Newsy - Sci/Health The Latest Videos From <![CDATA[FDA Mulls A Change To Its Policy Against Some Gay Men Donating Blood]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 22:40:00 -0500
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In the wake of the Orlando nightclub massacre, many gay men were disappointed to learn they couldn't donate blood to help the victims from their own community.

SEE MORE: LGBTQ Community Upset Many Can't Donate Blood To Orlando Victims

Currently, the Food and Drug Administration's policy recommends that blood centers defer donations from men who've had sex with other men in the past year. But that's being reconsidered.

Congressman Mike Quigley, who's on the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, told Time the shooting in Orlando "highlighted the discrimination gay and bisexual men face when attempting to donate blood to those in need."

The policy started as a way to reduce the risk of spreading HIV through donated blood. Since then, testing for HIV has greatly improved, but it's still not perfect.

The first part of changing the system involves the FDA asking for public comments on the "feasibility of moving from the existing time-based deferrals related to risk behaviors."

The FDA is looking to evaluate potential blood donors based on their individual behavior instead of time-based deferrals. It's unclear if or when the proposal would be implemented.

This video includes a clip from Orlando Sentinel and images from Getty Images. Music provided courtesy of APM Music. 

<![CDATA[Just Because E-Cigs Are Better For You Doesn't Mean They're Healthy]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 17:25:00 -0500
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If you're one of the estimated 9 million Americans who regularly uses electronic cigarettes, we've got some bad news for you.

Researchers from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory examined the chemicals that you're actually ingesting when you vape. The results showed that e-cigarettes can carry many of the same risks as regular combustible cigarettes.

Researchers found that 31 different toxic chemicals are present in e-cigarette vapor. Like regular cigarettes and tobacco products, many vapor products contain chemicals that can cause cancer.

SEE MORE: Study: E-Cig Vapor Affects Cells Similarly To Tobacco Smoke

The study also discovered two chemicals, propylene oxide and glycidol, that had never been found in e-cigarettes before. Both compounds are listed as probable carcinogens.

A press release for the study read in part: "Advocates of e-cigarettes say emissions are much lower than from conventional cigarettes, so you’re better off using e-cigarettes …  but the problem is, it doesn’t mean that they’re healthy. Regular cigarettes are super unhealthy. E-cigarettes are just unhealthy."

But if you just have to have your e-cigarette, the study did find a few options to make each puff less harmful. Vapor products were found to be unhealthier at higher voltages, since more voltage means more heat and more chemicals being released.

Also, the older your device is, the more likely it is to release more chemicals. You could also get flavorless liquids because some flavoring agents were found to have additional health risks.

But even without the flavoring, the harmful chemicals propylene glycol and glycerin were found to be the most common ingredients in e-liquids.

This video includes clips from Fontem Ventures and CBS and images from Getty Images and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

<![CDATA[An Antibiotic Found In Our Noses Fights MRSA]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 15:28:00 -0500
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The key to fighting the most common drug-resistant superbug may have just been found — in nose germs.

The superbug, MRSA, is a drug-resistant strain of Staph aureus, and it's bad news. It infects 80,000 people in the U.S. every year, leading to 11,000 deaths. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers it a serious threat. It also tends to strike places like hospitals and nursing homes.

We bring it to those places in our noses. Staph aureus bacteria are naturally found up the nostrils of about 30 percent of adults, a few of whom have the drug-resistant strain.

Scientists in Germany wanted to know what's up with the other 70 percent, so they went gold digging and found a bacteria that makes a new antibiotic that can kill MRSA.

SEE MORE: Why Are There So Few New Antibiotics?

Since resistance to antibiotics is one of those apocalyptic threats scientists keep warning us about, and the discovery of new ones is getting pretty rare, a new way to fight MRSA is exciting. But there's more good news.

The new antibiotic doesn't even come close to explaining the 70 percent of us who don't carry Staph aureus. That means there are still more secrets to discover up our noses.

This video includes images and clips from the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Getty Images. Music provided courtesy of APM Music.

<![CDATA[Jupiter's Great Red Spot Is So Loud It Heats Up The Planet]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 12:45:00 -0500
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Jupiter's Great Red Spot is so violent, the noise it makes can heat the atmosphere above it by 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

The storm causes a lot of turbulence, some of which makes it all the way to Jupiter's upper atmosphere as acoustic waves — you know, sound.

Imagine the roar of a tornado, except the tornado is twice as wide as Earth.

That acoustic energy turns into heat. The Great Red Spot and storms like it make the entire atmosphere around Jupiter's equator hundreds of degrees hotter.

SEE MORE: What the Hell Is This Noise Jupiter's Making?

We do see the same heating phenomenon here on Earth, but lucky for us it's not as severe.

Parts of the atmosphere high above the Andes Mountains are thought to briefly heat up by hundreds of degrees, thanks to acoustic waves from gusts of wind at the surface.

This video includes clips and images from NASA.

<![CDATA[The Ice Bucket Challenge Funded A Major ALS Gene Breakthrough]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 10:56:00 -0500
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"I nominate LeBron Jr., Bryce Maximus and President Obama [for the] ALS challenge," NBA star LeBron James said just before he was doused with ice-cold water.

Remember just a few years ago when everyone was doing the ice bucket challenge? 

Well, those viral videos have supposedly helped fuel a scientific breakthrough in ALS research.

"Three, two, one," singer Justin Timberlake said before dumping his bucket of ice water.

In a paper published in Nature Genetics, researchers say they discovered the gene NEK1 and mutations of it that are linked to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, otherwise known as ALS.

"The discovery of NEK1 highlights the value of 'big data' in ALS research. The sophisticated gene analysis that led to this finding was only possible because of the large number of ALS samples available," said Lucie Bruijn of The ALS Association.

ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, affects the brain and spinal cord. It's known to attack nerves and, as a result, cause muscles to shut down. Many people with the disease die within two to five years of being diagnosed.

SEE MORE: ALS Researchers To Haters: The Ice Bucket Challenge Worked

Former President George W. Bush shouted, "Oh!" 

"That check is for me," Laura Bush said after pouring water on his head.

But the vids, made popular in 2014, reportedly brought the donations in left and right.

"Kim, this is a lot of water," Ellen Degeneres said

"Oh my god. I don't even want to see this happening to me," Kim Kardashian said. 

The 2014 ice bucket challenge brought in an estimated $115 million in donations to the The ALS Association that year.

Now that the gene has been discovered, the foundation says it's looking to finish what the ice bucket challenge started and find a cure for ALS. A new campaign called Every Drop Adds Up is expected to gear up in August.

This video includes a clip from NRK.

<![CDATA[Why It Matters That Dolly The Sheep's Cloned 'Sisters' Are Healthier]]> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 21:15:00 -0500
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In 1996, Dolly the sheep became the world's first mammal cloned from an adult cell. 

Scientists fused the DNA from one sheep with an egg from another to create an embryo that eventually became Dolly.

Sadly, Dolly didn't live to see her seventh birthday because of a lung disease. She also seemed to age much quicker than an average ewe, suffering from early onset osteoarthritis and joint problems. 

That raised concerns that cloned animals might not be as healthy as naturally born animals. However, Dolly's "sisters," Daisy, Debbie, Denise and Dianna, were cloned from the same group of cells years later and are faring much better.

They just turned 9, which is about 70 in human years. The sheep have made it more than two years longer than Dolly and don't seem to have any of the same health problems as their predecessor. 

It's tough to say why the sisters are healthier than Dolly, but scientists suspect that advances in embryo development methods account for the differences.

The continued wellness of Daisy, Debbie, Denise and Dianna is a crucial milestone, not only for the scientific advancement of cloning technology, but to prove that cloning can be ethical.

It's morally important for scientists that cloned animals can lead healthy happy lives. Researcher Kevin Sinclair says weak, sickly clones would raise "serious ethical and welfare concerns about creating these animals in the first place."

The sisters are set to be put down next year at the ripe old age of 10 so their bodies can be studied further, but their contributions to the field of cloning will live on. 

This video includes clips from University of Nottingham and images from Getty Images. Music provided courtesy of APM Music.

<![CDATA[We Might Stop Growing As We Age, But Our Ears Don't]]> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 16:01:00 -0500
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Ever notice older people tend to have big ears? Like, Yoda big?

It's not your imagination. Our ears really do get bigger with age.

Studies show that our ears get around a fifth of a millimeter longer every year on average. That isn't much, but it does start to add up after a while. And those who start with bigger ears may see the most growth. Sorry, Will. Sorry, Michael. Sorry, Mr. President.

SEE MORE: Study Suggests Pasta Won't Hurt Your Waistline

There have been a lot of theories on why our ears grow, but currently the thinking is that our ears just lose elasticity and parts of them, especially the earlobe, start to droop. The same thing can happen to the tips of our noses.

And although people seem more likely to notice the ears of older men, women experience the same thing. Hairstyles, plus the fact that women's ears are usually smaller than men's, could be why it's usually less noticeable for ladies than the guys.

This video includes clips from Walt Disney Studios / "Return of the Jedi," ScreenSlamNBC and The White House and images from / Bobby NickJordan Fischer / CC BY 2.0rottonara / CC0psyberartist / CC BY 2.0Julim6 / CC0 and geralt / CC0. Music provided courtesy of APM Music.

<![CDATA[NASA's Training For Deep Space Means Living In The Deep Sea First]]> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 10:12:00 -0500
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Astronauts and other scientists are calling the Atlantic Ocean home for the next few weeks.

The NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations — also known as NEEMO-21 — began July 21 and will last 16 days.

The underwater mission allows crews to prepare for deep-space missions by conducting research, testing new tools and even doing simulated spacewalks.

Aquanauts are stationed on Florida International University's Aquarius Reef Base. At 62 feet below the ocean's surface, it's the world's only undersea research laboratory.

Astronauts participating in the 21st mission are from the U.S., Ireland, Germany and South Africa.

SEE MORE: Five Years Later, Juno Finally Got The First In-Orbit Photo Of Jupiter

Some will remain on the mission for 16 days, while others will rotate out halfway through.

This video includes clips from NASA Johnson and images from Facebook / NASA NEEMOFacebook / Aquarius Reef Base and NASA / Karl Shreeves.

<![CDATA[This Solar-Powered Plane FINALLY Made It Around The World]]> Mon, 25 Jul 2016 23:12:00 -0500
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The solar plane trying to fly around the world finally made it.

"If this works, of course, everybody can do it on the ground to make a cleaner world," one of the pilots said in a Solar Impulse video.

Solar Impulse's voyage started in March 2015, and just over a year later, the plane landed back where it first took off in Abu Dhabi. 

SEE MORE: Sorry, Solar City: Solar Power Still Isn't Competitive

The record-setting flight is a big win for solar energy, but there have been some challenges along the way. Last summer, the trip was stalled in Hawaii after the plane's batteries overheated.

And in this last leg of the trip, there were concerns about how extreme heat in the Middle East could affect the plane.

Before the landing, Solar Impulse's final pilot said in a statement, "I'm excited to come so close to the goal, but unfortunately there are still so many people we have to motivate before having a world running on the same clean technologies."

This video includes clips from Solar Impulse. Music provided courtesy of APM Music.

<![CDATA[New Zealand Has 34 Years To Get Rid Of Rats]]> Mon, 25 Jul 2016 08:21:00 -0500
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New Zealand wants to get rid of its pests by 2050. 

conservation plan announced Monday aims to eradicate rats, stoats and opossums throughout the country. 

"We want our native wildlife to be able to flourish and for New Zealand to show the world what sort of conservation gains are possible when there is the will and the way to make that happen," Prime Minister John Key said.

And this isn't the first initiative of its kind. Canada has kept its Alberta province free of rats for more than 50 years by creating a "rat control zone" that is monitored by several rat hunters.

SEE MORE: Can We Save Orangutans?

New Zealand doesn't have any native rats. The species that live there now were all introduced from Europe and the Asia-Pacific area, according to New Zealand's Department of Conservation.

These rats and other pests kill around 25 million native birds and cost the economy $3.3 billion per year.

New Zealand's government will invest an initial $28 million in the project. That's on top of the $60 million to $80 million already spent on pest control each year.

This video includes clips from National Geographic and the New Zealand Herald and images from HerPhotographer / CC BY 2.0Bayer CropScience UK / CC BY 2.0Cecil Sanders / CC BY 2.0 and Getty Images. Music provided courtesy of APM Music.

<![CDATA[Death And Destruction: China's Flooding Problem Strikes Again]]> Sat, 23 Jul 2016 22:38:00 -0500
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An estimated 9 million people have been affected by flooding in northern and central China. More than 150 people have died.

Xinhua reports torrential rain in recent days triggered landslides that caused the collapse of tens of thousands of homes. Flooding also wiped out large areas of crops. Estimated losses from the floods are over $2 billion.

SEE MORE: If It Feels Like Wildfires Are Getting Bigger, It's Because They Are

This summer, the country's seen remarkably heavy rain. Earlier this month, rains killed at least another 160 people.

Some have blamed persistent flooding on overdevelopment and inadequate infrastructure. An environmental scientist told The Wall Street Journal, "China's urban construction was carried out at too fast a pace."

Flooding has been a serious issue in China for years. In June 2008, flooding in southern China took the lives of more than 50 people and affected millions. And in June 2011, more than 170 people were killed in floods in eastern parts of the country.

In this most recent round of flooding, though, some people complained government officials didn't do all they could to protect people. 

Locals in Xingtai said officials didn't give adequate warning and that evacuation efforts lagged.

This video includes images from Getty Images and clips from CCTV News.

<![CDATA[Colorado Town Can Exhale: Water Tested Negative For THC]]> Sat, 23 Jul 2016 18:17:00 -0500
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A small town in Colorado doesn't have to worry about THC being in its water anymore.

Initial testing earlier in the week in Hugo, Colorado, led to a warning from authorities to avoid cooking with or drinking the town's water.

SEE MORE: Californians Will Vote On Recreational Weed In November

"It's a field kit. It's a presumptive positive. It's much like a pregnancy test. It shows for the presence, not quantity or anything like that," an officer told KKTV

KUSA reports scientists with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation believe the first test kits gave a false positive.

The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office canceled the advisory Saturday morning after the CBI said the water samples throughout the town tested negative for THC.

But authorities said there was evidence of possible tampering with one of the town's wells.

The investigation into possible forced entry into a well house is still ongoing.

This video includes clips from KMGH and KCNC.

<![CDATA[Chinese Scientists Will Be First To Use CRISPR Gene Editing On Humans]]> Sat, 23 Jul 2016 10:01:00 -0500
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Chinese scientists are about to become the first in the world to inject people with genetically modified cells made using a special gene-editing process.

Starting next month, the team of scientists plans on testing the cells they edit in patients with incurable lung cancer who haven't responded to other treatments.

It's called CRISPR, and it works like a text editor of sorts. The technique manipulates DNA by cutting certain sections and adding new sequences or removing them all together.

In this case, scientists are planning on using CRISPR to turn off a gene that's been shown to cause slow immune response. The hope is this will let the immune system attack the cancer cells.

SEE MORE: Gene Editing Tool CRISPR Is Making Scientists Face The Hard Questions

There have been a lot of ethical and safety concerns surrounding this type of gene editing. In 2015, a group of scientists published a letter in Nature warning against editing the kinds of genetic code that gets passed on.

But this experiment isn't going to be editing any hereditary genes. Still, it is one step closer to what a lot of people see as the bright side of genetic modification — potential cures for genetic diseases and cancer.

And it's not much of a surprise China wanted to get a jump on human CRISPR experimentation; it's first in this area pretty regularly. It had the first CRISPR-edited human embryos and the first CRISPR-edited monkeys.

similar experiment was approved recently in the U.S. In that experiment, scientists are also hoping to get the immune system to fight cancer cells. But the experiment in China will still be the first.

