cobalt Study

The US Trotting Association is funding research to evaluate whether cobalt is a performance-enhancing substance. In doing so, it will assess its effects on red blood cell production… The fresh research will be carried out by Dr George Maylin, from Morrisville State College in New York, and Dr Karyn Malinowski and Dr Ken McKeever, both from Rutgers University in New Jersey… Testing will comprise measurements of maximal aerobic capacity and markers of performance, measurement of plasma volume and blood volume as well as lactate, erythropoietin (EPO), thyroid hormones and various blood hematological factors after dosing with cobalt.

Read the entire article at www.horsetalk.com »

Group Hopes Francis Takes Abolition of Nuclear Weapons to Congress

Ira Helfand hopes Pope Francis will call for the abolition of all nuclear weapons when he addresses Congress in September and Helfand has reason for cautious optimism… The Springfield, Mass., physician is co-president of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. It was awarded a Nobel Peace prize in 1985 "for spreading authoritative information and raising awareness of the catastrophic consequences of a nuclear war."… It takes the work of several peer-reviewed studies done by atmospheric scientists Alan Robock of Rutgers University, Brian Toon of University of Colorado-Boulder, and Richard Turco of University of California, Los Angeles, who have found that if India and Pakistan each exchanged fifty 15 kiloton-size bombs — a tiny fraction of the size of the warheads in the U.S. and Russian arsenals — they would create immense firestorms that would quickly envelope the planet with layers of dense stratospheric smoke… Robock, a professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences, told NCR that his research reaffirmed his belief that nuclear weapons pose the "greatest and most immediate threat to humanity."

Read the entire article at www.ncronline.org »

Two Solutions That Cut Down on Fossil Fuels

This article was written by Paul Falkowski, professor in the Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences… The headline in the New York Times reads "Lebanon’s Garbage Crisis Underscores Government’s Disarray." It seems that the Lebanese government is unable to collect and dispose of the garbage in Beirut and the waste is piling up across the city… Garbage smells bad, and in the heat of summer, with wafts of rotting meat and vegetables blowing across the city, it is hardly surprising that the citizens of Beirut are getting very frustrated at the lack of leadership… In preparing a short "TED talk" type lecture for the upcoming Positive Economy conference in France, I gathered some slides from the recent National Academy of Science report on geoengineering climate. I sat on the panel that issued the two reports. There were two because there are two "solutions" for continued, unabated burning of fossil fuels. And if you really need to know — we aren’t running out of fossil fuels anytime soon — at least not for a century.

Read the entire article at www.huffingtonpost.com »