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Human Rights Law: Never In Our Names
Professor Possum's Science Friday
Over the fold are some of my favorite selections from a few of the many excellent science news sites around the world. Today's tidbits include some reasons for increased human illness today, texting while driving is lethal to pedestrians, an external air bag to protect pedestrians, a new potential in epilepsy treatment, and the oldest surface on earth. Follow down the yellow brick road for one more session of science education and entertainment.
The current state of human health is a mixed bag these days. We live longer but there is a concurrent rise in several sorts of diseases.
Infectious diseases once were the main cause of death worldwide, "but around 1950 or so, there was a moment called the epidemiological transition, a long term that just means that in most Western nations, chronic diseases became the major causes of disability and death instead.Reasons for the change are several.
People are more sedentary and less physically active than before, and fast food is more available.And there are changes in our immune systems that need more evaluation and consideration to better understand the rise in immune-mediated diseases today.
From the department of no surprise is news about texting and driving.
The results for the teens sending text messages or fiddling with their MP3 players showed increased "lane position deviation" and speed changes, mostly slowing down.And some virtual pedestrians in the study were struck by the vehicle.
In a collision between pedestrians and vehicles the person's head is likely to hit the car at the base of the windshield. Researchers in England developed an external air bag to protect the human in this collision.
The bonnet airbag is shaped like a "U" to preserve the driver's visibility while protecting the pedestrian from the lower half of the A pillars - what the lay person might call the windshield frame.
Seizures are both debilitating and life threatening in humans and animals.
Carnegie Mellon University researchers have identified a new anticonvulsant compound that has the potential to stop the development of epilepsy.The drug is paxilline, an available oral medication. Now comes the study of this compound to see if or not it is effective in humans.
The surface of the planet in most areas is under constant change from wind, water, and tectonic movement. But not in all areas is this true.
A new study of ancient "desert pavement" in Israel's Negev Desert finds a vast region that's been sitting there exposed, pretty much as-is, for about 1.8 million years
Bonus stories. See the links for the full story.
The first trillionth of a second after the Big Bang to be studied.
For even more science news:
A Few Things Ill Considered Techie and Science News
Cantauri Dreams space exploration
Deep Sea News marine biology
Laelaps more vertebrate paleontology
List of Geoscience Blogs
Tetrapod Zoologyvertebrate paleontology
Science RSS Feed: Medworm
NASA picture of the day. For more see the NASA website. These pictures are evidence of your tax dollars hard at work.
NASA, Public Domain
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