Posted on 17 October 2014.
Today Facebook announced yet another new feature. Unlike many of the updates from Facebook this one is actually going to be very useful and will likely be a big hit. The new feature is named “Safety Check” and it is designed to help people tell their loved ones that they are ok, primarily following a major disaster.
In many cases when something like an earthquake, hurricane, or other disaster strikes it is difficult or impossible to communicate with family. Fortunately Facebook is working to make that problem a thing of the past with the new Safety Check. Basically it works by sending a notification to anyone that is near a significant disaster and asking if they are ok, the notifications are being tailored so they should only be sent to people that were actually affected.
When a user receives the notification they can quickly select “I’m safe” or “I’m not in the area” and friends and family will automatically be alerted. The entire idea came about following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and Facebook says they’re hoping this will be revolutionary in the post disaster recovery effort. The feature is available now and is available to everyone worldwide, but it is unlikely we’ll see any results from it until some sort of disaster strikes.
Posted in Science & Technology
Posted on 25 September 2014.
Fruits and Vegetables Can Fight Depression
Depression and mental issues are common for millions of people, unfortunately a lot of them are hard to diagnose and even harder to treat. The good news is that a study released this week shows that a simple diet change can dramatically improve mental health for many patients. The study showed that patients who consumed proper portions of fruits and vegetables were significantly happier, less likely to be depressed, and less likely to develop various mental health issues.
This is a staggering result that even the doctors in charge did not expect. Apparently there are quite a few things that lead to this increase in happiness, one of the biggest is the obvious health benefits as a whole. People that consume proper amounts of fruit and vegetables are much more likely to be healthy in general and not overweight.
Essentially doctors are recommending that you continue to strive to eat an adequate amount of fruits and vegetables every day. This will not only keep your body healthy, it’ll keep your mind healthy too and that is obviously a big part of life. If you’re not eating enough fruits and vegetables maybe now is the time to get started, especially since the benefits just continue to add up.
Posted in Health
Posted on 07 September 2014.
California Blue Whales Showing Recovery
Nearly 100 years ago multiple oceanic studies showed that the California blue whale was nearing extinction, and it was all due to the rate they were being hunted at. Fortunately a lot has changed since then and research now shows that the numbers are growing very steadily. This is absolutely great news for multiple reasons and it definitively shows just how much of an impact we can make with a little effort.
The whales recovery has been assisted greatly by the outright ban on whaling since 1971, in addition there have been significant conservation efforts targeting the California blue whale. In just over 100 years the population has grown by nearly 97%, which is a substantial change from the near extinction. Scientists and biologists are very happy to see these results and they say that this is a very big step towards preserving the planet. This will absolutely be used as a success story for years to come because without the conservation efforts the California blue whale would have without a doubt gone extinct.
Future conservation efforts are being planned and executed right now for the California blue whale and others, and many scientists say this is a great sign that the future will be bright. It is great news that the whale did not go extinct, and the lessons learned in the past 100 years should help keep many more alive in the future.
Posted in Environment
Posted on 29 August 2014.
Amidst the growing concerns about the spread of the Ebola virus, a company in Japan is offering what could be the solution. A drug that has been widely used in Japan against the flu is also being used as an experimental Ebola treatment, and apparently it is expected to do a good job. Given the fatality rate of Ebola it comes as no surprise that doctors want to try anything they can to treat it.
The World Health Organization is hopeful that this drug will work against Ebola, but they say they’re not putting all their eggs in this one basket. If it does in fact work against Ebola it will only be a matter of time before it can be distributed as needed. In addition to experimental trials the company behind the product is also working to have it clinically tested and approved for human use against Ebola, so that in the future it can actually be used as a full force drug.
Whether or not this drug will work is yet to be seen, but many experts are hopeful that it might work. At this point any sign of hope is a good thing and doctors say this is the most promising step in the past few months. Experimental treatments are beginning soon so it is only a matter of time before we know if it is actually going to work.
Posted in Health
Posted on 21 April 2014.
Astronomers Discover New Earth-Like Planet
This week a group of astronomers released information about a new planet that has been discovered. In the ongoing quest to discover and understand the universe new planets are found relatively often, but it isn’t very often that a planet this similar to Earth is discovered. The new planet might be nearly 500 light-years away, but scientists say it is a pretty significant discovery.
The new planet is named Kepler-186f, and while it is absolutely impossible to reach it scientists say it has plenty of information that could help us understand the origins of the universe. There have been quite a few planets discovered that are similar to Earth, but Kepler is unique in that it has been given a 90% chance of having liquid water. Based on the distance from the nearest star, as well as other factors, astronomers say that Kepler is the most likely planet we’ve found that could be inhabited by life.
