Category Archives: Uncategorized

What’s News in Science?

Hello students!

Yes you come to my site to check out your assignments and notes, but you can also keep on top of what’s going on in the world of science by clicking on the links below as you have time.  I spend as much time as I can trying to keep current with what’s happening, and WIRED SCIENCE is a great place to do that.  I will post at least one new link per week, so if anything piques your interest, read away and be informed!

9-23-16 – Paris Climate agreement is almost a reality.

9-23-16 – Fighting the Zika virus

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Northern Lights visible this week in our area!

Hi Everyone!   Jump in the car and drive out of the city where there are as few lights as possible, Try to find some high ground where you can view the northern horizon, and in the hours just before midnight, you may be able to see some awesome display of lights in the night sky.  Recent solar flare activity on the sun brings hope for some viewing even as low as our latitudes.  Happy hunting!  Here’s the link to Accuweather’s  post.

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Taste “map” of your tongue is a myth!

tngeFor years I have been teaching that there are various areas of your tongue that are sensitive to specific tastes: sweet, salty, bitter, sour ( and most recently umami which senses MSG).  As I was researching to once again teach the unit, I stumbled across numerous articles that basically said that everyone for years has accepted this theory of a “tongue map” without questioning the science behind it.  It turns out that research from as long ago as 1974  debunked the myth, but it continues to be taught and displayed in textbooks!

So, to those of you who could never quite understand why your taste buds didn’t fit the “test” with different solutions, you are vindicated!  Everyone IS ABLE to taste all types of tastes everywhere on the tongue, though some areas may have more receptors for specific types of tastes.  Then there is the whole issue of taste buds and whether or not you are a “super taster,” but that we will save for another time.

Here is an article from LiveScience magazine that cites some research, and is an easy read.

Keep on tasting!

 

 

A Heart Surgeon Speaks Out

Despite decades of telling people that eating a low fat diet and substituting polyunsaturated oils (such as corn or safflower oil) for saturated fats (like butter) so that their risk of heart disease will be less, doctors have seen a rise in heart disease instead of a drop.  “Statistics from the American Heart Association show that 75 million Americans currently suffer from heart disease, 20 million have diabetes and 57 million have pre-diabetes. These disorders are affecting younger and younger people in greater numbers every year. ” (see article link)

Dr. Dwight Lundell has left his surgery practice to focus on nutrition treatment for heart disease based on  “The discovery a few years ago that inflammation in the artery wall is the real cause of heart disease is slowly leading to a paradigm shift in how heart disease and other chronic ailments will be treated.”  The inflammation is actually being caused by the low fat diet that we have been encouraged to embrace over the last 50 years.

This very interesting (and easily understood) article can be found here.  Food for thought.

 

Learning Styles – What’s Yours?

For years now, first as a mom homeschooling my own kids and now as a classroom teacher, I have been told that if I really want our kids to learn well, I/we should teach to their particular learning style.  It was fun to go through some of the workshops and figure out what each of our own styles were by taking various surveys like this   or this .  Although I think it is  a great idea to teach a topic in a number of different formats to get the message across, I have often wondered how successful the efforts have been for individual students.

In preparing to teach a unit on the brain in my anatomy classes, I ran across an article that addressed this issue of learning styles.  The article intrigued me because the author suggested that learning styles was not much more than a myth.  A MYTH! That got my attention.  The author is a neuroscientist who has written a book about myths about the brain.  Here is the link in wired science to this article.  I hope you enjoy the read!

Don’t blame the turkey!

Have you been blaming the TURKEY for making you sooooo sleepy after eating every Thanksgiving?   It is true that there is a sleep inducing chemical in turkey, but there is actually no more (tryptophan) in turkey than any other meat (or tofu for that matter!).  So what’s the deal?  Why do we all fall into a heap on the couch and miss half the game because we can’t keep our eyes open?

The answer is CARBS, not turkey.  Look at the rest of table… mashed potatoes, stuffing, marshmellow-topped sugary yams, pumpkin pie,… the list goes on.  When you put all those carbs in your body, insulin is released to manage the sugar high you just imposed.  When that happens, the amino acids that were blocking the tryptophan from getting to your brain are off fighting the sugar battle, allowing tryptophan to get into your brain and get turned into seratonin.  Presto! you get mellowed out and fade away to dreamland.

So do yourself a favor.  Load up on turkey and go light on the carbs.  Better yet, get the family out for a walk afterwards, instead of sitting in front of the screen.  Your body will thank you.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!  We have so much to be thankful for.

PS – Here’s the link to the article in Wired Science where I got my info.