07 October, 2010 – This Week in Science


Solar Cooling. Asteroids and ice. Lost Language Found. Bacteria and Asthma Linked. From Eye to Brain. No Need To Smooch a Stranger to Save a Life. Bad Moos for the future

Show Notes:
Less Solar Activity, Earth Gets Warmer
A snapshot of the solar activity between 2004 and 2007 has revealed unexpected results. A study by Joanna Haigh has revealed than in spite of a decline of the Suns activity in this period, the Earth may have become warmer, challenging what we knew about the Sun’s role on our climate. By using satellite data and computer modelling, researchers have analyzed how the spectrum of radiation and the amount of energy from the Sun has changed since 2004.

Second Asteroid Found with Water Ice
Scientists have discovered water ice on an asteroid for the second time. Researchers studying Asteroid 65 Cybele, have found evidence of water ice and other organic materials on this 180 mile diameter asteroid which is orbiting the Sun between Mars and Jupiter. This evidence as well as the water ice discovery on asteroid 24 Themis, suggests that water ice could be more common on space rocks than previously thought, supporting the theory that an asteroid had brought our planet its water and the building blocks for life to form here.

Language Found New To Science
National Geographic’s Enduring Voices project expedition to Northern India, has stumbled upon a completely new language to science called Koro. Researchers targeting a language hot spot in Nothern India came across the language while researching two poorly recorded languages of Aka and Miji in the hills of Arunachal Pradesh. They discovered that Koro is spoken by about 800 people and is so unique compared to the local dialects that it is as different as Japanese is to English.

Check out the TWIS Bookclub Book of the Month:

Need more science-y reading? Want to listen rather than read?
Get a free audiobook download at Audible.com!

Bacteria, Another Cause of Asthma Attacks in Children
Scientists in Denmark have discovered that bacterial infections may trigger asthma attacks in children. A study examining 361 children found viral and bacterial infections during asthma attacks. This opens a whole new possibility of using antibiotics in the treatment of people with asthma.

From the Eye to the Brain
Scientists have finally mapped how cells in the eyes communicate with the brain. By comparing a clearly defined visual input to an electrical output of the retina, scientists were able to trace for the first time the neuronal circuitry that connects individual photoreceptors with retinal ganglion cells, the neurons that carry visual signals from the eye to the brain. The discovery may lead to better retinal implants.

Untrained Bystanders Should Attempt CPR
Researchers have concluded that there is no need to give mouth to mouth resuscitation if you come across someone in need. During their studies, they found that the odds of survival was more when people used compression only. They found that people were less reluctant to try CPR when mouth to mouth was not involved, therefore eliciting a quicker response in attempting to save a life.

Meat Lovers May Endanger the Future of the Planet
People may have to cut meat from their diets if they want to save the planet from more greenhouse gases, habitat destruction and nitrate pollution. Researchers have calculated that by 2050, the environmental impact of sustaining livestock for an ever growing population could have a detrimental impact on the planet. The research concludes that a cut in meat reduction of between 19 to 42 % would be enough just to stand still regarding environmental damage.

Love the show? Donate below:


About the Author

I'm the host of this little science show.