This video includes clips from MIT and the University of California, Berkeley and images from David Goodsell / CC BY 3.0Nina Sesina / CC BY SA 4.0 and the U.S. Department of Energy.

<![CDATA[A Dying Breed: Why South Africa's Great White Sharks Are Disappearing]]> Fri, 22 Jul 2016 13:28:00 -0500
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South Africa's great white shark population is rapidly shrinking.

And if the situation doesn't improve, they could disappear altogether.

That's according to new research from Stellenbosch University.

Following a six-year study in the coastal town of Gansbaai — known for its dense population of great whites — scientists estimate about 350 to 520 are left in South Africa's waters.

SEE MORE: Want To See What A Shark Sees? This Camera Can Show You

"If we don't do something drastic now, legislation-wise and management-wise, we risk to lose these iconic predators," Dr. Sara Andreotti, one of the study's researchers, told BBC.

The researchers say there are several reasons why South Africa's great white sharks are dying off so quickly.

Human interference is the top contributor; that includes things like fishing, underwater cages and shark nets to protect swimmers.

But ocean pollution, which can decimate the sharks' food sources, is also a big factor.

And it doesn't help that South African great whites have the most limited gene pool of all white shark populations. According to the study, this makes breeding difficult and illness more likely.

The study's results are particularly disturbing, considering South Africa was the first country to declare great whites a protected species in 1991.

National Geographic suggests that everyone — from ecotourism operators and fishermen to researchers and the government — take every step to protect the animals.

This video includes clips from Stellenbosch UniversityNational GeographicEXO Travel and Discovery and images from Getty Images.

<![CDATA[Asking For A Friend: How Do I Fix 'Skinny Fat'?]]> Thu, 21 Jul 2016 16:04:00 -0500
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"Skinny fat": A condition that's nature's backhanded compliment of making you think you look good. 

The scholars at Urban Dictionary define "skinny fat" as "when someone is thin and looks great in clothes, but is all flabby underneath." That definition makes it seem like it's strictly a cosmetic annoyance but having a higher body fat percentage can put someone at a higher risk for health complications, like high blood pressure, diabetes and even an earlier death.

Stephanie Mansour, the founder and CEO of Step It Up With Steph!, is a lifestyle and weight loss coach. She teaches people how to take the right steps on their journey to transforming their bodies. Newsy's Cody LaGrow asked the coach a few questions about his struggle to beat the bulge.

Cody LaGrow: "You see my body type. What's your takeaway?"

Stephanie Mansour: "I think you're a lost cause."

CL: "I have that moment of clarity, and I'm using running shorts as makeshift male Spanx. What's the next step?"

SM: "The next step is to create a mantra and to get really clear as to the reason why."

CL: "Abs?"

SM: "Why do you want abs?"

CL: "Because I hate muffin-topping over my jeans."

SM: "So what I would do for your mantra is, 'I like feeling really tight in my pants because I love people complimenting how good I look.' I want you to say that over and over and over, multiple times a day — that positive psychology."

CL: "How important is a support group when you're trying to get fit? Because I tend to be friends with a lot of hungry alcoholics."

SM: "You want to take an inventory of who is around you. It doesn't mean you need to drop those friends, the really fun party animal, you can still be a party animal and still be slim and lose weight successfully."

CL: "What's the go-to drink?"

SM: "The go-to drink is clear liquor with soda water and a tiny bit of your favorite juice. Make sure it's 100-percent juice."

CL: "Let's discuss diet. I'm trying to remove some jelly from the belly, put some ace in the base. What should I focus on?"

SM: "This is actually a part of my doctor-approved food program as well for my clients. You should be eating protein every three to four hours. The reason being is if you're starving, after seven hours of not eating, your body is craving pizza or a donut. Those sweets and those carbs look extra good. Are you a victim of that?"

CL: "That cheeseburger sounds delicious."

SM: "You want to lift yourself with protein or fruit, then your blood sugar levels will start to stabilize, and you won’t crave the burger."

CL: "I'm at home, and I want to start doing something. What do I do?"

SM: "Remember that five minutes is 500 percent better than zero minutes. So, do a five minute workout that focuses less on cardio and more on strength training, and then build that up over time and prove to yourself that you can do 30 minute workouts."

This video includes clips from Columbia Records / BeyoncéNBC / "30 Rock" and Touchstone Pictures / "The Hot Chick." Music provided courtesy of APM Music. 

<![CDATA[These Volunteer Medics Care About People, Not Party Affiliation]]> Thu, 21 Jul 2016 14:03:00 -0500
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Political divides aren't stopping these volunteer medics from helping those in need.

"We all need to treat each other with respect and dignity and kindness, and help each other out, regardless of what our belief systems are," said RNC street medic trainer Delyla Wilson. 

People like street medic trainer Delyla Wilson are at the conventions in Cleveland and Philadelphia training local volunteers to provide basic care.

"Our goal as medics is to humanize a situation that can be very dehumanizing," Wilson said.

Volunteer medics wander the protests, handing out fluids or providing minor care.

But it's also an effort to leave a lasting impression on the communities — like opening a weeklong wellness center for the Republican National Convention. The center helps those who can't afford medical treatment or can't see a doctor.

"If they get sick or injured, we want to be there to help them in places where our current health care system does not provide," Wilson said.

And after everyone leaves the conventions, the volunteer medics will still be helping others.

This video includes music provided by APM music. 

<![CDATA[Prince Harry Continues Princess Diana's Fight Against HIV And AIDS]]> Thu, 21 Jul 2016 13:01:00 -0500
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"When my mother held the hand of a man dying of AIDS in an east London hospital, no one would have imagined that just over a quarter of century later, treatment would exist that could see HIV positive people live full, healthy, loving lives," Prince Harry said at the International AIDS Conference.

Prince Harry is taking on the fight against AIDS and HIV, a cause his mother, the late Princess Diana, also championed.

The British royal spoke at the International AIDS Conference in South Africa on Thursday.

His speech comes just one week after he took an HIV test and live-streamed it on Facebook. 

UNAIDS says the fights against new HIV infections is making good progress for children, but new adult HIV infection rates have remained steady for the past five years.

Prince Harry said the new risk in the fights against the disease is complacency. "As people with HIV live longer, AIDS is a topic that has drifted from the headlines. And with that drift of attention, we risk a real drift of funding and of action to beat the virus," he said.

In 2006, Prince Harry and Prince Seeiso of the African nation Lesotho founded Sentebale. Their organization helps children who suffer from extreme poverty and combats Lesotho's HIV/AIDS epidemic. On the organization's website, Prince Harry writes, "This charity is a way in which Prince Seeiso and I can remember our mothers, who both worked with vulnerable children and people affected by AIDS."

UNAIDS estimates more than 36 million people worldwide were living with HIV in 2015 and just 17 million of them were being treated for the disease.

The five-day International AIDS Conference featured presentations and speeches from experts and celebrities from around the world.

This video includes clips from Facebook / The Royal Family and the International AIDS Society and images from the International AIDS Society and Twitter / @UNAIDS. Music provided courtesy of APM Music.

<![CDATA[Look Out Before You Cook Out: 372,000 Pounds Of Hot Dogs Recalled]]> Wed, 20 Jul 2016 16:41:00 -0500
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If you're planning a cookout in the near future, you may want to check your hot dogs before you grill.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced more than 372,000 pounds of hot dogs and corn dogs from Bar-S Foods are being recalled over listeria concerns.

SEE MORE: Kellogg Issues Recall After Peanut Residue Was Found In Flour

The products in question were made between July 10 and 13 and shipped all over the country. Listeria can cause listeriosis, which can result in aches, fever and stomach issues.

No actual bacteria was found in the food and no illnesses have been reported, but the products were still pulled as a precaution due to the company’s past issues with listeria.

The department urged consumers who have the potentially affected items to either throw them away or return them. You can go to the USDA website to see which specific products are being recalled.

This video includes clips and images from Bar-S Foods.

<![CDATA[Should Cigarettes In Movies Spark An R Rating?]]> Tue, 19 Jul 2016 23:07:00 -0500
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The Motion Picture Association of America is facing a class-action lawsuit over depictions of smoking in movies rated PG-13 and lower.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, those battling the MPAA say it's irresponsible to give movies a G, PG or PG-13 rating if they show smoking.

The MPAA argues movie ratings are "opinions" that aim to reflect how most parents would judge a film for kids. MPAA lawyers say those opinions are protected by the First Amendment.

SEE MORE: The CDC Says Ads Are Encouraging Teens To Smoke E-Cigarettes

But plaintiffs say this really isn't a matter of free speech, it's an issue of false advertising that could hurt kids.

In 2012, a surgeon general report concluded there's a causal relationship between smoking in movies and younger people starting to smoke.

Since then, there have been some changes to smoking in movies. In 2015, Disney announced its policy would further restrict smoking in movies. The company does have exceptions for historical figures that smoked or when negative aspects of smoking are emphasized.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says youth-rated movies "that were smokefree increased from 2002 to 2015 (from 35% to 62%)."

SEE MORE: Fewer And Fewer People Are Smoking In The US

The CDC says giving R ratings to movies that depict smoking "would be expected to reduce the number of teen smokers by nearly 1 in 5 and prevent 1 million deaths from smoking among children alive today."

this video includes images from Kenneth Lu / CC BY 2.0Ken Hawkins / CC BY 2.0Michael Shick / CC BY 2.0 and Sarah_Ackerman / CC BY 2.0 and clips from Buena Vista Pictures / "The Little Mermaid," Buena Vista Distribution Company / "101 Dalmatians" and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

<![CDATA[Because Things Weren't Dicey Enough At The RNC, Now There's Norovirus]]> Tue, 19 Jul 2016 17:22:00 -0500
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It thrives on cruise ships, in schools, at Chipotle and, apparently this year, it also thrives at the Republican National Convention. We're talking about norovirus.

At least a dozen GOP staffers from California are spending a lot of time in the bathroom this week and, while health officials are still testing samples to confirm, a county health commissioner told media, "It looks like norovirus."

SEE MORE: Zika's Untold War: Power vs. The People

The highly contagious virus resembles your worst nightmare of a stomach bug and is spread through contact with infected people or surfaces or through contaminated food or water.

The virus usually isn't too dangerous, though The Los Angeles Times reports some sick staff members were hospitalized to receive fluids.

Officials say they're doing everything they can to contain it — the staffers with symptoms have been quarantined and "towers of hand sanitizer" have been deployed.

SEE MORE: This Is How Fortified Cleveland Is For The RNC

As for the rest of the California crew in Cleveland this week? They've been told to avoid hand shaking and double dipping.

So far, staffers and delegates from other states have remained norovirus-free.

This video includes clips from C-SPAN and images from Getty Images. Music provided courtesy of APM Music. 

<![CDATA[July's Full Moon Has An Interesting Name — And History]]> Tue, 19 Jul 2016 12:00:00 -0500
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June brought us the rare sight of the "strawberry moon" during the summer solstice, and now July is bringing us ... the "buck moon"?

July's full moon is nicknamed after the woodland creature because Native Americans used the animal's growth patterns to track the seasons.

According to the "Old Farmer's Almanac," tribes noticed bucks would sprout new antlers around this time of year and named the moon after the trend.

And "buck" isn't the only nickname this full moon has. Some also call it the "thunder moon" or "hay moon" because farmers start to store their hay in preparation for this season's stormy weather.

Stargazers can catch a glimpse of the "buck moon" Tuesday evening starting at about 6:56 Eastern time.

This video includes clips from Stephan S / CC BY 3.0 and earthspace101 / CC BY 3.0 and images from Getty Images. Music provided courtesy of APM Music.

<![CDATA[Why Flying 30 MPH Doesn't Spell Disaster For Hummingbirds]]> Tue, 19 Jul 2016 07:04:00 -0500
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When was the last time you saw a hummingbird crash? 

These little birds can fly at over 30 miles per hour and stop in an instant. So the question is, how does the way they see help them avoid high-speed collisions? 

Researchers in Canada already knew coming into their study on this topic that bees evaluate distance based on how long something takes to pass their visual field. 

SEE MORE: This Tiny Bird Has The Longest Migration Of Any Animal On Earth

It's like when you're on a road trip, as telephone poles and trees come in and out of view. 

But hummingbirds didn't adjust their flights when the researchers simulated this kind of information in a tunnel they created.

Instead, researchers found hummingbirds rely on the size of an object to know if they're getting close. When the researchers made the patterns on one side of the tunnel bigger than the other, the birds flew closer to the smaller patterns. 

The trick is these patterns were a series of horizontal lines, meaning the birds judge an object's location and size in the vertical axis. 

The researchers noted hummingbirds may not fully grasp the size of objects around them, but monitoring how the sizes of things change helps them avoid high-speed collisions. 

This video includes clips and images from the University of British Columbia. Music provided courtesy of APM Music.

<![CDATA[There Are A LOT More Galaxies Than We Previously Thought Existed]]> Mon, 18 Jul 2016 13:00:00 -0500
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South Africa's MeerKAT radio telescope recently found over 1,300 galaxies far out in the universe. 

The telescope only looked at a tiny splinter of the sky –– less than 0.01 percent of the celestial sphere. Previous research had only found 70 galaxies in that area.

Radio telescopes work by receiving, sending and reflecting non-visible light of faraway galaxies, stars, black holes and more. 

MeerKAT is considered one of the most powerful telescopes in the world, but its best discoveries may be yet to come. Right now, MeerKAT has just 16 of its 64 scheduled receptor dishes. 

And even that will be outdated by the 2020s, when the Square Kilometre Array (and its 3,000 receptors) is expected to debut. 

SEE MORE: China Is About Ready To Look For Aliens After Relocating 9,000 Humans

But why look for these distant galaxies when we lack the technology to go to them? 

Think about a plane overhead. The sound it makes trails where it appears in the sky. What you're hearing is actually the state of the plane seconds before you looked up. 

Light from these galaxies takes hundreds of millions of years to reach us on Earth, so what we're seeing is actually their past, too.

By finding these galaxies and tracking how they change over time, scientists are able to get a more complete history of the universe. 

This video includes clips from NASA, the Wall Street JournalCCTV and BBC, and images and clips from Square Kilometre Array. Music provided courtesy of APM Music.

<![CDATA[Is Social Media Harming Kids' Moral Development? UK Parents Think So]]> Mon, 18 Jul 2016 12:20:00 -0500
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Many parents in the United Kingdom think social media is harmful to their children.

Of the more than 1,700 parents polled by researchers at The Jubilee Centre for Character & Virtues, more than half said they think social media impedes their children's "moral development."

SEE MORE: On 9/11, We Turned On The TV. Now, We Turn To Social Media

The University of Birmingham researchers also discovered 60 percent of those polled believe anger and hostility are the most common negative character traits they see used on social media.

It's not that surprising with the recent Brexit.

Despite the popularity of selfies, parents ranked vanity as only the ninth most negative social media vice. 

Not all parents hate their children's use of social media. Fifteen percent of parents said sites like Facebook and Twitter positively influence their children's character.

And 72 percent of parents who use social media said they see "positive moral messages" on social media on a daily basis.

SEE MORE: Pakistani Social Media Celeb Is Dead After An Apparent 'Honor Killing'

But if it's so concerning to parents, why do they let their kids have social media accounts? 

Users have to be at least 13 to use Facebook, but researchers at the University of Birmingham said parents acknowledged "64 percent of 11- and 12-year-olds use Facebook in violation of its age restriction."

Those parents probably won't want to look at the University of Pittsburgh study published earlier this year. It found young adults who frequently check social media sites are more likely to become depressed. 

This video includes images from Getty Images and clips from SnapchatInstagramFacebookTwitterABC / "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" and  the University of Birmingham.

<![CDATA[Deadly E. Coli Outbreak Is A Reminder To Wash Your Salad Mix]]> Mon, 18 Jul 2016 11:11:00 -0500
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Health officials in England are reminding people it's a good idea to wash your salad and salad mixes before chowing down — it could honestly save your life. 

