Chemistry, Domestic Science, Feature Post

What gives coffee its distinctive color and flavor

Raw (left) and roasted (right) coffee beans.

Coffee beans undergo several processes before they become the familiar roasted coffee we all know. The coffee beans we’re used to seeing, the brown ones with a delightful flavor, are roasted. Raw coffee beans have a different color and smell very differently. So what makes roasted coffee look, smell and taste so different from raw coffee? The answer lies in chemistry…

Domestic Science, News

Big Difference Between What the Science Says and What the Public Believes

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At least in the US, there is a huge difference between what the general public thinks and what scientists think – and this is a big problem. Science is at the core of any nation – it influences the economy, the public life, the health… pretty much everything – everybody agrees on this; but despite this agreement, the beliefs of people…

Domestic Science, News, Nutrition

Dr. Oz “miracle green coffee pills” pulled, marketers fined $9 million

Image via Walmart.

If you’re one of those people who believe green coffee pills can do wonders for your health, then I’ve got some bad news for you. Not only do they not work, but the marketer who supported them was given a huge fine for misleading and lying about his product. Remember the “magic” green coffee pills advertised on Dr. Oz? Scientists…

Domestic Science, Environment, News

Mexican Researchers Turn Old Plastic Bottles Into Waterproof Paper

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A team of Mexican researchers found a way to save 20 trees and 56,000 liters of water for every ton of paper produced – just make them from old plastic bottles. Plastic is one of the main pollutants in the world – the ocean is basically a cemetery for used plastic, with at least 5 trillion pieces floating around in…

Domestic Science, News

Schools not inspiring students to participate in civic life

William Damon.

  Schools in the US are failing on teaching children civic involvement Simply learning facts about democracy (for example) is not nearly enough Educators should get their hands dirty and focus more on controversial issues     More and more researchers, teachers and educators are starting to support the idea of a major revolution in education. Now, a new report…

Domestic Science, News

Cats recognise their owners’ voices but never evolved to care, questionable study shows

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Japanese researchers showed that cats are able to recognize their owners’ voices from other voices, but because they domesticated themselves, they never really needed to take notice. The study supports the idea that while cats are often kept as pets, they are beholden to no one. Reserchers Atsuko Saito and Kazutaka Shinozuka tested twenty housecats in their own homes; they…

Domestic Science, Psychology

Benefits don’t make the jobless lazy

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There’s quite a common belief that if you provide welfare and lots of financial support to the jobless, they will lose motivation to find work and will become lazy and unproductive; that idea is wrong. High unemployment benefits do not lead to people becoming lazy and satisfied with their jobless status, a Europe-wide study suggests. The levels of benefit have…

Domestic Science, Nutrition

GM labeling initiative defeated in Washington

Agustín Aguilar, CIMMYT greenhouse and laboratory assistant, at work in the greenhouse that houses transgenic wheat at CIMMYT's El Batán, Mexico headquarters. In its work on drought tolerant wheat, CIMMYT is here developing lines that are homozygous for drought tolerance transgenes, requiring that they be self-pollinated for several generations. Aguilar is bagging the heads of the wheat to prevent any risk of cross-pollination.Photo credit: Xochiquetzal Fonseca/CIMMYT.

Why the US is against GM labeling is beyond me. In the European Union, all products must clearly state if they contain or not genetically modified organisms. However, in the United States, where over 60 percent of processed foods contain a genetically altered ingredient, GM labeling is not required, and consumers remain largely unconcerned about it. Mandatory labeling of genetically…

Domestic Science, Environment

Children no longer connected with nature

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Just 1 out of 5 children in Britain are still connected to nature, and there’s no reason to believe that things lie any differently in the western world. What does ‘connected to nature’ mean? Saying that someone is or isn’t connected to nature, at an intuitive level, is often times fairly simple. But making that statement scientifically is an entirely…

Domestic Science

90% of foods endorsed by professional athletes are junk food

Eli-Oreo

Out of 512 brands endorsed by 100 top athletes, nearly a quarter of them (122) were for food and beverages – 44 different brands in 2010 (some brands had more products). A study conducted by researchers from Yale, Stanford, Duke and Harvard universities showed that almost 80% of all the 49 food products were “energy-dense and nutrient-poor,” and 93% of…