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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Science Scene

Study finds clothing colors important for UV protection

A study reported in Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research found that the color of the clothing you wear could help protect against ultraviolet rays. Ascencion Riva and colleagues from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia studied the effects of different dyes on lightweight cotton on the amount of UV protection provided.

The researchers chose three fabrics to determine their base levels of UV protection. The team then dyed those three fabrics varying shades of yellow, red and blue and determined how much UV rays were absorbed.

Riva and her team found that the red and blue shades blocked UV-B rays, the most harmful radiation, better than yellow. As the colors became darker and more vibrant, the protection increased as well.

Source: nytimes.com

Fish adapt quickly to new environment, studies find

Fish may be a lot smarter than humans give them credit for.

A series of studies from the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia showed that wild fish have the ability to learn quickly and distinguish colors, patterns and shapes – even when they have never encountered them before.

Ulrike E. Siebeck, who led the research team for the studies, trained damselfish to feed from a tube that was attached to a color and shape stimuli. When tested for the correct color or shape, the fish succeeded 70 percent of the time and improved increasingly during subsequent trials.

The studies suggest that learning and interpreting distinct colors and shapes is beneficial and vital for surviving for fish residing in reefs.

Source: nytimes.com

Tongues taste carbonation with sour receptors, study reports

A study published in the journal Science revealed that carbonation’s unique taste is detected by the same receptors that respond to sourness.

UC San Diego affiliate Jayaram Chandrashekar and colleagues placed electrodes in the nerves leading from a taste receptor in the tongues of mice. When the tongue was exposed to the carbonation, a measurable response occurred.

The tongue has five taste receptors: sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami – otherwise known as a meaty flavor. When the researchers genetically altered the mice to exclude the sour receptor, no response to carbonation was measured.

Source: nytimes.com

Study finds fossil fuels cost $120 billion yearly in healthcare

Burning fossil fuels in the United States costs the country almost $120 billion a year in health costs, the National Academy of Sciences reported on Monday.

Ordered by Congress, the study showed that damage is equally caused by coal and oil. It did not take into account the cost of using fossil fuels or its impact on the environment.

Nearly 20,000 people die prematurely due to the burning from fossil fuels, reported the study’s authors. To help prevent this, they suggest society paying more for alternative energy sources than fossil fuels.

Source: nytimes.com


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