Public Health England officials say an outbreak of E. coli in salad mix is responsible for the deaths of two people. An additional 150 people are also believed to have been infected by the bacteria. 

Officials are telling people in England to be especially cautious of "rocket leaves," more commonly known as arugula. 

SEE MORE: Chipotle's Ad Touts Fresh Food, But Will It Work After E. Coli Scare?

Dr. Isobel Oliver from PHE said, "As an additional precautionary measure, we have advised a small number of wholesalers to cease adding some imported rocket leaves to their mixed salad products pending further investigations."

Giving your salad a quick rinse before consuming is highly recommended, as the leafy greens could be carriers of various bacteria like E. coli and listeria.  

Even prepackaged salads can have these issues. In January, Dole recalled six brands of packaged salads after a listeria outbreak was blamed for the death of one person. Several others reportedly fell ill from the mixes, too. 

The California Department of Public Health advises, "If the product is not labeled 'washed,' 'triple washed' or 'ready-to-eat,' the product needs to be washed before consumption."

U.S. consumers shouldn't be too worried about this specific E. coli outbreak. Roughly 98 percent of leaf lettuce consumed in the U.S. is grown in California and Arizona.

Health officials in England believe this outbreak came from lettuce from the Mediterranean. 

This video includes a clip from Markon Cooperative and an image from Sonny Abesamis / CC BY 2.0.

<![CDATA[Brexit May Risk Britain's Health And Science Research]]> Sun, 17 Jul 2016 14:09:00 -0500
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Brexit supporters have argued leaving the European Union will strengthen the U.K., but the country's booming research industry could be worse off.

A key argument for leaving was that Britain put more money into the EU than it got out. 

But when it comes to scientific research, from cancer to biology, it's been the opposite trend. While the U.K. has been a top-five country in terms of publishing discoveries, it's recently ranked No. 20 for government spending on research. 

The Guardian reports several researchers have already gone back on their plans to work in the U.K. because of the possibility of losing the EU's grant money. And losing scientists to Frankfurt, Germany, and Paris could become a trend. 

SEE MORE: Some People Don't Trust Experts — And That's A Problem

According to the paper, the British government would have to pay about $660 million a year to make up for the lost funding from the EU. 

Keeping EU grants may depend on the U.K. allowing freedom of movement for EU citizens –– something "Brexiters" were very much against. 

Though some have argued there's a way the U.K. could negotiate with the EU to keep research funding and control migration. 

Despite voting to, the U.K. still hasn't officially left the EU. The country's new prime minister has said she won't start the process before the end of 2016. 

This video includes clips from BBCCCTVChannel 4 NewsRTU.K. ParliamentEuropean ParliamentFrance 24 and the University of Oxford. Music provided courtesy of APM Music.

<![CDATA[Top 3 Animal (and Pokémon) Stories That Made Our Week]]> Sat, 16 Jul 2016 14:55:00 -0500
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Thanks to social media and YouTube, there's no shortage of viral animal videos. But this week, a bunch of animals made the news for more than just being cute, funny or larger than life.

First was Larry the cat. The feline is a pretty big deal in Great Britain since he's the chief mouser to the Cabinet Office.

That means Larry is in charge of catching mice at 10 Downing Street where the British prime minister lives.

His official U.K. government bio also says, "Larry spends his days greeting guests to the house, inspecting security defenses and testing antique furniture for napping quality."

Larry arrived at Downing Street in 2011 when David Cameron was in office.

So headlines were made when the government announced the cat would be staying despite Cameron stepping down and Theresa May taking over as the new prime minister.

Still, before leaving office, Cameron posted a photo to Twitter of him with Larry as "proof" he genuinely cares for the feline, despite rumors to the contrary.

Next, we venture to an archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean called the Faroe Islands, which has yet to be covered on Google's Street View.

In an effort to get people interested in visiting, a member of the islands' tourist board strapped some cameras to a bunch of sheep and let them loose in some remote locations.

Why sheep? Well, Gizmag reports the sheep population on the islands is almost double that of the human population.

As for Google? It told The Huffington Post, "We're feeling a bit sheepish that the Faroe Islands are not yet on Street View."

Finally, if anything has taken over the news this past week, it's "Pokémon Go," a mobile game that has players capturing and battling creatures called Pokémon — you might have heard of them.

It's estimated around 21 million people are playing the game daily, which makes it the biggest mobile game in U.S. history. And within days of launching, "Pokémon Go" was already installed on more Android devices than the Tinder dating app.

Because a lot of users are obsessively playing the game, plenty of museums and memorials have had to kindly ask people to put their phones away.

This video includes clips from BBC10 Downing StreetVisit Faroe Islands and The Pokémon Company and images from Getty Images.

<![CDATA[The Ocean Is Too Loud For Whales And Dolphins]]> Sat, 16 Jul 2016 14:25:00 -0500
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Our oceans are noisy. The movement of ships, pinging of sonar and whir of propellers are a near constant wherever man is.

And that has a big affect on ocean life, especially mammals like whales and dolphins that use sound to communicate, move around and locate food.

For one, man-made sonar disrupts whale behavior. A 2008 study found that some whale species stop "vocalizing and foraging for food" around sonar. And that can lead to starvation and death.

Sonar can hurt whales in other ways. It can make them flee and beach themselves. Some species are affected by sonar more than others. Even blue whales — one of the largest animals we know of — will flee from sonar.

Because sonar can harm marine mammals, the U.S. Navy has — in 2015 and 2016 — limited sonar testing and lowered sonar levels.

There's other noise pollution. Loud noises, like boat propellers or blasting for oil wells, make whales dive frantically, which can give them the bends, a condition where nitrogen bubbles form in the tissue. This can kill them.

And while law says animals can't be exposed to sounds louder than 180 decibels, noise carries farther underwater. Whales up to 124 miles away might respond to those noises.

But it's not all bad news. A 2016 road map offered ways to reduce oceanic noise pollution, like protecting natural soundscapes, using existing laws to fight habitat disruption and promoting quieter technologies.

This video includes clips from the U.S. NavyBBCenneadin / CC BY 3.0GoProNational Geographic and NTDTV and images from Getty Images.

<![CDATA[An Antibiotic For Gonorrhea Is Becoming Less Effective]]> Fri, 15 Jul 2016 12:02:00 -0500
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Gonorrhea is becoming resistant to one of the only drugs left that can treat it.

And the number of people contracting the disease is on the rise. Five percent more people had gonorrhea in 2014 compared to the year before.

A two-drug cocktail is usually the recommended regimen, but studies show one of the antibiotics is working less and less.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report on Friday that showed gonorrhea is quickly growing resistant to azithromycin, one of the drugs prescribed to treat it.

The CDC discovered the percentage of gonorrhea that doesn't respond to azithromycin grew from 0.6 percent in 2013 to 2.5 percent in 2014.

Symptoms of gonorrhea include pain, bleeding and burning. The problem is, most people don't show signs until the late stages, if at all.

And if left untreated, gonorrhea can cause infertility and sterility in women and men.

Although numbers are still small and the disease is rarely life-threatening, the CDC recommends women under the age of 25 and gay men who are sexually active get tested once a year.

This video includes an image from Charles Williams / CC BY 2.0 and nathanmac87 / CC BY 2.0.

<![CDATA[BP Puts A Price On Its Massive Oil Spill: $61.6 Billion]]> Thu, 14 Jul 2016 21:45:00 -0500
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BP has put a final number on the cost of the 2010 oil spill: $61.6 billion.

The April 2010 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig killed 11 BP workers and sent crude oil spewing into the ocean. Over the next 87 days, millions of barrels of oil leaked into the Gulf of Mexico.

In the years since the disaster, BP has slowly been analyzing the cost of its mistake. 

SEE MORE: Volkswagen Will Pay Out Billions To Car Owners Over Emissions Scandal

Last year, the company settled on a $20 billion agreement with state and federal governments to resolve some claims related to economic damages and water pollution issues.

And last month, BP agreed to pay investors $175 million to squash accusations that the company lied about the size of the spill to protect its stock value.

But by far, the number released Thursday is the biggest. BP's chief financial officer said, "We have a clear plan for managing these costs and it provides our investors with certainty going forward."

This video includes images from Getty Images and music provided courtesy of APM.

<![CDATA[How To Tell If Your Food Is Genetically Modified: It's Complicated]]> Thu, 14 Jul 2016 19:41:00 -0500
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On Thursday, Congress passed a bill that requires food packaging to tell consumers if it was made with genetically modified ingredients. But there's still a sticking point: The bipartisan-supported bill allows QR codes as acceptable labels.

Advocacy group Just Label It Campaign argued QR codes are inconvenient for consumers and that without more obvious labeling, Americans are left in the dark when deciding what they want to eat.

SEE MORE: Genetically Engineered Food Isn't As Evil As You Think It Is

Law professor Dr. Gary Marchant says QR codes add important flexibility for the food industry. He said in a statement the codes "allow concerned consumers to find out the information they want, without feeding into the scaremongering and boycott potential that mandatory written labels on the products would facilitate."

President Barack Obama is expected to sign the bill into law. After that point, the U.S. Department of Agriculture would have two years to formalize the rules.

This video include images from Getty Images, The White House and Individual Design / CC BY 2.0 and clips from Just Label It Campaign. Music provided courtesy of APM Music.

<![CDATA[Obama Ticks 'Publish Academic Paper' Off His Bucket List]]> Thu, 14 Jul 2016 18:51:00 -0500
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Barack Obama's list of accomplishments keeps growing. He's the 44th president of the United States, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and now a published author in a scientific journal.

This week, Obama authored a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The paper focused on his defining legislation: the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. 

He extolled the positive impact Obamacare's had on the country, saying it's "made significant progress toward solving long-standing challenges facing the U.S. health care system related to access, affordability, and quality of care."

That makes him the first sitting president to publish an academic paper, though it's not like Obama was in the White House taking surveys himself. 

SEE MORE: Opioid Addiction Medication Gets A Boost From The Obama Administration

The paper is known as a "special communication," which means it wasn't peer-reviewed the same way another paper would have been. 

But that doesn't mean Obama got special treatment. Turns out it's not easy to get a paper published, even if you're president. The article was revised twice and edited over the course of two months. 

JAMA's Editor-in-Chief Howard Bauchner said, "While we of course recognized the author is the president of the United States, JAMA has enormously high standards and we certainly expected the president to meet those standards."

This video includes clips from The White House and images from Getty Images. Music provided courtesy of APM Music.

<![CDATA[Why Prince Harry Live-Streamed His HIV Test]]> Thu, 14 Jul 2016 18:06:00 -0500
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Prince Harry just got tested for HIV. And it was live-streamed on Facebook.

"It's very, very simple. We don't need much blood at all," health adviser Robert Palmer said.

His results were negative, but that's beside the point. His message is simple: Getting tested for HIV should be no big deal.

"So whether you're a man, woman, gay, straight, black, white, whatever — or ginger — why wouldn't you come in and have a test?" Harry said.

The prince recently launched an HIV-awareness campaign called "Feel No Shame."

SEE MORE: Prince William Is Letting Everybody Know He's Standing Up To Bullying

"One tragic issue in particular is the shame and stigma linked to HIV. This causes thousands of children to needlessly die each year because they're keeping their illness a secret and not getting the medical attention they need," Prince Harry said.

It's a stigma Harry's mother, the late Princess Diana, also worked to end.

Public Health England estimates more than 100,000 people in the U.K. are living with HIV — and one-fourth of them don't know they're infected.

This video includes images from Getty Images. Music provided courtesy of APM Music.

<![CDATA[It Might Be Too Late To Stop Zika, But It's Not All Bad News]]> Thu, 14 Jul 2016 14:19:00 -0500
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Two studies on the spread of Zika in Latin America conclude the epidemic is likely to run its course within about three years — and there isn't much anyone can do to stop it.

Health researchers at Imperial College London built a mathematical model based on "all existing data for Zika transmission across Latin America" and on behaviors of similar diseases, like Dengue fever.

Their findings suggest Zika will eventually burn out because people can't be infected twice. Once someone gets Zika, they develop antibodies.

But there's no practical way to stop the spread of the virus in the meantime.

Controlling mosquitoes won't work; researchers say nobody considered the option until it was too late.

Trying now could just prolong the epidemic. The sooner the infection spreads through a population, the sooner it will encounter antibodies and slow down.

Likewise, a Zika vaccine could be too little, too late. By the time it's approved for testing, the epidemic is expected to be on the decline.

But researchers say the progress could give them a jump on the next outbreak. If Zika resurfaces a decade from now, health workers could jump straight to vaccine testing.

This video includes clips from Aidan O'Donnell / CC BY 3.0U.S. NavyTVNBR / CC BY 3.0PLOS Media / CC BY 3.0World Health OrganizationBBC and the International Atomic Energy Agency and images from Getty Images. Music provided courtesy of APM Music.

<![CDATA[Montana Prairie Dogs Are About To Be Vaccinated In Bulk By Drones]]> Wed, 13 Jul 2016 15:37:00 -0500
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How do you get a wild prairie dog to take its medicine? Deliver it with irresistible peanut-butter bait, via drone.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to swoop in over Montana and scatter vaccines to help prairie dogs resist diseases.

The animals have a problem with plague-carrying fleas. And infected prairie dogs can be fatal to the region's endangered black-footed ferrets, which depend on prairie dogs for food and shelter.

But 10,000 acres of prairie dog habitat is a lot to cover. The agency says the most efficient way to scatter the necessary medicine is via drones.

SEE MORE: Can We Save Orangutans?

A single person hand-delivering baits can cover 6 acres an hour. A drone launching bait in three directions at once could cover more than 200 acres an hour.

The prairie dogs, meanwhile, will keep their eyes on the sky. The peanut-butter rain could start as soon as September.

This video includes clips from Greg Eales / CC BY 3.0, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Steeves F. / CC BY 3.0 and images from Getty Images, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Gast / CC BY 3.0. Music provided courtesy of APM Music.

<![CDATA[Hop Back On That Bike: Cycling Could Lower Your Type 2 Diabetes Risk]]> Wed, 13 Jul 2016 13:18:00 -0500
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Preventing Type 2 diabetes could be as easy as hopping on your bicycle.

That's according to a new study published in the journal PLOS Medicine. For five years, Danish researchers looked at the cycling habits of more than 52,000 men and women between the ages of 50 and 65.

The more the participants cycled, the less likely they were to develop Type 2 diabetes. Those cycling the most rode a bike for more than seven hours on average every week.

Type 2 diabetes happens when the body can't make enough insulin to regulate the glucose levels in the blood.

It's a common form of the disease, but some patients with Type 2 diabetes can go years without being diagnosed because they don't have symptoms.

That's where exercise, like cycling, comes in. Aerobic activity prompts insulin to do what it's supposed to: absorb glucose into the body's cells.

The American Diabetes Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous aerobic exercise a week, which breaks down to 30 minutes, five days a week.

A lot falls under aerobic exercise. Researchers at Harvard University found walking briskly for just a half hour each day can cut the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 30 percent.

The researchers said they studied cycling because unlike some other aerobic activities, like dancing or rowing, it "can be included in everyday activities," like biking to work.

They also found the participants who took up cycling only after the study started lowered their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes compared to those who didn't cycle at all.

This video includes an image from Getty Images. Music provided courtesy of APM Music.

<![CDATA[Canine Companions Can Help Baby Big Cats Thrive In Captivity]]> Wed, 13 Jul 2016 11:08:00 -0500
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In an ideal world, baby big cats would learn social and behavioral skills from their mothers and from the other cubs in their litter.

But if their mother can't or won't engage, or they don't have siblings to play with, they can get a little help from people — and dogs.

"It may look rough, but this type of play is exactly what little Shanti needs to improve her coordination."

