Facebook this week announced its new Women in Gaming Initiative, dedicated to encouraging more women to join the games industry. The social media company focuses on providing role models and success stories, and it’s actually a pleasant approach. Though gender and diversity in gaming is a sensitive topic at times, Facebook’s approach is relatively non-judgmental. The video intro with Sheryl Sandberg focuses on the number of women who game (46 percent in 13 countries, according to the reported data) and how it’s at odds with the number of people who make the games (23 percent). Sandberg goes on to say…
Water contaminated with lead is hazardous to human health, particularly for children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Environmental Protection Agency agree that there is no known safe level of lead in a child’s blood. In children it can lead to behavior and learning issues, stunted grown, and anemia. Lead can also cause premature birth and reduced fetus growth in pregnant women, and decrease kidney function in adults. But removing lead from polluted water sources can be challenging.
Now, a team of researchers from the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science in Japan has discovered that a type of moss called Funaria hygrometrica,orbonfire moss, can help to absorb the heavy metal from contaminated water. The team discovered that the moss could absorb up to 74 percent of its dry weight in lead after only 22 hours of exposure, and published their findings in the journal PLOS One. This discovery could go a long way to help clean lead polluted water supplies around the world.
The researchers also found that 85 percent of the lead that the moss had absorbed accumulated in its cell walls. They determined there was something unique about the moss’ cell walls, which is likely what allows the species to thrive in toxic environment where other plants can’t.
Using mosses or other plants to remove contaminants like this is called phytoremediation, and other researchers are looking for similar ways to use organisms to combat pollutants. Three strains of fungus can reduce electronic waste from old batteries. Another fungus can break down waste plastics in a matter of weeks that would otherwise persist in the environment for years.
In a press release, the group lead Hitoshi Sakakibara said that the next step for his team is looking to work with recycling-oriented companies, creating applications for this new biomaterial that can soak up lead.
This isn't exactly taking it back to the days of HD-DVD vs. Blu-ray, but Samsung's fight to push HDR10+ as an alternative to Dolby Vision is heating up. We have more details on how the two standards compare right here, but one main feature is that bo… Engadget RSS Feed
As the number of people being diagnosed with dementia and other debilitating brain diseases is projected to grow steadily in the coming decades, doctors and researchers are not only looking for effective treatments, but also for ways to promote general brain health. As it turns out, one way to slow brain aging may not be that different from what works for our general physical health: eating salad.
Scientists at the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago monitored the diet of 960 elderly people. They discovered that participants who ate up to 1.3 servings of leafy vegetables a day performed better in tests designed to understand how the brain ages than their peers who ate no salad at all. The volunteers were in their early 80s and received a regular “food frequency questionnaire” between 2004 and 2013, along with two cognitive assessments.
Although the researchers could not identify a causal link between vegetable consumption and slower brain aging, they think nutrients like lutein, folate, beta carotene, and phylloquinone — naturally present in leafy greens — may play a part.
The correlation is quite striking, however. Over 10 years of follow-up, people who ate the most salad were found to be on average 11 years younger from a cognitive perspective.
Many other factors can have an impact on brain health, some of which are lifestyle related. Seafood and alcohol consumption, smoking, high blood pressure, obesity, and the amount of physical and cognitive activity are all criteria that the researchers controlled for when assessing the robustness of their findings.
However, “the study results do not prove that eating green, leafy vegetables slows brain aging, but it does show an association,” said professor of internal medicine at Rush Medical School and study author Martha Clare Morris in a statement. “The study cannot rule out other possible reasons for the link.”
But bad food is rarely the sole contributor to brain decline. Binge eating, a lack of antioxidants, and a diet low in fibers combine with other factors — a sedentary lifestyle or emotional stress, for example — to put a strain on our brain.
Eating more greens may not be a silver bullet. But this study joins a growing body of research that focuses on small, easy-to-adopt changes that are sure to improve our physical fitness, and may also help our brains in the long run.