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How Global Warming Projects Avoid the Real Issue

Several scientists from Europe have warned that worldwide engineering operations, aimed at reducing global warming, have the potential to minimize rainfall in both Europe and North America, according to Reuters.

Though many of these projects are theoretical, they spark debate across the planet. Some involve reenacting the results of enormous volcanic eruptions by freeing clouds of sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere, while others are considering launching giant mirrors into space to deflect the sun’s rays.

The main issue with these plans is that they fail to address the actual problem; unbelievable amounts of man-made greenhouse gas emissions. Other downsides include the potential consequences that the scientists have yet to research in depth, as well as a lack of an international governance structure.

A group of scientists from France, Norway, Germany and the UK created models to research the earth’s climate if it were subject to more carbon dioxide and less radiation from the sun. They discovered a 5% drop in rainfall in every scenario they explored.

“Climate engineering cannot be seen as a substitute for policy pathway of mitigating climate change through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions,” the study argued in the Earth System Dynamics journal.

In other words, scientists should stop looking for far-fetched solutions to the problem. As a whole, Earth's people should be aiming to reduce harmful emissions before they trigger an irreversable disaster.

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Fatty Foods Vs. The Blues

A great number of people instinctually reach for the ice cream or chocolate during times of stress, and this phenomenon has been widely attributed to the sweet tooth. However, a recent study has shown that there is more to it.

Fatty foods do grant the consumer a degree of comfort, but not only because they are pleasurable to eat. The digestive system actually sends signals to the brain while digesting these foods, according to research conducted by scientists at the University of Leuven in Belgium.

Published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, the study used MRI scans to map the effects of fatty acids on emotions when they are injected directly into the stomach.

12 volunteers were exposed to sad music and images before receiving fluid through a feeding tube. Some received a dose of fatty acids, and others; a saline solution.

The participants then rated their moods, without discovering which substance they had digested.

Those given fatty acids proved to be 50% less sad than those who received the saline solution, despite the sad atmosphere.

Lukas van Oudenhove, the scientist who led the research, said “Eating fat seems to make us less vulnerable to sad emotions, even if we don’t know we’re eating fat. We bypassed sensory stimulation by infusing fatty acids directly into the stomach, without the subjects knowing whether they were getting fat or saline.”

The study may have an impact on the studies of obesity, eating disorders and depression.

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Do Prairie Dogs Talk the Talk?

Scientists are studying prairie dogs to see if they can find some answers to the most intriguing questions of language and communication among animals. Prairie dogs are genetically related to squirrels and are of similar stature. They dig deep burrows underground to live in and live in small family groups in North America. A family unit consists of one dominant male, a few adult females, and their children. Their burrows include all the comforts of life, safety exits, storage rooms, sleeping areas and toilet rooms.

Dr. Con Slobodchikoff has been studying prairie dogs intensely for the past 20 years. He has been leading research at the Northern Arizona University and has come to some fascinating conclusions. Based on video and audio tapes he has taken of the animals responding to new stimuli in their own environment Dr. Slobodchikoff has come to believe that prairie dogs are in possession of a rich and complex vocabulary, including parts of speech such as nouns, verbs and adjectives.

In an interview with the Arizona Daily Star from January 2006, Dr. Slobodchikoff explains that,

“Within these calls, they [prairie dogs] can describe the physical features of the predator. They can describe the size and shape of an individual human and the color of clothes that he or she is wearing. They can describe the coat color and the size and shape of a domestic dog. . . . Our studies are showing that prairie dogs have the most sophisticated natural animal language that has been decoded to date.”

These studies are just the beginning. Perhaps other members of the animal kingdom are also capable of such advanced abilities at communication. More research is needed to find out if man’s use of language is really as unique as we think.

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Study Confirms Health Benefits of Eco-Atkins

In yet another study designed to find out what it is about the food that we eat that is killing us, it seems to be indicated that “diets low in carbohydrates but heavy on meat” may be making us sick.  Apparently, according to the comparison of two long –term studies, it is much healthier to populate your low-carb diet with plant-based proteins rather than red meat.

The first study followed about 85,000 women for 26 years, from 1980 until 2006. The second study examined the outcome of the diets of about 44,500 men for the 20 years from 1986 until 2006. The researchers looked carefully at the health results the two types of low-carb diets produced in their practitioners. The results were striking.

Men and women on the plant-based protein low carb diet showed a marked reduction in overall death rate, and a pronounced diminishing in the death rates from cancer and cardiovascular disease. Often a low-carb/high-protein diet is referred to as an “Atkins Diet” after the developer of this way of eating. Those on traditional Atkins diets, which incorporates a lot of meat foods such as sausages, bacon, steaks and the like, showed a 23% increased risk of death overall, with a 14% increase in dying from heart disease and a 28% increase in the chances of dying from cancer.

Those who got their protein from plant sources, known as the ‘Eco-Atkins’ diet, showed a lower rate of overall death by 20%, and 23% lower death rate from cardiovascular disease.

The conclusions to draw seem clear. A low carb diet is only beneficial to one’s health if the source of all the protein and fat in one’s diet is not meat, but is instead things like avocados, peanut butter, soy, legumes, and nuts. Just eating fewer carbohydrates is not enough. The source of protein is crucial, as this study has shown.

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