You see this the most with cheetahs, where zoos have stepped in and paired them with dogs for more than 30 years to help them thrive in captivity. 

SEE MORE: Humanity's Worst Trick: Making Big Cats Disappear

Individual cubs get companionship and a much-needed dose of confidence.

If they get sick or injured, they've got a familiar friend nearby to help with recovery.

And if they don't have parents, this way they've still got someone bigger to climb on — at least until they outgrow their friends.

This video includes clips from The Wildlife Docs / CC BY 3.0, the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical GardenNational Geographic, the Metro Richmond Zoo and the San Diego Zoo. Music provided courtesy of APM Music.

<![CDATA[Five Years Later, Juno Finally Got The First In-Orbit Photo Of Jupiter]]> Wed, 13 Jul 2016 11:07:00 -0500
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You're looking at Jupiter in the first in-orbit photo sent from NASA's Juno.

The solar-powered probe entered Jupiter's orbit July 4, nearly five years after it launched. 

The mission's goals include learning how Jupiter came to be and how it has changed, as well as finding a solid core and mapping the planet's magnetic field.

JunoCam took the image July 10.

According to researchers, the photo is a good sign because it means Juno likely hasn't degraded.

At least not yet. Jupiter's intense radiation is expected to damage and could eventually disable the probe.

Take a closer look, and you'll see the photo shows three of Jupiter's four largest moons and the planet's Great Red Spot.

And we can expect more photos. The researchers say JunoCam will take its first high-resolution photo Aug. 27.

This video includes clips from NASA and NASA/JPL-Caltech and images from NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS and Getty Images.

<![CDATA[Corals 'Kiss' And 'Fight,' Just Like You And Me]]> Wed, 13 Jul 2016 07:11:00 -0500
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When organisms can't be studied in a lab, you have to bring the lab to them. 

Researchers from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego created an underwater microscope to study corals and their surprisingly humanlike behavior. 

In one study, they observed corals "fighting." Two different species of coral positioned next to each other sent enzymes toward each other in a form of chemical warfare. Yet, when the researchers put two of the same species next to each other, no fighting occurred. 

On that friendlier note, the researchers also observed coral polyps embracing each other in a mysterious phenomenon, known in the field as "kissing." The team believes it might be how the organisms exchange nutrients

Coral polyps are the organisms that attach to rocks, and each other, to form coral reefs. 

 SEE MORE: We're Killing Coral Reefs Faster Than Ever 

These extraordinary behaviors don't occur in the same way when coral is brought from the ocean to the lab. And to make the task of observing these behaviors even harder, they're happening on a millimeter scale. 

But the study's co-lead said, "The system is capable of seeing features as small as single cells underwater." 

For more on coral behavior, and how coral bleaching occurs, you can read the team's study in Nature Communications

This video includes clips from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Music provided courtesy of APM Music.

<![CDATA[Can Too Much Cardio Be Bad For Your Heart? Maybe]]> Tue, 12 Jul 2016 17:08:00 -0500
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Pretty much every doctor and health researcher agrees: Running and other forms of cardio exercise are great for your overall health. But can too much cardio be a bad thing?

It's a fairly new phenomenon, but extremely healthy runners, cyclists and other types of endurance athletes across the world have died from heart complications while competing. And those complications may be from all that exercise.

But let's be clear who we're talking about here. Runner's World estimates the average runner training for a marathon will probably only log 30 miles to 50 miles a week. Elite runners training for the same race could cover 100 miles to 140 miles in the same time.

Some researchers claim to have found evidence of "chronic structural changes" to the hearts of elite endurance athletes. Here's cardiologist Dr. James O'Keefe presenting at a 2012 TED Talk:

"We're not really meant for these sustained levels of exercise for hours at a time. If you go to a marathon, ... you take a troponin level at the end of the marathon, over half of them will have elevated troponins."

Troponin is a chemical released into the blood when a heart muscle is damaged. And after a heart attack, troponin levels tend to be high.

O'Keefe says runners' levels post-race aren't the heart attack kind of bad. The chemical is in their blood because of micro-tears in their hearts, which will heal in a couple days.

But remember elite runners cover more than a hundred miles in a week, which means their hearts could have a lot more micro-tears than a hobby runner.

Researchers have also found dangerous amounts of plaque buildup in endurance athletes' hearts and an increased risk of atrial fibrillation, a type of irregular heart rhythmBut newer research looking for the same heart irregularities didn't, so maybe there's nothing to worry about.

In any case, the mortality rate for endurance runners is around 1 per 100,000.

And endurance running is still a pretty new sport. After all, it wasn't that long ago when runners were getting pulled over for "illegal use of the highway by a pedestrian" — aka jogging.

As endurance sports like distance running and cycling continue to gain popularity, you better believe researchers will keep trying to find out if there's such thing as too much cardio.

This video includes clips from TED ConferencesTriathleteTheVisualMDCBS and Vox.

<![CDATA[So You Caught A Cold: Why Staying Warm Is Still Your Best Defense]]> Tue, 12 Jul 2016 10:55:00 -0500
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Bundling up won't always stop you from getting a cold, but it may help you get over one faster.

Yale University researchers found that once the virus sets in, body temperature affects the immune system's key responses.

"When you inhale the cooler air, you actually cool the airway of the inside of the nose, and this is not what we have evolved to deal with. So the virus has found a nice home to replicate," the study's lead researcher told WTNH.

Lab tests showed when nasal passages get colder than the body's normal temperature, that curbs two different molecules that prevent the virus from spreading.

But when your nose is kept at the normal, non-sick temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, the virus can't replicate.

SEE MORE: Don't Get Enough Sleep? A Cold May Be In Your Near Future

What's more, at the usual body temperature, the cold virus dies off naturally on its own. That means your body works against the virus in a few ways, as long as your stay bundled up.

So how do you raise the temperature of your nose? The study's lead researcher says to cover it with a scarf or wear a mask, and spend less time outdoors in the fall and winter.

This video includes clips from WTNHNational Geographic and NPR and images from Eneas De Troya / CC BY 2.0.

<![CDATA[9 Ducklings Rescued From Highway Drain In California]]> Mon, 11 Jul 2016 22:04:00 -0500
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The phrase "gotta catch 'em all" took on a different meaning in Southern California when officials worked to rescue nine trapped ducklings.

SEE MORE: San Francisco Police Rescued An Adorable Baby Sea Lion

It took employees from the California Highway Patrol and California Department of Transportation less than 30 minutes to rescue the little ones. They fell into a drain along a state highway in a Los Angeles suburb.

Once all nine babies were safely out of the drain, CHP officers worked to reunite them with mom who was waiting on top of a nearby wall. 

Music provided courtesy of APM Music.

<![CDATA[A Newly Discovered Fault Line Could Put 100 Million People In Danger]]> Mon, 11 Jul 2016 18:27:00 -0500
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This was the aftermath of a 9.0 magnitude earthquake that shook Japan back in 2011.

That quake and subsequent tsunami killed 22,000 people and caused $300 billion in damage. Now, experts warn this could happen again but in a different part of the world.

Researchers have identified a hidden fault beneath Bangladesh and parts of east India and Myanmar. 

New GPS data indicates a megaquake — an earthquake with a magnitude 8.2 to 9.0 — could strike the region.

SEE MORE: A New App Wants To Collect Earthquake Data From Your Phone

An earthquake that strong would be incredibly devastating. According to Live Science, "researchers estimate about 140 million people live within 60 miles of the fault."

Most of those people are in the eastern outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh. It wasn't long ago that The World Bank labeled Dhaka the fastest-growing city in the world. The problem is, the rapid development needed to keep up with growth isn't necessarily the safest.

One of the researchers told Live Science: "I've seen them pumping sand to build up the ground level to build a 20-story building. If there’s an earthquake [that ground is] going to liquefy and the building is just going to fall over."

Another researcher told National Geographic, "Dhaka's basically like building a city on a bowl of Jell-O."

The caveat here, and in lots of other earthquake studies, is it's really hard to predict when the fault may trigger a quake. 

A seismologist in Dhaka told National Geographic they are preparing for an earthquake, though the process is slow.

This video includes images from Getty Images.

<![CDATA[Teenagers Who Vape Are More Likely To Smoke Cigarettes Later On]]> Mon, 11 Jul 2016 12:56:00 -0500
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About 17 percent. That's the percentage of U.S. adults who reported smoking cigarettes in 2014 — nearly a 20 percent decrease from 10 years ago. 

But that percentage may not stay that low for long. A new study suggests adolescents who smoke e-cigarettes are more likely than nonusers to pick up smoking traditional cigarettes after they turn 18. 

Released by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the study looked at the smoking habits of almost 5,500 high school juniors and seniors in California over a 20-year period.

Researchers asked the students about their cigarette use while in school, and then again in a follow-up survey about 16 months later, when it became legal for those students to buy cigarettes.  

In 2004 — before e-cigarettes were introduced in the U.S. — 9 percent of the surveyed students reported smoking in the last 30 days. That increased to about 14 percent in 2014. 

Compared to nonusers, students who reported smoking e-cigarettes while in school were more than six times more likely to smoke regular cigarettes as adults, according to researchers.

In 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the number of middle and high school students smoking e-cigarettes had tripled from the previous year to 2 million students. 

The safety of e-cigarettes is a highly debated topic. Sure, they don't contain tobacco — the smoking of which can contribute to lung cancer, heart disease and diabetes — but the nicotine in e-cigarettes can disrupt neurotransmitters in the brain. 

And even though a majority of adolescent e-cigarette users report only smoking flavored liquids, which aren't supposed to contain nicotine, the National Institute on Drug Abuse reports these products sometimes do contain the chemical. 

In an accompanying paper to the study, a professor of pediatrics suggested ways to curb e-cigarette use among adolescents, including schools establishing smoke-free zones in and around their buildings, and providing more education in health class about the dangers of vaping. 

This video includes images from Getty Images. Music provided courtesy of APM Music.

<![CDATA[Moths Invaded Euro 2016 Because Someone Left The Lights On]]> Mon, 11 Jul 2016 10:06:00 -0500
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"Beeeeees! Bees! Bees in the car! Bees everywhere!" 

OK, so it wasn't quite that intense, but Euro 2016 was invaded by a ton of tiny (and annoying)  insects. 

There were moths everywhere on the pitch Sunday when Portugal took on France for the Euro 2016 title. 

Not surprisingly, it drove the players mad, but it gave viewers some entertainment during what was, for most of the match, a 0-0 game. 

"For about 115 minutes of the game, the moths were the most exciting thing about it, I think," a Sky News host said

And it all happened because the flood lights were left on overnight, reportedly for security reasons

See, moths, like many other insects, use the moon and stars to navigate. It's a behavior called transverse orientation

When they come across artificial light, researchers believe it confuses them and they fly toward that instead. 

So when you leave the flood lights on at a massive stadium, you better believe you're going to have a few extra visitors sticking around for the must-see event. 

The pitch invaders didn't seem to bother Portugal too much, though. Cristiano Ronaldo and the gang beat France 1-0 in extra time to win the country's first European Championship. 

This video includes clips from BBC and the Chicago Botanic Garden, and images from Getty Images. 

<![CDATA[Zika's Untold War: The Fight Continues]]> Mon, 11 Jul 2016 07:57:00 -0500
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El Salvador's Ministry of Health reported an estimated 7,138 suspected cases of the Zika virus were detected between December and January of 2016. In a country of just 6 million people, the seemingly sudden rise of this health crisis seized those expecting or attempting to get pregnant with fears of devastating fetal defects like microcephaly, hearing loss and impaired growth. 

Newsy investigates the roles of the church and government in Salvadoran reproductive rights, the link between Zika and birth defects, the rise of Guillain-Barre syndrome, and recent medical breakthroughs that all highlight the international significance of El Salvador's struggle to combat the virus. 

With Zika inevitably making its way to the U.S., what can the country do to prepare? There might be something to learn from Central America's response.

This is the final part in a three-part series on the Zika virus. Part one explores the struggle between the women of El Salvador and a government that restricts family planning. Part two looks at the chain reaction set off by the virus in Latin America. 

<![CDATA[Zika's Untold War: Chain Reaction]]> Mon, 11 Jul 2016 07:42:00 -0500
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El Salvador's doctors are racing to learn more about the connection between Zika and birth defects. Meanwhile, another disease linked with Zika makes an impact on the country.

El Salvador's Ministry of Health reported an estimated 7,138 suspected cases of the Zika virus were detected between December and January of 2016. In a country of just 6 million people, the seemingly sudden rise of this health crisis seized those expecting or attempting to get pregnant with fears of devastating fetal defects like microcephaly, hearing loss and impaired growth. 

Newsy investigates the roles of the church and government in Salvadoran reproductive rights, the link between Zika and birth defects, the rise of Guillain-Barre syndrome, and recent medical breakthroughs that all highlight the international significance of El Salvador's struggle to combat the virus. 

This is the second part in a three-part series on the Zika virus. Part one explores the struggle between the women of El Salvador and a government that restricts family planning. Part three looks at preparations in the U.S. and what can be learned from El Salvador's battle with Zika.

<![CDATA[Zika's Untold War: Power vs. The People]]> Mon, 11 Jul 2016 07:04:00 -0500
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As El Salvador saw a spike in confirmed cases of the Zika virus, its government made a controversial announcement: that women should avoid pregnancy for the next year. But in a region where contraception is taboo and laws restrict access to family planning, that could put women's health and freedom at risk.

El Salvador's Ministry of Health reported an estimated 7,138 suspected cases of the Zika virus were detected between December and January of 2016. In a country of just 6 million people, the seemingly sudden rise of this health crisis seized those expecting or attempting to get pregnant with fears of devastating fetal defects like microcephaly, hearing loss and impaired growth. 

Newsy investigates the roles of the church and government in Salvadoran reproductive rights, the link between Zika and birth defects, the rise of Guillain-Barre syndrome, and recent medical breakthroughs that all highlight the international significance of El Salvador's struggle to combat the virus. 

This is the first part in a three-part series on the Zika virus. Part two looks at the chain reaction set off by the virus in Latin America. Part three explores preparations in the U.S. and what can be learned from El Salvador's struggle with Zika. 

<![CDATA[NASA Doesn't Have Much On Its Exploration Calendar Anymore]]> Sat, 09 Jul 2016 11:50:00 -0500
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Now that the Juno probe has made it to Jupiter, NASA doesn't have much on its calendar.

Right now, NASA has just five unmanned space probes planned in the next decade — way down from the 14 it launched in the past 15 years.

SEE MORE: What The Hell Is This Noise Jupiter's Making?

Asteroid orbiter OSIRIS-REx is expected to launch in September 2016 and won't be close enough for science operations until October 2018.

Delayed Mars lander InSight will launch in May 2018 and land in November.

Solar Probe will launch July 2018 to study the sun's atmosphere, but it won't be making its approach to the star until 2024.

NASA's Mars 2020 mission will launch a rover, which is scheduled to arrive on Mars in early 2021.

And Jupiter's moon Europa will host an unmanned probe scheduled to launch in 2022. An arrival date has yet to be determined.

Until then, it's going to be very quiet in the outer solar system. Cassini will burn up in Saturn's atmosphere in September 2017. Juno will gather data until 2018, when it will burn at Jupiter. And New Horizons will make a Kuiper Belt flyby in 2019.

This video includes clips from NASA and images from Alexandr Cherkinsky / CC BY 3.0LA Hall / CC BY 3.0 and Esteban Sandoval / CC BY 3.0. Music provided courtesy of APM Music.

<![CDATA[Can We Save Orangutans?]]> Sat, 09 Jul 2016 10:33:00 -0500
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The orangutan might be headed for extinction — despite major conservation efforts.

A report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature says the Bornean orangutan is now critically endangered

The only other orangutan species, the Sumatran orangutan, is already listed as critically endangered, meaning both species are now at "extremely high risk of extinction in the wild."

