56 F

Davis, California

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Science Scene

Octuplets born in SoCal


A Southern California woman gave birth to six boys and two girls in five minutes.

The second-known set of octuplets born in the United States arrived on Monday at Kaiser Permanente in Bellflower, Calif., a Los Angeles suburb. The babies were born between 10:43 and 10:48 a.m., and their weights range from 1 pound and 15 ounces to 3 pounds and 4 ounces.

Doctors had planned in advanced to perform a Caesarian section, but only expected seven children. To their surprise, the woman delivered eight.

At press time, Dr. Mandhir Gupta, who helped deliver the babies, said all the babies were doing very well and their vital signs remain stable. The babies are currently in incubators. The mother is also resting and in stable condition.

The first octuplets girls and two boys were born in the United States in 1998 in Texas. One of the babies did not survive. The others recently celebrated their 10th birthday.


(Source: latimes.com)



Coffee may lower risk of dementia


Your morning espresso may be more than a pick-me-upit may also reduce the risk of developing dementia somewhere down the line, a new study suggests.

Coffee consumption in 1,409 middle-aged men and women was tracked for an average of 21 years by a Swedish and Danish research team. Over the course of the study, 61 participants developed dementia and 48 developed Alzheimer’s disease.

The researchers found that, after controlling for various health and socioeconomic factors, those that reported drinking three to five cups of coffee per day were 65 percent less likely to have developed dementia compared with those who drank two cups or less.

The researcherssuggested numerous reasons why coffee may reduce developing dementia. Earlier studies have noted that coffee drinking is linked to a decreased risk in type two diabetes, which has been linked to a higher incidence of dementia. Furthermore, it has been observed in animal studies that caffeine reduces amyloid plaques in the brain a characteristic of Alzheimer’s.

Also, coffee may reduce vascular risks for dementia by creating an antioxidant effect in the blood stream.

Lead author Dr. Miia Kivipelto of Karolinska Institute in Stockholm said that the study was observational and does not yet advise drinking more coffee as a preventative measure.


(Source: nytimes.com)


Europe’s carbon trading proposal


The European Commission is drafting an appeal to wealthy nations, particularly the United States, to adopt carbon trading as a key way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The proposition comes as the United States is entering a period of debate over adopting such market-based systems, as President Obama endorsed an idea to cap and trade carbon dioxide during his election campaign. Such a system caps emissions at a certain level, and those who surpass it must buy or trade permits to meet it.

The proposals also try to get developing nations to participate by helping them fund ways to adapt to climate change and reduce emissions.

The commission’s proposals are designated to outline Europe’s stance on climate change as nations get ready to meet in December in Copenhagen to discuss a successor to the Kyoto climate treaty.

Europe has created the largest single market for trading permits, though Australia and a few U.S. states have started similar ventures. However, Europe’s system has been criticized for doing too little to stop pollution and let some industries rein in too much profit.

The leading alternative to the cap-and-trade system is an emission tax, which many experts say is the most efficient way of reducing greenhouse gases from industry


(Source: nytimes.com)



ANNA OPALKA compiled SCIENCE SCENE. She can be reached at features@theaggie.org.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here