Tuesday, February 26, 2013

New Website in the Works

A heads up. My author website has changed. the plan is to incorporate this blog into it. There is still a lot to be done, but take a look at the layout and give me your thoughts. I know it needs pictures and we are getting there, but the connectivity should be improved. 

I look forward to sharing a whole lot more science with you! See you at Science cafe!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Tell Me When It's Over

I'm finally recovering from the flu after 2 weeks of supporting the tissue companies single handedly. Did the flu shot miss the mark this year? According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) they did and they didn't. Clear? 

Flu viruses are always changing so it's not unusual for new flu viruses to show up. Read how flu viruses change.

So when will flu season be over? The CDC says flu activity can start as early as October and continue into May. The 2011-2012 season started late and ended early. 

Not the case for flu 2012-2013. To quote CDC experts, "It is not possible to predict when the season will peak or how severe the 2012-2013 season will be, but based on past experience, it’s likely that flu activity will continue for some time."

In other words, they have no idea. I suggest stocking up on tissues, resting, and keeping the honey and lemon handy.

Good luck and if you already have the flu, feel better!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Cooking Increases Brain Size

A new study reported in the online Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences offers new thoughts that cooking food made it possible for early humans to develop larger brains. The cooked food was easier to digest and made it possible for more nutrients to be available to brain cells.

Scientists have long believed there is a trade off between body size and brain cells since the brain needs about 20% of the body's total resting metabolic energy (although it's only about 2% of the body's weight.) So there just wasn't enough time in a day to gather and take in enough raw nutrients for early humans.

Hmm...food for thought when you're sitting and watching the Super Bowl game with all the cooked and snack food at your fingertips. Will bigger brains win out?