The IUCN report found that Bornean orangutan populations slid by nearly two-thirds since the 1970s thanks to habitat destruction and illegal hunting. By 2025, that population is expected to be just 47,000.

One of the report's authors told Mongabay, "This is full acknowledgment of what has been clear for a long time: orangutan conservation is failing."

Because of human encroachment, only about 60 percent of Borneo's forest was habitable for orangutans in 2010, and illegal burning and logging continue to pose threats.

But the new label of critically endangered doesn't necessarily mean extinction is a given. It's possible new conservation efforts could help save the orangutans, although one of the report's authors says the situation is likely to get worse before it gets better.

This video includes clips from New Everyday / CC BY 3.0, the BBCRxIran Cast / CC BY 3.0The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden and Lian Pin Koh / CC BY 3.0 and images from Getty Images. Music provided courtesy of APM Music.

<![CDATA[Your Smartphone Could Soon Tell You If Your Food Has GMOs]]> Sat, 09 Jul 2016 09:20:00 -0500
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Soon you might know if your food has genetically modified organisms — but you'll have to do a little digging.

And it's the digging that had protesters throwing money on the Senate floor Wednesday.

New measures would force companies to disclose whether their products contain GMOs — but how they disclose that is up to them. For example, they could use a symbol or print a QR code on the label.

SEE MORE: Genetically Engineered Food Isn't As Evil As You Think It Is

But anti-GMO advocates don't think the measure goes far enough. They want labels to clearly print the disclosure without requiring smartphones.

Despite protests, the Senate passed the bill Thursday. Next it heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.

The Senate did get a positive nod from the Organic Trade Association, which has strongly advocated for GMO disclosure on labels. 

Right now there's no federal standard on labeling GMOs.

Vermont passed a law earlier this month that requires grocery stores to use GMO labels, but these federal measures would replace the state's requirements. 

This video includes clips from Just Label ItCBSC-SPANCNNRalph Roberts / CC BY 3.0 and images from Getty Images.

<![CDATA[The Ugly Side Of Spain's Iconic Running Of The Bulls]]> Fri, 08 Jul 2016 16:02:00 -0500
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The Running of the Bulls almost guarantees the animals' death.

"Behind the festivities, there is a darker side involving hideous animal cruelty," an activist for League Against Cruel Sports said. 

But while protesters continue trying to draw attention to the bullfights that kill the animals after the race, mainstream media generally only shows images of the excitement and people running in the streets.

Humane Society International says about 250,000 bulls are killed every year in bullfights. That's in Spain and the seven other countries where the fighting is still held.

SEE MORE: These Freed Zoo Animals Are On To Bigger, Better Things

Naked protesters and critically hurt people didn't stop this year's running of the bulls in Pamplona — arguably the world's most well-known bull run.

Part of that fame came from Ernest Hemingway's novel "The Sun Also Rises."

It's not just bulls who've been killed. At least 16 people have died in the run since 1910. 

At least three Americans were among those injured this year.

The Running of the Bulls is part of the larger San Fermín festival that runs more than a week. The festival's namesake is meant to honor the Catholic saint.  

Pamplona's bull run is rooted in tradition and thrill — which is why it pulls in plenty of tourists and likely won't end anytime soon.  

This video includes images from Getty Images and clips from EITBSanfermin.comNacioDigitalRTVELeague Against Cruel Sports and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Music provided courtesy of APM Music.

<![CDATA[A Remote-Controlled Cyborg Stingray Now Exists]]> Thu, 07 Jul 2016 14:00:00 -0500
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Scientists have built what you should really only describe as a cyborg stingray. It's a soft-bodied synthetic fish that uses real living cells to move around. 

The goal is to mimic the gentle and efficient way stingrays and skates glide through the water. But while earlier robots have done that with motors, wires and electricity, this one does it with heart cells grown from rats. 

No wires, no electronics, just a springy skeleton, a silicone body and a thin coating made from beating heart tissue. 

You might think controlling a machine with no electronics would be impossible, but over the past decade or so, scientists have learned how to engineer cells to respond to flashes of light. 

So by shining pulses of light at the stingray, the researchers were able to make it swim. Not only that, they could control its speed by varying the light's brightness and control its direction by shining more light on one side or the other. 

The study, published in the journal Science, says this research paves the way for autonomous artificial creatures — so, drone fish — that are able to respond to their environments. 

For right now, though, that environment is limited to a solution that comes packed with the salt and glucose the heart cells need to function.

This video includes clips from Sung-Jin Park, Paul Burridge and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and images from Karghen Hudson and Michael Rosnach. Music provided courtesy of APM Music. 

<![CDATA[Astronomers Discovered An Exoplanet Stuck Between 3 Suns]]> Thu, 07 Jul 2016 13:30:00 -0500
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One sun is boring. Astronomers using Europe's Very Large Telescope just discovered a planet in a system with three.

The planet, which is about four times as massive as Jupiter, orbits around the system's central star, between it and the other pair of stars farther out.

From the surface, an observer could see triple sunrises and sunsets — kind of like Tatooine but better. And for about a quarter of its orbit, the planet is in constant daylight. As the central sun sets, the other two rise.

SEE MORE: NASA's Space Probe Juno Finally Made It To Jupiter

It's surprising the planet is there at all. The researchers say the gravity of three different stars pulling in odd directions would usually fling any objects between them out of the system. 

So this find could offer insight into how planets form under extreme circumstances and could help astronomers find more exoplanets like it.

But systems with two or more stars are more common than single-star systems. So even though a planet has to get lucky to have this many suns, researchers think there could be lots more like it.

This video includes clips from NASA, the European Southern Observatory and ESO / L. Calçada / M. Kornmesser. Music: "Does Not Compute" By Birocratic / CC BY 3.0.

<![CDATA[It Looks Like Medical Marijuana Is Burning Up Prescription Drug Sales]]> Thu, 07 Jul 2016 08:32:00 -0500
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Medical marijuana might be edging out prescription medications and saving the government money. 

SEE MORE: Clinical Trial Offers New Hope For Marijuana-Based Prescription Drugs

One study says states that legalized medical marijuana saw a drop in some Medicare drug prescriptions. 

That's for drugs that can treat chronic pain, anxiety and depression — conditions that medical marijuana may be used to treat as well.

Specifically, Medicare saved just over $165 million. And that was in 2013, when fewer states had actually legalized medicinal cannabis.  

If that legalization would have been expanded nationwide in 2013, the Health Affairs study says Medicare would have save about $468.1 million. 

Of course, that's not a huge portion of Medicare's budget, and there could be other reasons for the drop. 

Boston Medical Center's Dr. Timothy Naimi told The Boston Globe, "What would be helpful to know would be what proportion of Medicare beneficiaries in these states are actually using medical marijuana, because that would help to determine whether reductions in prescribing are actually due to marijuana laws."

If the savings are from medical marijuana, it's because those with chronic illnesses who want to use cannabis as treatment have to pay out of pocket.

Policy shifts can be tricky because not a lot of research on medical marijuana is out there — and the study admitted that downfall, too. 

A big part of this is that the U.S. government still considers marijuana a drug that has "no medical use and a high potential for abuse." But the Drug Enforcement Administration is looking to change that. 

Right now, 25 states and Washington, D.C., have made it legal to use marijuana for medical uses. The most recent additions include Ohio and Pennsylvania. Several other states like Florida and Missouri will be seeing potential laws on November's ballot. 

This video includes clips from WKBWWCPOKXLYNJTVPBS and WEWS. Music provided by APM Music. 

<![CDATA[China Is About Ready To Look For Aliens After Relocating 9,000 Humans]]> Wed, 06 Jul 2016 17:32:00 -0500
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In its search for alien life, China is uprooting more than 9,000 earthlings.

The country just finished installing the world's largest radio telescope. It's designed to detect radio emissions from the far corners of the universe. 

But more than 9,000 people who lived in an about 3-mile radius of the dish were forced to move. Officials said the move would "create a sound electromagnetic wave environment" for the telescope.

report from Xinhua said each resident would be compensated about $1,800, but residents in an "ethnic minority household" will get about $1,500. 

Chinese officials say it will allow scientists to search for intelligent life outside our galaxy. 

SEE MORE: "Imagine What 2 Telescopes in Space Will See — If Hubble Doesn't Break"

The device is about 1,640 feet wide, and its massive size allows it to pick up weaker signals from farther away. When it's finally switched on in September, it will be able to pick up signals from 1,000 light-years away

This video includes images from Getty Images and clips from BBCRTPress TV and NASA. Music provided courtesy of APM Music.

<![CDATA[Opioid Addiction Medication Gets A Boost From The Obama Administration]]> Wed, 06 Jul 2016 08:23:00 -0500
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The Obama administration has raised the cap on prescription treatments for opioid addictions, as lawmakers debate the best way to combat one of the leading causes of accidental death in the U.S. 

Under current rules, doctors can only prescribe buprenorphine, an effective anti-opioid addiction medication, to 30 patients. If they get special approval, they can prescribe it to up to 100 patients. 

There have been limits on buprenorphine because it's sold on the black market due to the fact that it blocks withdrawal symptoms for drugs like heroin. 

But addicts have been having a hard time finding a doctor available to treat them. Starting in August, under the new rules, the cap for doctors with approval will be raised to 275 patients

Buprenorphine has had its own controversies, since it too is an opioid. But federal health officials have called it an "underused" tool for addiction therapy. 

The higher cap is expected to help 17,000 new patients get treatment. The move doesn't require Congressional approval; however, Obama's plan to add $1.1 billion to anti-opioid programs does. 

Anti-opioid addiction measures have received bipartisan support; it's just been a question of funding. Democrats, in general, have promised to oppose a bill being debated in Congress if it didn't lay down more federal funding. 

This video includes clips from CNBCThe White HouseWJARWGBA and WCCO, and images from Getty Images. Music provided courtesy of APM Music.

<![CDATA[Google Is Training Its Artificial Intelligence To Detect Eye Disease]]> Tue, 05 Jul 2016 11:48:00 -0500
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Google DeepMind is training its artificial intelligence software to detect early signs of eye diseases.

It's aimed at detecting two diseases — age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. The latter can lead to blindness if not detected early.

DeepMind is analyzing about 1 million eye scans to develop an algorithm that can catch early warning signs of the conditions.  

"If you have an OCT scan done, a machine learning algorithm will be able to tell you if it's urgent versus something that's not so urgent. ... It will allow us to get much earlier detection of the blinding disease," said Dr. Pearse Keane.

The company has caught flak from privacy critics in the past. It was using patient data to develop an app that identifies the risk of kidney failure. Some said it was allowed too much access to patient information. 

But DeepMind says the eye scans were handed over without any identifying information about the patients they came from and are supposed to be completely anonymous. 

The U.K.'s National Health Service and Moorfields Eye Hospital in London partnered with DeepMind to develop the machine learning system. 

This video includes clips from Moorfields Eye Hospital and an image from Getty Images. 

<![CDATA[Zika's Untold War: Coming July 11]]> Tue, 05 Jul 2016 11:15:00 -0500
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"Zika's Untold War" is a three-part Newsy Original Series that will be released July 11.

El Salvador's Ministry of Health reported an estimated 7,138 suspected cases of the Zika virus were detected between December and January of 2016. In a country of just 6 million people, the seemingly sudden rise of this health crisis seized those expecting or attempting to get pregnant with fears of devastating fetal defects like microcephaly, hearing loss and impaired growth. 

In this series, Newsy investigates the roles of the church and government in Salvadoran reproductive rights, the link between Zika and birth defects, the rise of Guillain-Barre syndrome, and recent medical breakthroughs that all highlight the international significance of El Salvador's struggle to combat the virus. 

<![CDATA[NASA's Space Probe Juno Finally Made It To Jupiter]]> Tue, 05 Jul 2016 08:45:00 -0500
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NASA's Juno spacecraft has finally made it all the way to Jupiter. 

The solar-powered craft took off from Earth in 2011 and is now orbiting Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system. 

Juno burned its engines for 35 minutes in order to slow down its velocity by more than 1,200 miles per hour in order to safely enter the planet's orbit. In total, it traveled about 1.7 billion miles before reaching destination. 

Scientists believe Jupiter may be the first planet to form in our solar system, and it could hold clues about how the solar system changed over time. 

Over the course of the mission, researchers will investigate whether the planet has a solid core, map its magnetic field and learn more about the mysterious red spot on Jupiter's surface. 

Juno has already sent back some data for NASA scientists to digest. It captured the first images of Jupiter's moons in motion around the planet. 

And it used ultraviolet imaging to capture Jupiter's extremely powerful auroras. 

Since the planet is a gas giant, it gives off large waves of radiation that could degrade some of Juno's systems. If all goes as planned, the Juno mission will wrap up in February 2018. 

This video includes clips from NASA and an image from Getty Images.

<![CDATA[Study Suggests Pasta Won't Hurt Your Waistline]]> Mon, 04 Jul 2016 22:11:00 -0500
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It could be time to stop carb-shaming yourself for eating pasta, according to a new study, which pretty unsurprisingly comes out of Italy.

The study was published in the journal Nutrition & Diabetes and surveyed thousands of people. It found that pasta, within a Mediterranean diet, wasn't associated with a higher body mass index.

Researchers point to the well-documented benefits of Mediterranean diets, which in Italy traditionally include pasta. So why not let pasta get some of the praise?

Research on Mediterranean diets suggests it can help with heart and brain health, but the researchers said pasta is often left out of the equation because of its bad reputation among dieters that it leads to weight gain.

The study's lead author said in a statement: "Our data show that enjoying pasta according to individuals' needs contributes to a healthy body mass index, lower waist circumference and better waist-hip ratio."

It should be noted that people who weren't born in Italy were excluded from the study, and the research was partially funded by Barilla, a company that makes a variety of pastas and pasta sauces.

This video includes a clip from Barilla. Music provided courtesy of APM Music.

<![CDATA[NASA Is Looking At Jupiter Instead Of Fireworks On July Fourth]]> Mon, 04 Jul 2016 19:02:00 -0500
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Most people looking up at the sky tonight will be enjoying fireworks. But NASA scientists are hoping for an entirely different display for the Fourth of July.

Around 11 p.m. CST, NASA’s Juno orbiter will get closer to Jupiter than any other satellite has before, circling as close as 2,600 miles from the top of the gas giant's clouds. 

It took nearly five years and more than 2 billion miles of flying, but Juno is expected to send back the best photos of Jupiter we've ever seen.

SEE MORE: "What The Hell Is This Noise Jupiter's Making?"

It's not just a sightseeing mission for Juno. It's aiming to get details about Jupiter's composition, which should help scientists figure out how it was formed. That is, if the spacecraft survives.

All of Juno's sensitive scientific equipment is encased in a 400-pound titanium vault to defend against Jupiter’s magnetic field, but little bits of rock or dust could still do a lot of damage to a craft traveling 130,000 mph. 

If the mission goes smoothly, Juno will give researchers the first close look at what's going on beneath Jupiter's clouds. Scientists are hopeful it will shed light on how other planets developed.

Since Jupiter is made of gas, Juno can't land, so the orbiter will have to take its measurements from a distance. It will continue orbiting the gas giant until it's scheduled to run into Jupiter's clouds and be incinerated in 2018.

This video includes clips from NASA. Music provided courtesy of APM Music.

<![CDATA[Apparently, Plants Know How To 'Gamble']]> Mon, 04 Jul 2016 12:14:00 -0500
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According to a new study, plants are "smarter" than we may think.

Researchers from universities in the United Kingdom and Israel found pea plants show sensitivity to risk and they even "gamble." They claim this is the first study to show an organism without a nervous system can have an adaptive response to risk.

The experiment involved growing pea plants with their roots split between two pots. Researchers found the plants grew more roots in the pot that had more nutrients. 

They hypothesized the same plants would "gamble" in the next series of experiments — and they did.