This is a very significant scientific breakthrough, and it just goes to show how much research and science are constantly advancing. Additional research is being conducted right now, but it is still pretty impressive to see just how much information we can discern from such a distant planet.
Posted in Science & Technology
Posted on 19 April 2014.
E-Cigarette Industry To be Regulated Soon
This week a significant congressional report was released regarding the now booming electronic cigarette industry. At this point electronic cigarettes are essentially unregulated and many health experts have been questioning this for quite some time. The good news is that today the congressional report, along with the world health organization, announced that they have decided to begin pursuing regulation.
Under current rules there are basically no restrictions on sales or marketing of the popular devices, which is partly why they have become so popular with younger users. Based on this week’s report many experts are incredibly hopeful that regulation will help keep the electronic cigarettes away from children. Essentially the congressional report hopes to force the electronic cigarette industry to follow the same regulation as traditional tobacco products. It might be a while before any real rules are set in stone but it is only a matter of time at this point.
This is definitely good news for everyone, because the electronic cigarette has gotten so popular in such a short time. Many medical experts have expressed concern over safety and health risks and this regulation is a step in the right direction for making the entire situation at least a little bit better.
Posted in Health
Posted on 25 March 2014.
Bacteria Could Grow into Solar Panels
The idea of cheaper and easier to manufacture solar panels is something that many companies have been working towards for a long time now. Solar panels are without a doubt one of the most promising forms of renewable energy which means it could be the future of power. Unfortunately the cost and complexity keep holding back the technology, at least until now.
A group of researchers at MIT successfully grew a number of circuits using bacteria and other cells, these circuits could then be developed into functional solar panels. The process if completely new and unlike anything that has been done before, but the team believes that this could be the future of production due to the efficiency. By adding or removing additional pieces to the bacteria as necessary it is possible to grow them into whatever circuit is desired, and the best part is that they can conduct electricity while also using solar energy. This is an absolutely astonishing scientific breakthrough that has the potential to really change the future, only time will tell whether or not it becomes usable in the real world but researchers are incredibly hopeful that they’ll be able to make this into a reality in the very near future.
Posted in Science & Technology
Posted on 12 March 2014.
FDA Approved First Migraine Prevention Device
Today the FDA announced their ruling on an innovative and new device that many people have been eagerly awaiting. The Cefaly is essentially a headband that can be worn to prevent migraines from developing, which would bring a significant amount of relief to the millions of people that suffer from regular migraines. The way it operates is very simple too, a self adhesive electrode sticks to the user’s forehead and sends well timed and directed electric pulses to control the onset of a migraine.
Currently the device is not available in the United States, but thanks to the FDA’s approval it will likely soon become much more available. The Cefaly is still going to remain a prescription only device, so unless your doctor says you need it you’re not going to be able to get one. The device is also only supposed to be worn for a maximum of 20 minutes per day but many doctors and researchers say that is far and beyond enough time given just how effective it is. This is absolutely great news for the millions of migraine sufferers, hopefully it’ll hit shelves soon and start making people feel a whole lot better.
Posted in Health
Posted on 08 March 2014.
Researchers Say Baby was Cured of HIV
Research released this week by a medical group in Florida makes some shocking and potentially groundbreaking claims. About 9 months ago a baby was born in Mississippi with HIV, and now reports are showing that the treatment given and the steps taken have in fact cured the child of HIV. Doctors say it is absolutely unacceptable that the child was born with HIV in the first place, largely due to the fact that it is almost entirely preventable, but they’re still happy to report that the child will be able to lead a normal life without the HIV medication so many people depend on.
The child was given an experimental and immediate treatment for HIV that has shown major promise in the past, and this time it was once again a major success. Doctors say now that the child is 9 months old they’ve been actively monitoring her health and there are absolutely no signs of HIV, even though medication has been discontinued. This is a huge step in the right direction and many doctors say these cases are exactly what it will take to eventually find a cure for HIV, so this is absolutely great news for everyone.
Posted in Health
Posted on 05 March 2014.
NATO And Russia Planning To Meet
While the entire debacle in Russia and Ukraine is far from good news, there have been a few glimmers of hope from both sides. There have been numerous threats and possible sanctions proposed that would be nothing but bad news for the world, but today both Russia and NATO announced that they are in fact planning a joint meeting so this issue can be resolved peacefully. This is not necessarily good news but many political analysts feel that this is an absolutely huge step in the right direction to bringing this to a peaceful conclusion.
The exact details of the meeting are being kept quiet in order to increase the odds of success, and if things go well everyone is hopeful that this will bring the entire conflict to an end. Things have definitely been escalating in Ukraine recently and this is the best shot the world has at putting it to an end before it really becomes a problem. This meeting is a big sign of good news to come, and hopefully in the next few days word will come out that some sort of peaceful end has been reached so the fighting and turmoil can come to an end.
Posted in Society & Entertainment