SEE MORE: "This Plant Summons An Ant Army By Bleeding Nectar When Wounded"

Researchers again grew those plants with their roots split between two pots. Both had the same average nutrient concentrations in their fertilizers. However, one level varied while the other stayed the same. 

The pea plants "gambled" when the average nutrient concentration was low and didn't when it was high. Why?

According to researchers, if the average nutrient concentration isn't enough for the plant, the plant would rather gamble that the pot with varying nutrient levels was running high. 

And when the average nutrient concentration is high, the plants would play it safe with the pot that remained the same.

But we already knew plants were pretty adaptive. A study conducted by researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia found plants respond to the sounds insects make when eating them. They respond by making more defensive chemicals to repel insects. 

This video includes clips from University of Missouri and Tel-Hai College and images from Hagai ShemeshMaria Keays / CC BY 2.0Brendan Riley / CC BY 2.0Chris Feser / CC BY 2.0HitroMilanese / CC BY SA 3.0 and Getty Images. Music provided courtesy of APM Music.

<![CDATA[Chill Out, The Hole In The Ozone Layer Is Actually Shrinking]]> Sun, 03 Jul 2016 19:14:00 -0500
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How about this for a change? It's a climate change story that has some good news.

For all the warnings about the environmental damage we humans do to our planet, a new study says the hole in the ozone layer is actually shrinking.

The study examined the effect of 1987's Montreal Protocol, an agreement that aimed to curb worldwide use of chlorofluorocarbons and other chemicals that are known to harm the ozone layer. 

Those types of chemicals are used about 97 percent less since the agreement went into effect, and it seems to be having the desired result. 

SEE MORE: "23 States Sue The EPA Over A CO2 Emissions Regulation"

The ozone layer has packed on about 1.5 million square miles since its low point in 2000, and NASA is optimistic the ozone layer could fully recover by 2070. But planet Earth isn't doing itself any favors.

Several recent volcanic eruptions have caused some setbacks. The sulfur spewed out by volcanoes can magnify aerosol particles and chip away at the ozone layer's recovery. 

In spite of the volcanic hurdles, scientists say the progress is encouraging. The study's lead author Susan Solomon said, "We can now be confident that the things we've done have put the planet on a path to heal."

This video includes clips from NASA and RT and an image from NASA / CC by 2.0. Music provided courtesy of APM Music.

<![CDATA[23 States Sue The EPA Over A CO2 Emissions Regulation]]> Sat, 02 Jul 2016 17:17:00 -0500
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The fight against President Obama's carbon dioxide rule for new power plants is clearly far from over. West Virginia and 22 other states just filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency to stop the rule in its tracks. 

Last year, the EPA established new standards for CO2 emissions from power plants, in a sort of addition to the Clean Air Act passed in the '70s. It's not the same as the Clean Power Plan you may have heard of; the new regulation is more sweeping than anything on the books. 

Some states have been trying to get the EPA to reconsider the regulation since it was enacted, and the newest lawsuit is essentially calling foul on the EPA for not considering any of those five petitions. 

SEE MORE: "The Really (Really) Long-Term Climate Implications Of 2016's Elections"

The lawsuit says "petitioners will show that the final action is in excess of the agency's statutory authority and otherwise is arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion and not in accordance with law."

The regulation has been controversial to say the least. Opponents say the Obama administration is overstepping and creating its own laws, something the executive branch can't do. The Supreme Court temporarily blocked the regulation earlier this year. 

The legal battles the administration faces sort of hampers America's ability to completely commit to the Paris Agreement on climate change that more than 170 countries signed.

This video includes clips from the U.S. Department of StateCBSThe White House and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

<![CDATA[Some People Don't Trust Experts — And That's A Problem]]> Sat, 02 Jul 2016 16:03:00 -0500
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Pretty much anywhere you look in society, it's hard to miss the rise of anti-intellectualism.

It pushes agendas in education, health care, politics and, increasingly, science.

"The experts are terrible," Donald Trump said.

Now we've got senators slinging snowballs on the chamber floor and known climate deniers in charge of congressional science committees.

This isn't limited to the U.S., either. The Brexit's Leave campaign owed a lot of its momentum to the populist notion that you can't trust the elite class, a group that includes experts in finance, global politics — and science. 

Going on research and development expense, patent applications and research published, the United Kingdom is near the top of the science pile.

But with a vote to leave the EU, there's worry the U.K. will now be a less attractive destination for foreign scientists and billions of dollars in EU science funding.

Physicist Brian Cox says backlash against experts — scientific or otherwise — is regression, no matter who you are or where you live. 

Being an expert "means you spend your life studying something. You're not necessarily right — but you're more likely to be right than someone who's not spent their life studying it."

"It's not cool to not know what you're talking about," President Obama said at the 2016 Rutgers commencement. "That's not challenging political correctness. That's just not knowing what you're talking about."

This video includes clips from CBSPoliticoClimate HustleC-SPANBBC, the University of Manchester and The White House. Music provided courtesy of APM Music.

<![CDATA[America's Meat Obsession Isn't Great For The Environment]]> Fri, 01 Jul 2016 15:21:00 -0500
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America loves its meat. But all that beef and brisket comes at a high price for the planet.

That's because the way much of the world raises livestock requires tons and tons and literal tons of natural resources.

The age-old way to raise cattle — and the environmentally friendly way — is to grassfeed them. But our growing demand for beef means cattle have to be fattened up at an unnatural pace. Rather than grass, the majority of the cows in the U.S. are eating corn and other grains.

All the livestock in the U.S. consume as much as five times as much grain as the entire U.S. population consumes. That takes a lot of water. In fact, by some estimates, a pound of meat takes about 2,500 gallons of water to produce.

And all that water consumption is pretty intense when you put it into context. In the U.S., total agriculture accounts for about 80 percent of our water usage.

"The governor says Californians need to change the way they live," NBC reported.

Which is why it's strange that so much talk of water conservation is about watering our lawns or taking showers and not about all that water used for raising livestock.

This video includes clips from Wyoming PBS and images from Jake Dunham / CC BY 3.0Creative Stall / CC BY 3.0 and Artem Kovyazin / CC BY 3.0. Music provided courtesy of APM Music.

<![CDATA[What The Hell Is This Noise Jupiter's Making?]]> Fri, 01 Jul 2016 14:37:00 -0500
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Turn up your headphones. NASA's Juno mission has entered Jupiter's magnetosphere, and it sounds weird.

This is the region of space protected by the planet's magnetic field. It's full of charged particles and makes radio noise that some of Juno's instruments can detect.

Earth has a magnetosphere, too. It keeps the solar wind from stripping our atmosphere away.

But Jupiter has the largest planetary magnetic field in the solar system, thanks to the energy of its metallic hydrogen interior.

It's intense, and not just for the noise it makes. The radiation is so severe it melts spacecraft after a while — about 20 months, in Juno's case. Once the probe lands in orbit, the clock starts ticking.

This video includes clips from NASA and music by Frenic / CC BY 3.0.

<![CDATA[Check Out This Impressive Aurora Glowing Over Jupiter]]> Fri, 01 Jul 2016 08:32:00 -0500
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NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has captured some impressive images of Jupiter's glowing auroras.

The telescope used far ultraviolet-light observations to capture the auroras and then placed the image on top of a full-color photograph of the planet.

NASA says Jupiter's auroras have hundreds of times more energy than Earth's, and they never actually stop glowing.

They occur when high-energy particles enter the planet's atmosphere at its magnetic poles and collide with atoms of gas.

NASA is trying to determine how the auroras are affected by changing conditions in the solar wind, a stream of charged particles coming from the sun.

NASA's spacecraft Juno left for Jupiter in 2011 and is expected to enter the planet's orbit some time in early July.

Juno will measure changes in the solar wind, and the Hubble telescope will continue to observe the auroras to see how they are affected by the sun.

This video includes clips from NASA.

<![CDATA[Florida's Waters Are Dripping With Disgusting Algae, And It Smells]]> Fri, 01 Jul 2016 07:51:00 -0500
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This blue-green algae spreading through Florida's waters may look pretty at first glance. But up close, it's actually "guacamole-thick" and smelly.

And it caused Florida Gov. Rick Scott to declare four of the state's southern counties under a state of emergency on Wednesday and Thursday.

Residents nearby are reportedly experiencing allergy symptoms, like rashes and coughs. The algae blooms can also be fatal for local wildlife.

TC Palm reports a June sample from one of the affected bodies of water — Lake Okeechobee — showed the water had more than 20 times the toxin level the World Health Organization considers hazardous.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the federal government are taking heat for the blooms; they control water flows in the area to keep lake-levels at a certain height.

Part of that flow is a decades-old dike that Scott says is close to failing, and he's blaming Washington.

"When you try to reverse 75 years of diking and draining, that takes time," Florida Sen. Bill Nelson said.

On Friday, the corps tried to reduce the flow from Lake Okeechobee by beginning a "pulse release" — or a slow weeklong release of water.

"Our water managers have dealt with such large quantities of rain and runoff entering the lake that it would cover the entire state of Delaware in 2 feet of water. However, after visiting with local elected officials in Martin County yesterday and viewing the algae first hand, we felt compelled to take action, even though we need to remain vigilant in managing the level of Lake Okeechobee," said Col. Jason Kirk, of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District.

Bacteria is also spreading on some of Florida's Panhandle beaches, but that problem is unrelated to the algae.

This video includes clips from WPTV and images from Getty Images and WPTV / Kaan Pala.

<![CDATA[Your Doctor Probably Gets Paid By A Drug Company]]> Thu, 30 Jun 2016 21:55:00 -0500
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Looks like drug and medical device companies were feeling very generous last year.

Data released Thursday by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services indicate doctors here in the U.S. received about $6.5 billion in payments from different drug and device companies and owned about $1 billion in industry stock in 2015.

Those payments covered things like meals, travel and research grants for individual doctors and for teaching hospitals. 

This type of payment information is made public thanks to a provision in the Affordable Care Act. The Open Payments Data was created "to prevent inappropriate influence on research, education and clinical decision making" and encourage "transparency about financial ties."

That transparency is something the American Medical Association calls vital. In a statement, the group said: "The AMA strongly opposes inappropriate, unethical interactions between physicians and the industry. However, not all interactions are unethical or inappropriate."

The data in this report includes payment information from more than 600,000 doctors and more than 1,100 teaching hospitals across the country.

The payment total for 2015 is slightly higher than the year before. As for the doctors who received some of the biggest pieces of the pie from medical companies? The Washington Post points to neurologists and orthopedic surgeons

This video includes images from Getty Images.

<![CDATA[America's Beer-Drinking Habit Is Making This Mexican Town Thirsty]]> Thu, 30 Jun 2016 17:48:00 -0500
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Water shortages in Mexico aren't uncommon. But a water shortage in Mexico caused by our affinity for Mexican beer? That's a different story. 

The mayor of Zaragoza — a municipality located near the Texas-Mexico border — says his area faces water shortages caused by production at a nearby brewery.

New York-based firm Constellation Brands owns that brewery located in Nava, Mexico. It draws on water from deep wells in northern Mexico to make beers like Corona and Modelo.

Those beers are particularly popular among American drinkers. The Wall Street Journal reports Corona is the fifth best-selling beer in the country. 

Americans' taste for the brew grew so quickly that Constellation Brands announced plans to more than double the size of its production center — a move some say will threaten water supplies even more.

SEE MORE: "Researchers Found A Really, Really Old Beer Recipe In China"

Zaragoza's mayor told The Guardian: "We're worried because we're already being impacted. … The government gave them this land and these wells on a silver platter."

The same year Constellation Brands bought the plant in Nava, it published a water policy. Under the policy, the company says it strives to "maintain water source availability and quality" and engage in "transparency and reporting."

This video includes clips from Corona Extra and System Logistics and images from Getty Images.

<![CDATA[Heroin Overdoses In The US Tripled Over The Course Of 4 Years]]> Thu, 30 Jun 2016 11:19:00 -0500
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Heroin overdose deaths nearly tripled between 2010 and 2014.

That's according to a report from the Drug Enforcement Administration. It also found the overall number of reported heroin users nearly tripled between 2007 and 2014.

In 2010, just over 3,000 people died from heroin overdoses, and that number rose to more than 10,500 in 2014.

The DEA says in the report that some heroin users turned to the drug because it's less expensive and sometimes easier to obtain than prescription painkillers.

Another rising problem in the U.S. is fentanyl. It can be disguised as prescription pills because of the high demand for painkillers. However, its much stronger than other drugs like heroin, which makes the chance of an overdose much higher.

Earlier this year, Congress passed two measures aimed at fighting opioid addiction, but none have funding attached. President Obama has called for an additional $1 billion to fight the epidemic.

This video includes images from Getty Images and clips from CBS and KTVU. Music provided courtesy of APM Music.

<![CDATA[The Government Made Gross Cookie Dough Facts So You'll Stop Eating It]]> Thu, 30 Jun 2016 08:03:00 -0500
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This time, it's not your grandma saying raw cookie dough is bad for you. It's the Food and Drug Administration.

It's not the usual spiel of salmonella in raw eggs either. The FDA warned in recent months, 38 people from 20 states got sick from a certain strain of E. coli. And for many, it was raw flour that made them sick.

The cases were partially linked to a General Mills facility in Kansas City, Missouri. In May, the company started a voluntary recall of flour sold in November and December of last year.

But the FDA is now trying to make it clear that, in general, eating raw flour is a bad idea.

A senior adviser for the agency said, "Flour is derived from a grain that comes directly from the field and typically is not treated to kill bacteria."

So let's say an animal relieves itself in the field. That bacteria isn't necessarily cleaned out. Baking, however, kills it.

A different FDA adviser told The New York Times most companies actually heat-treat what they present as "raw" cookie dough. So your favorite ice cream topping is still probably safe.

But the FDA warns eating the dough directly isn't the only thing that can make you sick. It also said not to play with the dough and to wash your hands before and after touching raw flour.

This video includes clips from Ben & Jerry'sKSHBWCCO and KRBK and images from Getty Images and Gwen / CC BY 2.0.

<![CDATA[How Do Fireworks — Work?]]> Wed, 29 Jun 2016 14:32:00 -0500
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Firecrackers are easy: Light the fuse and run. But most firework explosions are a bit more complex.

A Roman candle, for example, burns top-down through several layers of pyrotechnic charges called stars.

Their colors come from metallic powders: aluminum burns white. Copper gives fireworks a blue color. Lithium or strontium powder turns them red.

Mortar shells — the quintessential aerial fireworks you see in the big displays — require careful assembly beforehand.

The arrangement of stars determines what they look like when they burst midair. A circle-shaped pattern yields a circular firework. Star-shaped patterns give up star-shaped fireworks, and so on.

The timing of what explodes when and with what force can be controlled with precise fuses and thicker wrappings. 

Even the noise they make can come down to what they're made of. Certain fuels, for example, can make flying fireworks sound like they're whistling.

<![CDATA[Extremely Rare Galaxy Sheds Light On How Others Get Their Shapes]]> Wed, 29 Jun 2016 07:59:00 -0500
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The Hubble Space Telescope has captured images of an extremely rare galaxy researchers are using to learn how others, and their shapes, evolved.

While most galaxies are shaped like a spiral or elliptical, these "tadpole galaxies" researchers are studying have bright heads and long tails.

The odds are about 500-1 of a galaxy being tadpole-shaped in our neck of the universe. But Kiso 5639 beats the odds –– a relatively nearby tadpole galaxy just 82 million light-years from the Milky Way.

Its odd appearance comes from a frenzied birth of stars on one side of the galaxy. Stars in the "head" were formed just a million years ago, compared to other stars in the same galaxy which are a few billion years old.

As to what caused this rapid birth of young stars, researchers in Germany believe a narrow strip of gas entered the galaxy's atmosphere. That gas dropped matter, which folded in with clouds of dust to create stars.

But Kiso 5639 likely won't look like a tadpole forever. The researchers note that galaxies rotate and parts of the tail will eventually interact with that same strip of gas, leading to more stars being born.

You can read a more detailed account of Kiso 5639 and the makeup of its gas stream in The Astrophysical Journal.

This video includes clips from ESA/Hubble, Digitized Sky Survey 2 and images from NASA and NASA / ESA Hubble Space Telescope. Music provided courtesy of APM Music.

<![CDATA[Scientists Are Getting Closer To A Working Zika Vaccine]]> Tue, 28 Jun 2016 21:44:00 -0500
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Concern about the spread of the Zika virus seems to only be outpaced by the speed in which the scientific community is working to create a vaccine. And scientists seem like they're close to developing some protection from the virus with multiple vaccines in the works. 

One vaccine recently received its first approval from the Food and Drug Administration to start testing on humans. The company says it's going to be testing 40 people in a few weeks and if it's safe, will move on to a larger trial. 

And a new report from Harvard Medical School shows researchers were able to create a vaccine that kept mice completely protected from the Zika virus. Now, mice and humans are obviously different, and one of the co-authors concedes that fact but says the findings "raise optimism" that a vaccine for humans may not be too far off. 

If it feels like it hasn't taken long for these vaccines to start churning out, you'd be right. It's all thanks to a newish technique called DNA vaccines. Unlike other vaccines that contain a whole virus, DNA vaccines only carry a small piece of the virus's genetic code. 

This hopeful news also comes as Senate Democrats blocked a spending bill that would've helped fight Zika. Democrats said the GOP hijacked the bill by adding provisions cutting financing for Obamacare and restricting how Planned Parenthood could provide contraceptive services in the fight against Zika.  

Either way, these two vaccines join at least one other from the National Institutes of Health that could be ready for approval in the next couple of years. 

This video includes clips from The Centers for Disease Control and PreventionHarvard University and National Geographic. Music provided courtesy of APM Music. 

<![CDATA[The Impatient Person's Guide To The End Of The Universe]]> Tue, 28 Jun 2016 18:36:00 -0500
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Here's a thought: Someday the universe will end. And thanks to modern physics, scientists already have several theories on how. 

We'll start with the three simplest theories, which all come from a basic observation about the universe: It's expanding. Most galaxies are getting farther and farther apart as space itself gets larger and larger. 

If you take that fact and project out billions of years, there are three basic ways the process could end. 

In the first scenario, the expansion slows down. The galaxies eventually get pulled back together, kind of like the Big Bang in reverse. All matter and energy collapses back into a hot, dense ball, mirroring the universe's earliest moments. 

This seems like the least likely scenario nowadays because new observations show the expansion is actually speeding up, not slowing down. That leads us to the second scenario. 

In the second case, the expansion speeds up exponentially as the forces driving it become stronger. It becomes so fast that galaxies aren't the only things being separated. Stars, planets and eventually even atoms would be pulled apart by the expansion. 

"It will eventually overcome everything, and you'll have a universe with nothing left," physicist Thad Szabo of Cerritos College told Universe Today's Fraser Cain

The third outcome is that the expansion will occur at just the right rate to keep No. 1 and No. 2 from happening. The galaxies will get farther apart, but there won't be any catastrophe at the end. Instead, those galaxies will more or less die of old age. 

The stars will burn until all fuel is used up, planets will float around until they crumble or fall into black holes and the black holes themselves will slowly evaporate, leaving a cold and empty void. 

"The universe will end not with a bang but with a whimper," astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson told Bill Moyers

Right now, No. 3 seems most likely, but that could change. There are a lot of unknowns about expansion that could affect our universal forecast. 

But there are theories on the end of the universe that have nothing to do with expansion. 

Remember the discovery of the Higgs boson in 2012? Well, it turns out the Higgs' newly discovered properties just happen to fit a formula predicting a different kind of doom for our universe. Here's how a physicist who worked on the Higgs discovery put it: 

"At some point, somewhere, spontaneously, out in the vacuum of space … there'll be a little bubble that will form. … It will expand at the speed of light, and it will keep doing that, and nothing will stop it until it completely wipes out everything that's already here," Joseph Lykken of Fermilab said in a lecture to the Academy of Science of St. Louis.

The "bubble" in that scenario is basically a replacement universe that functions very differently from ours. Life most likely wouldn't be possible there, but at least there's something left over after our universe ends. 

Just to put your minds at ease, it's worth remembering that all of these end-of-the-universe scenarios take place billions of years in the future — except the Higgs boson bubble thing, which could happen at any time. 

This video includes clips from John Fowler / CC BY 2.0NASAMike Lewinski / CC BY 2.0 and GrassRoots Community Television. Music provided courtesy of APM Music. 

<![CDATA[What Stephen Hawking Doesn't Know, And What He Knows All Too Well]]> Tue, 28 Jun 2016 13:04:00 -0500
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Some things are just too big of a mystery, keeping even geniuses like Stephen Hawking guessing. 

"What still mystifies you about the universe?" Larry King asked. 

"Why do the universe and all the laws of nature exist? Are they necessary? In one sense they are, because otherwise we wouldn't be here to ask the question. But is there a deeper reason?" Hawking answered. 

We might not be able to answer Hawking's question, but there's a chance we could help with something else he told Larry King he knows all too well.

Hawking said in the roughly six years since he was last interviewed by King, the world hasn't gotten any less greedy.

Air pollution has increased over that time to the point where now 80 percent of urban dwellers are in danger. And he called global warming Earth's most pressing issue. 

When interviewed by King in 2010, Hawking said: "We are in danger of destroying ourselves by our greed and stupidity. We cannot remain looking inwards at ourselves on a small and increasingly polluted and overcrowded planet."

That echoed a stand he made on global warming at the Royal Society of London in 2007.

Hawking has asserted that hotter ocean temperatures would melt the ice caps and cause large quantities of carbon dioxide to escape the ocean floor. Those effects could, in turn, make Earth's climate more like Venus', with temperatures reaching 250 degrees Celsius. 

But there is change on the way. This week, American, Canadian and Mexican leaders are set to announce a goal of half of the continent's energy coming from zero-carbon resources by 2025

This video includes clips from The White HouseSky NewsCNNBBCAl JazeeraPBS and Ora TV / "Larry King Now," and images from Getty Images and NASA

<![CDATA[Congress Is Going On Vacation – Without Funding The Fight Against Zika]]> Tue, 28 Jun 2016 12:57:00 -0500
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Congress is going on vacation — without funding the fight against Zika. 

Mosquitoes carry the Zika virus, which is linked to birth defects in children.

Puerto Rico has already seen 1,800 infections. And health officials say the rest of the U.S. will be hit by Zika this summer.

President Obama asked for $1.9 billion to fight the virus. House Republicans gave him $1.1 billion — but only in exchange for cuts to Obamacare and Planned Parenthood. 

So Senate Democrats won't sign the bill. And both sides are pointing fingers.

This video includes images from Getty Images. Music provided courtesy of APM Music.

<![CDATA[Clinical Trial Offers New Hope For Marijuana-Based Prescription Drugs]]> Mon, 27 Jun 2016 21:02:00 -0500
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A new clinical trial on marijuana and epilepsy could lead to the first FDA-approved marijuana-based prescription drug.

There have been similar studies in the past dealing with seizures and cannabidiol, one of the main active components in marijuana. But this trial is unique because of how far along it is in the clinical trial process and how carefully controlled it was. 

The trial was specifically for people with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, which is a form of epilepsy that usually starts in childhood. According to the Epilepsy Foundation, LGS accounts for only 2 to 5 percent of childhood epilepsies. But the experimental drug Epidiolex recently had some success in treating another epileptic condition called Dravet syndrome.

In the most recent trial, those taking the drug saw a 44 percent reduction in seizures, compared to a significantly lower 22 percent decrease in those taking a placebo.

Participants in the study were between 2 and 55 years old and took Epidiolex in addition to their other anti-epileptic medication.

The company that makes the drug, GW Pharmaceuticals, told outlets it will likely apply for U.S. market approval by 2017.

This video includes images from GW Pharmaceuticals and Bob Doran / CC BY 2.0 and clips from The Sacramento Bee and WFLD. Music provided courtesy of APM Music. 

<![CDATA[Health Costs ​Could Hinge On Where — Not How — You Die]]> Mon, 27 Jun 2016 16:37:00 -0500
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A health care analytics company suggests that instead of considering how they want to die, people should consider where they want to die.

Arcadia Healthcare Solutions looked at the last year of life for nearly 2,400 patients and examined where they spent their last year and how much their health care cost. 

Results showed 42 percent of people died at home while 40 percent died in the hospital. But those who died in the hospital spent almost $28,000 more during their last month. 

The assertion that dying in a hospital is costly is not new. Researchers with the University of New South Wales reviewed dozens of studies and found a third of elderly patients with chronic, irreversible conditions received unnecessary medical treatment at the hospital. 

So how could families avoid unnecessary end-of-life spending? The lead researchers said, "An honest and open discussion with patients or their families is a good start to avoid non-beneficial treatments."

But while doctors tend to believe it's their role to start those conversations with patients, they say they're not always equipped to carry the patients' plans through.

They note patients' electronic health records often lack a place to note an end-of-life plan, and less than one-third of doctors reported having any formal training to talk to patients and their families about end-of-life care. 

This video includes images from Getty Images, Nicholas Menghini / CC BY 3.0David / CC BY 3.0 and Creative Stall / CC BY 3.0. Music provided courtesy of APM Music.

<![CDATA[IEA Report Says 6.5 Million People Die Each Year From Air Pollution]]> Mon, 27 Jun 2016 13:50:00 -0500
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A new report released Monday by the International Energy Agency says about 6.5 million deaths each year can be attributed to both indoor and outdoor air pollution.

According to the World Health Organization, that's more than the number of people who die from HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and road injuries combined.

This is the first air pollution study from the agency — a Paris-based energy security group — which is probably best known for its monthly oil market reports.

The report also warns that premature deaths from outdoor air pollution are probably going to rise from 3 million to 4.5 million by 2040, mainly in developing Asia.

In a statement, the IEA executive director said, "No country — rich or poor — can claim that the task of tackling air pollution is complete. ... We need to revise our approach to energy development so that communities are not forced to sacrifice clean air in return for economic growth."

SEE MORE: "Climate Protection Will Need More Money Than It Gets From Paris Talks"

The IEA suggests three steps for improving air quality like setting long-term air quality goals, having a clean air strategy for the energy sector and making sure countries actually monitor and enforce those goals and strategies.

But to help slow air pollution, the developed world is going to need to do some investing in developing countries. That will allow countries like China — where air pollution contributed to 1.2 million premature deaths in 2010 — to finance industrial change and develop low-carbon technologies.

If the IEA goals can be reached, developing countries could see the number of people exposed to certain types of air pollution drop. In India, it could fall below 20 percent by 2040 from the 60 percent it's at today.

This video includes clips from the International Energy Agency and images from Getty Images.

<![CDATA[So, You're Saying Electricity Makes Lower-Fat Chocolate Possible?]]> Mon, 27 Jun 2016 10:10:00 -0500
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What if chocolate could be healthier and taste the same?

Researchers at Temple University have been able to reduce the fat in chocolate by running an electrified current through its liquid form.

"Liquid chocolate is a mix of [cocoa] particles and fat. At a little bit high temperature, about 40 degrees [Celsius]. So put it together –– let it then pass the electrical field, so cocoa particles aggregate. Then viscosity is reduced, so they can go through the production no problem," the study's lead researcher said.

OK, so it's a little complicated. But the gist is chocolate made in factories has to flow smoothly through pipes.

Low-fat chocolate gets clogged up because it loses fat from the cocoa butter, which makes it fluid.

But the researchers found shooting electricity in the same direction the liquid chocolate moves changes the mixture's density, letting it run smoothly even as fat is removed from the chocolate.

This technology was originally invented for crude oil. The Mars candy company then came to the researchers at Temple University and asked them to apply it to chocolate.

Using the electric current, the researchers reduced the chocolate's fat content by 20 percent. And they claim it tastes the same.

However, the study didn't include any scientific tests on taste or texture to back up that claim. If Mars ends up using this technology, customers may just have to try for themselves.

This video includes clips from Temple UniversityAl JazeeraCNNCBS and KYW-TV and images from Getty Images.

<![CDATA[Beijing's Consuming So Much Water The City's Sinking]]> Sun, 26 Jun 2016 12:30:00 -0500
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Beijing is consuming so much water it's causing the city to sink at an extreme rate.

A new study using satellite imagery and radar technology confirmed the ground level is sinking each year by roughly 4 inches. 

Beijing doesn't have enough water to begin with. It's the fifth-most water stressed city in the world. Meanwhile, two-thirds of the water the city uses comes from the ground. 

According to The Guardian, more than 10,000 wells have been drilled in the Beijing area, and when water is used from them, the nearby soil condenses and hardens. 

The study's authors warned if ground water continues to be pumped at excessive rates, the city's 20 million citizens could be in danger. The central business district is sinking particularly fast, and the researchers predict trains could be affected

More than 40 other Chinese cities have been found to be sinking as well. Shanghai, China's most populated city, has dropped more than 6 feet since 1921.  

The huge expansion of skyscrapers and other heavy buildings in China has made the sinking worse. 

Beyond China, Mexico City has sunk 32 feet in the last 60 years because of similar water consumption. 

Both Mexico City and Jakarta, Indonesia, are sinking at a rate of roughly 11 inches per year. 

This video includes clips from PBSFrance 24, International Business TimesNTDTVCCTV and images from Getty Images. Music provided courtesy of APM Music.

<![CDATA[Imagine What 2 Telescopes In Space Will See — If Hubble Doesn't Break]]> Sat, 25 Jun 2016 15:40:00 -0500
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Even at 26 years old, the Hubble Space Telescope is still earning its keep. And NASA just awarded a more than $2 billion contract to ensure its science operations will continue for the next five years.

The quarter-century-old observatory lives or dies by this funding because maintenance doesn't happen anymore. The last visit to repair and service the telescope was in May 2009. Since then, it's stayed in good working order, but anything that breaks now will stay broken.

This funding extension means Hubble's service lifetime should officially overlap with that of the James Webb Space Telescope, scheduled to launch in 2018.

Webb is more a spiritual successor to Hubble's legacy than a direct one. Hubble makes its observations in the visible and ultraviolet spectrum. Webb will operate in the infrared. Researchers can't do quite the same science with each one.

But as long as both scopes are operational, astronomers will be able to turn them on the same target to study it in more detail.

How long the duo would be able to keep up that work is anyone's guess. If Hubble's hardware holds up, its demise might come down to gravity.

It wouldn't "float off into the sunset" as much as it would "eventually get dragged into the atmosphere and mostly burn up" as its orbit decays.

But that's not expected to happen until some time after 2020. And NASA will have to visit sometime before Hubble falls: It won't allow an uncontrolled breakup.

This video includes clips from the European Space Agency and NASA and images from NASA.

<![CDATA[Arnold Schwarzenegger Wants China To Quit Pigging Out On Meat]]> Sat, 25 Jun 2016 13:27:00 -0500
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"Put that cookie down now!" Arnold Schwarzenegger said.

This time, it isn't cookies. But China, Arnold Schwarzenegger wants you to put that meat down.

"I'm slowly getting off meat, and I tell you, I feel fantastic," Schwarzenegger said.

That's because meat is taking a lot of blame for rising obesity and diabetes rates in China.

Its government's new dietary guidelines want people to cut down on the meat consumption, and a WildAid PSA starring Schwarzenegger is meant to get the idea across.

And it's not just health. Meat isn't helping China's massive carbon footprint, and the country has agreed to lower its emissions.

Red meat increases that footprint and is especially popular in the country, where half of all pork worldwide is eaten and produced.

And studies show that meat consumption isn't slowing down.

But maybe Schwarzenegger is the inspiration the country needs.

This video includes clips from Arnold SchwarzeneggerThe EconomistWildAid20th Century Fox / "Jingle All the Way" and images from Getty Images and stu_spivack / CC BY SA 2.0.

<![CDATA[These Freed Zoo Animals Are On To Bigger, Better Things]]> Fri, 24 Jun 2016 09:00:00 -0500
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Thousands of animals at Argentina's Buenos Aires zoo will soon be moving out and heading to larger spaces.

The city's mayor called the animals' "captivity degrading" when he announced Thursday the zoo would close.

This sentiment echoes what many animal rights groups have been saying in recent years. Some have even demanded the zoo be shut down because of the conditions the animals live in.

Most of the zoo's 2,500 animals will be moved to sanctuaries around Argentina.

But 50 animals are reportedly too fragile to be moved.

Like an orangutan named Sandra, who got international attention after she was given "basic human rights" by an Argentinian court. The court agreed her living conditions were poor.

Sandra was supposed to be transferred to a sanctuary but now is reportedly too weak to make the trip.

The remaining animals will no longer be on display as the zoo transforms into a park that focuses on conservation. It might reopen later this year.

This video includes clips from parabuenosaires.com24/7 Canal de Noticias and Canal 9 and images from Joseph Brent / CC BY 2.0Juliana Lopes / CC BY 2.0[MGM] / CC BY SA 2.0Christian Haugen / CC BY 2.0Rodrigo Soldon 2 / CC BY ND 2.0 and Travis Alber / CC BY 2.0.

<![CDATA[Sorry, Solar City: Solar Power Still Isn't Competitive]]> Thu, 23 Jun 2016 15:39:00 -0500
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You might have caught the news: Tesla Motors and Solar City are expected to merge. Tesla CEO Elon Musk hopes it will help usher in a new era of affordable solar energy — but the change isn't happening anytime soon.

Never mind the hefty losses both companies incurred last year. It's not about the companies themselves. It's about relatively new technology. On average, solar is still not a good financial prospect for consumers. 

This is partly a matter of scale. The U.S. generates two-thirds of its electricity from coal and natural gas. Solar accounts for 0.6 percent.

Numbers from the Energy Information Administration show fossil fuels have historically been cheaper than solar.

And even with a few years to mature and the help of federal subsidies, the EIA expects solar still won't catch up.

SEE MORE: "Is Solar Power Worth It?"

Federal tax credits can reimburse as much as 30 percent of a solar installation's cost, but those discounts are declining and will eventually be discontinued in 2021.

Still, solar is scheduled to lead the U.S.' new energy installations in 2016, and up-front costs have fallen 50 percent in just five years. Maybe Musk is just ahead of his time.

This video includes clips from Tesla MotorsTED ConferencesMinnesota 2020 / CC BY 3.0 and Kasselman Solar / CC BY 3.0 and images from Getty Images, Anuar Zhumaev / CC BY 3.0 and Thomas Uebe / CC BY 3.0. Music provided courtesy of APM Music.

<![CDATA[Don't Count On Medicare, Social Security To Pay Your Bills After 2035]]> Wed, 22 Jun 2016 18:42:00 -0500
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Social Security and Medicare take up about 41 percent of the federal budget, and yet the programs are still facing money troubles. 

In a new report, the various trust funds financing the two programs continue to forecast long-term budget problems due to an aging population. The trust funds can help cover Social Security's deficits until around 2035; after that, the program will only have enough money to pay out about 75 percent of the benefits it's supposed to cover.

The report's outlook for Medicare worsened slightly this year. The trust fund covering Medicare Part A, which pays for most hospital expenses, can only finance the program through 2028, running dry two years earlier than expected. After that, beneficiaries will only get 87 percent of their payouts.

Lawmakers recently took some action to shore up these entitlement programs. The 2015 budget shifted some of the program's money to a trust fund for disability insurance, which added seven years to the fund's projected lifespan. But the report emphasized making both programs sustainable will require more than short-term tweaks.

So far, health care spending hasn't been a major talking point of this election. Presumed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton proposed modest spending increases to the programs, while her Republican counterpart, Donald Trump, has promised to not cut Social Security spending.

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew did point out that both programs have benefited from slower increases in health care costs, something Lew attributed to President Obama's signature health care law. Obamacare also includes provisions to automatically cap Medicare spending at certain benchmarks, which the program is projected to hit in 2019.

This video includes images from Getty Images and clips from C-SPANABC and Donald J. Trump For President Inc. Music provided courtesy of APM Music. 

<![CDATA[If It Feels Like Wildfires Are Getting Bigger, It's Because They Are]]> Wed, 22 Jun 2016 15:54:00 -0500
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Fire has mesmerized man since man was around to be mesmerized by it. That could help explain the storm of media coverage every wildfire season — these are people's lives and homes being destroyed, after all. But the anxious headlines all point to a recent new truth: Wildfires are getting worse.

Since 1995, wildfires have burned more than 126 million acres in the United States. That's a combined area larger than the size of California — and the fires are affecting more land on average.

This comes as the planet gets warmer. The associated droughts and fast-melting snow are expected to make wildfires bigger and more frequent.

Researchers worry we're looking at a feedback loop: Burning forests will release more carbon, increase the effects of climate change, and put the rest of the trees at even greater risk of wildfire damage.

Fire suppression costs for the U.S. Forest Service and Interior agencies have climbed along with the scope of the fires. In 2015, the Forest Service spent more than half its annual budget on fighting fires — the first time that's ever happened.

This video includes clips from CNNABCCBS and KTLA and images from Getty Images, Co-Effect Creative / CC BY 3.0 and Jeff Bleitz / CC BY 3.0. Music provided courtesy of APM Music.

<![CDATA[Trying To Lose Weight? That Standing Desk Isn't Helping Much]]> Wed, 22 Jun 2016 11:29:00 -0500
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Sorry, worker bees. Your standing desk may not help much if losing weight is your goal. 

University of Pittsburgh study, published this month, found participants who stood while working only burned eight or nine calories per hour more than if they sat.

This doesn't mean you should give up on standing at work. Some studies have linked prolonged sitting to increased chances of heart failure and premature death

But a recent analysis of past studies on standing couldn't find any clear-cut evidence that it helps you burn a significant amount of calories. 

And the University of Pittsburgh's study this month isn't tilting the scales in standing's favor. 

Taking short walks during your shift may be the key. Walking at a relaxed pace burned about three times as many calories as sitting or standing.

This video includes an image from Logan Ingalls / CC BY 2.0.

<![CDATA[Trader Joe's Agrees To $2M Settlement — Over Refrigerator Coolant]]> Tue, 21 Jun 2016 20:13:00 -0500
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Trader Joe's has agreed to pay up after the U.S. Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency found some environmental infractions in its stores.

The issue is refrigerators. Specifically, coolant leaks.

The EPA says the company wasn't repairing coolant leaks in a timely manner and since some of the coolant used by the chain is an ozone-depleting greenhouse gas, those delays violated the Clean Air Act.

Trader Joe's has agreed to spend an estimated $2 million to reduce environmentally harmful leaks. The Justice Department says the company will do this, in part, by using non-ozone depleting refrigerants at all new stores and at stores with major remodels.

Officials said in a release: "The total estimated greenhouse gas emissions reductions from this settlement are equal to the amount from over 6,500 passenger vehicles driven in one year, the CO2 emissions from 33 million pounds of coal burned, or the carbon sequestered by 25,000 acres of forests in one year."

Other grocery chains have had to pay up over refrigerator coolant, too — including Safeway and Costco. 

On top of the $2 million Trader Joe's is expected to spend, the chain will also pay a half a million dollar civil penalty. After a 30-day public comment period, the settlement will need final court approval. 

This video includes images from Getty Images. Music provided courtesy of APM Music. 

<![CDATA[Colorado Teens Aren't Using Marijuana As Much As You'd Think]]> Tue, 21 Jun 2016 13:56:00 -0500
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Although marijuana is legal in Colorado, use among high school students is just below the national average, according to a recent survey released by the state.

The latest Healthy Kids Colorado Survey that came out Monday was conducted in 2015. Of the 17,000 students randomly surveyed, about 21.2 percent had used marijuana in the past 30 days. The national average is 21.7 percent.

The percentage of Colorado students who had ever used marijuana was also slightly below the national average.

Colorado legalized the recreational use of marijuana for people 21 and older in 2012. Licensed marijuana retailers began opening in the state in 2014.

According to the survey, tobacco use has hit an all-time low, with fewer than 9 percent of students saying they've smoked a cigarette in the past 30 days. But the study says teens' use of electronic vapor products has increased significantly with a higher percentage of teens using them than cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco combined. Twenty-six percent of respondents said they used an electronic smoking product in the past 30 days compared to the national average of 24 percent.

Alcohol appears to be most popular among Colorado students, with more than 30 percent of them saying they consumed alcohol within the past 30 days compared to the national average of nearly 33 percent.

This video includes clips from KMGH and images from Getty Images. Music provided by APM Music.

<![CDATA[Google Thinks It Knows What Your (Medical) Problem Is]]> Tue, 21 Jun 2016 11:04:00 -0500
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Google says its search engine app will make it easier to figure out what's causing your medical symptoms.

In a blog post, the company said 1 percent of its searches are for medical symptoms, like "headache." That means there are millions of searches for medical information on Google already.

SEE MORE: "Doctors Can Now Diagnose Concussions With Just A Blood Test"

Starting Tuesday, when someone searches for a symptom on the Google app in the U.S., they will be given a description of the problem along with some self-treatment options if there are any. Google will also suggest when people should consult a doctor.

2013 Pew survey found 1 in 3 Americans have gone online for information on a medical condition they or others have.

And information found online isn't always accurate. One study found that symptom-checkers online only provided the correct first diagnosis a third of the time.

That led to some people misdiagnosing themselves with a fatal condition, when the reality of the situation wasn't as bad as they thought.

Google says it carefully reviewed the symptom information on its app with doctors. Experts from the Harvard Medical School and Mayo Clinic evaluated a sample of the related conditions.

Google intends for the feature to be used for "informational purposes only" and says you should always consult a doctor for medical advice.

The feature is first rolling out on Google's mobile app on English in the U.S. The company plans to support more languages and cover more symptoms in the future.

This video includes clips and an image from Google.

<![CDATA[What's Rarer Than A Blue Moon? A Strawberry Moon On Summer Solstice]]> Sun, 19 Jun 2016 20:42:00 -0500
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When something happens rarely, we say it occurs once in a blue moon. But it turns out, there's another moon that's even rarer, and it's going to appear in the night sky very soon.

On Monday, June 20, you can look up to the night sky and see a strawberry moon. That's a full moon in the month of June. But what's rare is this year, it happens to fall on the summer solstice. 

The strawberry moon got its name from Algonquin tribes that saw the first full moon of the summer as a signal that it was time to gather the fruits around them.

The strawberry moon was a cause for celebration in other countries as well. But since strawberries didn't originally grow in Europe, people there called it the full rose moon. It's also known in various places worldwide as the hot moon, honey moon and long night moon.

About 25,000 people are expected to gather at Stonehenge for this year's strawberry moon. Stonehenge is thought to be somehow related to the changing of the seasons because the sun aligns with the monument only on the summer and winter solstices.

The moon you'll see Monday could be a once-in-a-lifetime event, because it is extremely rare for a full moon to coincide with the summer solstice.

But you won't have long to take in the event, since the summer solstice is the longest day of the year. The moon will rise and set at different times depending on where you live, but it will be in the sky for about nine hours.

If you can't get outside to take in the rare cosmic coincidence, the Farmer's Almanac is planning to host a live stream of the moon from an observatory in the Canary Islands.

Correction: A previous version of this video incorrectly defined the strawberry moon as a full moon that falls on the summer solstice. This video has been updated. 

<![CDATA[Prince William Advocates For Mental Health On Father's Day]]> Sun, 19 Jun 2016 13:48:00 -0500
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As the U.S. and Great Britain celebrate Father's Day, Prince William is asking dads to think about their children's mental health. 

In an Op/Ed published Sunday in the Daily Express, the Duke of Cambridge said one-fifth of children will have a mental health issue by the time they turn 11 years old. Still, less than a third of fathers rank their children's emotional needs as a "fundamental priority." 

Prince William also urged fathers to "take a moment to ask their children how they are doing." 

Prince William, Prince Harry and Duchess Catherine became champions of mental health when they started the Heads Together campaign in May. 

On Saturday, the organization released a video of Prince William speaking with British families about how to communicate, and what makes their fathers special. 

This video includes clips from Heads Together and images from Getty Images. Music provided courtesy of APM Music.

<![CDATA[The Obamas Are Trying To Make National Parks 'Cool']]> Sun, 19 Jun 2016 11:38:00 -0500
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President Obama is looking to rest and relax — and set an example politically — as he and his family vacation over a long weekend at national parks. 

On Friday, the Obamas visited Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico, and on Saturday they reached Yosemite National Park in California. 

"It looks slightly better in person. Just look at this scene. You can't capture this on an iPad, or a flat screen, or even an oil painting," Obama told reporters. 

But climate change and funding have been some of the biggest problems the National Park Service has been trying to tackle, and Obama made note of it at Yosemite. 

"Yosemite's largest glacier, once a mile wide, is now almost gone. We're also seeing longer, more expensive and dangerous wildfire seasons, and fires are raging across the west right now," Obama told reporters. 

The National Forest Service uses more than half of its budget fighting forest fires, which are reportedly made worse by climate change. 

And NBC notes it takes $820 million each year to maintain the national parks, but funding falls short year after year. 

Obama has made conservation a focus during his tenure. He's given protected status to more acres of land and water combined than any president before him, but that too has sometimes drawn criticism from locals who oppose federal ownership. 

The Obama administration has also made a point of boosting attendance at national parks. Some measures have even offered free admission, like the Every Kid In a Park initiative. 

Last year, a record number of people visited national parks. 

This video includes clips from CBSU.S. Department of the Interior, the White HouseU.S. National Park ServiceNational GeographicABC, and images from Getty Images and Facebook / President Obama

<![CDATA[24 Dead, Dozens Missing After Flooding And Landslides In Indonesia]]> Sun, 19 Jun 2016 07:47:00 -0500
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At least 24 are dead and dozens more are missing in Indonesia after flooding and landslides. 

The country's disaster management said heavy rains since Saturday caused 16 cities in the Central Java province to be hit with floods and landslides. 

Currently, search efforts and aid are underway for those missing. 

Just days before the Central Java rains, West Sumatra — located on one of the country's other islands — saw thousands of homes left underwater or washed away from heavy rainfall. 

That flooding has subsided in West Sumatra, but Indonesia's disaster management said with more rainfall predicted it was extending the emergency response until Friday. 

While Indonesia is typically exposed to various weather disasters — like cyclones and monsoons — June is actually part of its dry season

This video includes clips from OK NewsKompasTVBerita Satu TV, Net News and images from Indonesia National Search and Rescue Agency

<![CDATA[Mom Rescues 5-Year-Old From The Jaws Of A Mountain Lion]]> Sat, 18 Jun 2016 22:07:00 -0500
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A Colorado mom rescued her son from the jaws of a mountain lion near Aspen on Friday.

According to The Aspen Times, one sheriff's deputy called the mom a "hero" for rescuing the 5-year-old boy from the attack, which happened while he was playing outside with his older brother.

The mother told the Pitkin County Sheriff's Office she ran outside when she heard screaming and was able to get her son away from the mountain lion. A deputy later said the cat had the boy's head in its mouth.

The mother had minor injuries from the attack but was released from the hospital in good condition. The 5-year-old is currently receiving treatment for injuries to the head and neck and is reportedly in fair condition.

The U.S. Forest Service killed the mountain lion believed to be the one that attacked the boy.

This video includes an image from USGS Unmanned Aircraft Systems / CC BY 2.0.